Shaheed Ali was born on June 13, 1949 to the late Jesse Cheeks, Sr. and Irene Haley Cheeks. He was the eighth child born out of eleven children. His parents gave him the name of Wilson Cheeks, but later when he gained a deeper sense of self and appreciation for the creator he chose the name of Shaheed Ali (meaning to bear witness to God the most high). One brother, Jimmie Lee Cheeks, one sister Bernice Cheeks and one brother-in-law Charles Blake preceded him in death.
Shaheed received his education in the Dougherty County School System in Albany, GA. He was a member of the 1967 graduating class of Monroe High School. He also graduated from the Albany Vocational School with certifications in Electrical Work.
He learned about Islam and chose the Islamic way of life and began studying the Qur’an (Muslim scripture) as the roadmap for his life. He was a well-versed and a well-read leader. He was an active member of the Albany Masjid of Al-Islam until his health prohibited him from doing so.
Shaheed was a 15+ year employee with the Flint River Cotton Mill. Later he became employed with the Dougherty County Facilities Management Department. He was a faithful employee for 20 years and retired in 2015. Everyone knew Shaheed. He would often walk around downtown during his breaks and during the lunch hour. All that met him knew that they could get a bright smile along with a profound and encouraging word.
On June 13, 2018, Shaheed had the best birthday celebration of them all. He entered into the loving arms of his creator to enjoy an eternal life filled with peace, a new spiritual body and to live in complete wholeness in heaven. He leaves to cherish his memory and legacy: wife Sideequah Ali; one son, Esaa (Audrey) Ali of Augusta, GA; two daughters Raushanah (Courtney) Taylor of Columbus, GA and Najla Ali of Albany, GA; one granddaughter Ravyn Taylor of Columbus, GA and three grandsons Raheem Shaheed Baker of Port Orange, FL; Jayden Ali and Jamil Ali both of Augusta, GA; eight devoted siblings Theotis (Emma Ruth) Cheeks of Sasser, GA; Mildred Dell of Cincinnati, OH; Alberta Terry of Atlanta, GA; Gladys Thomas, Ethel Thomas, Curtis Cheeks Sr., Dorothy (Willie) Bryant and Jesse Cheeks Jr. all of Albany, GA; six loving in-laws Jerry (Paulette) Blake of Philadelphia, PA; Edward Blake of Lawrenceville, GA; Ricky (Cynthia) Blake of Albany, GA; Rasheed (Donna) Blake of Birmingham, AL; Lynwood (Vickie) Blake of Americus, GA and Vivian Blake of Jacksonville, FL. Shaheed also leaves a host of loving nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.