Menda Gamble Pettway

Published 7:17 pm Thursday, November 30, 2017

Mrs. Menda Gamble Pettway, the widow of the late Joseph Pettway, entered the realm of glory on Nov. 24, 2017.

Mrs. Pettway, a longtime business owner, teacher, mother, voting rights activist, community servant, loyal church member and child of God, worked unceasingly to better her world.

Born in Counsel on Oct. 29, 1923, a graduate of Marengo County High School, Selma University and Alabama State Teacher’s College, Mrs. Pettway worked as an elementary school teacher in Marengo and Wilcox counties. Mrs. Pettway worked to break the bonds of segregation, disenfranchisement and social injustice. Although a registered voter, prior to the passing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Mrs. Pettway and her son, Joseph Jr., participated in numerous marches including the culminating march of the Selma to Montgomery March.

Mrs. Pettway worked, at the voting polls for 50 years and served as a deputy registrar, who registered a majority of the voters in her community.

A quiet, dignified voice of wisdom and faith, Mrs. Pettway grew up in Sydney’s Chapel A.M.E.Z. Church and converted to Missionary Baptist with her husband. She was a member, deaconess, and Sunday school teacher at Mt. Sinai M.B. Church.

She and her husband owned and operated Pettway’s Place for over 50 years. Their business suffered boycotts in the 60’s by wholesale businesses due to their efforts to secure voting rights for all citizens.

Mrs. Pettway was recognized and received numerous honors from various organizations including Psi Omicron Omega Chapter, Soror of the Year Award, Trailblazer Award from the Wilcox County Alabama Democratic Conference Chapter, the National Voting Rights Museum, Congresswoman Terri Sewell and President Barack Obama.

Her family, of whom she was so proud, includes, her children, Judge Jo Celeste Pettway (Rtd.), coach Joseph (Felecia) Pettway, attorney Shirley Rand and the Rev. Maxwell (Trina) Cabble; grandchildren, Antione, Dr. Joy, Kim, Jeff, Adam, Naadira, Jamal, Iman, Trey, Naomi, Michael, Anthony and Kingston. A member of the O.E.S. for over 70 years, that ceremony is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, at Lewis Brothers Funeral Home followed at 6:30 p.m. by the A.K.A. Ivy Beyond the Wall Ceremony. The funeral service is Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, at Mt. Sinai M.B. Church in Alberta.