This past week, the Brownwood Bulletin reached out to several community leaders for a few words about what Mother’s Day means to them. The Bulletin salutes all the mothers of Brown County and wishes our readers a very happy Mother’s Day.
Here’s what our respondents had to say about mom’s impact on their lives:
n Dr. Robert Mangrum, Mayor of Early
My mother was a gracious Christian woman who raised me to be a gentleman in thought and deed. She always supported me in my dreams and goals in life. She was my biggest cheer leader and was always there to listen, console, and celebrate with me. My mother was a wonderful lady and we miss her a lot.
n Shelly Taff, Early Chamber of Commerce Executive Director
My mother has always been my quiet strength. She taught me to have self-confidence, to put my family first and, perhaps, most importantly, to have self-respect. She taught me commitment. She taught me Godliness. She is the foundation of our family. We have all built upon her values, her inner peace, and her unwavering unconditional love. She never criticizes. She always finds the best in people. In this way, she taught me grace. I know that there were times when I was growing up that she sacrificed her needs for those of her children. She didn’t buy herself new clothes, go to the beauty shop, eat out, etc. She made sure that me and my brother had what we needed first. We got the new clothes, haircuts, shoes, spending money, without ever knowing there was a sacrifice being made and never once hearing her complain. She is the perfection that people search their entire lives to capture. I am constantly amazed at the dignity, grace, devotion, and the pure joy that my mother emulates. She will always be my strength and my role model.
n Ray Tipton, Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director
My mom was the number one influence and inspiration in my life. An incredibly kind-hearted person, who showed me and our entire family unconditional love. She was always the one I turned to when I needed help, guidance or just someone to talk to.
She is the person who pushed me towards God in my younger years, making me wake up for church and Sunday school each week. She was my moral compass, always encouraging me (and sometimes forcing me) to do the right thing. I watched her suffer and fight through cancer treatment when I was in high school, which taught me to have faith and never give up.
She always put other people’s needs before her own and would be the one to step up and make sacrifices for her family and friends — a quality I strive to keep each day.
My mom passed away right at three years ago and I miss her very much. On my birthday in January 2014 she gave me two crosses to hang on the wall. Little did I know that it would be the last birthday present I would get from her. I have one at my home and I hung one at my office. When I look at them I am reminded of two things — that Jesus is my lord and savior and that my mom loved me unconditionally. That is the legacy that she has left behind for me and my family.
I love you Sandra Tipton.
n Draco Miller, Brownwood City Councilman
My mother: A mother with strong values, sweet spirit, straightforwardness, honesty; A mother who loved her family and stood by her family; A mother who raised her children to respect and love one another; Who instilled moral character, a sense of fair play, good judgement and the love of all mankind no matter the race, creed or color they may be; And above all, understanding God’s grace and mercy becomes that who we draw all our strength from. My mother, Vivian Powell.
n Jerry DeHay, Brownwood City Councilman
My mother, Willie Marie Daniell, came to Brown County in a covered wagon purchased from Weakley-Watson from Arkansas when she was 2 years old in 1912. I shared a picture of her and her older sister standing by that wagon with the Blaggs a few years ago. She and my dad, Marvin DeHay, married in 1929 but due to conditions during the depression did not have a child until 1939 when I was born. I am an only child but shared my momma with numerous cousins and a host of other children and adults as I grew up. She was fondly known to those folks as “Aunt Bill,” sort of like Aunt Bea on the Andy Griffith Show.
My mother had graduated from the Elkins community school and Brownwood High School and attended Daniel Baker College for a couple of years before I was born. She and my dad highly valued education and encouraged me to excel in school. She often talked to me about her expectations that I do my very best in everything in which I was involved whether it was school, athletics, church or any other interest.
Right after I started grade school she enrolled me in the J. Fred McGaughy School of Oratory because she strongly believed an educated person should speak well orally and not be shy if speaking in front of an audience. I continued with that for several years and in high school she again enrolled me in private speech classes taught by Mary Womack.
My mother enrolled me in the “Cradle Role” at Coggin Avenue Baptist Church when I was one month old and we attended there regularly all through my young life until I graduated from Brownwood High School. When I was 5 years old I was attending “Sunbeams” at the church on Sunday afternoons. One Sunday the teacher said we were going to sing for church that night and asked if any of us had a song we would like to sing by ourselves. I immediately volunteered, but I only knew one song, “The Old Rugged Cross,” which was my mother’s favorite hymn which she sang to me as a lullaby and to sooth me when I was hurt or ill. I knew two verses by heart. So at church that night we were put on the raised platform at the front of the church and the teacher announce that I was going to sing. I stepped forward and to my parents’ utter amazement I sang my song.
My mother realized back then that I had a love for and a gift for singing. So when I started the eighth grade she strongly urged me to sign up for choir at junior high which had just begun under the direction of Miss Dorothy McIntosh who was also the organist at Coggin Avenue. As a result Miss Mac, as everyone knew her, became a major player in my life. I started singing in the church choir at Coggin that year and continued all through school.
My mother and Miss Mac were good friends and allies in my involvement in music and my mother arranged for Miss Mac to give me private voice lessons while I was in high school. As a result I made all-state choir and with Miss Mac’s influence received a voice scholarship to Baylor University. My mom was so proud.
My mother was always my mentor, my monitor, my protector and often, my conscience when I needed it. She always held me to higher standards and assured me that I could achieve anything I wanted to accomplish. She became the same kind of grandmother to my children and in so many ways the same kind of encourager to others as Aunt Bill. She left her indelible mark not only on me but on the lives of many, many others who, along with me, will always cherish her memory.