Monday, May 8, 2017

A Mother's Day Tribute

Saying Goodbye: A Tribute to Ann Nichols & Patsy Summers

The Midnight Oil Smockers lost two long-time, faithful members this year. Both had been attending meetings for as long as anyone can remember. This week before Mother's Day, we remember and honor them for their faithfulness to the Midnight Oil Smockers and the encouragement they gave us all.

Anna Elizabeth Lawson Rutledge Nichols 
October 19, 1921-March 18, 2017

Ann was born in Charleston, West Virginia. She was the seventh child in her family, and the first of the children to graduate from high school. She married Herbert Lynn Rutledge on January 5, 1940 in Greenup, Kentucky. She and Herbert were the parents of 3 daughters: Mildred, Mary (also a member of MOS) and Evelyn. Herbert died in 1979, and Ann moved to Richmond, Texas. There she met William Henry "Bill" Nichols and they were married in 1983. Ann loved to smock, sew and quilt. Many of her creations, including the ones pictured below, were made for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Besides her daughters, she leaves behind 13 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and 21 great-great-grandchildren!

Daughter Millie tells a great story about Ann when she was a young girl. She wanted a red dress in the worst way. Her father was a carpenter, but times were hard so the family didn't have much money. Getting the dress of her dreams wasn't very likely. Somehow, someway, her parents managed to get her the new dress she wanted; however, it wasn't red. Ann took care of that! She went into the basement where her father kept the tools of his trade. She found a can of red paint and painted the dress red. Problem solved! Dream realized!

Ann and her daughter Mary often made MOS members laugh at meetings. They were totally themselves, and fussed or teased each other, often surprising visitors who didn't know they were related. Not only was Ann Mary's mother, but she was also her best friend, and seeing their relationship each month was delightful. Ann mothered many of us and made us feel so special. She always made us feel our work was the best, even if we didn't think that ourselves. 

Her sweet smile and encouraging words are definitely missed.

Patsy Kay Taylor Summers
November 5, 1940 - April 2, 2017

Patsy was born in Baytown, Texas. She married William Alton (Bill) Summers on August 7, 1959 soon after graduating from high school. She then followed Bill to Austin, Texas where he was finishing his degree in Petroleum Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. She began her college education there as well, but that education was interrupted when Patsy found out she was pregnant and when Bill accepted a job with Texaco in Liberty, Texas. In December of 1960, Patsy began her career as a a mother with the birth of Arlene Kay. Her family grew with Valerie Fay, who was born in 1962, and again in 1965 with Kelly Doyle.  Patsy loved her children and grandchildren unconditionally, and as any of her friends would attest, Patsy did not hesitate to share her children's and grandchildren's stories with anyone who would listen.

When Arlene was born, Patsy began sewing clothes for her. Patsy studied patterns, talked with other seamstresses, and began to build her collection of patterns, material, and notions, as well as machines. She loved learning more and more about sewing--learning how to make men's suits, how to sew boat cushions to save money for her husband's hobby , and when she became a grandmother, how to smock. She joined the Midnight Oil Smockers chapter of the Smocking Arts Guild of America, and was a very faithful member. She attended every meeting she could, until her health would not allow her to do so any more.

Patsy was preceded in death by her husband of 44 years, William Alton (Bill) Summers, Jr. and her parents, James Harvey Taylor, Jr. and Brooksie Janice McElroy Taylor. Survivors include daughter Arlene Meyer and her husband Chris Meyer and their children Lauren, Andrew and Scott; daughter Valerie Taylor and her husband Kerry Taylor and sons Brian and Sean; son Kelly and his children Travis and Erika; and her cousin Kelly Charles Mudd.

The Midnight Oil Smockers offer their sincere condolences to the families of these two ladies. They made our members, and our chapter overall, much better. We are thankful for the chance to know and experience life with them.

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