Medora “Sugar” Lenow Salter Weaver, 93, died at St. Catherine’s Village on Sunday, October 23, from complications of dementia. She was the youngest child of Medora Lenow Salter and Dr. Cary Weathersby Salter, Sr. She was predeceased by her husband, James D. Weaver, Jr., sister Elizabeth Salter Tumlinson Emerson, brothers Cary W. Salter, Jr. and John A Salter, and niece Kay Salter. She is survived by her nieces and a nephew: Elizabeth Rall, Medora “Dodie” Tumlinson, Caryn Quilter, Gay Salter, Lyn Isonhood, and John Vernon Salter.
Born on October 12, 1929, in Macon, Mississippi, she was educated at St. Mary’s Episcopal High School in Memphis and spent one year at Wesleyan college in Macon, Georgia. An excellent swimmer, she was recruited for the Ole Miss Swim Team and attended the University of Mississippi. She was an Ole Miss Campus Favorite and served as vice-president and president of her sorority, Delta Gamma.
“Sugar” lived in Houston, Texas, most of her adult life. One of her first jobs in Houston was as a draftsman for Humble Oil, which did not inspire her. She reluctantly took her daddy’s advice and tried teaching. She taught junior-high-school English and later, an artist in her own right, pursued additional coursework at the University of Houston and taught Art to middle schoolers. Teaching was her calling. She loved her students and the children loved her. She received cards, letters and gifts from her students for many years after her retirement from Holub Middle School, and continued to hear from students and her many close friends after moving back to Mississippi to be closer to family.
Always animated, and never punctual, she told hilarious stories. Once her students were hanging out the windows as the morning school bell rang hollering, “Run, Miz Weaver, run! Don’t be late! The principal’s coming!” Her tardiness was an ingrained, immutable part of her nature. But so was her courage, generosity, thoughtfulness, enthusiasm, and loyalty.
Uncle Jim deplored her habitual lateness, but he adored her, and it was mutual. Their marriage was a true love story. He made her lunch every day before he left for work and included a love note. She must have saved every one of them; there were hundreds. There were hundreds of other notes they left for each other over 42 years of marriage; notes of encouragement, apology, occasionally reproach, and yes, he and she and everyone else put “Sugar” in double quotes.
She taught us how to write a proper thank you note and why it was important. She believed in good manners, standing up straight, and putting your best foot forward. She was a fierce advocate for those she loved. She believed in the saving grace of Jesus Christ. She was upbeat, always encouraging, always looking for the compliment she could bestow. She had a zest for life and genuine interest in other people that was infectious.
The cruelty of Alzheimer’s disease slowly robbed her of that bright and shining personality. But if we could ask her, she would say, in that classic, aristocratic Southern accent, that she had a WONDERFUL life. If you make the most of every day in thankfulness to God for the blessings of home, family, and friends, you will honor the memory of “Sugar” Weaver.
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