Every day we honor our neighbors who have reached major milestones, like turning 100. Just last week, we wished a happy 102nd birthday to Mrs. Sadie Steele.
This centenarian was a teacher for 37 years in Georgia. Chatham County Teacher of the Year several times and Georgia State teacher of the year, but decades removed from the classroom, she's still teaching unforgettable life lessons to everyone she meets.
Even at the age of 102, Steele has the spirit and vitality of a teenager. She always has a smile on her face. In spite of all of the hardships of growing up in the segregated South after the turn of the 20th century, living through the Great Depression, 6 major wars and the civil rights movement, this centenarian with the magnetic personality, has held on to her love of living.
"I am really enjoying a beautiful life of reflecting. Most of the memories are pleasant memories," said Steele.
The retired teacher has never slowed down. She devoted her life to making her community a better place through donating her money and time to various organizations that improve just about every aspect of life.
She's most proud of working hand in hand with historian W.W. Law to establish the King Tisdell Cottage Foundation.
She's also in the Goodwill Industries history books. Her many years of dedicated service earned her a spot in the Hall of Fame.
"Only last week, several came to me and said, 'Had it not been for you Mrs. Steele, we would not have a job. We have a job now, because of Goodwill and you were Goodwill,'" explained Steele.
Just looking through these pictures, anyone can see that Steele remains a big part of the community and she has accumulated more honors than she can remember for community service.
"I believe that it is God who has blessed me and I am obligated to give back to the community something of what they have done for me. I feel obligated to do that and I'm going to try as long as I live," Steele said.
Just about every Sunday you will find her at Bunn Memorial Baptist Church where she has been an active member for 78 years. She also celebrates often with her public service sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.
So how does she do it all?
"You cannot attempt anything without first consulting God and he will help you, but you got to be sincere. You know what one of my prayers is when I wake up in the morning? Lord, I don't want to be a half shot Christian. I want to be a Christian all the way and that is what I want to tell them. Don't be a half shot anything . If you are going to do something, do it full fledge," said Steele.
That's great advice we can all live by. We should always give our best no matter what we do in life. Steele also says one of the best things to happen to her to this day is many of her former students still visit her and thank her for the many lessons she taught them many decades ago.
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