Edna B. Sitler

2 entries
  • "An angel in heaven."
    - Pamela Johnson
  • "I hope that the children or grandchildren of those who knew..."
    - Linn Sitler
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In Memory
Edna Beck Sitler
July 27, 1922-December 9, 2014
On the First Year
Anniversary of Her Death
MEMPHIS, TN - Born in the once-thriving, tiny community of Stiefeltown in Aiken County, Edna Beck Sitler was the daughter of W.C. and Emma Mae Martin Beck, who owned one of the first grocery stores in Aiken County. The family attended The First Baptist Church of Warrenville. On her father's side, Mrs. Sitler was descended from the earliest settlers of South Carolina: the Becks of Barnwell and Aiken Counties. She was a direct descendant of Charles Beck who served in the Revolutionary War. Her grandfather, William C. Beck, fought for The Confederacy in the Civil War, and is memorialized every year in the re-enactment of The Battle of Aiken.
One of six children, Mrs. Sitler is survived by her sister Helen Forbragd (wife of Col. Maurice Forbragd) of Ft. Walton Beach, Florida; and her sister, Gloria Harman (wife of the late Dr. Charles Harman) of Atlanta, Georgia. She is predeceased by her brother Allen Beck of North Augusta, South Carolina; her sister Alcyone Medlock (wife of the late William Medlock) of Warrenville; and her sister, Regena O'Neill (wife of the late Frank G. O'Neill) of Hyde Park, Massachusetts. Family members still living in the area include her nieces, Joan Medlock Posey (wife of Ricky Posey) of Warrenville and Connie Medlock Jeffcoat (wife of Bill Jeffcoat) of Wagener.
Mrs. Sitler graduated from Leavelle McCampbell High School (aka "Graniteville High School") in 1939. Soon thereafter, she married a dashing young "Yankee" from Pennsylvania, stationed at Daniel Field in Augusta, Georgia - Fred Harry Sitler of Nescopeck, Pennsylvania. After only 6 months of marriage, the then-non-commissioned officer left his bride for World War II stations in the European Theater and North Africa. He was gone for three years. Mrs. Sitler, always close to her family, returned to Stiefeltown to live at her parents' home and await his return. During this time, her husband became one of less than 26,000 soldiers granted a "battlefield commission" in World War II - promoting him directly to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant for "extraordinary" performance of duty. By the end of his 30 years in the Air Force, he had achieved the rank of full colonel and retired as one of only a few military commanders in the Mid-South. "The Colonel" was, of course, Mrs. Sitler's greatest love and always the source of her greatest pride.
During their 60 years of marriage, Edna and Fred Sitler focused on not only his career, but also on being good parents to their three children, Brenda Diane, Fred Hally, and Linda Ellen ("Linn"). From 1957-1958 Mrs. Sitler and her children lived in Aiken, while then-Major Sitler was stationed in Korea. All three children attended Eustis Park Elementary School for that year. During that year, Mrs. Sitler enjoyed not only living close to her parents, her sister Alcyone, and her brother Allen, but also seeing her high school friends Margaret Johnson and Iris Carter. She continued these friendships and returned often to Aiken all of her life.
After living many places in the United States and abroad, Mrs. Sitler moved with her family to Memphis in 1964 from Wiesbaden, Germany. In Memphis, Mrs. Sitler greatly enjoyed the social scene in the city... garden clubs, membership in the prestigious "Memphi" Cotton Carnival society, and - in a nod to her South Carolina heritage, the D.A.R. Always a noted beauty, Mrs. Sitler modeled in many of the city's fashion shows well into her "golden years."
Although she ultimately came to regard Memphis as her home, Mrs. Sitler never forgot her South Carolina roots. In the mid-1990s, she was asked to write and record her memories of the Christmases she had spent long ago in South Carolina. Becoming part of an audio anthology of Southern Christmas stories, Mrs. Sitler's recollection was called, "A South Carolina Christmas." At her own memorial service in Memphis on December 14, 2014, her beautiful South Carolina-accented voice was heard, as the minister played this recording. The surprised mourners listened in complete silence as the voice of the late Edna Beck Sitler was heard throughout the small sanctuary: "My memories kept drawing me back - especially what seem to be my best, my happiest memories-those of Christmases spent in Aiken County in our little community long ago...." The flag of South Carolina was spread over her casket as the life on earth of this kind, exceedingly gentle woman - a true Christian and forever a South Carolinian - came to an end. She will be forever loved, remembered, and mourned by those who knew her.
Published in The Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star on Dec. 13, 2015