Sally Mildred Cantrell was born in Green Creek, Polk County, North Carolina on July Fourth, 1928. She grew up on a farm, fourth child to Webb and Ethel Cantrell. She is predeceased by her parents and all of her siblings: Dean Cantrell, Lou Ree Cantrell Pierce, Bruce Cantrell, and Wesley Cantrell. The family worked the farm during the week and on Sundays they rested and attended Green Creek Baptist Church.
Mildred happily left the farm behind when she journeyed to the big town of Spartanburg in 1945 to attend junior college. She was smitten by the dashing William N. Fridy, just back from the war, and they were married in 1946. Bill worked at the Spartanburg Water Department, and Mildred started her job at Whitlock’s Pharmacy. They attended First Baptist Church Spartanburg.
In 1975, Mildred lost the love of her life when Bill died. She continued working at Whitlock’s and looked after her mother, who moved in with her shortly thereafter. Once Whitlock’s closed, she found a new career at Wade’s Restaurant as a cashier. Her new job allowed her to keep one eye on the till while knitting, and watching the younger Lindsey family behind the counter.
Mildred met dozens of presidential candidates at Wade’s, but what she really enjoyed was meeting her Spartanburg neighbors. She was a whiz at the cash register, dazzling the younger generation with her ease at counting back change long before and after the digital register did the math. She worked at Wade’s until she was 89, thanks in no small part to the support of her adopted Lindsey family.
Mildred has eleven nieces and nephews and 17 grand-nieces and grand-nephews. She was always jolly and generous to them all. Her dad taught her back on the farm that “There is so much good in the worst of us and so much bad in the best of us that ill-behooved the best of us to talk about the rest of us.” Mildred’s life began and ended in this kind of commonsense decency and faith.
Mildred’s family are forever thankful for the excellent care she received in her last years from the wonderful staff of Eden Terrace, DaySpring Caregivers and Interim Hospice.
Visitation will be 6:00 – 8:00 pm Friday, December 2, 2022 at Floyd’s Greenlawn Chapel, 2075 East Main Street, Spartanburg, SC, 29307. Funeral service will be 2:00 pm Saturday, December 3, 2022 at First Baptist Spartanburg, 250 E. Main Street, Spartanburg, SC 29306, conducted by The Rev. Robert C. Morgan and The Rev. Sal Barone. Burial will follow in Greenlawn Memorial Gardens, 1300 Fernwood-Glendale Road, Spartanburg, SC 29307.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the Youth Ministries Fund at First Baptist Church of Spartanburg, 250 E. Main Street, Spartanburg, SC 29306.
Floyd’s Greenlawn Chapel