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Monday, June 14, 2021

Jimmie Luton dies at 103: ‘She just loved life’

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Jimmie Luton, an active resident of the Martindale-Brightwood community and longtime business owner, died May 26. She was 103 years old.

Luton’s daughter, Pearl Carter, lived across from her mother on Yandes Street for the last 50 years. The two were often together as Luton continued to live in her home.

“The Jerry Springer Show” was appointment TV for them in the living room.

“She just loved life,” Carter said. “She did life her way and the way the good Lord led her.”

Carter, a steady presence at community meetings, said her mother was usually with her at any event concerning the neighborhood, and she was especially passionate about the people on her street.

Luton also opened a beauty salon, Jimmie’s Lapetite, in the early 1960s on 16th Street. She was a beautician there for 45 years, Carter said.

Luton was born June 21, 1917, in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, to George Bernard and Ivory Pearl Caldwell, according to her obituary. She was an only child.

The family moved to Indianapolis when Luton was a child and attended Emmanuel Baptist Church and 16th Street Baptist Church, which later became Oasis of Hope Baptist Church. She was baptized at 17.

Luton was the oldest living alumnus of the former John Hope School #26. She told the Recorder for an article commemorating the school’s 100th anniversary in 2020 that music was her favorite class.

Luton graduated from Crispus Attucks in 1936 and worked in box offices at various Indianapolis theaters, including Walker Theater Company. She later took a factory job before opening her salon.

“It wasn’t like she was a stranger to the city,” Carter said.

Luton’s visitation and funeral were June 4 at Oasis of Hope Baptist Church. She is buried at Sutherland Park Cemetery.

Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.

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