Earnestine Sargent, affectionally known as “Teen” was born on January 26, 1938, and departed this dear life on Monday, January 9, 2023, peacefully in Florence, SC. She was born into the legacy of her mother and father the late Ernest and Lizzie Sargent. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother, Mr. George W. Sargent and his wife Jeanette.
She completed her education in the public schools of Florence, SC and graduated from Wilson High School in 1956. Earnestine holds a bachelor’s degree of Physical Education from Claflin University, Class of 1960. During her stay she became a member of Gamma Nu, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, 1957. After graduation she joined the Epsilon Chi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Florence, SC. She was a Pearl Life Member.
Upon graduating from Claflin, she became a receptionist for the office of Dr. George A. Williams, Sr. and was able to pursue a career to become a dental hygienist where she served over 40 plus years. No one could clean a set of teeth like Earnestine. She was truly dedicated and faithful to her job. She was a member of the National Association of Dental Assistance. Service to others has always been a strength of ‘” Teen’s” compassionate nature.
Earnestine was a lifelong member of Cumberland United Methodist Church where she was nurtured and grew in her faith to serve and love mankind. She participated as a young person and in her adult was active in many organizations. She was a member of Circle #3 of the United Methodist Women, now Women of Faith. Earnestine served on the Work Area of Stewardship, the Administrative Board and was a member of the Trustee board. She was a member of the Trustee Board when the Education Building was built. She was faithful in her tithing and a supporter of every effort undertaken at the church. Teen faithfully brought Ma Sargent to church every Sunday.
Earnestine was truly family oriented, as the years passed, her siblings got married and had children, but there would be no children for her. She was content taking care of everyone else, especially her nieces and nephews. To her family, Earnestine had become someone that none of them could do without. In some shape, way or form, each of them depended on her for one thing or another. From being the primary caretaker for their family matriarch, Lizzie to being a chef, an advisor, a confidant, and a friend. She was very true and steadfast to her family. She became like her father for whom she was named, sincere and dedicated to her family. Whenever one of her siblings was in dilemma, or sick, she was there. If anyone of them needed financial help she was willing to help out. She understood that raising children was a hard job and she was willing to do whatever it took, within reason, for her nieces and nephews to grow up respectful and proper. She stood by her siblings and helped each of them in various ways making sure the children were provided for.
She was like a second mother to our younger Sargent generation. Always there to lend advice and to give constructive criticism. She believed in proper etiquette and if you had done something wrong, she was ready, willing and quite capable of informing them of their wrong. In her words, if you stepped out of line “You’ve just got to be stopped”.
The lessons that “Teen” instilled into the minds and hearts of her nieces and nephews left noticeable and lifelong images for them as to how they should carry themselves and how they should raise their own children one day. Teen didn’t know it, but she became a mother to the eleven nieces and nephews and grandmother to the generations that followed.
Left to cherish her memories are her sisters, Rose S. Middleton (Bowman, SC), Mary E. Bostic (Florence, SC), Evelyn S. (Dr. Joseph) Heyward. Nieces and nephews: Wanda FuQua-White (Florence, SC), Joseph (Judy) McBride (Florence, SC), Michael Sargent (Richmond, VA), Gregory Sargent (Charlotte, NC), Dwayne (Gina) Sargent (Greenwood, SC), Dr. Janice M. (Victor) Munn (Pooler, GA), Dr. Andrea M. (Joshua) Matthews (Bowman, SC), Melissa Sargent (Greensboro, NC), Joseph E. (Krishna) Heyward II (Indianapolis, IN), Ryan C. Heyward and her Godson, (Marietta, GA), Regina Heyward Davis (Florence, SC), a host of grand nieces and nephews, a very special cousin, Commodore (Felicia) Charles, a special neighbor Rosa Lee Cato, a special friend and coworker Claudia “Bootsie” Johnson and a host of extended family members, relatives and friends.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Miracle Champaign of Cumberland United Methodist Church, 163 South Coit Street, Florence, South Carolina 29501
Please keep the family of Earnestine Sargent in your thoughts and prayers.