2006 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Horhn, Simmons, Browning, Butler, Dawkins, Frazier, Jackson (11th), Jordan, Walls, White, Wilemon, Williamson
A RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE LIFE OF BETTIE WILSON OF UNION COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI, THE NATION'S SECOND-OLDEST WOMAN, AND EXPRESSING THE SYMPATHY OF THE SENATE.
WHEREAS, Bettie Wilson of Union County, Mississippi, who was officially recognized as the nation's second-oldest woman, passed away on Monday, February 13, 2006, at the age of 115; and
WHEREAS, Bettie Wilson was born September 13, 1890, the daughter of former slaves; and
WHEREAS, New Albany Mayor, Tim Kent, and other local officials have expressed sadness at the news of the death of this very popular citizen, who had a wonderful demeanor and spirit about her; and
WHEREAS, Bettie Wilson was recognized as the world's fourth-oldest person until August 30, 2005, when the oldest, Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper, died in the Netherlands. Then, she was cited as the second-oldest in the United States behind Lizzie Bolden of Memphis, Tennessee, born August 15, 1890. Bolden is believed to be living in a nursing home there; and
WHEREAS, Elizabeth Payne, a Professor of History at the University of Mississippi, interviewed Wilson in December for a project on Union County women older than 70. "She was truly a remarkable and resilient woman who was born at one of the most restrictive times for African-Americans," Payne said; and
WHEREAS, because Bettie Wilson's parents were slaves, her life and stories in many ways exemplify the lives of African-Americans born in the late 1800s. "I think that what I saw in Miss Bettie grew out of the African-American slave experience, that is they were forbidden to read and write. Because of that, the family history had to be protected and conveyed in oral history so that the stories were very much kept alive in her and passed down to her children," Payne said; and
WHEREAS, it is with sadness that we note the passing of this respected citizen, who was only one generation removed from slavery and was able to recall her life in vivid detail:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend the life of Bettie Wilson of New Albany, Union County, Mississippi, the nation's second-oldest woman, and express to her surviving family the sympathy of the Senate on her passing.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to her grandson, James Rogers, and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.