Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lula Sue Simmons

My Mother,
Lula Sue Simmons

My Mother, Lula Sue Simmons, the daughter of Woodrow Wilson Simmons and Susie Johnson, was born 13 February 1941 in Baxterville, Lamar County, Mississippi. Baxterville was then just a small village in the rural outskirts of Columbia, surrounded by acre after acre of pine trees. She was the second child born from the union of her parents. The family would later settle in the Pinebur area, not too many miles from Baxterville, and it was there that Mom spent much of her youth. As she aged, Mom often talked about her memories of her childhood in Pinebur and of the relatives she grew up around and loved. Her mother was the light of her life, a strong-willed woman who worked hard to provide necessities for her four children. The family was very poor and depended on their farm land and each other for survival. Many of Mom's memories can be read in her memoirs, see "Memoirs of Lula Sue Simmons".

Lula Sue Simmons Birth Certificate

At the age of 17, Mom married Charles Laverne Stogner, the son of Lewis Edward Stogner and Iva Louetta Peak.  Their marriage rites were solemnized in Marion County, Mississippi on 17 May 1958 and performed by a the Justice of Peace.  They had one daughter- Susan Gail Stogner (me).  Their marriage was brief, however, and eventually Mom and I moved in with her mother, Susie Johnson.

Marriage Record- Charles Laverne Stogner
& Lula Sue Simmons

Mom later met and began dating Frank Dalton Powell.  He was stationed overseas while serving a term with the United States Navy.  Their relationship began when they became pen pals, writing back and forth to each other while he was away, see Oceans Apart.  Upon his discharge from the Navy, their relationship developed further and they married on 08 December 1960 in Columbia, Mississippi. Their marriage was kept a secret for a couple of weeks because their families disagreed with their relationship.  I wrote about this in some of my Sharing Memories posts, see Coming Home, Dilemmas, Secret Vows, and Their Secret Revealed.  Mom and Frank (whom I call "Dad") had three children together- Frank Dalton Jr, Sandra Rennae and Tony Duane.  They eventually moved to Jefferson Parish, Louisiana and remained there until 1976, when they moved back to their native home in Columbia, Mississippi.

Marriage Certificate- Frank D. Powell
& Lula Sue (Simmons) Stogner

While in Louisiana, Mom worked at the A&P Meat Processing Plant in New Orleans for several years while Dad was a meat cutter with A&P Food Stores.  They were active parents and maintained a busy schedule between working and raising their children.  Mom enjoyed cooking and having company on the holidays throughout the year.  I remember her working all day in the plant and coming home to do housework, laundry and cooking.  She often stayed up late at night during the holidays for meal planning and preparations.  She would prepare feasts on holidays, particularly during Christmas.  Our home was the center of family activities during those special times of the year.  

After moving back to Mississippi, Mom worked at the Jitney-Jungle Food Store in Columbia for many years. She briefly owned and operated her own small restaurant in Bassfield, Sue's Country Kitchen.  After deciding to close the business, she became deli manager at Bassfield Texaco.  She remained there until her health forced her to retire.  

Mom loved to travel better than nearly anything else.  Each year she planned and mapped out a new trip with the help of my brother Frank Jr, who was a cross country truck driver.  She had traveled through almost every state in our country. Her favorite trips were to Colorado, Wyoming and Canada.  She brought home many memories of her adventures on the road and I'm fortunate to have a few videos and several photos of her trips.  The one place she desired to visit but didn't make was Alaska.  Her health steadily declined after she retired and she gradually became homebound.

Lula Sue Powell Death Record

Mom passed away following a brief illness on 14 November 2007 in Columbia, Marion County, Mississippi while in Marion General Hospital.  She was laid to rest in Woodlawn Cemetery, Columbia, Mississippi.  I will always miss her, however, I am grateful for all the wonderful memories which remain. 

See also:
Photos- Through the Years:  Childhood Through Teen Years
Blog Post- Tombstone Tuesday:  Lula Sue Simmons Powell
Blog Post- Mama's Apron
Blog Post- Mama's Bourbon Balls
Blog Post- Treasure Chest Thursday: Quilted Memories
Blog Post- Sentimental Stories: Fading Away
Memoirs:  Part 1, Early Life in Pinebur
Memoirs:  Part 2, Musings of a Mischief
Memoirs:  Part 3, Crossing the River
Memoirs:  Part 4, Time to be a Child
Memoirs:  Part 5, Adventures on Little River
Memoirs:  Part 6, Love Carried Us Through
Memoirs:  Part 7, More Memories of Grandpa
Memoirs:  Part 8, Homemade Remedies and Weather Predictions
Memoirs:  Part 9, Hog Killing
Memoirs:  Part 10, Memories of a Poor Child's Christmas
Memoirs:  Part 11, Grandpa Took Care of It
Memoirs:  Part 12, Circle of Friends
Memoirs:  Part 13, Everyday Miracles

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