MONTICELLO — Carrie Courtney, known as MaDea to family and friends, will celebrate her 95th birthday Saturday at Cowboys at Monticello.
Courtney was born on Sept. 10, 1918, the youngest of four children to Alex and Josie Gant (later Josie Harris). Her siblings were Fred Moore, Willie Mae Youngblood and Josie Tillman.
Courtney he has lived through 17 presidents and remembers when stamps were 3 cents, gas was 8 cents a gallon and bread was 10 cents per loaf. It is needless to say that she has stood witness to social changes. “Little Sally Walker” was the name of her favorite group game and the “Truck” and “Charleston” were her popular dances.
She met her husband, Baby Courtney, in 1934 in their neighborhood in Collins. They began their lives together in 1935 and later moved their family to Monticello in 1952 in order to be closer to her mother and sister, Willie Mae. Seven of their eight children completed elementary and/or high school at Drew Elementary and High School. She was a very active and supportive member of PTA throughout this 20-year span.
Even as a devoted mother and wife, Courtney still found time to serve her community and her church, Morning Star Baptist. For many years she was a dedicated employee to Lamar and Charlotte Williamson and to Dr. Wadsworth. She was known throughout the community for her “beautiful spirit”, walking all over Monticello, her “cool” front porch, her delicious pound cake and having a yard full of children.
Her children and grandchildren regard her as a phenomenal woman: one of beauty, quiet strength, high standards and determination.
Courtney is the mother of eight children, 13 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and 14 great-great-grandchildren. She has experienced the death of her husband of 50 years, Babe Courtney; oldest daughter, Joyce Sawyer; and youngest daughter, Wanda Courtney; both parents and three siblings.