EDGEFIELD, S. C. – Mrs. Mamie J. Lewis Rearden, 114, bore the title “Oldest Living American” entered into rest January 2, 2013. Funeral services for Mrs. Mamie Rearden will be held Saturday, January 12, at Springfield Baptist Church at 1 p.m. with Rev. J.C. Williams officiating. Interment will follow in the church cemetery.
Mrs. Rearden, a native of Edgefield County, had retired as an educator and social worker in Edgefield County. She attended Log Creek Community School and later graduated from Bettis Academy Junior College. She was a member of Springfield Baptist Church, Edgefield, SC.
Survivros include four daughters, Mary R. McCain, Janie R. (Robert) Osborne, Martha O. Rearden and Sarah B. (Nigel L. Haynes) Rearden; six sons, James F. Rearden, Elijah A. (Ruthella) Rearden, Jasper T. (Volma) Rearden, George W. Rearden, Joseph O. Rearden and David D. Rearden; 15 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild; a host of other relatives and friends.
Friends may call the residence, 135 Pleasant Lane Road.
G. L. Brightharp & Sons Mortuary, 250 Coral Street, Edgefield, S. C. (803) 637-4900.
The following is provided by the family:
Mrs. Mamie Julia Rearden was the second child of five children born to Mr. John Lewis Sr. and Mrs. Rebecca Oliphant Lewis on September 7, 1898 in Edgefield, South Carolina.
As a young child she joined and was baptized at the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church and served faithfully until the passing of her mother, Mrs. Rebecca Lewis Simpkins, after which she moved her membership to the Springfield Missionary Baptist Church where her husband, Mr. Oacy Rearden, was a member.
Mrs. Rearden attended the Log Creek Elementary School of Edgefield County and later attended the Bettis Academy Junior College in Trenton, South Carolina. She received her teaching certificate in 1918 and began teaching at Faulkner Mountain School in Edgefield County.
On December 25, 1919, she was united in Holy Matrimony to Mr. Oacy Rearden and was married for 59 years. Early in marriage, Mrs. Rearden suspended her teaching career and became a fulltime homemaker and mother of eleven children.
At age 65, when most people are ready to retire, Mrs. Rearden got her first driver’s license and began doing volunteer work. At age 70, she went back into the workforce as a case worker with the office of Economic Opportunity. This position required Mrs. Rearden to drive over the entire county to check on under-privileged citizens.
Mr. and Mrs. Rearden instilled in their children at a very early age the importance of having Godly, righteous, moral and ethical values. They were all taught the importance of integrity and getting a good education.
A few of Mrs. Rearden’s affiliations are; Past President of the Simmon Ridge Samaritan Baptist Association Women’s Auxiliary, the mother of Springfield Baptist Church and a member of the Senior Choir and she was the Sunday School Sonster for many years. She was the Chaplain of the Deaconess Ministry and a member of the Helping Hand Club. In 2008, Ms. Rearden was honored by the South Carolina State Senate and the South Carolina House of Representatives. She lived a full, beautiful and inspirational life. She enjoyed reading, knitting, crocheting, and sewing. Ms. Rearden also enjoyed cooking for her family, extended family and the many friends who visited almost on a weekly basis.
She was preceded in death by one son John Wilson Rearden and leaves her legacy to the memory of six sons, James of Philadelphia, PA, Elijah (Ruthella) of North Augusta, Jasper (Volma) of Hempstead, NY, George of Orangeburg, SC Joseph of Aiken,SC, and David of Edgefield, SC. Four daughters, Janice Ruth (Robert) Osborne , Mary McCain, Martha all of Edgefield, SC and Sara (Nigel L. Haynes) of Burtonsville, MD. Nine grandchildren, ten great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild, Six step grandchildren, a host of step great grandchildren and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.