West Columbia’s Rebecca “Fannie” Dawkins celebrated her 102nd birthday, Sunday

Rebecca “Fannie” Dawkins , seated center, with Rev. Kenneth Taylor and her sister Doretha Herlong, 92. Also pictured are Turner AME members. 

The birthday of Rebecca “Fannie” Dawkins of West Columbia is Feb. 7. She will be 102.

She is the eldest resident of the City of West Columbia. On Sunday, members of Turner AME Church, where she has been a member for 85 years, celebrated the occasion.

“It’s been a fine birthday,” Dawkins said as she sat next to her baby sister, Doretha Herlong, who is 92.

“They got me up at 5 o’clock this morning,” Dawkins said. Bridget Patrick, a church member who also drives for AMS Ambulance Service picks Dawkins up for church at the Opus nursing facility on Leaphart Road. Addy Caldwell, of the church, helped arrange the party.

“I’ve known her all my life,” Patrick said of Dawkins. She lived around the corner from me. Patrick said she loves to talk to Dawkins, and Dawkins is like family to her.

Rev. Kenneth Taylor of Turner AME, said Dawkins is a “blessing from God.”

He also said she advises him, submitting scripture for him to use in his sermons, and she gave him a list of specific songs she wanted to be used at the church’s Christmas service.

“I’ve learned to take her advice,” Taylor said with a smile. He also said Dawkins is a treasure and a pillar in the community.

West Columbia City Councilman Mickey Pringle, a member of Turner AME, has known Dawkins since 1976, when he moved to West Columbia.

“She is a sweet, God-fearing woman,” said Pringle. “She would help any one she could.”

Dawkins was a cosmologist in West Columbia for 40 years. Until recently, she lived for 70 years, in the same house off of 12th Street, that was built by her father.

Born in Fairfield County in 1917, Dawkins went to New Brookland High School and Clinton Junior College. She obtained her cosmetology license from Pope Beauty School.

In a 2017 interview, Dawkins said living right,” was her explanation for her long life.

She is now wheelchair-bound and she said she prays every day for everybody in the community.

Dawkins comes from a family of 13 children. Her grandfather, Milton Meadows, lived to be 106.

When he died, there was nothing wrong with him, except he said his foot hurt, Dawkins said in her 2017 interview.

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