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Recognizing 120 'Women of Honor' in Sumter

Features contributor
Posted 3/7/20

It's been 40 years since President Jimmy Carter officially designated the first week of March as National Women's History Week. Carter noted during his message that "Too often the women (who helped build the nation) were unsung, and sometimes their …

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Recognizing 120 'Women of Honor' in Sumter


It's been 40 years since President Jimmy Carter officially designated the first week of March as National Women's History Week. Carter noted during his message that "Too often the women (who helped build the nation) were unsung, and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women was as vital as that of the men."

In 1987, Congress passed a law to make all of March National Women's History Month. Just six years later, Sumter Volunteers Inc., under the leadership of Jo Anne Morris, chose the month to honor outstanding women of Sumter.

"We began in 1993 by recognizing 20 women, all deceased, whose contributions were made in the past," Morris said. "Their roles in Sumter's history, like the honorees named since, represented all facets of life. They made an impact in many areas."

Among those whose names have been placed on the Women's Honor Roll - listed on plaques hanging at Patriot Hall - are politicians, including a mayor and councilwoman. Others are educators, artists, physicians and others in the medical field, charity workers, volunteers, military leaders, journalists, law enforcement officers, historians, religious leaders, a city horticulturist, civic servants, musicians, businesswomen, counselors, civic organizations and more.

Lady Banksia roses have been planted over the years on the west fence of the Sumter County Civic Center to celebrate the 120 Women of Honor, Morris noted.

"They went above and beyond the call of duty in giving back to Sumter," Morris said. She wrote in a special prayer for the 10 dozen honorees, "We give thanks, O God, for each of them and remember them ."

Listed below are the outstanding women whose work made Sumter grow and prosper in many ways.

Women's Honor Roll of Sumter County 1993-2019


*Dr. Lucille Bragg Anthony

*Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune

*Ruth Gardenia Birnie

*Hassie Parrott Booth

*Bessie Hood Boykin

*Dr. Sophia Bruson

*Julie Lester Dillon

*Antonia Bentle Gibson

*Fanny Spotts Ivy

* Clara Louise Kellogg

*Elaine Decker "Sonny" Korn

*Magnolia Atkinson Lewis

*Annie Watts McLaughlin

*Lenora C. "Linnie" McLaurin

*Cassie Nicholes

*Myrtis Ginn Osteen

*Julia Mood Peterkin

*Theodosia Dargan Plowden

*Martha Priscilla Shaw

*Elizabeth White


*Abbie Bryan

*Lucy Wilson Buxton

*Nan Isabelle Davis

*Martha Wilson Graham

*Jessie Roberta Mathis

Edith Lee Myers

*Portia Cuttino Myers

Anna May Daniels Reuben

*Eleanora Richardson

Mildred Moffitt White


Mary Elizabeth "Mamie" Glover

*Mary Laney Hinson

*Marian Woodard McLester

Helen Wylly Murray

*Martha Ann "Mat" Savage


*Alice Dickson Boyle

Leila Hodge Lucas

*Aline Harby Moore

Theodis Parsons Palmer

Marguerite Porter


Dr. Laura Ellington Ayers

Dr. Agnes Hildebrand Wilson Burgess

*Caroline Reese McElveen

*Louise Nettles McLaurin


*Bessye Flynn Brunson

Virginia Rosefield

Beatrice Gregg Sanders

*Helen Usher


Pretto Brunson Cuttino

Nell Rees Dabbs

Laura Kathryn "Katie" Combs Damron

Margaret Woodward Davis

Louise Allen Duffie

Naomi Dennis Sanders


*Natalie Delage Sumter

*Angelica Singleton Van Buren

**GJWC Bicentennial Woman's Club

**NCNW Mary McLeod Bethune Section

**Sumter's Home Chapter NSDAR

**The Junior Welfare League of Sumter


Ruth Johnson Edens

*Kathryn "Kat" Bagnal Holdom

Ethel Neely Price

Elizabeth Bishop Tiller


Dr. Mary Elizabeth Blanchard

Betsy Shealy Humphries

Police Chief Patty Garrett Patterson

Dr. Andrena Elizabeth Ray


Dr. Peggy Wright Cain

Faith Ann Line

*Edmonia Garner McNeil

Colleen Holland Yates


Deborah Quinn Mathis

Dr. Zona Williams Jefferson

Dr. Kay Ridgill Raffield


Deane Wodis Ackerman

Dr. Felicia Louise Goins

Harriette "Sister" Heath Wimberly


Evelyn Waggett Dabbs

Dr. Rubye J. Johnson

Naomi Arline Warner


Frances Dicks Hill

*Cecile Rosenberg Moise

Eloise Green Reil


Vivian Fleming-McGhaney

*Ruth Jennings Sanders

Sabrina Anne Walker


Gene Boyle Brading

*Clara Lewis Elmore

* The Rev. Dr. Shirley Jean McFadden Palmer


Daisy Mae Taylor Moore

Nicole Foise Norris

Katherine Hurt Richardson


*Lucie Ann Cuttino Eldridge

*Frances "Pinkie" Haynsworth Hildebrand Howell

Dorothy Mae Randolph Toney


Lorraine Washington Dennis

Helen DuCom Mahon

Rose Ferrara Metz


Martha Dabbs Greenway

Emily Bolger Mason

*Lillie Moore Nelson


Shirley Green Baker

*Alice Mobley Lipscombe

*Frances Clarke Martin


Patricia Hodge Croft

Mary Poole Cunningham

Lana Ann Odom


Joni Mabry Brown

*Martha McElveen Horne

Michelle Logan-Owens


Dr. Edna Louise Davis

*Julia Myrtis Baker Logan

Annette Hill Matthews


*Margaret Ellen "Maisie" Roper Burns

Carole Ann McCollum Carberry

Yolanda Debra Chambers-Wilson


Kipper Edens Ackerman

Sarah Peake Bradham

Danielle Gahnz-Thompson

*Honored posthumously

**Honored at a Bicentennial Celebration at the Sumter Opera House