Ethel Blanche Hairston

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Ethel Blanche Hairston was born May 14, 1935 in Decatur, Georgia to Gladys Chase, and Clifford Wingo. She started her wrestling career at 15 years old in 1950. Ethel was inspired to wrestle by her older sister Babs Wingo. She enjoyed watching her work out and also use to attend her matches.

Ethel only stood 5 feet 5 inches tall weighing only 115 pounds adopted a stage name ofer her maiden name “Wingo” worked out 3 hours a day to compete against much larger rivals. She was small but feisty the first American wrestling association women’s championship among her title’s and battled sexual and racial discrimination along the way.

She was known to have a smooth style in ring and had fans of all races and ages. Ethel looked back on her career with fondness. “We loved it, we ate it, we slept it, we talked about it, it was our life.”

On September 14, 2018 at the age of 83 “Lady Wrestler” passed away at home. She is preceded in death by her husband Leon Harrison Sr., parents Gladys Chase, and Clifford Wingo, sisters Betty Babs-Wingo, and Marva Wingo-Goodwin.

She leaves to cherish her memories; daughters Shelly Adams, Pamela Coleman, and Nina Whitehead; son Leon Hairston Jr., 7 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren, also a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and dear friends.

Visitation 9:00am and Funeral 10:00am Saturday September 22, 2018 at MARLAN J. GARY FUNERAL HOME, THE CHAPEL OF PEACE NORTH 2500 Cleveland Ave.  Interment at Franklin Hills Memorial Gardens


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Condolence Messages

  1. The family has my deepest sympathy. Look up to the heavens for your comfort and support. May God bless you all

  2. We are sorry to hear of your Mother passing, we know this is a very sad and difficult time for your family you have our very deepest sympathy. God comfort us through his word the Bible and the gift of prayer.

  3. Tanya Clarkl.p.

    R I H cousin.

  4. Irish J. Richardson

    To the Hairston family. My heart is with you and your family at this time of your loss. There is comfort in knowing God’s promises about the resurrection hope. Acts 24:15 and John 5:28,29. In the past God has resurrected humans and He is eager to do it again because He hates death. Mark 5:41-43. I would like to discuss more with you about God’s promises. Feel free to contact me at (614) 870-2979. Love Your Neighbor Irish J. Richardson. Please call.

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