Celebrating a Century of Life: Minnie Lee George’s Remarkable Journey
By Stephan Drew, Editor
On June 8, 2023, Minnie Lee George, a remarkable woman with a heart full of love and a spirit that knows no bounds, will celebrate her 100th birthday. Born in Lee County, South Carolina, in 1923, Minnie Lee has witnessed a century of change, triumphs, and tribulations, leaving an indelible mark on the lives of those around her.
Minnie Lee’s story is one of strength and resilience. Daughter of the late Rosa Blathers and Jessie Alford, at the age of 13, she moved with her large family to Lamar, where she embarked on her journey into adulthood. Growing up with 13 brothers and 5 sisters instilled in her a deep sense of family and community, which she carried throughout her life.
At the tender age of 16, Minnie Lee married her beloved Alton George Sr. Their union spanned an incredible 62 years, filled with love, devotion, and the joys and challenges of raising a family. Together, they welcomed 13 children into the world, each one a testament to their enduring love. Those children are Bernetha, Queen Esther, Virginia, Ullysses, Wesley, Mae Willis, Mary Ella, Ronnie, Thomas and Franklin (twins who died shortly after their birth), Woodrow, Alton Jr., and Anthony. However, Minnie Lee’s legacy extends far beyond her children, encompassing 18 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren, and 14 great-great-grandchildren, all of whom have been touched by her warmth and wisdom.
In 1965, Minnie Lee exercised her right to vote for the first time, a milestone moment that symbolized the progress she witnessed in civil rights and equality. Her voice, joined with countless others, helped shape a better future for generations to come. She was so proud when Pres. Barack Obama won election. “I thanked God for him and his family,” she said, echoing the prayers of millions across the country.
Tragedy struck in 2001 when Minnie Lee’s beloved husband passed away, leaving a void in her heart. However, her resilient spirit and the support of her extended family carried her through the darkest of times. In 2016, she made the decision to move to Darlington, where she found solace and companionship in a vibrant community.
Minnie Lee’s love for food is legendary among her family and friends. Her favorite treats, coconut pie, and fruit cake, have become synonymous with her warm hospitality and unwavering love. Gathering around her table, her loved ones savor not just the delicious flavors but also the cherished memories that have been created over the years. One of those memories is the continuing tradition of saving her loose change all year and distributing it among her grandchildren at Christmastime.
As Minnie Lee George celebrates her centenary, she stands as a testament to the enduring power of love, family, and the human spirit. Mrs. George said she prayed that she would live long enough to see her youngest child grow into adulthood. Her journey is an inspiration to all who know her, a reminder that age is but a number, and that a life well-lived is one filled with love, laughter, and the joy of making a difference in the lives of others. Laughingly, the petite and gracious lady said, “I might be a small piece of leather but, I’m well put together.”
There is a large gathering scheduled to celebrate her milestone birthday on Saturday, June 10, 2023 at 3pm, at 121 Main Street in Lamar. Happy 100th birthday, Mrs. Minnie Lee George! May your days continue to be filled with blessings and may your legacy live on for generations to come.