Palmetto resident Susie Mae Bynum, a revered member and matriarch of St. John's Missionary Baptist Church in Palmetto, died Aug. 17, 2012, at age 106.
"Her enthusiasm for the Lord and her church contributed to her longevity," said Pastor Thomas Spikes. "She loved life and she loved people. The respect members of the church had for her was of the highest order."
St. John's member Margie Woodsman said Mrs. Bynum, a deaconess, mother of the church and member longer than anyone can remember, was an inspiration to all who knew her.
"She will be deeply missed," Woodsman said.
"She baby-sat one of my children at 80 years of age. She was straight-forward and to the point," Woodsman said.
Mrs. Bynum was born July 10, 1906, possibly near Lake City.
While her birthplace remains unclear, it is known that in 1911, at age 5, she was already helping her mother cook, sew and tend the garden at the family farm in Fort White, near the Ichetucknee River in Columbia County, according to Herald archives.
"Her early life was farming," said her son, Charles Roundtree, in 2011. "Her family owned lots of land in Fort White. They dealt with tobacco, corn, hogs. They had a smokehouse. All of her life was tough work"
She was known for her biscuits, her gardens and her flowers.
Mrs. Bynum became a widow in 1968 and never remarried.
She is survived by her son, Charles Roundtree; a daughter, Oretha Roundtree; 10 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren; 14 great-great grandchildren; and one great-great-great granddaughter.
Visitation is set for 5-8 p.m. Aug. 24 at St. John's Missionary Baptist Church, 1700 1st Ave. E., Palmetto. Funeral is set for 11 a.m. Aug. 25, with Pastor Spikes officiating at the church. Interment will be at Skyway Memorial Gardens.
Arrangements are by Westside Funeral Home.