Senior passionately serves peers

Published 9:48 am Sunday, November 8, 2009

Born outside of London, Sue Peck met a U.S. Air Force serviceman at her family’s restaurant, who she later married in Kingslynn, England.

In 1961, daughter Tina was born and the following year, daughter Donna. By the time daughter Jackie came along, Mack Tedford was making plans to bring his family to the States.

In late 1964, the move was made to Shelby County. In 1966, a fourth daughter, Becky, was born.

Most of Mack’s life was spent as a pressman.

The first several years of Tedford’s married life, she said, was spent as a “baby factory.”

After having her children, she began to substitute teach for eight or so years. Tedford also worked part time at the Shelby County Probate Office for the late Judge Tommy Snowden.

In 1978, Tedford became the executive director of Shelby Senior Services. Her responsibilities included development of social services programs for those 60–plus years old, budget preparation and monitoring of same, fundraising, employing, supervising and terminating staff.

As a part of these services, Meals on Wheels served more than 400 hot meals per day. Later, Tedford also assumed responsibility for S.C.A.T. (Shelby-Chilton Area Transportation).

From 1975-78, Tedford was in charge of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program with approximately 210 senior volunteers contracting with seven volunteer stations in non-profit organizations and businesses.

From 1978-88, Tedford attended ongoing training classes in the field of gerontology. She was a member of Shelby County’s first leadership program, and has received numerous awards.

Tedford gave up public service in 2004 to care for her mother. After her mom died in 2006, she went back into action as a member of the Alabama Silver-Haired Legislature, a non-profit model legislature of senior volunteers appointed to represent the interests and needs of older Alabamians.

Service needs and areas of concern are drafted into resolutions, debated and forwarded to the Alabama Legislature for consideration. The list is long and the needs great, she said. Tedford serves in Mary Sue McClurkin’s district.

Tedford has such a lovely British accent, is young in spirit and happy with her life and family.

“I am happy where I’m planted,” she said.

Tedford is a senior citizen who just keeps on keeping on.

Sandra Thames is a community columnist for Alabaster. She can be reached by e–mail at