Sen. Thurmond’s Ex-Sitter Dies at 109
SALUDA, S.C. (AP) - Lois Crouch Matheny Addy, who baby-sat for Sen. Strom Thurmond when he was a boy and always voted for him, has died. She was 109.
Addy, a retired schoolteacher and principal, died Monday at the Saluda Nursing Center.
“Mrs. Lois was such a fine lady and took good care of me and all the other children,” said Thurmond, who turned 99 on Wednesday.
Addy often was interviewed on election days when she cast her vote for the nation’s oldest and longest-serving senator.
“Thurmond always came by to see her when he was coming to visit,” said nursing center administrator Robert Bowles. “A lot of our residents grew up with her
and knew her well.”
In a 1995 interview, Addy recalled taking care of a young Thurmond, whose father was law partner with Addy’s brother-in-law.
“Beginning when he was 2, he would spend the day with my sister and she would call me and my two little sisters to come play with him,” Addy said. "Since I was older, I took charge of him.
“The easiest way to entertain him was riding horseback,” she said. “We felt like he was our little brother.”
She also recalled meeting Woodrow Wilson at a reception the day he was inaugurated as president in 1913.
“You never saw such fireworks and goings on as it was that night,” she said. “It was fantastic. That’s the highlight of my life.”
Addy said that she had gone to the polls for every national election since women were allowed to vote in 1920.
“I’ve always supported Strom Thurmond, and I still intend to,” she said in 1996, when he ran for his last term. “It’s the brain that counts, not his physical condition. As long as you have a good, workable brain, you’re fit for office.”
A memorial service was scheduled for Thursday at St. Paul United Methodist Church.
Thurmond has said he will retire when his term ends in January 2003. He recently moved into the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and is using a wheelchair to get around the Capitol.