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Birth

14 December 1905Forsyth, Georgia, United States

Death

12 July 2016Harlem, Georgia , United States

Age

110

Sue Whiddon

Mattie Sue Whiddon (née Edwards) was an American supercentenarian whose age is validated by LongeviQuest. At the time of her passing, she was third-oldest (known) living person in the US state of Georgia, behind Ila Jones and Maggie Kidd.

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Biography

Mattie Sue Whiddon was born in Forsyth, Georgia, USA on 14 December 1905, the daughter of Joseph Bernard Edwards and Susie (née Hencely) Edwards. She attended Georgia Teachers College for Women, and began working as a high school teacher after graduating. She married to Reopard Eason Whiddon, and the couple would have one son, named Butch. She taught high school in Monroe County, Yatesville, Orchard Hill and Sandersville, in Georgia, before moving to Harlem with her husband in 1935.

A dedicated member of the Harlem First Baptist Church, she taught a Sunday school class and served on Church committees. In addition to her teaching career, she was also the president of the Harlem Women’s Club and Harlem Pioneer Garden Club, as well as secretary of the Harlem Memorial Cemetery Board. When teaching at Harlem High School in the 1960s, she was named the teacher of the year for three years in a row. She also received the Citizen of the Year award from the City of Harlem. She had a lifelong passion for the card game bridge, and would drive herself to bridge meets in the city of Augusta three times a week until she was 105.

In her later years, she rarely spoke of her age, and most people who knew her were unaware of how old she was until she turned 100. In commemoration of her advanced age, a surprise party for her 104th birthday was celebrated by members of the community. Several former students from throughout her decades of teaching traveled from across the country to visit her.

In 2016, one of her former students, Jack B. Hatcher – who was 95 years old at the time – recalled meeting her in 1937, and remembered her as his favorite teacher, stating that she was both smart and fun-loving.

Sue Whiddon passed away in Harlem on 12 July 2016, at the age of 110 years, 212 days. She was survived by her son, daughter-in-law, one grandson, and three great-grandchildren.

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Recognition

On Arbor Day in 2023, the city of Harlem planted a tree in front of the Harlem Civic Center and dedicated it to her memory, posthumously recognizing her as an important and influential member of the community.

Her age was verified by Fabrizio Villatoro, and validated by LongeviQuest on 15 July 2023.

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Attribution

* “Reception to honor ‘one of the best teachers ever’” – The Augusta Chronicle, 19 November 2009

* “Mattie Sue Whiddon remembered for her dedication to teaching” – The Augusta Chronicle, 17 July 2016

* “Longtime Columbia County teacher Sue Whiddon dies at 110” – The Augusta Chronicle, 18 July 2016

* “Mrs. Sue Edwards Whiddon” – Starling Funeral Home