Sarah Nell Mayes was born December 23, 1930, in Enterprise, Alabama. She was the first of eight children born to Theodore and Bessie (Caldwell) Whitehurst. She broke the bounds of Alzheimer’s disease and this life on January 22, 2021.
Sarah graduated from Coffee County Training School, where she was a star basketball player and lead soprano in the school choir. After graduation in 1948, she married the late Clem Mayes Jr. and moved to Malvern, Ohio. To this union were added two daughters, Margaret and Melissa Mayes.
Sarah accepted Christ at an early age and became a member of Mount Zion Baptist Church where she served as secretary of Sunday school, usher, and choir member. Sarah continued her Christian commitment to the church and community in Ohio. She Served at First Baptist in Malvern, House of Prayer (deacon) in Warren, and a member of Christ the King Apostolic Church of Canton. Sarah’s love and commitment to Christ were demonstrated in teaching Sunday school, leading a community prayer group, participating in civic and humanitarian projects in Malvern.
Sarah was a supportive wife, and nurturing mother while working at TRW Metals in Minerva, Ohio, and The Supreme Life Insurance Company where she earned the Top Salesperson of the Month honor, awarded and published by Jet Magazine. Sarah also spent time working as a caregiver to the elderly and disabled. Her last position before retiring was working as the House Mother for the children of the Cleaster Mims’ International Boarding School of Cincinnati.
Sarah’s hobbies included travel and a passion for gardening, sharing tips like how to compost and use medicinal herbs long before it was fashionable.
She is survived by two daughters Margaret (Oliver) Sanders, of Lima, Ohio, and Melissa Mayes of Tahlequah, Oklahoma; her grandchildren, Carla (Jacob) Thompson King of Lima, Ohio, and Corey (Lisa) Thompson of North Canton, Ohio; siblings Cleaster Whitehurst-Mims of Cincinnati, Ohio, Dorothy Richardson of Enterprise, Alabama; Maurine (Joseph) Williams of Montgomery, Alabama; Mary Emma Wiley of Enterprise, Alabama; Allie Whitehurst of Oakland, California; MacArthur Whitehurst of Daleville, Alabama, and Billy Whitehurst of Orange City, Florida; five great-grandchildren: Furious Guerrieri, Morgan, Carmen, and Malcolm Thompson, and Atticus Thompson King. Sarah leaves to cherish her loving memory; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, a life-long friend Mildred Pryor of Malvern, Ohio, a goddaughter Denise Morris of Millbrook, Alabama and loving caregiver, Katina Phillips. Sarah’s strength, faith and love will be missed by all who knew her, but her legacy lives on.