Mildred Stewart, who, with her husband Tillman, has contributed much toward education in Henderson County for a number of years, is an example of Christian patience and faith. Since her retirement from teaching, she has been beset by critical illnesses, any one of which might have caused an ordinary mortal to dispair. But Mildred is no ordinary lady. She expresses hope and confidence in a total recovery, and with her faith we believe she will.
She continues to take an active part in her church, in her husbands work, in her family's welfare, and in her love of friends. She was born in Sardis, the daughter of the late William and Ida Hannah Kent. A sister, Bernice, died in infancy. SHe has a half-brother, James William KEnt Jr., who lives in Memphis. She attended one-teacher schools until she was ready for the eighth grade. The familymoved to Lexington in 1919 so she would have better school advantages.
Her father was a farmer. Her mother, a teacher, died when Midlred was quite young. She went to live with her aunt, Mrs. Dayton Harrison at Savannah where she attended high school her freshman and sophomore years. The third year she attended Saltillo High School and graduated from Lexington High School. She took college work at Memphis State, Peabody College and at Bethel College in McKenzie receiving a bachelor of Science degree from Bethel after attending classes on Saturdays and during summer vacations.
Her first school was at Maple Grove, a one-teacher school, where she had all eight grades with 45 pupils. Later she taught at Palestine, and at Bargerton, where she had 3 grades, then at Russell's Cross Roads near Luray. Later she came to Lexington City School, now known as the Paul G. Caywood School where she taught second grade, then was promoted to the third grade. She retired from this position in 1968 after 43 years of teaching.
Before her marriage while she was teaching in the county she spent the weekends at Lexington in the homes of her uncles, the late Frank Kent and his wife, Kitty who now lives in Memphis, and with the late Mr. and Mrs. Oscar White,and their daughter, Lois, now Mrs. Karl Walker. She was married to George Tillman Stewart July 4, 1936. They had met when the young people in their community were possum hunting.
They have two sons, Robert Kent Stewart and George Stewart Jr. Robert Kent lives in Richland WA. He is a scientist in the Energy Development Program. George is assistant football coach and teacher at Lexington High. There are three grandchildren, Kelli Lynn, Shannon Kay and Laura Beth Stewart. Mildred says she became a Christian early in life and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church South. After her marriage she and her husband became charter members when the Cumberland Presbyterian CHurch was organized in Lexington. She has taught a Sunday School class for 37 years; has served as President of the CPW and is an active elder at present.
She is a past worthy matron of the Order of the Eastern Star, past president of the American Legion Auxiliary and is now serving as chaplain. She is a member of the Henderson County TN and National Retired Teacher's association. When her health permits, she travels with her husband who is state president of Retired Teachers Assoc. During the past year they have been to 42 meetings in Tennessee and have also enjoyed trips to FL and Kansas City.
"She received the corsages and I do the work", he says. In addition with his work with retired teachers, he spends several hours a week as a para-legal counsel. During January he will be in Nashville working for the teachers with the legislature. Mildred hopes to be able to go with him as he visits east Tennessee, especially Mountain City, Morristown, Blountville, Knoxville. She speaks with pleasure of the interesting people she meets on these trips and also in West Tennessee at Memphis.