Castain, Mae Etta (Mrs. Cammie)


Mae Etta Castain was born on June 22, 1902 in Waco , Texas . She died in her sleep on November 11, 2008 , at St. John's Retirement Village , Stollwood Convalescent Hospital , in Davis , California at the age of 106. Her husband, Rev. Cammie Eldridge Castain, preceded her in death.

Rev. Castain served churches in Monroe , Houma , Plaquemine, Alexandria , Leesville, Booneville, Natchitoches and Bogalusa , Louisiana . While Mrs. Castain lived in Alexandria , she was active in the Retired Teachers Association. She helped organize Church Women United and was active in United Methodist Women after The United Methodist Church was integrated in 1968. She assisted in the creation of Friendship House for Senior Citizens and she served on the Executive Board of Girl Scouts of America in Alexandria .

Mrs. Castain was an elementary school teacher and active United Methodist Church volunteer. She fought for equal rights with other black teachers in Plaquemine in the NAACP's national “Equal Pay for Work” lawsuit in the mid-1940's with attorney Thurgood Marshall. She was fired for her activism and vowed not to teach again.

The NAACP won the lawsuits for teachers in several states as an important civil rights victory for black teachers across the nation under Marshall 's leadership, which inspired Mrs. Castain to start teaching again after her husband was transferred to preach at a church in Alexandria , where he served until his retirement in 1967.

In 1982, she began the second half of her retirement by moving to Davis , California to live with her daughter and son-in-law, Corrine and Joe Singleton. There, she was a member of Davis United Methodist Church , the Worship Commission, the Membership Care Commission and other church committees. She remained active at the Retirement Village , where she resided after her 100 th birthday. She enjoyed working out with barbells, enjoyed the many games and social activities, going to barbecues at the Yolo County Fairgrounds, and remaining active in Bible study at the Center.

Mrs. Castain was much loved by family and friends, and she will be missed.

Source: Louisiana Conference Journal, 2009

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