|Birth: ||Jun. 8, 1884|
South Carolina, USA
|Death: ||May 8, 1978|
Ex-Winthrop Instructor Mrs Christine Gee Dies
Greenwood - Mrs Christine South Gee, 93 a former Winthrop College instructor, widow of Dr Nathaniel Gist Gee, died Monday in Macon, Georgia.
Born in Waterloo, she was a daughter of the late John Henderson and Alice Puckett South.
Mrs Gee, who received an A B and an honorary degree from Winthrop College, also earned B S and M A degrees from Columbia College.
She was a member of Main Street United Methodist, a public school teacher and head of the home economics department at the Women's College in Greensboro, NC.
She was a state leader of the SC Home Demonstration works, president of the SC Women Council for Common Good and she received that organization's distinguished service award.
She was South Carolina Woman of the Year in Rural Service in 1945, a member of the State Nutrition Commission and she served on the State Adult Education Committee at Winthrop College. She also received Winthrop's distinguished service award in 1962.
Mrs Gee had lived in China while her husband with the Rockefeller Foundation [sic].
Surviving are two daughters, Mrs Mallory C Gee Atkinson of Macon and Mrs Claribel Gee Baskin* of Coral Gables, Florida; and several grand and great grandchildren.
Services will be 2 pm Thursday at Main Street United Methodist Church, with entombment in Edgewood Memorial Mausoleum. Blyth Funeral Home is in charge.
*Note: Mrs Gee was apparently the stepmother of Claribel Gee, whose mother is noted in her wedding announcement and obituary as Clara Bell Davis Gee.
Thank you to Anna for the above research on Christine Gee. In addition to the above information: I offer the following helpful research.
The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Vol. 73, Page 7 reports that Mrs. Christine South Gee (DAR#72013) was born in Laurens Co., SC. This is the information that is listed regarding her lineage: Descendant of John Knight of South Carolina; Daughter of John Henderson South, b. 1858; and Hattie Alice Puckett, b. 1867, his wife whom he married in 1882.
Granddaughter of John Alexander Puckett (1817-1869) and Katherine Boyd (1812-1855), his first wife married 1837.
Great great Granddaughter of William Puckett (1787-1852) and Delilah Knight (1797-1876), his wife, married 1713.
Great great great granddaughter of John Knight and Polly Rutledge (d. 1810); his 1st wife (page 7). John Knight (1747-1848) enlisted from Kershaw District, SC, and performed various tours under Capt. Benjamin Hale and Colonel Taylor. He was born in SC, died in Laurens Co., SC. Reference: See also DAR ID #68954 (Mrs. Kimpie Knight Powell, wife of Marion Lee Powell). She was the great granddaughter of John Knight, Jr., and Mary Jones and the great great granddaughter of John Knight and Polly Rutledge.
Christine Gee traveled many times back and forth from America to Soochow China. Once arriving 27 Jul 1910 into the Port of New Orleans.
As a matter of record, the award (degree) that was conferred upon her was actually a Doctor of Humanities, which was the highest honor that the college ever bestowed upon a person. She also received the Mary Mildred Sullivan Award for her service to mankind. The Winthrop College Alumnae Association gave her its first Distinguished Service Award. She is included in the Who's Who of American Women.
From China Voyager, a book written about her husband, Clara Belle Davis is mentioned. She followed Gist Gee from Yorkville Female Academy to Columbia Female College. Later she would leave Columbia Female College with graduating. After completing a year at Dongwu University, Gee met up with Clara Belle. They were married in the US consulate on 24 Sep 1902 and returned to Suzhou. In 1903, Gee and Clara Bell had 1st child, Charles, named after her father. In 1906, a second child Gertrude after Gee's mother and in 1912, 3rd child Drucilla, after Gee's grandmother. In 1919, Clara Belle was pregnant. She was 39 had successful pregnancies. However, they had a C section 04 October to save the baby. They named her Claribel, a variant spelling of her mother's name. Clara Belle would be taken to the Mayo Clinic in the US and Little Claribel would be taken to the States as well. No hope would come for Clara Belle, and she would die 22 Apr 1920.
