Posted: July 3, 2020 | 10:00 a.m.
On June 19, Violet Bennet Savedge turned 100 years young with a cake and balloons and cards as family members serenaded her with an enthusiastic rendition of Happy Birthday to you! And though COVID-19 restrictions may have kept them from sharing, nothing dampened the celebration through the windows of Windsor Convalescent Home, as two of the eight children she raised explained.
“She was the second of 10 children,” said daughter Jane Ellis with a smile. ““My Daddy passed in 1965, so she has been a widow since 1965. She raised all the little ones along with the oldest kids. She was a housewife and a babysitter all her life, and just a beautiful person.”
“She taught us so many things – how to cook, wash, iron, scrub, clean, take care of the little ones,” Ellis continued. “She taught us to go in the fields and get the straw and wrap it with twine and make a broom to sweep the porch and the steps off. She taught us how to be a good mother and a good wife. She taught us the importance of getting a good education. And Her favorite thing to do – she would sew make things with her hands. She gave each one of us a quilt she had made by her hands when we got married. And every Christmas she would give each of us an apron and a set of potholders that she had made by hand. She would take old pantyhose stockings and plait them to make drop rugs to go at the door.”
When asked about some of the things that made their Mama special to him, son Bennie Savedge, who was sworn in as the first African American Mayor of Surry last Thursday, said, “She was a single mom from the time I was 11. We had our own gardens and chickens and like that, and all of us worked and brought money home to help take care of the household. She raised us alone, and she was always there for us.”
As for Ellis’s favorite thing about her mother, she said, “The love that she would give to each one of us. No one was any more special than the other. She taught us about the Lord. She kept us in church, and she doctored me when I was sick. She would sit by me and rub me, praying and doctoring at the same time. And she taught us to respect one another, to love one another and to get along with one another – always get along.”