On Tuesday, November 10, 2020 Sammie Doolittle Hardin, 93, passed peacefully to her heavenly home at the Beehive Home of Starkville, MS.
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Born in Derma, MS on September 13, 1927, she was the youngest of four daughters born to Sam Frank and Mary Lee (Shepherd) Doolittle. Her parents and three sisters preceded her in death: Laura Nelle Gebhard, Marietta Graves, and Frances Morrow.
She is survived by her loving husband of 69 years, Charles Carey Hardin, and her three children: Carey (Bonnie) Hardin, Starkville, MS; Laura Hardin, Florence, AL; and Paul (Leesa) Hardin, Madison, MS.
She is also survived by seven grandchildren: Claire (Eric) Williamson, Birmingham, AL; Sam (Katherine) Hardin, Starkville, MS; Hailey (Dave) Niffin, Seattle, WA; Laura Young, Madison, WI; Allison (Aaron) Pannell, Knoxville, TN; Holly (Grant) Spencer, Tupelo, MS; and Josh (Anna) Hardin, Madison, MS. Nine great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews survive her.
She attended Derma School and only moved to Calhoun City High School for her senior year to prepare for study of the sciences in college. After graduation from CCHS in 1945, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Bacteriology from Mississippi State College for Women in 1949. A yearlong internship at Charity Hospital in New Orleans completed her study to become a medical technologist. She worked in the profession for Houston (MS) Hospital and the State Health Department in Gulfport, MS.
Mrs. Hardin carried fond memories with her through the years of growing up in Derma. A highlight for her was the Derma School Reunion held every five years over the 4th of July holiday. She and her sisters, often referred to as the Doolittle sisters, always looked forward to renewing old friendships at the reunion during her adult years.
Love began to grow for Sammie and Charles during their college years as often happened between “W girls” and Mississippi State guys. They married on March 4, 1951, and enjoyed living their early married life on the Mississippi Gulf Coast while Charles served in the USAF at Keesler Air Force Base. They returned to their Calhoun County roots for farm life and growing their family in 1952.
Faith was an integral part of her life as she taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, involved herself in Baptist Women’s Missionary Union, and sang in the church choir. In later years she treasured the time she spent preparing for an adult women’s Sunday School class and friendships made. Encouraging children and youth on their faith journeys was important to her even when it was only volunteering to help with children’s choir because someone has to pour the Kool-Aid for them.
One special group of friends who brought her joy was her “W” suite mates. The group of six gathered for yearly reunions well into their 80s to reminisce and share their life experiences.
Her hobbies were apparent in the kitchen, at the sewing machine, and in a favorite chair with needle and thread in hand. She loved baking and many enjoyed her chocolate pies, divinity, strawberry cakes, and chocolate chip cookies. She delighted in sharing vegetables at covered dish meals and if there was an ice cream social or fellowship, seldom did leftovers travel back home.
Her smile, laugh, love, and concern will be missed. Her long and full life meant that several great grandchildren were able to know “Granny” and bring her joy in her last days during visits where they sang for her. Their voices as they sang familiar hymns brightened her day.
A heartfelt thank you is extended to Dorothy Easley for her devoted caregiving while Miss Sammie was in her home; also to two special groups of people who patiently cared for her in the swingbed unit at Calhoun City Baptist Memorial Hospital and the Beehive of Starkville. The family is indebted to you for your care of our loved one.
A graveside service in celebration of her life will be held on Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 2 PM in the Calhoun City Cemetery. Reverend Jon Doler and Reverend Jimmy Vance will officiate. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (imb.org), Mexico Missions Ministries (2525 W. Veterans Blvd., Mission TX 78572) or a charity of your choice.