Rev. Edith W. Holiday-Austin, lives by the philosophy that “hard work won’t kill you, but worry will!” And at 90 years of age, she shows no signs of slowing down! She trusts that her belief in God and a good education has guided her throughout her life.
Born into a large loving family in the Leon County community of Barrow Hill, Rev. Edith has spent her life pursuing and providing education. To get to school, she and her sister left home at 5 a.m., rode the Greyhound bus into town, often returning home after dark. She excelled in academics and enjoyed playing basketball in high school. She states she still has great aim and can still “land a ball of paper in a box across the room.”
After high school, she married and had three children–two sons and a daughter. The marriage ended, and as a single mom, she enrolled in college, earned a BS and MS in Elementary Education from FAMU, and a certificate in Education Supervision and Administration from FSU. She worked for almost 40 years as an elementary and high school educator and was named “Teacher of the Year” before retiring from Leon County Schools.
Education was also a top priority for her children, and she is exceedingly proud that all three children went to college and had interesting and successful careers.
Since retiring, Rev. Edith has remained very active in her church and community. Called to service and a believer in “speaking when we need to; being quiet when we must,” she became a pastor for the AME church. She belongs to the National Association of University Women Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, the Leon County Teacher’s Association, Jake Gaither Neighborhood Association, the Masonic Order of Heroines of Templar Crusade, Order of Eastern Star, Order of Calanthe, the Barrow Hill Pallbearer Lodge, OJ Chestnut Assembly #207, United Sons & Daughter of Joshua.
Rev. Edith also describes herself as an entrepreneur. She is the former co-owner of the Chicken Shack Café, and currently provides housing to low-income families. In her spare time, she enjoys her family, gardening, sewing, cooking, and baking cakes and pies.
What is her recipe for successful aging? Learn to respect yourself and others, remember to love the unlovable, eat right, take your vitamins, and live a godly life to find peace, joy, and love.