She raised four children – two boys and two girls. Her husband worked construction for Brown & Root Construction for most of his life and she followed along, living in California, Arkansas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Illinois and half of Texas.
When her husband retired in 1970 they moved to Mansfield and built a home. When her husband died in 1981 she continued to work until she was 95. She drove until she was 99 and lived alone until just before her 103rd birthday. She had the misfortune of watching three of her children die of cancer and she struggled with their deaths. A strong heart and a strong Baptist faith keep her going. She grew up a Methodist, but was baptized as a Baptist in the White River in northern Arkansas in the 1940s.
She bought her first car when she was 92. When she applied for credit to buy the car she was denied credit because she had no credit rating – so she paid cash. She has never had a credit card and has no credit history. For most of her life she simply carried the family money in her purse.
She worked as a seamstress for most of her life, doing alterations both on her job and at home for friends, neighbors and many officers on the Mansfield Police Department.
She has traveled all over Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Egypt and Israel and has taken cruises to Hawaii and Alaska.
She is about the world’s best cook, especially when it comes to peach cobbler, sour cream cakes and Thanksgiving dressing. At age 103 she still made the peach cobblers and turkey dressing for family Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.
She has seen joy and the worst tragedy, the death of her husband and three of her children, but don’t cry for her. She has been given the gift of a very loving family, an incredibly strong belief in God, and the willingness to work long and hard. One of the things she said this week when I picked her up and brought her to my house for supper was, “What do I need to do to help with supper?”