Hearts Love 25
Official Obituary of

Mahalia J. (Carter) "Sip" Lipscomb

June 26, 1937 ~ March 23, 2024 (age 86) 86 Years Old

Mahalia "Sip" Lipscomb Obituary

Our precious Mahalia was welcomed into the loving hearts of her dear parents Beulah Robinson Carter (1911-2000) and Jesse Carter (1909-1944) on Saturday, June 26, 1937.[1]   She was born at home in Buffalo-Union County, South Carolina, delivered in birth by her maternal grandfather’s sister, Aunt Sally.  Mahalia was so loved she had many endearing names: Sip, as named by her maternal grandfather, Ma, Mom, and even “My Momma,” Halie, and Granny.  Mahalia, the beautiful and wonderfully made daughter of God entered into the Heavenly Kingdom of Our Holy Father on Saturday, March 23, 2024.

Mahalia attended Union County Public Schools in Union, South Carolina, and graduated from Sims High School in 1957, where she excelled academically in all subjects.  She played the saxophone in the high school marching band.  Mahalia worshiped along with her family at Woodson Chapel Baptist Church where her maternal grandfather, Joseph Robinson, was a founding deacon.  She continued to worship and sustain her spiritual life in the Baptist faith in Newark, New Jersey, and in High Point, North Carolina.  For years, Mahalia maintained her connection to her family, high school classmates, and spiritual roots by traveling home to South Carolina to attend revival services and class reunions.

Mahalia attended Bethune Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Florida, where she was a science major and developed her love for beaches.  While at Bethune Cookman, Mahalia was photographed and published as a Bethune Cookman beauty of the week.  She had dreams of attending Meharry Medical School aspiring to one day become a pediatrician; however, she chose to return home instead to help take care of her family.  

On July 7, 1957, Mahalia married US Army Major Joseph William Lipscomb also of Union, South Carolina.  This union lovingly witnessed the births of two children, Deborah Kay and Joseph Monty.[2]   Mahalia was loved dearly by the entire Lipscomb family of which she entered into matrimony. This bond continued throughout her lifetime.

Mahalia excelled in her career at Western Electric and AT&T Technologies in New Jersey, demonstrating her exceptional technological skills for 29 years before retiring.  While working, Mahalia attended Essex County College in Newark, New Jersey where she earned a degree in accounting.  She also attended DeVry Institute in New Jersey where she received certification in advanced technology.  Mahalia enjoyed learning and tackling projects, especially solving advanced math problems and developing computer programs.

Mahalia possessed many extraordinary skills and abilities that were known to all that knew her.  She was a gifted seamstress and tailor of women’s and men’s clothing, sewing for private clients and her family.  Mahalia designed and sewed the wedding party dresses, the bridal gown and her dress for her daughter’s wedding and one Easter she made the suit blazers for her son and nephew.  Mahalia was also skilled at upholstering furniture and hanging wallpaper.  She was often referred to as Ms. “Fix It” and she always carried her bag of tools and gadgets.

Mahalia had great culinary skills.  She was so organized and skilled that she was able to prepare the entire Thanksgiving Holiday feast after working her 3pm-12am shift.  There were many special requests by her family, and Mahalia was able to oblige them individually; potato salad made several different ways, varieties of cheesecake, and holiday dressing.  Mahalia enjoyed ski trips to Vermont, traveling with her family for her two-week summer vacation to South Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida.  She enjoyed Asbury Park and Daytona Beaches, always taking advantage of the early morning sunbathing hours.  Mahalia was known for getting the most out of her days, often taking her children and her nieces, nephews, and cousins who were up from the South for these early morning beach and lake excursions and then returning back home to make it to her 3pm-12 am job.  Mahalia enjoyed poetry; her favorite poets were Maya Angelou and Helen Stiener Rice.  She also enjoyed the natural things in life:  bike riding, going for walks, growing her own fig tree, picking pecans, blackberries, and apples in NJ, NY, and also while in SC and NC.  Mahalia wore stylish clothing and sunshades and Macy’s was her favorite shopping destination.  She was fond of beautiful floral bouquets and her favorite colors were blue and orange.

Mahalia was the family matriarch, genealogist and historian whereas she verbally recalled and narrated generations of family history while also maintaining a historical picture library demonstrating exceptional recollection of historical facts as far back as the 1850s.  She was gifted with the ability of verbal recall.  She would also speak of family history in the Woodson Chapel graveyard with her family.  Mahalia was a detailed and intentional storyteller:  Deborah Kay’s and Joseph Monty’s birth stories were often recalled, historical facts and collection of pictures dating back to the 1800’s, and segregated South recall and experiences.  Mahalia enjoyed sharing stories of her family's experiences with sharecropping and the original 40 acres and a mule.  She would speak one on one with family members to share detailed accounts of her maternal and paternal family history.

