Longtime Brownwood resident to celebrate 100th birthday

Special to the Bulletin
Lois Pettijohn, age 90
Lois Pettijohn,  age 22
Lois Pettijohn, age 18

Lois Pettijohn, a native of the Proctor Community who has lived in her Brownwood home for the past 57 years, will celebrate her 100th birthday April 22.

Her family compiled the following information about her:

Lois was born in the Proctor Community to Hamilton and Ethel Gaines on April 22, 1921. She was raised in a farming family and graduated from Proctor High School in 1938, and attended Tarleton State College — now Tarleton State University — in 1956.

She married Seth E. Moore in 1942.

The Moores farmed in the Baggett community, eventually moving to Comanche where they owned and operated three grocery stores. 

After a devastating fire at their largest store, the Moores moved to Alaska in 1952. The first year they lived in a small 20 x 20 foot one-room log cabin without running water.

Lois worked as a bank teller and bookkeeper in Fairbanks, Alaska. During the 20 years the Moores lived in Alaska, they were charter members of the Hamilton Acres Baptist Church, which was the most northern Baptist church in America at the time. They experienced volcanic eruptions and temperatures as low as 60 degrees below zero.

While in Alaska they owned overhead door, used car, and construction businesses.

After returning to Texas in 1964, the Moores built and operated Queenie’s Grocery, the Brown County Brick Company, Truss Company and Sand Man hauling companies. They joined Southside Baptist Church where Lois is still a member.

The Moores planted 20 small pecan trees around their home in 1974 measuring less than an inch in diameter and 3 feet tall. Today the trees are large, bearing several varieties of paper shell pecans that produce hundreds of pounds of fruit annually.

Seth Moore died in 1997.

Lois attended the Proctor High School Reunion, where she became reacquainted with Jack Pettijohn, a former high school classmate. They married in December 1999 in Houston in a ceremony officiated by her grandson, pastor Ronnie Ray Moore.

Jack and Lois continued to live here in Brownwood in the home she has occupied for 57 years. He died in 2016 after 15 years of marriage.

Lois continues to live at home with her son Ron Moore and daughter-in-law Bonnie Moore. Her family wanted to give her the benefit of living in her home rather than a nursing home.

She continued to go to the beauty shop and eat out once a week until two years ago when a fall made it more difficult for her to travel by automobile.

She has one son, three grandchildren — Ronnie Ray Moore and Andrea of Friendswood, Texas, Yvonne Mauldin and Brad of Fort Worth, and Cheri and Ray Leggett of Seeley Lake, Montana; and nine great-grandchildren.

COVID has made it nearly impossible for her to keep up with friends.

Lois is deaf and cannot talk by phone. She enjoys receiving mail, lots of watermelon and watches a western movie every night before going to bed. Amazingly her hair remains 95 percent black. She credits her black hair and long life to eating homegrown vegetables from Proctor. She never smoked and doesn’t use alcohol.