Long time Clemmons resident celebrates centennial birthday

Published 12:07 am Thursday, December 28, 2023

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CLEMMONS — It was Dec. 17, 1923 when Raleigh residents Modie Lee and Ida Mae Brafford proudly announced the birth of their first child, a daughter and long-time Clemmons resident, Audrey Mae Brafford Clampitt.

Earlier this month, exactly 36,525 days, 5,217 weeks, 1,200 months and 100 years later, family and friends gathered at the Mary Alice Warren Community Center in Lewisville to celebrate her centennial milestone.

Clampitt met her future husband Otis C. Clampitt while he served in the Navy as a corpsman. As a Navy corpsman he was assigned to the Marine Corp. and would alternate between Navy and Marine uniforms when they were dating. This caused a bit of confusion for a neighbor when marriage plans were shared. The neighbor, who had observed the couple from her window, questioned whether she had decided to marry the Navy sailor or the Marine. 

Following their marriage the Clampitt’s moved to Winston-Salem and Clampitt worked in the financial department at Sears while her husband attended seminary at Piedmont Bible College. They then moved to their longtime home on Lewisville-Clemmons Road in 1954 when the then Rev. Clampitt became pastor of the Immanuel Baptist Church.

Clampitt became very involved in her church as a Sunday school teacher and then as an administrator and teacher at the church’s day care, kindergarten and school. She later worked as substitute teacher at several local schools. 

Clampitt credits her long life to her strong faith. Currently, she is a member of West Bend Baptist Church, where her husband was the pastor until 2008. At West Bend Baptist, she taught Sunday school until her mid-nineties and continues as an active and involved member. Her approach to life has always been “when faced with an issue or problem, if you can do something about it, do it, and if not don’t worry about it, just move on.”

At the recent celebration Clampitt was greeted by friends, family and former students whom she had taught. Her love of people, her caring and compassionate approach to everyone she meets and her interests in learning and teaching was evident by the large number that gathered to celebrate her birthday. She also received a letter of recognition and congratulations from Gov. Roy Cooper which included a centennial recognition certificate on behalf of the state of North Carolina.

In recent years, Clampitt has been a regular participant in a group of morning walkers at Clemmons First Baptist Church where she has a reputation for being a fast walker, walking five days a week. Additionally, she is a lifelong avid reader who usually has 4-5 books on hand at any given time and finds some time almost every day to spend reading.

Clampitt has always enjoyed her family and often welcomed neighborhood children and others at family gatherings, a practice which continues to this day.

She, and the late Rev. Clampitt, have four children, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.