Mahalia’s Amazing Legacy

Mahalia was a calm, soft spoken, kindhearted and tender spirited woman; a beautiful soul who enjoyed pursuing education and ensuring that those around her were educated.  Her motto was that “if a child could speak they could read,” and that “a child should go to school already reading;” ensuring the best outcomes in reading and math.  She was full of compassion and support for others; always willing to help and to find a way to make things happen.  She was the chief advocate for her children and her extended family in general.  She often researched facts and truths regarding her family’s life situations, thereby educating all.  She spent many hours in libraries and bookstores, and also hours volunteering in her children and grandchildren’s schools.

Mahalia clearly understood her assignment from God at an early age, and she responded accordingly, and played her position well.  Matthew 6:21 states, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  That which means the most to you will get the lion’s share of your time, attention and resources.”  Mahalia was full of love, attention, and dedication to her family.  She adored her children, Deborah and Monty, and filled their lives with love, spiritual wisdom, visions of self-value, support, opportunities, and the pursuit of high goal attainment.  She often referred to the unwavering love she had for her nieces, nephews, and cousins with full intent and meaning “stating as if they were my own” and was the constant care-giver.  All of Mahalia’s siblings: Lenora, Otis, Florence, and a cousin like a sister, Helena, predeceased her at tender ages, and she sought to live out their legacies in love and support for their children.  Loving and devoted, Mahalia’s life was scripted by God and designed in love.  She led a life filled with willingness, joy, and humility as she helped others, even as a young child.  And, as the story was told while other children were playing, she helped her grandmother Florence take in laundry and wash the clothes of others by hand; washing them with octagon soap and a washboard to give her grandmother a break.

Mahalia’s Well Deserved Retirement Years

When Mahalia retired she dedicated herself to educating and participating in all activities of her grandchildren. Mahalia later relocated to High Point, North Carolina in ” Love and Happiness” where she enjoyed spending her life with Bobby Thompson[ST3] .  They vacationed, cruised, and attended many Thompson family reunions and events together.  Mahalia also enjoyed college and NBA basketball and its tournaments, attending class reunions, and other social activities.  Relocating to North Carolina also enabled Mahalia to enjoy spending special moments with her nieces, sister-in-law, nephew and friends in South Carolina on weekend trips.  Mahalia was Charlene’s Earth Angel and her nephew Scott was Mahalia’s Earth Angel.

So Long for Now

As Mahalia journeys on through to, and into, the gates of Heaven, she will join her precious son, Joseph Monty Lipscomb (Sherry) who predeceased her by two years in 2022.  Mahalia leaves to cherish memories of love, her daughter, Deborah Kay Lipscomb Freeman of New Jersey.  Mahalia was blessed with three grandchildren of whom she adored; Kheri Freeman (Trenton, NJ), Kimani Freeman (Decatur, GA), and Daeja Cromartie (Philadelphia, PA).  She was an aunt and a cousin-like a mother to many of her nieces, nephews and cousins.  Mahalia had a way of making everyone feel that they were special and her favorite.  She was loved and admired by all sides of the family; the Lipscomb family of which she married adored her and loved her completely.  She was their beloved daughter, sister, aunt, and niece.  There was no distinction as “in law”.  Today, we pause and reflect on the loving and bonded familial relationships she enjoyed with those who left us too soon.  Those who remain are: JoAnn Carter of Union, SC (brother Otis), Tommie Lipscomb-Johnson of Brooklyn, NY, Retired Marine Corps Master Sergeant, James A. Lipscomb (Shirley) of Carlsdad, CA, Clarence Lipscomb of Winston Salem, NC), and, many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

With much love and admiration, Mahalia leaves to cherish her beautiful and fond memory, her love, Bobby Thompson, of High Point, NC, his loving family, and many other family members and friends.

The family will receive friends at 1518 Whitmire Highway, Union, SC.

4. Arrangements have been entrusted to Community Mortuary, 361 Meansville Road, Union, SC. 

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Public Viewing at Mortuary
April 5, 2024

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Community Mortuary Union
361 Meansville Road
Union, SC 29379

Funeral Service
April 6, 2024

2:00 PM
Woodson Chapel Baptist Church
1447 Meansville Road
Union, SC 29379

Interment following funeral service
April 6, 2024

Woodson Chapel Baptist Church
1447 Meansville Road
Union, SC 29379


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