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‘God and gardening’: Charleston woman turns 101, awarded Order of the Palmetto

Published: Jul. 31, 2021 at 5:33 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 31, 2021 at 6:48 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A Charleston woman celebrated turning 101 years old on Friday by being presented with South Carolina’s highest civilian honor.

Lucile MacLennan was awarded the Order of the Palmetto in front of friends and family on the front lawn of her Charleston home.

What does it take to get to 101 years old? For MacLennan, it’s a two-part secret.

“It’s God and gardening and that’s the secret of my happy life,” MacLennan said.

State Senator Chip Campsen, who presented the award on behalf of Gov. Henry McMaster, called MacLennan one of the wisest and insightful people he has ever known.

“You truly are one of the wisest and most understanding and insightful people I’ve ever known and you have just lived the life of seeking truth and seeking knowledge, not just in the political and theological realm but in the realm of nature and you have impacted the lives of many people in a positive way,” Campsen said.

The award came as a surprise to MacLennan who sat in disbelief as the award was presented.

“I did not deserve the Order of the Palmetto,” she said. “It is the greatest surprise of my life. I think it must have been intended for somebody else instead of me and I’m just floored to have the Order of the Palmetto.”

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