Jennifer Disney, Ph.D
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Annette Brunson Sutcliffe was born in Orangeburg, South Carolina on October 10, 1937. She was welcomed home by her parents, Ruben and Susie Brunson, a grandmother, and an older sister. Five years later a brother was added to the family. Annette finished high school and entered college to pursue a two-year degree in business. She soon met and married Edward Carter and had three children. Fourteen years after they wed, Edward was killed in an automobile accident. After four years of being a widow, Annette married Linnie R. Sutcliffe, and they combined her three children with his five children. Annette and Linnie established their home and raised this new family in Norway, South Carolina. Annette resumed employment to help support the large family. She realized the importance of structure and delegation in this large household. To teach responsibility, Annette and Linnie delegated household responsibilities to each child. As Annette says, “No matter how young a child is, he can be assigned a task to complete with the framework of the family.” Priority was also given to family gatherings, where games were played and ice cream cones were shared. Annette and Linnie also emphasized family devotions, encouraging the children to have their own “time alone with God.” The Sutcliffes raised their children to be successful adults. Through all of the joys and trials of life, including a house fire that destroyed their home, the death of her husband and a granddaughter, and two bouts with cancer, Annette's faith in God only grew stronger. Her tragedies motivated her to reach out and help others in her community. Among many other things, her resume of community service includes teaching Sunday School, organizing Parents without Partners, leading the youth choir, providing meals to shut-ins, and volunteering with hospice work and jail ministry. She also opened her home to four foster children. According to her family friend, "Annette's life testimony is evidence that putting two families together in a loving relationship can be done with God’s help.”
Oral History | United States History | Women's History
Sutcliffe, Annette Brunson, "Interview with Annette Brunson Sutcliffe" (2015). South Carolina Mother of the Year Oral History Archives. 10.