Jennifer Disney, Ph.D
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Marianna Black Habisreutinger was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina, joining the seventh generation of her family – a legacy of farmers and physicians who emigrated from Ireland and Scotland. Their profound connection to the land and their healing gifts became her inheritance. Instilling the family heritage was an utmost priority for Marianna and her husband, Roger. That heritage embraced principles and values of love, honesty, trust, respect, manners, open communication, and pride in family and community. Marianna graduated from the University of Mississippi with a BA in Education and taught school before marrying. She and Roger married in 1968 and raised three children. Family bonds were nurtured through a home that welcomed their children's friends. They encouraged open exchanges and sharing of experiences with all. A consummate community volunteer, Marianna set an example for charitable pursuits for her children and others by serving on numerous boards devoted primarily to the arts, healthcare, and higher education. She considers her family’s proudest legacy to be many years of kindness and generosity to both family and neighbors. She sums up her motherhood experiences in the following words: "Motherhood has allowed me to express more fully who I am. I understand more intimately the importance of loving and trusting one another within a family, an insight that has enriched all of my relationships and my role in my community. Like my parents, my signature lesson for my children always has been kindness and graciousness toward all people. Motherhood developed greater tenderness in my heart for other children, deepening the love I felt for students I taught in under-privileged schools as a young woman. My decades of work with the Girls Home and other organizations are expressions of the recognition that all children are precious, sacred beings who need our care."
Oral History | United States History | Women's History
Habisreutinger, Marianna Black, "Interview with Marianna Black Habisreutinger" (2015). South Carolina Mother of the Year Oral History Archives. 15.