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Cherry Waldrep Clements papers

Biographical Note

Evelyn Cherry Waldrep was born in Monroe County, Georgia on June 12, 1915 and grew up on a farm near Dublin, Georgia. After graduating from high school at age sixteen she enrolled in the Georgia State College for Women. After graduating in 1933, 18-year-old Cherry began her teaching career at a small school in rural Cabiness, Georgia. Cherry later attended Georgia Southern University as a prestigious Rosenwald Fellow, earning a B.S. in Education, before going on to earn a M.S. in Math Education at the University of Georgia (making her the first woman to do so).

She married classmate Hal Clements in 1941, prior to his enlistment in the United States Navy. At the end of World War II the Clements' began their careers in public education. After stints in Guyton, Claxton, Waynesboro and Canton, they moved to Atlanta in 1958. Cherry began a 27 year career at Druid Hills High school in DeKalb County, Georgia, where she was chair of the of the Math Department. Throughout her teaching career she was acknowledged for her educational abilities, earning Student-Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) Awards in 1967 and 1971. In 1972 she was deemed Atlanta Woman of the Year in Education. In 1976, the year she retired, she received the Gladys M. Thompson Award for Distinguished Service in Mathematics Education from the Georgia Council of Teachers.

After her retirement, Cherry dedicated herself to tireless volunteer work, and became involved in political and social activism, championing the homeless, the environment, world peace and nuclear disarmament. Along with her husband Hal, she was acknowledged by Georgia Southern University in 1989 for outstanding service to the community. They also received the coveted Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Senior Citizens Active in Community Service in 1992. Cherry Waldrep Clements in the classroom. In 1999 Cherry received the "Unsung Heroines" award from the Metropolitan Atlanta Coalition of 100 Black Women. Cherry was active in the North Decatur United Methodist Church, and served ten terms as president of the United Methodist Women's Organization. Widely known for her cooking abilities, Cherry authored and published three cookbooks: Monga Ma's Legacy (a collection of her mother's recipes), Mama's Bequest: Fifty Years of Good Cooking and Simply Delicious: Quantity Cooking for Churches. She also operated her own catering business, aptly named Cherry's Jubilee. Cherry Waldrep Clements died on Jan. 5, 2006.