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Lelia Oates "Ootsie" Darby

Lelia Oates "Ootsie" Darby
  • March 27, 1927 - May 25, 2020
  • Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
  • Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be made to:
  • James B. Edwards Elementary School
    855 Von Kolnitz Road
    Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
  • Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be made to:
  • Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church
    302 Hibben Street
    Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

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“My condolences to the family of Mrs. Darby. She was my 3rd grade (and my most favorite elementary school teacher). She certainly left her mark on...Read More »
1 of 22 | Posted by: Greg Dyer - Student

“Jack, I was very saddened to hear about the loss of your mother. She was a great lady. She always loved and treated Harold like her own son. He loved...Read More »
2 of 22 | Posted by: Elizabeth Porcher Drasites - SC

“Jack and Amy, I am so sorry to hear that Ms. Ootsie passed away. She will be missed terribly. I have a picture in my mind of my Grandma Dot and she...Read More »
3 of 22 | Posted by: Dorothy Johnson-Burris - SC

“Ootsie was a dear teaching friend of my mother, Mary Willard. They taught together at Mt. Pleasant Academy for a number of years. I was blessed to...Read More »
4 of 22 | Posted by: Cheré Willard Edwards

“Mrs. Darby was my 4th grade teacher, and I have never forgotten her, always remembering my time in her class with fondness. She was truly gifted and...Read More »
5 of 22 | Posted by: Lynda Evans Woerner - Foley, AL

“Ootsie was one of my oldest friends. I have know her all my life. She did so much for the neighborhood and was always helping someone. She was a true...Read More »
6 of 22 | Posted by: ANNE ROYALL - Friend

“Sorry to hear about the passing of my elementary school teacher, Mrs. Darby. Growing up in the little town of Mt. Pleasant in those days it was a...Read More »
7 of 22 | Posted by: Joseph "Jody" Riggs - SC

“What a true delight of a human being! I felt so fortunate when both my daughter and son had Mrs. Darby as a third grade teacher at James B. Edwards....Read More »
8 of 22 | Posted by: Roban Benich - Isle of Palms, SC

“Dear Jack and Amy,You are in our thoughts and prayers. So sorry to hear about your mom. We will keep your family in our prayers during this...Read More »
9 of 22 | Posted by: Pastor Mark & Bonnie Hornby - GA

“Mrs. Darby was my second grade teacher at Whitesides Ementary around 1959. She was absolutely one of my favorites! What a lovely lady. My parents...Read More »
10 of 22 | Posted by: Dianne Walters Ryan - Student

“Mrs.Darby was a wonderful loving person and fun to be around. Always a smile on her face and always had good advice to share. She will be missed by...Read More »
11 of 22 | Posted by: Laurie W Smith - Friend

“Lil squirt - did yo momma put yo hayid in de mix-mastah this mornin?My hair never would stay in one place and still generally wont. But my third...Read More »
12 of 22 | Posted by: Dan Schmiedt - Student

“We will miss a good friend and neighbor mrs. Oosie Darby a one of a kind.And we loved you.God bless you. ”
13 of 22 | Posted by: ERIC/ALMA HOWARD - Neighbor

“Mrs Darby was my fourth grade teacher at East Cooper School in Mt Pleasant. She was my absolute favorite teacher!!! One of her special gifts was how...Read More »
14 of 22 | Posted by: Jane Alford Szorc - Student

“So sorry to hear of Mrs Darby's passing. She honestly was the best teacher I ever had! She made learning so much fun! She will surely be missed. ”
15 of 22 | Posted by: Brad White - Lexington, SC

“Ootsie was truly one of kind. She will be missed dearly. ”
16 of 22 | Posted by: Frank & Roxanne RICCIO - SC

“Ootsie was always a much respected pillar of our neighborhood. She took great pride in her yard, gardens, and Christmas decorations --- and they were...Read More »
17 of 22 | Posted by: Fran Best


“I was blessed to be one of Ootsie's students in the 60s and remember her fondly.She was an excellent teacher and was highly respected by all who were...Read More »
19 of 22 | Posted by: Robbie Freeman - Charleston, SC

“Please accept condolences on behalf of the Dye family ”
20 of 22 | Posted by: Chris Dye - Charleston, SC

“Ms. Ootsie was our neighbor for many years. She was a very special lady and will be missed. ”
21 of 22 | Posted by: Beverly Utz - Mount Pleasant, SC

“God Bless the Family ”
22 of 22 | Posted by: Keith Wallace - Flowery Branch, GA

Lelia Oates "Ootsie" Darby, 93, of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, wife of the late Luther O. "Bud" Darby entered into eternal rest Monday, May 25, 2020. A private graveside service will be held in Mount Pleasant Memorial Gardens, 1308 Mathis Ferry Road at a later date. Arrangements by J. Henry Stuhr, Inc. Mount Pleasant Chapel.

Ootsie was born March 27, 1927 in York County, South Carolina, daughter of the late Jake Oates and the late Isabel Jackson Oates. She was a graduate of Erskine College and received her Master's degree from The Citadel. Her teaching career began in Winnsboro, South Carolina where she met her future husband. In 1949, Ootsie became Mrs. L.O. Darby. The couple moved to Charleston where "Bud" went to the Citadel as a veteran and majored in engineering while Ootsie worked as a school secretary for Bethel Methodist Church. Her first teaching job was in Mount Pleasant under Mamie P. Whitesides. She taught in Fairfax and Brunson, South Carolina when her husband was transferred there. Soon however the returned to Mount Pleasant to stay. Mrs. L.O. "Ootsie" Darby was a favorite teacher you would remember. She was an inspiration for the thousands of young people fortunate enough to be in her classroom during the 36 years she devoted to her profession. Mrs. L.O. Darby was the Girl Scout Neighborhood Chairman for the Savannah River Girl Scout Council. Mrs. Darby was selected by the Fort Sumter Business and Professional Women's Club as East Cooper Teacher of the year in 1967. Teaching was not the only field in which "Ootsie" Darby has been Successful. She co-authored a series of supplementary readers with Mrs. M. L. Causey, called "South Carolina Indians and was followed by "A Guide Book to South Carolina". If teaching, writing, tutoring, working in the Sunday School of Hibben United Methodist Church and serving on the executive board of Mamie Whiteside PTA were not enough to keep her busy, Ootsie and her husband Bud Darby were the proud parents of a son, Jack. She was a beloved teacher by students and parents. Lelia "Ootsie" Darby became the 95th inductee to the Charleston Federation of Women's Club Hall of Fame. She taught school for over 36 years. She was an active member of the Bayview Acres Civic Club for over 40 years and Delta Kappa Gamma teacher's Sorority.. She was a faithful member of Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church and involved in many senior activities. Ootsie retired as a teacher after 36 years from James B. Edwards Elementary School. She was considered an "Educator Extraordinaire".

She is survived by son, John "Jack" Jackson Darby and her daughter-in-law, Amy, of Loganville, GA and grandson, Joshua Pendley Darby of Atlanta, GA. She was preceded in death by two brothers, Monroe Jackson Oates and Grady Rembert Oates.

Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be made to James B. Edwards Elementary School, 855 Von Kolnitz Road, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 or Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church, 302 Hibben Street, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464.

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