July 23, 1915 - November 18, 2003


A Son's Personal Reflections


We are here to honor and celebrate this amazing Southern Lady - wife to "Willie", mother to Bill, Jim and Erick, and friend to many. In my heart I know of no one who met her that did not love her. Her kindness and gentle spirit will last in our memories. She has always been my inspiration and the continuing source of my creative spirit.

She was born to mother - unselfish devotion to all in need. She was always a hard worker, at least after she married Dad. Willie not only knew how but loved to work. Her energy was boundless in keeping up with him for 59 years, plus raising three boys. She had to give up teaching mathematics for which she was college degreed as the boys were born and Dad's multi-tasking business interest shifted and took root. Their life and the building of a family is the stuff movies are made. My Dad was bigger than life . . . her row was hard to hoe, but she kept up stride for stride and passed him quite often, but let him think not.

From driving and towing cars (1,200 mile round trip) from New York to Willie's New And Used Cars in Wilson, North Carolina, to shuttling marines stranded in the middle of the night at the train station trying to return to their bases along the North Carolina Coast during World War II, she was constantly generous - a trait instilled by her parents.

My mother grew to great dimensions. She aged, and as I aged she blossomed as I matured. She became her mother. What had died with my grandmother found a new beginning in my Mom . . . what marvelous alchemy! She was the most genuine and most honest person I have known with one exception. When Dad asked the price of things she usually cut the cost in half. When Dad was asked the price, he would double it. Therein lay the balance of life in our family. She was clever and talented. I spoke of the hard work. Sweat was never foreign to her brow. During World War II I accompanied her to the canning and preserving facilities next to Black Creek School. I know of no other summer experience as hot and humid as that experienced by all those devoted housewives who didn't think twice of rolling up their sleeves, wiping the sweat from their faces again and again, knife in hand peeling endless orchards of pears and peaches, shucking, cutting and shelling endless miles of corn, tomatoes, brown field peas, butter beans and cucumbers . . . preserving some of the warmth of summer's treasures for the long winter.