The Life of Sadie
Sadie Sikes Womble died on Feb. 25, 2021, at the age of 87. She was a resident of Brunswick since 1964. She was preceded in death by husband, Dr. Allen B Womble; grandson, Allen Womble; and sister, Sue Sikes Thurmond. Survivors include daughter, Becky Womble Pace and husband, Leonard, of Buford; son, Dr. Brian A. Womble and wife, Jean, of Brunswick; grandchildren, Brooke Pace Gilliland, Kimberly Pace Campbell and Artie Womble; along with three great-grandchildren.
Sadie Sikes was born on April 16, 1933, on a small subsistence farm of 175 acres located on the Metter to Claxton Highway about 10 miles from Claxton, Ga. It was the height of the Depression. Her parents, Arthur and Tressie Sikes, were God-fearing, honest people who knew the value of hard work. They had no money but the value of the land they worked could not be measured in dollars and cents. It was here on this farm that Mother acquired the values and determination that would take her through the rest of her life. On the farm, they made or grew everything that they needed. Mom often recounted having a cotton sack attached around her shoulder, picking cotton, as soon as she could walk. It was this knowledge of self-sufficiency that kept us fed and clothed during the lean times of our early childhood in Metter while dad was establishing his optometric practice.
Mother attended Georgia Teachers College, now called Georgia Southern to get her teaching degree in three years. She went to summer school every summer because "she had rather go to school than go home to work on the farm for the summer."
Her life would change forever on the day when she was sitting on a bench outside the bakery that Dad's father owned at the time when a nice looking young man came up to her to make his acquaintance. His story was that he said, when he saw her, she was the woman that he would marry.
Let the wild ride begin.
She married Sergeant Allen Brooks Womble when he was on leave from the Air Force, and after she had graduated from college. They got married, he picked her up in his car, and off they went to Anchorage, Alaska, where he was stationed. Note that they actually drove from Georgia to Alaska, the farthest state in the union across the ALCAN Highway, which, at the time, was entirely unpaved and primitive. Many of you have heard stories of the ALCAN Highway. I think these times were some of their funnest and most enjoyable times that they had together before my sister and I arrived and changed all of that.
Mom had both of us while dad was in optometry school in Memphis. I came in 1955 and Becky 18 months later. Before we came along, mom taught school while he was in school to support them both. That ended when we arrived. So here they were with two hungry mouths to feed, Dad in school and working two jobs, mom staying at home with us, and flat broke. So much for family planning. It is mom that is credited with keeping it all together and encouraging dad not to quit during these difficult times.
Her work ethic came straight from the farm. Mom was an extremely hard worker. Dad worked at the office and mom did everything else. She mowed the grass, kept the yard, painted the house, cooked three meals a day, washed the clothes, cleaned and even did extra jobs like sanding and painting assignments on the old boat that dad drug up to the house when we first moved to McDowell Ave. We, of course, were always tasked to help out. She was a Girl Scout leader and a Cub Scout leader. It was also mom who attended our concerts, recitals, and other events that dad was unable to attend. She was born to be a mother and was a mother not only for us, but other kids in the neighborhood.
When I think of my mother, I think most about her dignity and grace. She was always patient with my sister and I, even when we were at our worst, which was usually most of the time. I never saw her angry or lose her temper. She was loyal to her husband and her family above all. She always supported him and us even when things did not go well. Our mother did not invent anything. She was not the CEO of a large company. She was not in any elected office. Her legacy is that she made the world a better place through the lives she touched. My sister and I, along with her grandkids and great-grandkids, will carry that legacy forward for generations. I can say that of all the people that I have known over my lifetime, she is the one that I would most like to be like.
Arrangements will be announced later.
Dr. Brian Allen Womble
The Brunswick News, May 14, 2021
Published in The Brunswick News on May 14, 2021.