Local News

Manning resident Willie White celebrates 100th birthday


Willie White, a lifelong resident of Manning, celebrated his 100th birthday on June 3rd, surrounded by family and friends who gathered to honor his century-long journey.

White was born in 1924 in Manning and has spent his entire life in the community. As a young man, he attended school in Manning but left before graduating to serve in the U.S. Army during World War II. Drafted on July 11th, 1944, White served in the European Theater, moving across France and into Germany. He remained in Europe through the end of the war and was part of the initial occupation forces that stabilized the region after the fighting ended, serving until his discharge on October 29th, 1946. Reflecting on his service, White recalled significant moments, including being in Okinawa when Japan decided to surrender, a moment he described as “a pretty good day.”

After the war, White returned to Manning and entered the cleaning business, both janitorial services for a majority of the offices around town, as well as dry cleaning. He was part of a partnership that ran the local dry cleaner, Mercury Cleaners, a profession he dedicated himself to for the majority of his working life. Even into his nineties, White continued to work, showing a remarkable work ethic that amazed those around him. He only retired about six years ago.

In addition to his professional endeavors, White has been deeply involved in his community. He served as a trustee at Ebenezer Baptist Church, has been a member of the Clarendon County Democratic Party for over 30 years, and participated in several community organizations, including the American Legion Post 204 and the NAACP. White was also a dedicated Mason and a board member for Clarendon County DSS.

White’s family includes his sister Shirley Keels, who is 85 years old, and his late wife, Frances, whom he married in 1946 after returning from the war. The couple had two daughters, Rosetta and Margaret, with Rosetta having passed away.

Despite suffering a stroke two years ago, White remains active and engaged, his sense of humor still well intact. He keeps up with politics and enjoys watching TV, staying informed about the world around him.

Reflecting on his long life, White attributes his longevity to “work and treating people well.” As he looks forward to the years ahead, his family and friends continue to be inspired by his resilience and dedication.

White’s story is a testament to a life well lived, marked by service to his country, commitment to his community, and an unwavering work ethic. As he celebrates this milestone, the Manning community celebrates with him, honoring a man who has truly made a difference.