Cover photo for Sara 'Mama Sara' Major (Patton)'s Obituary
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1934 Sara 2023

Sara 'Mama Sara' Major (Patton)

February 7, 1934 — February 11, 2023

Sara Patton Major, child of God, cherished friend, and beloved mother joined all the saints in heaven on Saturday, February 11, 2023.

Called “Mama Sara” by scores, she was born in Wellington, AL on February 7, 1934, to the late Willie Herschel and Flora Dessie McElreath Patton. The child (and later, wife) of a railroad man, her life was marked by many moves, the most significant being to Calhoun Falls, SC in 1940. It was there she made life-long friends, grew in her faith, met her adored husband, Grady Howard Major, and nurtured more children in her home than can be named. Aside from their own seven, over the years Sara and Howard loved more than a dozen foster children and provided care for many more, either through her children’s friendships or her daycare. Every child in their home was shown that life is much better when it’s grounded in faith and love.

Her devotion to motherhood and the joy of family will be forever testified by those who carry on her legacy. They are her children: Susan Petty (Jim), Laura Brown, Elizabeth Mullins, Jennifer Hudson (Michael), and SFC Chris Major (Stacy); her grandchildren: Courtney Petty (Sarah), Mary Ann Nickles (Tom), Holly Gunderson (Aaron), Alice Polatty (Danny), Stephanie Mullins, Michelle Sneddon (Brian), William Brown (Mindy), Amy Dodgen (Justin), Cole Major-Hughes (Debbie), Savannah (CJ) Thrasher, Molly Rice (John Paul), Garrett Major, PFC Nathan Mullins, Meredith Major, Claire Hudson, Will Hudson, Elijah Hudson, and Oliver Hudson; her great-grandchildren: Caitlyn Hunter, Cameron Nickles, Ashlann Peacon, Anna Gunderson, Julia Hunter, Cameron Saxon, Daniel Gunderson, Zachary Polatty, Madeline Peacon, Lauren Gunderson, Maddox Brown, Olivia Polatty, Layla Brown, Thomas Nickles, Nicholas Botts, Lanee Major, Nellie Major, Josalyn Sneddon, Maverick Petty, Everette Sneddon, Rhett Petty, and Camden Thrasher; and great-great grandchild: Skyla Nickles. Her brother Robert Patton survives her. The children of her siblings, who were as dear to her as her own, brightened her life by visiting and calling frequently.

Sara’s reliance on God never wavered, even through the losses of Howard, her sons Daniel and Boyce, her sons-in-law Dan Mullins and Danny Shaw, and her grandson Daniel Major II. As well as her parents, she survived her sisters Mae Willie Outzs and Mary Rose, and her brother Lou “Billy” Patton.

In addition to her family, she loved the friends she made through moves across three states and her membership in churches, service and charity organizations, clubs, neighborhoods, and community groups. One constant companion for nearly 70 years was Josephine Wilson, who was more sister than friend.

Sara’s life was one of joyous service to others because of her deepest wish that all would know her Lord. She was His light in this world, writing to the imprisoned, teaching Sunday School, sending greeting cards and notes, visiting the sick, and praying without ceasing. She was a decades-long member of the Order of the Eastern Star, serving as Worthy Matron in Calhoun Falls; she was a presence at her children’s schools, and a willing worker in every church she attended. In her later years, she enjoyed Sunday School, Community Bible Study, Women’s Missionary Union, grandchildren’s activities, being the secretary to the CSX Railroad Retirees group, and time with her family. She was at her best when hosting friends and family around her table for a wonderful meal. Her children aspire to emulate her hospitality, or at least her banana pudding and dressing.

As special as Sara was to her family, we know that her grace and spirit were shared with many others. We are grateful for every friend who cared for her, especially in the last years of her life. She loved you all.

The family will receive friends from 11:00AM to 1:00PM Thursday, February 16, 2023, at North Side Baptist Church in Greenwood. A service to celebrate Mrs. Major's life will be at 1:30PM on Thursday, February 16, 2023, in the Worship Center at North Side Baptist Church with Rev. Jeff Lethco officiating. A private family burial will follow in Forest Lawn Memory Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Connie Maxwell Children’s Ministries, PO Box 1178, Greenwood, SC 29648-1178 or Hospice and Palliative Care of the Piedmont, 408 W. Alexander Ave., Greenwood, SC 29646.

A message of condolence may be sent to the family by visiting

Harris Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Abbeville is assisting the Major family.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Sara 'Mama Sara' Major (Patton), please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, February 16, 2023

11:00am - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Thursday, February 16, 2023

Starts at 1:30 pm (Eastern time)

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Forest Lawn Memory Gardens

N Main St, OH 45322

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