Ms. Estoria Phylliss Ketchens Mullen was born June 23, 1951 to the late Marshall W. Ketchens, Sr. and the late Virginia Simmons Ketchens. Her Aunt Pearl tended as the midwife when she was born in her maternal grandparents’ (Jordan Simmons Sr. and Alma K. Simmons) home on Pidgeon Bay in Summerville, South Carolina. She was the “baby sister” of Marshall W. Ketchens, Jr and Claudette V. Ketchens. On early Sunday morning, July 19, 2020, Estoria quietly slipped away to be with her Lord. She fought a good fight, lived a life of commitment to God, family, and her church.
Estoria attended Alston Elementary School graduating from the 6th grade and then attended Alston High School from grades 7th -9th grades. As a pioneer in the movement to integrate the schools of Dorchester District #2, she transferred to Summerville High School as a sophomore. She is a 1969 graduate of Summerville High School where she was a member of the marching and concert bands. Estoria played the Eb soprano clarinet. In recent conversations, she recounted the many hurts, tensions and anguish she endured due to racial prejudice while a student at Summerville High School. Yet, she expressed no regrets in being on the front line to gain an historic change in educational access for everyone. She harbored no animosity or grudges. After high school graduation, Estoria attended Trident Technical College.
Not just as an occupation, Estoria’ s life-long calling was as a child-care provider. Left on her own to care for three young children, she began an in- home day care to support her own family, but she poured love and caring for many children. She nurtured many children in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Summerville, South Carolina.
Estoria was a devoted mother and dedicated child-care provider, she exemplified what it is to be a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt, great- aunt, cousin and friend. She was affectionately called “Mom,” “Mema” and “Aunt Esther” by many.
A passionate board game player, she enjoyed getting her children and grands together for family game night. She was a ferocious Scrabble player and she showed no mercy in winning. Her hobbies included crossword puzzles and playing Solitaire. Estoria was a champion coupon collector and user.
Estoria accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior at a young age. Early Christian training began in both St. John the Baptist Catholic Church and Baum Temple African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. At a young age, Estoria became a very active member of Baum Temple where taught the Primary Sunday School Class (ages 6-8), Vacation Bible School, and was a member of the Junior Choir. Estoria gladly recited Easter speeches and participated in all programs of the local church. Along with her sister and cousin, they attended Church School Conventions and other functions. Her early Christian training remained an integral part of her spiritual formation and devotion. She loved the Lord and she was never ashamed to declare that she was a Christian. She worked hard for the Lord and for her family.
Truly a woman of great faith, Estoria always remembered her roots. After living in Portsmouth, New Hampshire for eleven years, she returned to Summerville where she almost immediately reengaged in attendance and service to Baum Temple. For many years she served as the local Superintendent of the Buds of Promise, the Buds choir director, assistant director of the Total Praise for Christ Dance Team, Sunday School teacher, Junior Church worker, and VBS teacher. Estoria directed and helped to produce an abundance of children’s programs, including Easter, Christmas, and other events. Estoria was not selfish with her resources, she freely gave of her time, talent and treasures. She was an active member of the local Women’s Home and Overseas Society (WHOMS) of the AME Zion Church; she gladly wore her Matron’s stole. As the Children’s Class Leader, Estoria presented each newly baptized infant or child with a children’s Bible. She kept a supply of children’s bibles ready to give. Until her failing health, Estoria faithfully attended Sunday School and church.
Estoria was a life-long member of the NAACP. As a Child she was a Brownie and a Girl Scout.
Indeed, Estoria was a Christian woman, “Guardian Angel,” gentle, humble, caring, compassionate, a courageous fighter in her battle against cancer. Her faith always guided her. In her battle there were miracles and she was grateful.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Marshall & Virginia Ketchens, Sr., her brother Marshall Willis Ketchens, Jr. and one great-grandson, Maddox I. Wolfe.
There are many left to mourn and to cherish memories of her life and love, including her loving children, Marcia Mullen, Micah Pendergrass, Mitchell Mullen (Tabitha) Marissa Mullen and Melissa Jones ( a granddaughter she reared as a daughter)); grandchildren: Monique Melendez, Mariyah Mullen, Marion Mullen, Melissa Jones, Meagan Wolfe, Michael Wolfe (Perla), Maliq Pendergrass, Tatiana Rivers, Mitchell Kaeden Mullen, and Makayla Mullen. Great-grandchildren: Myles, Madison, and Mario Jones; Melina, Maria, and Mariana Melendez; and Mason Wolfe. One sister Reverend Claudette K. Felder, Columbia, SC, and one brother-in-law, Mr. Eugene Felder, Columbia, SC; a niece, Joy Felder-Mack (Terrence), grand-nieces, Jordan-Janai and Taylor-Grace. She is also survived by two uncles Eugene Ketchen (paternal), Easton, PA and Ernest Moultrie; three aunts: Hilda Ketchens, McClellanville, SC, Dorothy Ketchens, Mt. Pleasant, SC, Gladys Simmons, Summerville, SC; She is also survived by the many children she touched during her years as a child care provider, cousins, friends, a special devoted cousin, Perida Moultrie and one Godchild, Regina Lynn Henthorne.
*** DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC THE FAMILY OF MRS. ESTORIA MULLEN REQUESTS LIMITED VISITORS AT THE RESIDENCE AT THIS TIME***
On behalf of the family, we encourage you share your personal experiences and preserve the memory of Mrs.Estoria Mullen for future generations to come.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Estoria Mullen, please visit our floral store.