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UC’s Mrs. Eskew honored as pioneer at Legacy Awards

UC’s Mrs. Eskew honored as pioneer at Legacy Awards
Special Features Editor
Union City councilman Dianne Eskew was honored recently at the Fourth Annual African American Legacy Awards gala for the North Memphis District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Memphis.
The gala selection committee’s goal is to “search for men and women who reach beyond the ordinary to ease pain and suffering everywhere.”
Eleven “pioneers” were honored at the gala, with Dr. Clement W. Fugh, general secretary and chief information officer of the church, providing the keynote address. Beverly Robertson presented the honorees.
Mrs. Eskew, who is a physician’s nurse and is employed by Dr. James Hall, Union City cardiologist, is also the first African American to work as a doctor’s nurse in Union City.
A native of Union City, she attended the former Miles High School and graduated from Union City High School in 1969, later attending the Tennessee School of Nursing, Dyersburg State Community College and the University of Tennessee at Martin to further her skill base and training in nursing. She was first employed in 1970 at the former Obion County General Hospital and continued to work at Baptist Memorial Hospital in several capacities. She was named Cardiac Rehabilitation Coordinator and established a six-week program for cardiac surgical patients.
Following her brief retirement from the hospital, she was sought for her expertise and returned to the medical community as Dr. Hall’s nurse.
In addition to her employment and her commitment to citizens of Union City as their elected representative since 2000, Mrs. Eskew is a devoted member of Brown Chapel AME Church, where she was honored by the Women’s Missionary Society in 2008 for the Conference of West Tennessee for her volunteer efforts.
She also received the Stellar Award in 2000 from the North Memphis District of the AME Church and the Citizen of the Year Award for her contributions to community and church from Silver Trowel Masonic Lodge and Bathsheba Order of the Eastern Star. She is a licensed exhorter and a church steward at her place of worship and has claimed as her “second calling” the effort to work as a community activist, “striving to make my community a better place for my constituency and for the city through efforts in the area of social justice and human rights.”
“My mother was church secretary for 30 years and she trained me for the job. On her death bed, I promised to continue that work. It was supposed to be a paid position, but my mother always said she could not ‘charge the church,’ so I have followed her example since 1992. There are five generations of my family represented in that church,” Mrs. Eskew notes.
She has also been a member of the local NAACP.
She will celebrate 40 years of marriage to Larry Eskew in December. They are the parents of Marlon Eskew of Union City and Tyrone Eskew of Dyer and the grandparents of Anasha Eskew and Marquis Eskew, both of Union City, and Jarry Eskew, Tony Eskew and Zachary Eskew, all of Dyer.
“All my life, I have known I had two callings: a passion for an intimate and loving relationship with God and my work as a community activist. My greatest joy outside my secular responsibilities has been to help and serve others in any way I can, especially by being a positive role model for the youth of my city and church. I want to have an impact on the lives of young people, counseling them and bringing them to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. I also feel deeply for the disenfranchised, the underprivileged and those who need an advocate and a voice in the community,” Mrs. Eskew says.
Mrs. Caudle may be contacted at
Published in The Messenger 7.5.10