Fort Mill Times

Retired Fort Mill teacher celebrates 100th birthday

Mildred Adair blows out the candles on her cake during a party to celebrate her 100th birthday.
Mildred Adair blows out the candles on her cake during a party to celebrate her 100th birthday.

Mildred Adair has taught countless students.

Last Wednesday, many of those students, including four from Adair's first-ever elementary school class, gathered at the Fort Mill/Tega Cay Adult Day Care Center to celebrate her 100th birthday.

"It's wonderful," Adair said. "I never thought I would see this many people here to celebrate."

Adair, a retired elementary school teacher, said because of eating properly and praying to God, she has been around to see a century of history.

"It's will power," said Adair's daughter, Charlotte. "She is going to do this as long as she wants to and when she's done, she'll go."

Adair lives in the same Fort Mill house where she was born in 1908. After graduating high school at the age of 15 and earning a degree at Winthrop at 18, Adair taught elementary school in Greenville and Fort Mill. After a few years, she moved West and taught English to Navajo Indians, Charlotte said.

Adair worked in public education for 48 years before retiring permanently in Fort Mill.

"Lots of people come up to her and say that she taught them. She'll remember who they are and exactly where they sat," Charlotte said. "I'm just amazed."

Indian Land resident Glenn Potts was one of Adair's first students. He was in Adair's first grade class at Pleasant Valley Grammar School in Indian Land nearly 80 years ago and was present at the celebration. Potts said he remembered one particular story when an elephant escaped from a local circus and walked right by the window of the classroom, scaring the students - and Adair - out of their minds.

"It's really wonderful to have been here to see her a couple times. I always enjoy talking with her," Potts said.

Sarah Sigwart was in Adair's class at the same school and said she remembered Adair as being "a very smart and very attractive young girl."

Charlotte said her mother, even though she is 100, still loves attention and always looks forward to coming to the day care center and talking with friends.

"As they said in the '60s, she's a trip," Charlotte said.