Mildred Louise Roark Buie
Mildred Louise Roark, third child of Tom and Minnie Roark, was born in 1926 at Birchwood, Hamilton County, Tennessee. She, like the two preceding children, was delivered by Dr. L. L. Fridell. Her oldest brother was Donald Beno Roark and her older sister was Mary Winona Roark. According to her mother, Mildred was a healthy and happy child throughout her childhood. Home, school and church comprised life’s activities for the Tom and Minnie Roark family. Congeniality, love and individual responsibilities describe the home atmosphere. The entire family attended Sunday school and church at Salem Baptist Church.
Mildred attended Birchwood School where her second and fifth grade teachers were her relatives---Miss Beatrice Conner, second grade, and Mr. Jake Roark, fifth grade. She enjoyed school and tried to emulate her two older siblings who were excellent students. When she was in sixth grade, the family moved from Birchwood to Huntland, Franklin County, Tennessee. That relocation was necessitated because the TVA dam flooded the fertile river bottom acreage of the family farm. By that date in January 1938, Mildred had three more bothers, namely Vaugh Allen Roark, born in 1928; Neal Samuel Roark, born in 1930 and Virgil Sherwood Roark, born in 1934.
In Huntland, Tennessee the family was excited to live in a much larger and more modern home. Then a new baby sister, Jo Ann Roark, was born three weeks after the relocation and that set the stage for family life. All five of the oldest Roark children quickly and successfully created their niche in their new school where a more comprehensive curriculum was offered, Additionally, Huntland High had interscholastic competitive basketball for both boys and girls. Mildred excelled in basketball, setting a school record of three consecutive all-tournament awards while maintaining good grades.
Following graduation from Huntland High School, Mildred and older sister Winona enrolled at Tennessee Tech at Cookeville, Tennessee in the fall of 1944. To help with finances, Mildred worked various campus jobs and for several months she was employed at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. (The atomic bomb was dropped during the time of her Oak Ridge employment, 1945). Mildred was a leader in several college organizations while remaining on the Dean’s List. The most desirable and distinguished honor was being elected to Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.
In the fall of 1947 while lacking only one quarter for graduation, Mildred took employment for one year at Clinton High School, Clinton, Tennessee as a physical education teacher and girls’ basketball coach. She returned to Tech to graduate in the summer of 1948.
She earned a B.S. Degree from Tennessee Tech in 1948, an M.A. Degree from Vanderbilt University, previously known as Peabody College, in 1952 and a specialist degree in Guidance Counseling and Psychometry from Georgia State University in 1975.
Subsequent teaching jobs comprising Mildred’s forty-one years as an educator were in Selma, Alabama; Pensacola, Florida and in Columbus, Georgia. In the summers, Mildred attended George Peabody College, Nashville, Tennessee and earned an M.A. degree in 1952.
On April 15, 1952, she married Raphael Sneed, who at that time was one of the highly successful coaches at Pensacola High School where Mildred was teaching. Raphael was the son of a Methodist minister, a graduate and outstanding athlete of the University of Alabama. No children were born of that marriage. Raphael died of a massive heart attack 24 December 1975 and was buried in the Pittsview, Alabama cemetery where Mildred will be buried by his side. They were married for 23 years.
Living and teaching in Columbus, Georgia when husband Raphael died, Mildred continued to maintain a nearby farm in Pittsview, Alabama and the Columbus home, and continued her teaching career. Subsequent to her retirement in 1988, after a total of forty-one years as an educator, an annual Service Award was named in her honor at the school from which she retired. During her early retirement, Mildred enjoyed the privilege of serving on the Roark Conner Association Board of Directors in 1994-1995 and then served as president of that outstanding association in 1996-1997.
Mildred was reared as Baptist, married into the Methodist Church and finally in 1978 she joined the First Presbyterian Church of Columbus, Georgia where she remained an active member. In addition to singing in the adult choir, she has served in several leadership roles which include Moderator of Presbyterian Women; she was elected and served first as a deacon and then as an elder.
After sixteen years as a widow, Mildred married Colonel (Retired) David Monroe Buie in June 1991 at First Presbyterian Church of Columbus, Georgia. Following graduation from Presbyterian College at Clinton, South Carolina, David had a distinguished military career of thirty-three years. He was prominent in civic affairs and especially as a church leader, serving as a deacon, elder and for twenty-one years as an adult Sunday school teacher. He died 5 March 1999 from cancer and is buried at the Fort Benning Main Post Cemetery.
During her retirement years, she enjoyed some highly educational and enjoyable travel. Perhaps the most revered travel was the trip she and David made in Israel and Jordan in 1998. She also thoroughly enjoyed her travels to Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Belgium, France, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Alaska, Hawaii and most of the lower forty eight states.
Both David and Mildred were very active in church activities. Both served as deacons and then elders at First Presbyterian church. Also, David taught a Sunday school class for twenty-five years and now that class bears his name, “The Buie Commitment Class”. Mildred enjoyed participation in the special Adult Choir for many years.
Summarily, Mildred Roark Buie has been truly blessed with the gift of being born in America, into an absolutely wonderful family, and has enjoyed good health and a rewarding career. Few people have been privileged to experience a forty-one year career in education. Even fewer can proclaim God’s richest blessing of being married to two wonderful husbands whose love and memorable companionship remained constantly in the heart and mind of Mildred.
Funeral services will be held Friday, May 10, 2019 at 12 Noon, EST, at Pittsview Memorial Cemetery in Pittsview, Alabama with the Reverend Chuck Hasty officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to First Presbyterian Church of Columbus or the American Cancer Society in honor of Mildred.
- Graveside Funeral Service Friday, May 10, 2019
Mildred Louise Roark Buie
Terry & Johanna Roark
May 10, 2019
The Roark-Conner Association family extends its deepest appreciation to Mildred for her years of support and for having served as both Director and President. Her service helped ensure that the R-CA was able to continue connecting the Roark and Conner families and preserving information on our ancestors for future generations. We extend our love and prayers to the family.
Love, Johanna and Terry Roark (R-CA President, 2019)
An excerpt from the July 1996 Newsletter in Tribute to Mildred Buie:
"A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
Even our fondest memories fade with time, so it is clearly time to refresh your memories of relatives by planning to attend the 1996 Roark-Conner Reunion. ... KEEP THE REUNION VIBRANT, WELL SUPPORTED AND GROWING !!!" Mildred R Buie