centenarian

The obituary of Hattie Rose Gaston Pannell, 100.

Hattie Rose Pannell, 100, transitioned to be with the Lord on Wednesday, December 1, 2021, at Medstar Washington Hospital Center, Washington DC.

“A viewing will be held Wednesday, December 8, 2021, from 2 pm-5 pm at McGuire Funeral Home, 7400 Georgia Avenue, Washington, DC and a Celebration of Life Service will take place on Saturday, December 11, 2021, at Tabernacle Temple of Jesus Christ 1601 Bishop L.N. Forbes St., Wilson, NC 27893 at 1 pm followed by burial at Rest Haven Cemetery.

“Hattie was born May 4, 1921, to Hattie Bates Gaston and William Gaston. Hattie attended Elm City public schools and moved to Washington, DC at a young age.

“Hattie was a pillar to her community and will be truly missed.  Hattie was a faithful and devoted member of St. Mark’s Baptist Church for 48 years, she loved her pastor Raymond Matthews, First Lady Matthews, and her church family. Regardless of how Hattie was feeling on any given Sunday, she took pleasure in attending Sunday school, church service, worshipping with her St. Mark’s Baptist Church family, singing hymns, reading Scriptures, and praising the Lord. Individually and collectively, it all gave her so much joy. Hattie is the longest-serving church usher in the District of Columbia. Hattie will now be waiting with Saint Peter to greet her.

“Hattie was a faithful member of St. Mark’s Missionary Society; she was in fact the oldest member of the Missionary Society.  Hattie loved her St. Mark’s church family.

“Tribute to Mrs. Hattie Pannell:

“The Fort Stevens Senior Center has lost a treasure of insurmountable value; priceless.

“Mrs. Hattie Rose Pannell was always the person who greeted you, in fact, she was the head of the ladies of the round table; the group that actively volunteered to plan, orchestrate and host most of our events and all our fabulous birthday parties. It was Mrs. Pannell, the fashionista, the show-stopping model, the actress, the flower arranger extraordinaire, the plant doctor, the hostess with the mostest that attracted so many people to become members of Fort Stevens Senior Center. Hattie enjoyed line dancing at the Senior Center the younger seniors had to keep up with her.  Hattie was recognized for her Distinguished Volunteer Service to the Fort Stevens Senior Planning Committee by the DC Department of Recreation and Parks.  Hattie enjoyed her 100-year-old birthday celebration/drive-by party at Fort Stevens Senior Center in May, the celebration was featured in The Washington Informer, so many people came from near and far to CELEBRATE with her. Hattie REALLY enjoyed herself and talked about it for months after. Hattie loved her Fort Stevens family.

“Hattie was a General Service Supervisor for over 25 years and retired in the 1990’s. Hattie enjoyed traveling and was in a traveling club. Hattie has visited all 50 states, Africa, and other countries. Hattie attended a lot of social events, she was TRULY a socialite.  Hattie catered for major events in the District of Columbia area and enjoyed fashion, modeling, acting, event planning, decorating parties, flower arranger extraordinaire, the plant doctor, enjoyed tea parties, manicures, and pedicures (even at 100 years old) listening to jazz and gospel, her favorite artist was Marvin Gaye, “Let’s Get It On” was her favorite song. She enjoyed hour-long conversations with family and friends these were just a few things that warmed her heart, lifted her spirits, and place a smile on her face.  Hattie met many friends who would remain a special part of her friendship circle throughout her life. Hattie loved politics, she made sure she voted in every election, and she was eager to vote in the 2020 election. Hattie received several awards throughout her life for her outstanding accomplishments and volunteer services, including letters from the President of The United States for her Birthday and Councilmembers of the District of Columbia recognizing her as well.

“Hattie’s sweet spirit, warm smile, and calming presence will be solely missed by those who loved her.

“In the presence of the Lord, she now joins her late mother, Hattie Bates Gaston; father, William Gaston; sisters, Annie Nancy Gaston-Knight and Marie Ruth Gaston-Howard; and brothers, William Glenn Gaston Jr., John Rufus Gaston, and George Eddie Gaston.

“Hattie is survived by her 96-year-old sister, Catherine Bernice Gaston-Atkinson of Elm City, NC; a host of nieces, nephews, loving relatives, and friends; and a special goddaughter, Vee Davis.

“Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers as their Matriarch has gained her wings to become their guardian ANGEL.

“Arrangements have been entrusted to Stevens Funeral Home, 1820 Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway, Wilson, NC.”

——

In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: Will Gaston, 39; wife Hattie, 28; and children Willie, 12, Hattie, 9, John R., 8, Bernice, 6, Nancy, 3, and Marie, 3 months.

 

A visit from Rebecca Pate Daniel.

Wilson Daily Times, 21 October 1932.

Rebecca Daniel Pate‘s name is memorialized in family graveyard near Lucama known as “Becky Pate Cemetery.”

——

Richard Pate and Rebecca Daniel were married in Wayne County, N.C., on or about 12 June 1866.

 

In the 1870 census of Goldsboro township, Wilson County: farm laborer Richard Pate, 37; wife Beckey, 32; and Polly, 12.

In the 1880 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Richard Pate, 36; wife Rebecca, 36; and daughter Trecinda, 3.

In the 1900 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farm laborer Richard Pate, 59, and wife Rebecca, 57.

In the 1910 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Richard Pate, 74; wife Rebecca, 72; and grandchildren Louis Daniel, 30, and Roscoe, 12, and Leanna Barnes, 10.

In the 1920 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: Rebecca Pate, 81, widow, living alone.

In the 1930 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: Rossie Barnes, 30, farmer; wife Mamie, 27; children William H., 9, Elbert, 7, Leena M., 2, and Johnnie L., 8 months; grandmother Rebecca Pate, 95, widow; sister Leeanna Barnes, 28; and niece Beatrice Barnes, 15.

Rebecca Pate died 31 March 1935 in Cross Roads township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 108 years old; was the widow of Richard Pate; lived on Pate Farm; was born in Wayne County to Arch Daniel and Leher Daniel; and was buried in Pate cemetery. Informant was William Daniel.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Irene Frances Hinnant Exum, age 102.


Irene Hinnant Exum (21 July 1918-25 June 2021). Rest in peace.

——

In the 1920 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Ezekiel Hinnant, 31; wife Annie L., 24; and daughters Bessie M., 3, and Irene, 18 months.

On 19 December 1938, Irene Hinton [sic], 20, married James Exum, 22, in Johnston County, North Carolina.

In the 1940 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Walter Exum, 23; wife Irene, 21; and daughter Velma R., 5 months.

In 1940, Walter Exum registered for the World War II in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 3 July 1916 in Johnston County, N.C.; his contact was wife Irene Exum; he lived at R.F.D. #3, Kenly, Wilson, N.C.; and worked for Guy Bullock.

James Walter Exum died 19 November 1941 in Springhill township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 19 September 1941 in Wilson County to Walter Exum of Johnston County and Irene Hinnant of Wilson County.

The death of Ann Jack, (probably not a) centenarian.

Wilson Daily Times, 10 August 1922.

“Ann Jack” was Annie Jackson Williamson. Her death certificate is perplexing, as it lists a death date of August 12 — two days after the newspaper notice above. A closer look reveals this notation by the certifying physician: “I HEREBY CERTIFY that I attended deceased from about Aug 1st, 1922, to one visit only, that I last saw her alive on or about Aug 1st 1922 and that death occurred, on the date above, at 735 am. The CAUSE OF DEATH was as follows: ‘I did not visit her but once, extreme old age and heart dropsy.'” So did she die August 1 or sometime between then and August 12? It’s not clear.

Annie Williamson lived on Daniel Street, was a widow, was born in Wilson County to Allace Rice, and was about 100 years old. Ujennia Williamson was informant. 

Annie Williamson was likely closer to 80 years old.

——

On 4 February 1868, Jack Williamson, son of Toney Eatmon and Hester Williamson, married Ann Boykin, daughter of John Harper and Alder Ried, at Jack Williamson’s in Wilson.

In the 1870 census of Wilson, Wilson County: domestic servant Robert Vick, 19, and wife Spicy, 18; Anna Williamson, 25, washerwoman, children Jena, 10, Charles, 5, and Ann I.M., 2, and husband Jackson Williamson, 45, blacksmith.

In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Tarboro Street, Jack Williamson, 55, blacksmith; wife Ann, 30; and children Eugina, 20, cook, Charles 16, blacksmith shop worker, Tete, 14, and Lea, 4.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Annie Williamson, 51, and daughters Lugenia, 35, and Susan A., 23, all laundry women.

