Gaynette Cox Flowers Pugh, "Ms. Gaynette" as she is affectionately known in North Gulfport, where she has lived for 60-plus years, will celebrate her 100th birthday on Friday.
Pugh grew up in Grove Hill, Ala., moved to Gulfport at age 20 and married Charles Flowers Sr. They had four children.
Pugh earned an associate's degree from Bishop State Junior College and subsequently a bachelor's degree from the University of South Alabama, graduating at the age of 65.
She is a lifetime member of the NAACP and served as secretary of the Gulfport branch for 20 years. She was a civil rights soldier in the 1960s, participating in voter registration drives, housing Freedom Riders and working to desegregate Gulf Coast beaches.
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An advocate of youth, she worked as one of the original members of the Good Deeds Association in North Gulfport. They, in association with the Mennonites, operated a recreational center, thrift store, swimming pool and library.
She is a member of the Greater Mt. Olive Baptist Church, where she has served as Sunday school teacher, choir member and missionary society member.
Her other activities include attending a senior citizens program, gardening, sewing, jewelry making and visiting family throughout the U.S. She has 11 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.