Earline Biedenharn: A true southern lady
Published 7:00 am Thursday, February 2, 2017
Poplarville’s first alderwoman and active community member passed away earlier this month, leaving behind a legacy of service to others.
Earline Biedenharn was elected as the first Poplarville alderwoman in 1993 and served two terms in office, her son, Todd Moody, said.
“She didn’t really think of it as being the first female, she was just the kind of person that wanted to serve and help others any way she could,” he said.
While serving as alderwoman, Biendenharn also held a full-time job, Moody said.
“She loved to do stuff for others and not take any credit, kind of like the right hand not knowing what the left is doing,” he said, referencing the Bible verse.
Biedenharn was also an educator for 15 years in Pearl River County.
She taught in the Pearl River County School District until her two sons were born, taking a break until they were old enough to go to school. Then, she worked as a physical education teacher in Poplarville elementary schools before the program was officially established, Moody said.
After she passed, Moody said so many of her former students told him how she touched their lives.
“I really didn’t realize what impact she had on the community and on people in general,” he said. “It was amazing to see the outpouring of love.”
After her career in education, Biedenharn went on to work for Apples, Ltd. in Poplarville as a buyer for 30 years.
When she was no longer able to work full time, she became a regular volunteer at the Pearl River County Nursing Home, Moody said.
“She really became attached to the patients over there…when one of them had a problem she would come home and tell me about it,” he said. “She had a big heart.”
Biedenharn was also active in the First Baptist Church of Poplarville and other organizations throughout the city, Moody said.
“I thought everybody’s mother was like my mother, I didn’t realize until after she passed that she made such an impact,” he said. “She was so very loving and gracious, she was a true southern lady.”
According to her obituary, Biedenharn’s funeral was held at First Baptist Church of Poplarville on Jan. 10 and she was laid to rest in the Poplarville City Cemetery.
Donations are being accepted in her honor at the Baptist Children’s Village, Women’s Auxiliary at Poplarville Nursing Home and at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.