All this to say, obviously, that this concurs the children's names and arrivals. Christine South would meet him in a pre arranged way. In collusion with a friend of her's Wilson Gee arranged a meeting between her and his elder brother "who needed help making a home." A biographer of Christine's would claim that "from the time Gee proposed, she kept him waiting two years." However, according to Christine, she accepted his Thanksgiving proposal (probably by mail) on New Year's Day (also by mail). Christine's boss at the home demonstration office stated that Christine was "beautiful in neither face nor figure." She was 32 and for girls to be married who were from South Carolina, in 1920, this was late for her to be not already married. Gee's sister, was 48 and unmarried, and fear was that Christine was well on her way to being just like her, unmarried. Christine's friend McCoy who freely gave his opinion of her looks and figure also offered this comment of her opportunity to marry Gist Gee, "If 'tweren't him, 'tweren't nobody." They were married in 1923. Just a word about Christine and Drucilla, daughter of her husband. Drusilla was the favorite daughter of Gist's and Christine was jealous of her. The problem was that Drucilla never accepted Christine's authority as her stepmother. In 1928, Drucilla left for the states to attend Winthrop College, oddly enough, her step mother's alma mater. This made it more tolerable in Beijing at home with her husband.
I recall in the book China Voyager, page 257, that Drucilla came home late from a dinner date one night. Christine slapped her and lit into her for to washing the dishes. Drusilla would not defend herself. Claribel, the youngest went after Christine telling her that she should be ashamed. Gist Gee, came in and sent them all to their rooms. Eventually they would "get along" as best as they could. Christine had interrupted her career to marry Gee. Eventually they would move back to SC and at age 60 Gist would learn to drive. Once, they were in the car with Claribel and Christine's maiden aunt Agatha. They were traveling from Spartanburg (a long drive when Gee drove so slowly). He was not adept at passing cars. About 5 miles from home in Greenwood, SC, he was trying to overtake a truck and Claribel saw an oncoming car and told her daddy to floor it. The car was not very quick on the uptake but they began to pass. Just as he thought he missed it, cut the wheel to return to the right lane. He made the move too soon and clipped the front of the truck with his rear bumper. The car slid off the road ad they were pushed sideways. They slid off the right front of the truck and tumbled into the ditch along the side of the road. Christine and Agatha were trapped under the rear seat of the car. Clearable was stunned, but unhurt. Gee, however, was slumped over the wheel of the car. He had no physical injury except to his chest where he had hit the steering wheel. He was so consumed by guilt and took full responsibility for any injuries sustained by the women.
Christine would later in the year be by his bedside as he would become more ill and eventually died. Around midnight, he would be heard to say "Poor China." Around 2:30 his opened and Christine stood up at the end of his bed so that he could see her. He leaned his head to one side and said "Clara Belle" then turned his head to the other side and softly said "Mother" and then he was gone. This would be 18 Dec 1937.
I do know that she traveled after the death of Gist Gee. In 1931, she traveled to San Pedro at age 47, with Claribel, age 11. They were on the Japanese Prince from New Orleans via Cristobal, 10 Jul 1931 to San Pedro. This document lists her date of birth as 06 Aug 1884. Christine is listed as Married. A handwritten note on this form reads: Not landed, delayed on board, not inspected.
Also, on the S.S. Bremer 04 Jul 1933, arriving at the Port of New York, 10 Jul 1933, she and Claribel were traveling again. Here is the last entry (right now) that I have for them. Their address in the States was listed as 150 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY. The only two discrepancies I have found are these: She is listed as born 08 Jun 1884 and is 47. This is dated two years later than the trip on the Japanese Prince. Claribel is listed at age 13. So she aged, and Christine didn't? Claribel is listed as being born in Soochow, China 04 Oct 1919.
John Henderson South (1858 - 1935)
Hattie Alice Puckett South (1867 - 1916)
Nathaniel Gist Gee (1876 - 1937)
South Carolina, USA
Maintained by: Wyndy South
Originally Created by: Anna
Record added: Apr 30, 2014
Find A Grave Memorial# 128807626
Added: Mar. 28, 2017