Nancy Anderson Self, a 1934 Lander University graduate, celebrated her 100th birthday on Nov. 8, but, despite having reached her centennial year, she is still a “kid” sister.
Nan, as she is called by family and friends, shares an apartment with her sister Rebecca Calcott at the Still Hopes Episcopal Retirement Community in Columbia. Rebecca, a 1929 Lander graduate, will celebrate her birthday in December when she turns 104.
Their sister, Frances Hart, of Conway, is 102. She and her twin sister, Mary Motte Herbert, graduated from Lander in 1933. Mary died in Charleston in 2009 at the age of 98.
Scientists who study longevity might be interested in taking a look at other names on the Anderson’s family tree.
The four sisters had a brother, Perrin Anderson, a former Greenwood attorney, judge and state representative. He died in 2000 as he was nearing his 100th birthday.
But the longest-living member of the family so far was Thomas Anderson, of Greenwood, their father. He lived to be 107. His wife was much younger, in her 80s, when she died.
Nan, the family’s newest centenarian, and her late husband, William, were the parents of four children: Edwin Self, of Columbia; Sue Frey, of Virginia Beach, Va.; W. Osce of Charlotte, N.C.; and Nancy, who has since died.
Edwin said his mother retired after a 30-year career as a teacher at schools in Ninety Six and Columbia, where she taught third grade. According to Edwin, his mother and her sisters are in relatively good health. In fact, his mother finds time to attend exercise classes three times a week.
Thelma Clark, who also lives at Still Hopes and accompanies Nancy to exercise, said of the family, “They have good genes.”
Like the Anderson sisters, Thelma Clark and her family also have ties to Lander. She was Thelma Chiles when she graduated in 1949. Three sisters are also Lander graduates: Vivian Chiles Counts ’43, of North Augusta; the late Margaret Chiles Barnes ’53; and Irene Chiles Browning ’55, of Madison, Ala. Her sister-in-law Elizabeth Long Chiles, who lives in Greenwood, graduated from Lander in 1946.
Thelma said she and her sisters were born in McCormick and grew up in Greenwood.