Louise Lamar Haywood was born in Talbotton, Georgia, the third of seven children to James and Henrietta Mitchell Lamar. Her parents James (1971) and Henrietta (2009), and four of her siblings Leonard, James Jr., Hazel and Tom all predeceased her. Two siblings, Lucile and Robert (Chestine), survive him.
Louise accepted Christ and joined Shady Grove Baptist Church in 1949 (aged 9). She was baptized with a small group of other members at Slade’s Pond in Talbotton.
Louise graduated from Ruth Carter High School in 1958. She was placed third in her class. In the fall of 1958, with her family’s prayers, she boarded a Trailways bus bound for Savannah, Ga., With a walking locker containing her belongings and a Pickett & Hatcher student loan. She was the first in her immediate family to attend university. (Three other siblings would also be heading to Savannah for college.) She drank her college experience deeply. She was a resident advisor for three years, a member of the Boar’s Head English Society and recognized in the Who’s Who during her graduate and undergraduate years. She received a Georgia State Scholarship in her final year. In the spring of 1960, she enlisted in the Delta Nu chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She graduated in 1962 with a BA in English. Years later (1991), she obtained a Masters in Secondary Education from Valdosta State College.
Louise was an accomplished educator. After graduating from college in 1962, she moved to Folkston, Georgia to teach high school English at the racially segregated Bethune Elementary and High School. When the school system integrated, she moved to Charlton County High School. Louise then moved on to the intermediate level to teach English and then became the intermediate level reading specialist. She received the Charlton County Teacher of the Year award for the 1992-93 school term. During her tenure, she chaired the Middle Class Department. Overall, she taught for 37 years in the Charlton County school system. She retired in 1999 with a brain aneurysm.
Louise celebrated her 53 years of marriage. On August 3, 1963, she married Jonathan Haywood at her parents’ house in Talbotton, Georgia. The two met at Savannah State College when Jonathan enrolled there in January 1959 after serving four years in the US Navy. After graduation, Jonathan convinced her to move to her hometown, Folkston, GA, to begin her teaching career. They were married for 53 years. From their union, they had a son, Maurice. Jonathan died in June 2017.
After moving to Folkston to begin teaching, she joined the Mt. Carmel Baptist Missionary Church. She served diligently and faithfully for many years. Her duties over the years have included: a Sunday school teacher; Sunday school secretary; Sunday School Superintendent; and church secretary for many years. She became a deaconess in 1977 when her husband, Jonathan, was ordained a deacon. During this time, she served as secretary of the council of deaconesses. Over the years, she has received numerous plaques and awards in recognition of her services.
In addition to her work and church-related commitments, she served as the Charlton County Library Board Treasurer for several years.
She kept her residence in Folkston after the death of her husband. However, she spent most of her time with her son and daughter-in-law in Baltimore, MD, as well as extended stays visiting family and loved ones. Her niece, Elvira S. Williams, ensured her mail and medications were delivered and helped maintain her residence. Over the past few years, she has become an active user of her cell phone, something she cared very little about before her husband passed away. She always ended her phone conversations with a word of prayer, simply saying, “Let me pray with you. ”
Louise died on Sunday February 21, 2021, at the age of 81, of congestive heart failure after a brief but very difficult hospital stay. She is survived by her son, Maurice (Lisa); grandchildren, Sydney Christina and Jonathan William; a sister, Lucile; one brother, Robert (Chestine); two sisters-in-law, Emma Jean Lamar and Mattie Lamar; and a host of nieces, nephews, friends and relatives.
In light of the global pandemic and out of caution, no official service will take place. Louise will be buried next to her husband at the Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Folkston, GA.
To honor her, the family plan to rename her husband’s scholarship fund to the “Jonathan & Louise Haywood Scholarship Fund”. If you would like to contribute, please send your donations to the following people:
Jonathan & Louise Haywood Scholarship Fund c / o Charlton County School System Attn: Dr. Brent Tilley Superintendent of Schools 37 Touchdown Lane Folkston, GA 31537.