Mamie Rearden is described as a loving, God-fearing, southern belle from South Carolina who never spoke ill of anyone. Contrary to her golden spirit, she had the heart of a lion. She was married to her husband for 59 years until his death in 1979, and she raised 11 children. She was recognized by Guinness World Records as the oldest living American. Rearden’s life came to the end on Wednesday at the age of 114.
“My mom was not president of the bank or anything, but she was very instrumental in raising a family and being a community person,” said Sara Rearden, her youngest child. “Everybody can’t go be president of a bank or president of a college, but we feel just as proud of her in her role as housewife and particularly as mother and homemaker.” Mamie Rearden always counseled that her children should treat others as they wanted to be treated. She didn’t tolerate her children gossiping or speaking ill of others. When asked about a preacher’s uninspiring sermon, her daughter recalled her mother saying: “`Well, it came from the Bible.’ She never would bad-mouth them.”
At the time of her death, she lived in the family homestead with a son and a daughter on land that had been in the family since her father’s accumulation of acreage that made him one of the area’s largest black landowners.