2017-12-08 / Front Page

World traveler celebrates 100th birthday

Contributed by Doris Greene

Rubie Nixon Schumpert Rubie Nixon Schumpert At noon Saturday, November 18, a host of family and friends gathered at Trinity Baptist Church Family Life Center to celebrate the 100th birthday of retired educator and world traveler, Rubie Nixon Schumpert. The banquet hall was decorated with an ice sculpture of the Eiffel Tower, a birthday cake shaped like the Great Pyramids with inlaid images of Nefertiti and King Tut, and captivating floral centerpieces highlighted with world maps, created an atmosphere of all the far away places which Schumpert has visited. Guiding the maiden flight were copilot Doris Adams and pilot Beryl Dakers, mistress of ceremonies.

Resplendent in a red silk kimono, Schumpert was escorted into the hall to the tune of “Ruby, Ruby” by her grandsons Darrell Mack and H. Shelton Lorick.

A salute befitting the honoree flowed throughout the afternoon with proclamations issued by Mayor Steve Benjamin, U.S. Congressman James E. Clyburn, S. C. Legislator Leon Howard, and Benedict College represented by Robert Squirewell.

Her great granddaughters ( Onya Edwards, Nailah Mack, Kennedi Whaley, Keirston Lorick, and Kamille Whaley) brought greetings in multi- languages. The grandchildren (Bartina Edwards, Darrell Mack, H. Sheldon Lorick, and Camilla Mack) captured Schumpert’s bio in four segments entitled “A Life Well Lived.” Her oldest nephew, Randolph Washington, gave a laudatory oral history of the Nixon family and his Aunt Rubie’s impactful contributions as a role model matriarch.

Longtime associates and friends paying tribute were Marlene McClerklin, former coworker; Delores Hall Haynes, former student; Wallace Brown of St. John Baptist Church, spoke of Schumpert’s unwavering servant leadership; and The Rev. Dr. Jamey O. Graham, St. John Baptist Church pastor, who brought forth the invocation and spoke of Schumpert as an exemplary woman of faith.

Entertainment included Praise Dancers of First Calvary Baptist Church, an African dance performed by a student of Benedict College Dance Group, and a family chorus with a duet by Lauren and Kennedy Bassard.

The RNS Flight 100 landed safely with more than 200 well wishers aboard singing “Happy Birthday” and receiving departing remarks from the honoree’s daughters LaVerne S. Bassardand LaMaris S. Mack. Closing reflections— witty, insightful, gracious, scholarly, and profound— were made by Schumpert, who was joined by her two surviving siblings: Mable Nixon Guider, age 101, and Ione Nixon Knight, age 91.

Schumpert was the third of nine children, born in Richland County November 22, 1917. She was married to the late Barton Schumpert.

Editor’s note: Schumpert graduated from Harbison Institute in 1937 and earned degrees from Barber Scotia College and Benedict College. She obtained her master of education degree from South Carolina State College and did further studies at Wake Forest University and the University of South Carolina.

Schumpert earned certification in six areas of study: elementary education, social studies, English, mathematics, French, and counseling.

She began her professional career in Lexington County where she served as an elementary and high school teacher, head teacher, and elementary principal. Later in her career, she worked in Richland County School District One at C. A. Johnson High School, was a guidance counselor and was chairman of the math department.

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