2008-07-30 / Front Page

County mourns loss of Mrs. Sossamon

'The epitome of a friend and the epitome of a lady'
By KLONIE JORDAN Executive Editor editor@gaffneyledger.com

Kathryn (Salley) Edgerton Sossamon, wife of former Gaffney Ledger Publisher Louis C. Sossamon and mother of current publisher L. Cody Sossamon, died Tuesday.

Relatives said Mrs. Sossamon, who had just celebrated her 86th birthday and 65th wedding anniversary, died peacefully at her home in West Columbia.

"I'm in shock. I'm in a daze," said longtime family friend Linda Frieze when informed of Mrs. Sossamon's passing. "We used to walk together all over the (Limestone) college area. We'd walk four miles at a time and we used to play tennis together. She could outwalk me and she could outplay me in tennis.

"She was the epitome of a friend and the epitome of a lady," said Frieze, who met Mrs. Sossamon in the early 1970s. "She loved being outdoors, whether it was working in her yard or walking. And she loved her family. She just adored them."

Frieze recalled some Autumn trips the two took to Camp Ton-A-Wandah, a girls camp in Hendersonville, N.C.

"She would reminisce about her younger days when she used to ride the train up there from Orangeburg," Frieze said. "Of course she went first as a camper and later as a counselor.

"What a kind, loving person she was," Frieze continued. "I just thought the world of her."

Many people have been touched by Mrs. Sossamon's infectious smile and warm heart, including her students and fellow faculty members at Gaffney High School, where she taught government and economics.

"She was teaching at Gaffney High when I got there in 1965," said longtime local educator Louise Carson. "She was right across the hall from me. She was a great friend and a great mentor. She really helped me. She was the person who made me feel welcome at GHS.

"I have a great deal of respect and admiration for her," Carson said. "The teachers loved her, the students loved her ... everybody loved her. She just never seemed to run out of energy. She was a great friend to everyone. I'm so sorry to hear that she's gone."

Friend Hazel Hubbard said she met Mrs. Sossamon some 50 years ago when Hubbard went to work at Limestone Presbyterian Church.

"She was a very active member of the church," Hubbard recalled. "She taught Sunday School and was very involved in education programs at the church. That was very important to her. And I taught with her at Gaffney High School. She was a very dynamic teacher.

"She had a very positive outlook," Hubbard continued. "She loved walking and was always in good condition. I admired her sense of conviction in the things she believed in and I admired her integrity. As I think of her, I think of her intelligence and the value she placed on education. I think of how proud she was of her family and how dedicated she was to them. I'm so saddened to hear this has happened."

Surviving in addition to her husband, son and his wife Sherry are two daughters, Kit Smith and husband Joel of Columbia and Polly Player and husband Warren of Mt. Pleasant, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Mrs. Sossamon was born July 20, 1922, in Columbia, to N. Bruce Edgerton and Kathryn Moss Salley.

She attended public schools in Columbia and Orangeburg and was valedictorian at Orangeburg High School. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of South Carolina, where she earned a Phi Beta Kappa Scholarship. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Tri-Delta sorority and other university organizations, cheerleader and vicepresident of the student body.

She was a founding member of the Gaffney Junior Woman's Club.

The complete obituary appears here.

A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m.Thursday at Limestone Presbyterian Church. The Gaffney Ledger will close Thursday at 3:15 p.m.

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