“To everything there is a season, a time to every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
It is said in life that a person who brings joy to themselves, brings joy to others. A kind, loving person should be treasured and always kept around especially when you need an uplifting sould to boost one’s spirit. A thoughtful nurturing teacher who brought joy, happiness and love to her students each day. This was none other than Amy J. McLester. Amy felt the best way to reach her students may be summed up in three words: Love, Nurture, Inspire.
Amy, the daughter of the late Nondrus and Christine Chavous Johnson, brought a bundle of joy to their home on Decemnber 17, 1933.
Through faith in Jesus Christ at an early age, Amy entered into a personal relationship with God and joined the Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Aiken County. Sunday School, church and religious training caused her to receive a firm Christian foundation.
Amy matriculated in the public schools of Aiken County and graduated from Martha Schofield High School in the class of 1951, graduating as an honor student and an outstanding basketball player. She furthered her education at Allen University, Columbia, South Carolina, earning a bachelor of science degree in Elementary/Early Childhood Education. She further advanced her studies by earning a Master’s of Education Degree from South Carolina State University, South Carolina. Amy received Administrative Certification in Education at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.
In 1952, while attending Allen University, Amy was initiated into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. She remained a faithful member for sixty-five years.
On November 20, 1964, she became the bride of Thomas E. (Daddy Mac) McLester; for forty-seven years, they loved, laughed and enjoyed God’s blessings. Summers were spent at the beautiful Ocean House Resort in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. They were blessed to be the parents of two wonderful sons, Thomas Eric (Tommy) McLester and Lemuel R. (Ronnie) McLester.
Amy was a dedicated member of Trinity/Camden First United Methodist Church for more than 50 years. Her greatest honor came May 10, 2015, when she was named “Mother of Camden First United Methodist Church,” a very humbling experience she held dear in her heart. Amy was elected by the United Methodist Women as the 2011 Woman of the Year. She served in many ministries through the years. Just to name a few: Chairman of Pastor/Paris Relations Committee two terms, Nominating Committee, Elementary several years. She served a number of years with a panel of judges for Kershaw County in selecting the teacher of the year.
Mrs. McLester was honored to be appointed by the late Senator Donald Holland to the Judicial Merit Selection Commission for the State of South Carolina. That Commission was charged with screening all Judicial nominess who were subject to election by the General Assembly.
In 2015, the Administrative Board voted to add her name to the Thomas E. McLester Scholarship Award. It is now known as the Thomas E. & Amy J. McLester Scholarship Award.
She was a member of the NAACP, the Florentine Garden Club and Hadoth Chapter #138 Order of Eastern Stars.
Amy Johnson McLester was preceded in death by her mother and father, her husband Thomas E. (“Daddy Mac”) McLester, her sister Miriam, her dear sister in law Barbara (“Mickey”) Johnson, and her dear brother in law Leroy Wright.
Left to cherish her precious memories: her sons, Thomas Eric (Lilliam) McLester, Ronnie McLester; granddaughters, Aimee, Amber, Kaylee and Gracie McLester; stepdaughters, Valerie, Ellie and Natalie; two brothers, Christopher K. Johnson, Emerson (Naomi) Johnson; A dear godson, Wendell Johnson; a devoted cousin, Louise Chisolm; a host of nieces and nephews; other loving relatives; and caring friends, all of whom will miss her dearly.
Funeral service for Mrs. Amy J. McLester of 313 Cool Springs Drive in Camden, will be held Saturday, October 7, 2017, 11:00 AM at Camden First United Methodist, 704 W. DeKalb Street with burial in Hyco Baptist Church cemetery, Hwy. 1, North, Cassatt. Viewing will be held Friday, 4PM to 5PM at the Collins Funeral Home and ceremonies by the Easters Stars followed by the Wall By Alpha Kappa Sorors will be held Friday, 6PM to 8PM at Camden First United Methodist Church. She died Wednesay, October 4th. Collins Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to the Thomas E. & Amy J. McLester Scholarship Award in care of Camden First United Methodist Church: Post Office Box 606, Camden, South Carolina 29020.