Rowena Nelson McClary pic

 Rowena Nelson McClary

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In 1921, Bessie Coleman, became the first black woman to earn an aviation pilot’s license and the first black person to earn an international aviation license from the French Aeronautics International School. 

The New York Giants beat the New York Yankees five games to three in the 18th World Series and Warren G. Harding was president. 

All very notable events; but not as notable as the birth of Rowena Nelson McClary in the Hope Township of Williamsburg County on April 24, 1921, to her five generations of family members and array of friends. 

Although we are experiencing the effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic and social distancing is the new norm, Mrs. McClary’s 99th birthday celebration was one she will always remember. It was a moment of celebration during this time of adversity and despair. 

She received numerous cards, phone calls, flowers, birthday drive-bys and other gifts from around the United States. Her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren hosted a Zoom Virtual Birthday Party which made her heart glad and uplifted her soul. Her life’s occupations include being a notable seamstress, bookkeeper, entrepreneur, and farmer.  

Although Mrs. McClary and her late husband, Clinton, a World War II veteran, did not have very much, they provided free meals and shelter for travelers and those in the community where she resided on Highway 52. 

She unofficially adopted children throughout her life- time who needed a family. While she has endured and seen life changing local and global events, good and bad, her heart is full of love and gratitude and her faith is strong.