OUR STORY

MY FATHER - MY MOTHER

Page 105

Although he had not been diagnosed with it, I know now that most of his problems while he was still working, was due to diabetics. This was brought under control by the doctors of the VA and he lived the rest of his life in relative comfort as far as heath went.

As a youth he had dabbed with art and had several painting he had done. After he went in the VA he started painting again and became quite skilled, winning several competitions he entered. His specialty was magnolias and I have a very beautiful one on the wall of my office where I am writing this.

He drove his car until a few months before his death. He was staying with us on James Street, but insisted on going back to the VA hospital. I think he felt he would become a burden to us. I have a picture taken at his birthday party in March 1976. He became almost blind after going back to the VA. I feel that this was the main reason for this death. Then he couldn’t drive or read he just gave up.

He seldom agreed with anything I did and we had a lifetime of bickering. But I did love him dearly. The last time I saw him he got mad at me because I wouldn’t cut his hair. I didn’t mind cutting it but was in a hurry to get back to Macon. I was coming back that weekend and said I would cut it then. He said “That might be too late”. As usual he was right and I was wrong.

As he wished, he was buried in Macomb next to his mother and father. When my sister died in 1972 he insisted on staying at the graveside until the grave was covered. He had heard about a funeral company that would take the vault out of the ground after everyone had gone and just burying the casket, reselling the vault. I tried to talk him out of staying but he insisted. So at his graveside services in Macomb, where my sister Jean and her family was in attendance, I stayed until the grave was covered although he had never ask me to. This started a family tradition that lasts until today in my family. We don’t do it for fear it won’t be done right, now its done as a token of respect.

My Mother

Gladys Maureen Chester was born May 5th 1914 in Laurens County Georgia. Her mother was Polly Thomas Chester and her father was Handsford D. Chester. She was the first of 12 children, Gladys, Herman, Melba, Earl, J.C. , Champ, twin girls, Nella and Quinella ( who died shortly after birth), Nancy, James Edward, and Charles.

Her grandfather Thomas died and when she was young and her mother remarried a Thomas. I remember granddaddy Thomas and his wife well. I went to several of his

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