Cover photo for Joretta  McLeod 's Obituary
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Joretta McLeod

d. January 4, 2021

The Governor of South Carolina advises to limit public gatherings to 50 guests or less to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Smith Funeral Home of Florence, LLC carefully considered this recommendation and ask that additional guest please participate via live-streaming if it is authorized by the family.

Graveside Service for Ms. Joretta Josephine McLeod will be conducted 3:30 PM Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at Odom Cemetery, 327 Knotty Pine Road, Darlington, South Carolina, 29532, directed by Smith Funeral Home of Florence, LLC.

Mrs. Joretta Josephine McLeod was born on July 21, 1957 in Hartsville, South Carolina to the late George Gardner Jr. and the late Hattie Mae McLeod. Joretta was born 5 minutes older than her twin sister Loretta, but nonetheless, they were very, very close. She was educated along side her twin sister and both graduated from Butler High School on May 30, 1975.

After high school, motherhood hit Joretta at an early age. On April 25, 1976, her first daughter Christina was born. It was then that she had to make an instant change now that she became a mom. Joretta attended evening classes at Florence-Darlington Technical College in Florence, South Carolina where she obtained her certificate in Certified Nursing Assistant. From there, Joretta started working at Thad E. Saleeby Center for 16 years. During her time there, she became a mom again to a second daughter, Anna on June 18, 1988. And at that point, she said, “She was done having kids!” From there, Joretta have worked at other nursing home facilities as well as a hospital. She has worked at Morrell Nursing Home for 2 years, Medford Nursing Home for 1-year, Methodist Manor for 1-year, Presbyterian Nursing Home for 2 years, Sterling House now Elmcroft Nursing Home for 6 months, Home Health Inc now McLeod Home Heath Inc. for 6 years and finally settling her roots in her employment at Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center for 6 years. Whew! Joretta was a working woman!

Although she was Joretta was a twin, but people often get them confused with her twin Sister, Loretta. The only way to tell them apart was that Loretta would smile and say, “Hello”, while Joretta would simply just cuss you out, but in good and funny way. That was her way of letting everyone know who she was by her words. And Joretta had a way with some words. One thing about Joretta she didn’t bite her tongue to anybody and cuss you out like she was a sailor in the Navy. But her way of thinking was something you couldn’t put a finger on. She was more of an analytical thinker and the way, she told you something, she would have sat there and made you think from an angle that another person would have never thought of an answer from that perspective. Now, that was Joretta. She was the oldest twin, but she was a cussing thinker. A fun fact about Ms. McLeod that back in 1993, she and her twin sister found out they were third cousins to the late cousin Dr. Mary Jane McLeod-Bethune. When she found out about this, she was shocked! And from this information, she and Loretta took a special interest and finding out more information about their famous cousin.

Ms. McLeod was a member of Mount Calvary African Methodist Episcopal Church in Hartsville, South Carolina. She served on the Usher Board when she was much younger, and she was baptized at New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Hartsville, South Carolina. She was also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star Myrtle Chapter #56 where she was the Recording Secretary. Here hobbies were crocheting, sewing on the sewing machine, reading novels mostly from Brenda Jackson collection, watching her Lifetime and TLC channels while eating her favorite snack and her favorite drink, Little Debbie Devil Squares and her a cold 1- liter bottle of Pepsi, and listening to a lot of music, but her favorite song was “Forever, Forever” by Keiko Matsui.

Ms. McLeod was preceded in death by her parents, Mr. George Gardner Jr. and Miss Hattie Mae McLeod; her maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Elijah and Mary Lou Luckey-McLeod; her paternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. George Sr. and Evelyn McCollough Gardner; her twin sister, Mrs. Loretta Ann McLeod Arthur; a nephew, Micheal A. Price-Thomas; and two special mothers, the late Pastor Mazorine J. Davis and the late Mrs. Lillie Mae Cosom.

Surviving to cherish the memories and the legacy of Joretta Josephine McLeod includes her daughters, Christina M. McLeod and Anna L. Ervin both of Darlington, South Carolina; one grandson, Ky-Ran J. McLeod of Darlington, South Carolina; two granddaughters, Kierria A. and Jakayla N Ervin of Darlington, South Carolina; two sisters, Rosa M. (Charles Ray) Mayfield of Hartsville, South Carolina and Sarah M. (Barney) Thomas of Darlington, South Carolina; two brothers, Lee R. McLeod of Dallas, Texas and Herbert L. (Mary) Prescott of Hartsville, South Carolina; one brother-in-law, Clinton (the late Loretta Ann McLeod) Arthur of Lydia, South Carolina; two special nieces; Shernell D. Thomas of Hartsville, South Carolina and Audrey E. McLeod of Mobile, Alabama; three special nephews, Clinton M and Joshua L Arthur of Lydia, South Carolina, Kenyatta (Kisha) Price of Hartsville, South Carolina; and Christopher L. McLeod of Dallas, Texas; one special cousin she sees as a son, Ike McLeod of Hartsville, South Carolina. two special sisters, Mrs. Betty J. Washington of Hartsville, South Carolina and Minister Penn (Paul) English of Concord, North Carolina; and a host of other relatives, and very dear friends.

Please keep the family of Jorette Josephine McLeod in your thoughts and prayers.

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