Miriam McLaurin Gulledge, at the age of 77, has been named South Carolina Mother of the Year 2012, for having raised seven children in an exemplary manner.
Sponsored by Chesterfield Baptist Church, Gulledge was chosen by the S.C. Mother of the Year search committee to represent mothers in South Carolina and to compete for the national title of American Mother of the Year. Since this competition began in 1942, South Carolina claims four national winners.
“A special day is planned this spring in Columbia,” said search committee chairman Larry Flynn of Spartanburg, “to honor Mrs. Gulledge and celebrate the 70th anniversary of the S.C. Mother of the Year award.” The day will include a luncheon with past recipients of the award, followed by a recognition ceremony at the Statehouse by Gov. Nikki Haley. An afternoon tea at the Governor’s Mansion will also be hosted by Gov. Haley and the search committee.
Gulledge, who is a wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, continually serves her church and community. She has cared for several members of her family during her lifetime as they have suffered from various illnesses. She continues to care for her husband, Robert, who has been disabled since an on-the-job accident in 1991.
Becoming a teenage bride and mother, she later earned her high school diploma in 1969 at a night school program. She has managed a home, co-owned a community grocery store, was a bookkeeper, and still continues as a church and funeral home musician while nurturing her family.
Gulledge has three sons. One is a mechanical engineer with Progress Energy Carolinas; one is an operating technician with Domtar Inc.; and another is a network engineer with Sandhills Telephone Cooperative.
Of her four daughters, one is an office manger and medical assistant; one is president of the Association for Hospital Medical Education with a doctoral degree; one is a pediatric physical therapist; and another is Commissioner for the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department.
Research committee members say her children are civic minded as well and volunteer in their own churches. Gulledge also celebrates her birthday today, Jan. 26.