Monday, December 5, 2011

My Loving Mother-In-Law

Thelma Lee Britton Reece

Born, June 19, 1915 in Franklin Co, AL, died December 2, 2011 in Garland, Dallas Co, TX.
Random bits about the woman I knew for more than 47 years as my loving mother-in-law and friend.
Thelma was the youngest child of William Clifton Britton and Mary Amanda Louvon Upton Britton.  Her mother died in the flu epidemic of 1918 when Thelma was 3 and her father and oldest sister died in the measles epidemic of 1920.  Their grandmother and aunt placed the surviving four daughters and one son in the Buckner’s Orphanage in Dallas soon after their father’s death. 
About age 19 when Thelma left the orphanage she joined her sisters in West Texas, working as a waitress in small town cafes in the oil field.  There she met and married Forest William Reece June 18, 1939.  They had Forest William Reece, Jr, Ronald Edward Reece and Angela Kay Reece-Wilson.
Thelma loved music and was in a girl’s singing group while in the orphanage.  She also learned to embroider and decorated some beautiful pillowcases and tablecloths.
She learned a lot of cooking skills from her mother-in-law and enjoyed trying out new recipes.  I enjoyed working with her in the kitchen when we were making some ordinary family meals and when we put on a big spread for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Most of all she loved her family and was so proud of her children’s and grandchildren’s accomplishments.
Thelma was also proud of me and my crafting skills.  She bought fabric and asked me to sew clothing and comforters.  She appreciated butterflies and when I sewed a lapghan using a fabric with butterflies it became a daily-use object. 
She loved both her family of brother and sisters and her extended Reece family.  She was happiest when she was giving and doing for others.  She had many friends in the oil field camps where they lived and in Andrews where she lived from 1966 to 2001.
There was so much more to Thelma than wife and mother.  I am so glad to have known her and had her in my life for so many years.


Renna said...

What a beautiful tribute to what sounded like a wonderful woman. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Your mother-in-law bore many similarities to my own mother-in-law, who passed on several years ago. She was born in December of 1914. She was also 3 yrs of age when her own mother died in the flu epidemic of 1918. Her father died while she was young, and she was sent off by her grandmother and aunt to live in an orphanage (other sibs were either older and on their own, or taken in by other family members).

Merry Karma said...

Very sweet tribute Pat. I'm sure she cherished you very much.