The Tennessee Central Region Family, Community and Education Clubs (FCE) met at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, Tennessee May 27-30th for the annual Retreat. There were approximately 168 members present for craft and leadership classes and overall fun, networking and fellowship.
On May 29th at morning assembly, Central Region President, Kathy Nicholson graciously recognized a Cannon County member for her contributions to FCE for 66years. Mrs. Elizabeth Barrett will be 100 years old on October 19, 2013. Readyville FCE member Ruth Blackburn and Mary Ann Richardson, Mrs. Barrett’s daughter and the owner of Murfreesboro’s Peddler, escorted Mrs. Elizabeth (as she is known to us) to Retreat. She didn’t know she was the honoree.
Cannon County President, Gail Norton, presented her with a dozen red roses and a blue and white carnation corsage from the Cannon County members. Kathy honored her with a bag of approximately 168 birthday cards, signed and collected from each attendee. She also received a special card signed by all the Central Region Board members. They also had homemade cupcakes for lunch.
Mrs. Elizabeth was born in Cannon County and moved to Rutherford County at age 6. She attended one year at Porterfield School with 2 teachers. She then went to Milton until age 12. There were four teachers. Mrs. Elizabeth also attended the old Halls Hill School and graduated from Kittrell in 1931. She married in 1936 and had two daughters, Mary Ann and Mina. Mrs. Elizabeth worked at A.L. Smith Drugs on the Square in Murfreesboro and retired from McFadden Cafeteria at age 62.
Mrs. Barrett joined FCE in 1947 and states she “served in every office they had at one time or another.” She says they met in homes and served sandwiches, cookies and drink. They had show-n-tell where members brought things they had made since the previous meeting. Mrs. Elizabeth said there wasn’t anything she disliked about FCE but enjoyed most the demonstrations, new recipes and cooking.
Her club, the “Grange” won the Community Clean Up Contest by making roadsigns with names of all the families living on that road. Working nights panting names on the signs won them the prize for “Beautifying their community. It wa s monetary prize but she couldn’t remember how much.
Mrs. Elizabeth now happily resides at Sunnington Assisted Living in Murfreesboro where she is active in the Center’s arts and crafts. She was instrumental in getting their picture quilt done with all the residents pictures at that time. It is hanging on the wall in their craft room.
You will find a Christmas tree in her apartment all year long. Her daughters decorate it with family pictures. Of course the decorations change with each holiday but the pictures remain. There are pictures of Mary Ann and Mina over her bed. They are wearing dresses that Mrs. Elizabeth made. She made all of hers and her daughter’s clothes.
Can you imagine living to be 100 years old? It can’t. I enjoy sitting and talking with Mrs. Elizabeth and hearing her tell about things she has done and seen and people she has known.
Mrs. Elizabeth Barrett is a very special lady. I just hope that if I live to be 75 that I am as agile and mentally sharp as she is at 100 years old.
Congratulations Mrs. Elizabeth and Happy Birthday!
Love ya, Gail Norton and Cannon County FCE