In the 1912 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory, Ann and Lugenia Williamson were listed as laundresses living at West Walnut near Tarboro Street.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 604 Daniel Street, Annie Williamson, 85; daughter Lugenia Williamson, 40, laundress; and grandchildren Sylvester, 18, bottling works laborer, and Mittie Williamson, 3. 

Rest in peace, Grace Whitehead Artis.

I grew up in a forest of teachers — my parents, their friends, my aunts and uncles, our neighbors. Every Black teacher I had during my elementary years was a woman I already knew away from school, which was both comforting and a little uncomfortable. They cared, and they didn’t need to wait for parent-teacher conferences to voice their concerns.

Grace Whitehead Artis was my sixth-grade math teacher. She had a slightly gruff voice and a reputation for sternness, but her eyes twinkled beneath her crown of swept-back curls. I saw her wheeling her Cadillac through the neighborhood regularly and knew she and her husband S.P. Artis thought the world of my parents. Fairly soon after school began, she called my mother directly. “Get Lisa’s eyes checked,” she counseled. “She’s solving problems correctly, but they’re not the equations I’m writing on the blackboard.” Weeks later, I was peering at the world in trendy aviator frames, marveling at details like pine needles high up in the trees.

Mrs. Artis passed away early this month at age 104. She had moved to Detroit a few years ago to be near a niece, so it had been a while since my father had stopped by to deliver the ice-cold cans of Pepsi-Cola she loved. My mother had been embraced by Mrs. Artis when she arrived in Wilson as a young bride, and she helped celebrate Mrs. Artis’ last birthday via Zoom.

I’ve blogged about Mrs. Artis and her family here and here and here and here and here and here. May she rest in peace, legacy assured.

 

Blount Knight’s birthday.

Wilson Daily Times, 1 April 1946.

——

In the 1880 census of Walnut Creek, Edgecombe County, North Carolina: farm laborer Martha Knight, 47, and children Ellen, 22, Blunt, 18, George, 16, Moses, 14, and Haywood, 10, plus granddaughters Emma, 3, and Delia Harrison, 4.

On 16 December 1880, Blount Knight, 23, married Lucy Bullock, 20, on 29 December 1880 in Edgecombe County.

On 21 March 1884, Blount Knight, 22, married Ginnie Carroll, 16, at Martha Knight‘s home in Wilson County.

In the 1900 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farmer Blount Knight, 42; wife Jennie, 31; and children Eddie, 17, Martha, 13, Minnie, 11, Carrie, 6, Jemmie, 4, and Mary, 9 months; plus mother-in-law Mary Coal, 68.

On 30 July 1908, Blount Knight, 50, son of Isaac and Martha Knight, of Gardners township, married Mary Ellis, 39, daughter of Frank and Sara Edmundson, of Gardners, in Saratoga township.

In the 1910 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: ditcher Blount Knight, 52; wife Mary, 41; children Minnie, 19, Jimmie, 13, Mollie, 10, and Louisa, 6; son-in-law Willie Anderson, 30, daughter Martha, 22, and grandchildren Robert, 2, and “no name” Anderson, 0, and Jennie Knight, 1.

In the 1916 Wilson city directory: Knight Blount, laborer, Harper’s Ln near Herring Av

In the 1920 Wilson city directory: Knight Blount, farmer, 1 Carolina

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Carolina Street (suburbs Wilson), farmer Blount Knight, 59, wife Mary, 42, and daughters Mary 17, and Louisa, 15, with James Blount, 38, and wife Lulu, 19.

Blount Knight died 5 July 1957 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 1 April 1868 in Edgecombe County, N.C., to Isiah Knight; lived at 920 Carolina Street; was a widower of Mary Knight; and had worked as a laborer. Mary Currie was informant.

Knight’s headstone in Rest Haven cemetery lists his birth year as 1851, which would have made him 106 at his death. The records above yield birth years between 1857 and 1862, which would have made him somewhere between 95 and 100 years old.

“I didn’t want red. … Well, you know why.”

The pandemic has shuttered Vanilla Powell Beane‘s millinery shop, but could not stop her from creating a hat especially for Congresswoman Cori Bush of Missouri. Now This Politics delivers the take: