Compilation of Tributes to Elsie Mitchell Rice

A Family
Tribute
to
Elsie Mitchell Rice

(1913-2003)
Elsie wrote: (Excerpts taken from Elsie Rice’s memoirs.)

“We are a large family and we still enjoy being together. [My great grandchildren] are the lovingest children and the future generation of this country.”

“My advice to all future generations of our family would be...to put God first in your life...to honor your father and mother, love your neighbor...read and study the Bible, especially the New Testament, to learn how to really live.”

“I desire that [my grandchildren] all know God and Jesus Christ as their Savior. I’m very thankful to God that several are being obedient to God as missionaries.”

“...God is a sovereign God, ...He is all powerful, He can do anything and He sent His son into the world to make a way for such as I to get to heaven.”



My Dearest Mother
Barbara Rice Hobbs
(Fourth child of Elsie Mitchell Rice and Guy Franklin Rice)

My dearest Mother was a wonderfully strong, capable, happy woman.

She loved and honored her husband, my Father, shared her home with her mother and father-in-law and managed to raise five children during a time when luxuries were not plentiful.

She always looked for ways to be creative in her home--sewing, cooking, arranging flowers--anything to add a sense of delight and beauty to our surroundings. Later, she helped her children do the same in their own homes.

We all were “famous” in elementary school for our special desserts -baked early before school- for our lunch bags. Sometimes I sold mine to buy ice cream. Mother also would spend many days in August every summer sewing for the girls, getting us ready for a new school year.

Birthdays were the best! Oh, not the presents, (although there was always something to unwrap) but the sense of mystery and anticipation that my Mother created was great. And the birthday cake was always an original creation --wow, from fire trucks, school buses, open books, dolls with cake skirts to multi-tiers with flowers!

Mother was active in the community and in serving her neighbors -- from nursing a sick friend to making a wedding cake. She taught children in Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, used her music ability and later taught a women’s Bible class. She had a great desire to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and to study the Bible. I remember hearing about a small neighborhood, women’s study that she led for several years. She loved it.

She had a quiet, strong faith and spent a lot of time praying for her family (as did her grandmother before her) She wanted so much for each one to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior.

As her family grew up, Mother was always available to help and support, but never interfere. She refused to listen to my petty complaints as a newlywed and loved my husband like a son. She welcomed each new baby into this world with great delight (sixteen grandchildren and thirty-four great grandchildren) and was given the privilege of giving the first bath many, many times. I always appreciated the way she could come into my home and quietly figure out where help was needed without a lot of “to do”.

Time for her grandchildren was limitless -- to play in the dirt, teach the names of flowers and trees, take one child on a picnic, make new night clothes, teach a craft, read a story or just take someone home for the night.

How I miss her already! There are so many things I want to know, that I forgot to ask...so many stories that were never told.

BUT God is good and so I thank Him for my Mother and my memories of her.

Remembrances of:
Leslie Hobbs Williams
(granddaughter, daughter of George and Barbara Rice Hobbs)

Grandma poured herself and her love for God into my life. She took the time to know me as one of many grandchildren. She taught me to love the Lord by talking to me and by example. Her faith was solid and unshakeable.

Grandma's house was one of my favorite places to go. On our way "out to the country" we would stop and get a treat - some sugar cereal. How special she would make me feel. She would scratch up some dirt for mud pies, let me stand in a chair and wash dishes, make doll clothes or dough flowers. Often we would take walks and she would teach me about flowers and how to care for them. I believe my love of flowers comes from her. Grandma invested in me.

Grandma's love of family is the reason we know and love each other so much. She was excited and interested when my children were born and they love her too.

I loved Grandma and will miss her. But I will always be glad for the heritage of love for the Lord and others, strength, courage, and hard work she passed to me. She was the best!!!!
Tribute to Grandma
George V. Hobbs, Jr.
(grandson, son of George and Barbara Rice Hobbs)

Most of us, I would expect, would have summertime memories of spending time with Grandma and Papa at their house. Over the last few weeks and periodically throughout my short life, I have remembered sights ,smells, and sounds that remind me of Grandma. These things always make me smile inside and give me the warm feelings of being loved and of simpler, less stressful times.

Living out in Chesterfield, I have frequently driven down Duval Rd. I remember walking with Grandma down that same road, feeling full of fried okra, squash and whatever else she cooked, the sun setting,going to visit one of her friends. I often wondered how in the world she seemed to know who lived in every house on that street. I can hear the crickets chirping and the sound of the log trucks always driving too fast past her house.

She had this really neat pipe in the backyard that made bubbles during the day. Little did I know that it was because she didn’t have a permanently installed drain line for the kitchen. She didn’t complain about that, but made up great stories about the neat creeks that formed in the backyard whenever she used water in the kitchen. It seemed everything about her house and the times spent there were fun.

As we grew older we found that as neat and loving a lady as grandma was, she was also a very funny lady with a sharp sense of humor. We still laugh about her red coat that had never been shopping and her telling our Granny Hobbs to stop cussing.

Looking back on the things that she did for us and the time she spent with us, her love of her family is so prevalent that it is inspiring. What an example to get your priorities in order. Her love for our Savior is a great example of a strong woman of God. She seemed to always linger after praying with her head bowed as if she was always adding her own blessing or prayer request on top of those that were spoken. One of the most valuable things that she passed on to her daughter ...and her daughter to me... is that you love your family and make sure that you devote your time to them and raising your children to love God and tell others about Him and His saving grace.

I’m sure she is spending time telling Papa, Aunt Anne, Aunt Betsy, and Daddy about all those silly grandchildren and great grandchildren that she got to hold and love for a lot of years, telling them all about each one of them, and after that I know that the choirs of angels need one more alto from Mount Hermon to sing praises to our Heavenly Father.

I will miss her smile, her half sticks of Freedent gum, little boxes of cereal from Styles Bi-Rite…..but most of all I will miss just Grandma……
My Memories:
Marjorie Hobbs
(granddaughter, daughter of George and Barbara Rice Hobbs)

For as long as I have lived, I have loved my grandma, Elsie Rice. When I was a child, my love for her was influenced largely by the fact that she loved me first and I knew it. I remember long walks, picking wildflowers, spending the night at her house, making cakes together, going to Peoples Drug Store for a grilled cheese sandwich and getting to sit on stools at the counter. Grandma made me feel special and spending time with her was always a treat. She was also lots of fun! She actually used to rake up the dirt in her driveway and water it with a hose so that we would have mud to play in. Once she even showed up at my mother's birthday party wearing her bathing suit over her clothes... oh, how we laughed! Grandma had a great sense of humor and could make any event more enjoyable just by being there. For the years after Papa's death, Christmas morning at our house could not begin until Grandma had arrived. I can still see her smiling face as she would come to the door with all her packages at 7 am greeted by all of our shouts and hugs.

Memories like these I will always cherish, but as I have grown older my love and respect for Grandma has also grown deeper. As I have listened to her tell me the stories of her life, I have seen a woman of great strength, courage, and humility. She was a woman who could rise above her circumstances. She was a woman of faith. I grew up watching her minister to others through her music, service, creativity, teaching, and friendship. She loved God and she ached for others to know Him as she did. It was during a visit this past year that I asked her if she had been thinking much about heaven. And she responded brightly, "I'm going there, you know...because I love Jesus!"

I have learned so much from this woman and am honored and blessed to have called her Grandma. In her passing, a part of life as I have known it has been changed forever. I will miss her terribly, but I praise God that she is finally home!
Remembrances of:
Thomas Smoak II
(son-in-law, husband of Betsy Rice Smoak)

When we lived in Miami for a two year aviation course, Betsy lost her first baby, Isaac, a full-term baby. Elsie immediately came by train to be with her.

I don’t know what Betsy would have done without her.

Elsie disassembled the newly made baby’s room. She cooked the very dishes that Betsy liked best as a girl. And they talked incessantly for two weeks.

And she rode to the beach on a Cushman motor scooter behind her daring young son-in-law!
My Memories:
Thomas Smoak III
(grandson, son of Tom and Betsy Rice Smoak)

Every time I see a piece of mica, that shiny, clear stuff in asphalt, I remember walking down Duval road with Grandma in search of afternoon adventure. I remember she explained to me that the pioneers used to make windows out of the clear stuff. I can still feel the heat rising from the black top and smell the pine needles roasting in the quiet afternoon sun. A bobwhite would whistle now and then. She taught me what they were called. Usually our adventure became building a terrarium with some moss and an old pickle jar, or gathering pine cones for decorating. She knew exactly how to make everything fit into an afternoon since that's all I had with her on my special "night at Grandma and PaPa's." Just to be focused on exclusively for 24 hours made these trips something to look forward to.

On our way out of town we would stop at the five and dime and pick out anything I wanted to play with, and then take the long drive to the country. Her quiet confidence always assured me everything was alright even with PaPa's eccentric remarks and cigar smoking. Most of the time I picked out a matchbox car. In fact I can remember buying the same model twice I liked it so much. I still have one of them.

The beds were always softer and the sheets clean and crisp. The food was something from last year's garden and always more than enough. And there was plenty of soda or Kool-Aid to drink ... not like our house where you had to limit your consumption due to supply and demand.

Perhaps my young heart had been bound a little more tightly to Grandma because we had traveled from Colombia to the US together when I was only 5.

I remember much of the details, but one thing is sure, you always felt safe with Grandma.
My Memories:
Dania Smoak Jameson
(granddaughter, daughter of Thomas and Betsy Rice Smoak)

My memories of Grandma are many, some are funny and some are serious. If I were to remember a few funny things about her, I would mention the times she would come home from Mount Hermon Baptist church, where she attended for many years and go straight to the bathroom of her farm house and yell, "I've got to get these panty hose off and this girdle!" I also remember watching her husband and my "Papa" turn her over his lap and give her a love pat on her back side as a way to say, "I love you", I guess, and she would giggle out of sheer embarrassment.

Often when I spent the night in her farm house we would get the giggles together over the silliest things and roll with laughter until late into the night. Of course before we reached this point, Grandma would always have her piece of fruit (peeled) before she went to bed! (Maybe her "apple a day helped her body hold up until 90 years of age!)

On her serious side: Grandma was very consistent in reading her Bible and I loved to hear her pray with me whenever we got the chance. Her voice was gentle and filled with love for Jesus and for me. She was honest and very sincere with God every time she prayed. I enjoyed many times with her talking about Jesus and what He meant to us. Grandma also taught me the importance of integrity in the way she lived. I remember as a elementary age girl, I lied to her about something once and she was firm but loving with me about the reasons why I should not lie. She always loved me where I was at in my stages of growth. I am so thankful that she never made me feel unimportant or unloved. She helped me stay encouraged to walk when my peers made fun of me. The main quality I will always remember her for is love for me and others.

I also enjoyed learning from and watching Grandma's creativity. She taught all of her grandchildren to make her roses out of bread dough. She created beautiful embroidery patterns and taught us how to do them. She sewed for all of her children and clothes and blankets for many of her grandchildren . I would also like to mention that I sure will miss her ability to make such a good applesauce cake! That was one of my favorite foods that she made often.

Of course several of us remember Grandma's blunt manner that brought us laughter. I am so thankful for these and many other things I have in my heart from knowing Grandma that I can pass on to others in the years to come. She was faithful to God, her family and her friends in the way she lived and loved.

I will miss you very much, Grandma, for as long as I am here on earth, but I so look forward to joining you in heaven some day! I love you!
My Memories:
Larry Smoak
(grandson, son of Thomas and Betsy Rice Smoak)

Grandma valued family heritage. One of my favorite things to do with her was to pull out those big photo albums, sit side by side on the couch, (of course with her favorite George Beverly Shea record playing in the background), and look at old family photos. She would go picture by picture and tell stories of High Point, NC days, tobacco picking, dairy farming, etc. It seemed like she always enjoyed looking through those pictures and telling us stories. I saw that for Grandma, family was the very fabric of life.

There was something special about Grandma's scrambled eggs. I always looked forward to spending the night at the house out on Duval Road, knowing that Grandma would likely fix those extra fluffy, bright yellow and white, scrambled eggs with toast, bacon and grits for breakfast. In my mind that defined breakfast for me, and the start of a day of fun at Grandma's house.

Grandma had the sturdy, ruddy kind of faith. I forget how many times she visited our family in "the-middle-of-nowhere" of Colombia, South America when I was a kid. But I never thought anything of it; the leap from the normal comfort zone of the "good ole USA" never seemed to phase her. Her faith and character were so sturdy that Grandma just kept on keeping on. "They don't make 'em like that anymore."

Finally, I always enjoyed singing with Grandma. She played the piano gracefully, had a good voice and sang alto really well. I can remember her singing "And I cherish that ole rugged cross" and feeling like she really meant it. Well, now Grandma, the day has come when you will at last exchange that old cross for a crown. Thank you for your life, faith and love.
Things I remember about Grandma…
Lori Smoak Lindstrom
(granddaughter, daughter of Thomas and Betsy Rice Smoak)

...her love of strawberries,
...her cat Sweet Pea,
...listening to her play the piano,
...singing at her 80th birthday party,
...her delicious applesauce cake,
...playing in her sandbox when we were little,
...riding our bikes to Providence Green,
...spending the night with her (I could never sleep in bed with her because she said I was too squirmy),
...telling her "when" when the glass was full,
...listening to her tell wonderful stories about her life,
...the hours she spent sewing pearls on my wedding dress,
...how much she loved her great-grandchildren,
...when she laughed in embarrassment at one of George's jokes,
...her wall full of family pictures.

Even though I will miss these things about Grandma, I rejoice that she is finally in glory where she has longed to be, with Papa, Uncle George, Aunt Anne and Mom. I love you, Grandma!
My Memories:
Laurie Smoak
(granddaughter, daughter of Thomas and Betsy Rice Smoak)

I have so many wonderful memories of Grandma. I will always remember what a treat it was as a little girl to spend the night out at her and Papa's house. I loved it when I could help her around the yard, watering all the flowers she had planted. I remember feeling so special to be there with her...just Grandma and me.

I remember her laugh and great sense of humor that was so Grandma...her unique way of speaking her mind.

I remember how much I loved to hear Grandma play the piano and sing those beautiful hymns.… specially when she would take me to her little country church and sing with her choir. I was so proud of her.

I remember how she loved me for me...and her sweet words to me as we grieved together over losing someone so dear to us...a mother...and a daughter, Betsy.

The memories most dear to me are the times spent with Grandma hearing her stories of her life growing up...being the oldest child and all the responsibilities that came with that...her relationship with her mother and father, and her sisters and brothers, how she fell in love and married Papa...

I remember her telling me how difficult life was back then...being newlyweds and having to live with her in-laws...life was hard with lots of hard work on the tobacco farm, having babies, and making ends meet in creative ways, especially for birthdays and at Christmas time, her amazing gift of sewing anything and often without a pattern! I remember her telling me about her first "real job" rolling cigarettes.

I remember her telling me so many stories and showing me picture after picture, each sparking an exciting tale of her life...to her they were never magnificent stories, or anything grandiose...it was just her simple life, nothing else. But to me, each one, each little detail of what life was like for her and how she felt was a delicious morsel that I savored and will continue to cherish like a rare and beautiful treasure for all my life.

What an incredible gift to have had such a wonderful grandma.
Tribute to Elsie Rice, My Grandma
Jeffery Martin Cox
(grandson, son of George and Anne Rice Cox)

Summer time. What memories do we have of summer time? Why do some of us like winter and some like summer? I believe it relates to the memories we have of the season. Thoughts of summer are good memories of Grandma’s house.

The humidity brings memories of sitting in the den, watching Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom was always a treat at Grandma’s house.

Open the refrigerator and gaze at PaPa’s latest catch, waiting for the skillet. Grandma would proudly say how much it weighed and comment on what a nice catch it was. I wanted to please Grandma too, maybe this is were my love for fishing came from. The fishing was always good at Grandma’s house.

The food at Grandma’s house was always special. I learned to love country fried ham, grits, red eye gravy and biscuits. PaPa would tell me “It will put hair on your chest”. I liked PaPa’s hairy chest, so I tried it and I liked it. I will always think of Grandma’s house when a family member tries to cook her famous chocolate applesauce cake. Always one more glass of milk, and I wasn’t forced to eat those horrible green vegetables at Grandma’s house.

The woods at Grandma’s house were endless. The creeks, the old logging roads and trails held arrow heads, round rocks like cannon balls, and various animal bones. The woods were one big field trip at Grandma’s house.

The shot gun behind the door held lots of intrigue and rebuke from the adults. Until one day PaPa let me shoot it. The target was set close to ensure a bulls eye. The 20 gauge was loaded. Hold it tight against your shoulder. BOOM! It knocked me to the ground. Instant respect. This was not a toy to play with. I shot my first game at Grandma’s house, a quail. The hunting was good at Grandma’s house.

I learned about devotion and commitment at Grandma’s house. Seeing her by the radio listening to preaching taught me of God’s importance in our lives. Watching her be devoted to PaPa in the bad times and good taught me more than words can say. Character was taught at Grandma’s house.
Grandma’s Hands
Nancy Friesen
(granddaughter, daughter of George and Anne Rice Cox)

Hands say a lot about a person. And for some reason hands trigger a lot of memories for me. Grandma is no exception.

Grandma’s hands were always busy — washing dishes for a house full of company, sewing a dress for someone, decorating a birthday cake, or working in the garden.

Grandma’s hands were strong, gentle hands that could set right the most wayward grandchild, or gently wipe away a tear.

They reached out and drew each person she loved into her warm, soft embrace. I can still feel that embrace, being surrounded by her love.

Her hand held mine as we walked through the Ben Franklin to pick out a coloring book or special toy. They handed me many Popsicles, and circus peanuts from her secret stash!

Grandma’s hands worked magic on the stiff, sometimes undependable keys of her old upright piano, coaxing the most wonderful sounds of praise to her Lord.

Grandma’s hands gently held her Bible as she studied it, to learn from her Savior and to teach others about Him.

I often held her hands these last few years when they could do little of the things she used to do. But every time I looked at them, I saw all these things... and more. I saw love, diligence, and security.

I love you, Grandma!
Grandma’s Inheritance
Jack Cox
(grandson, son of George and Anne Rice Cox)

A couple of years before her death, after she had checked into Health Care at Lakewood, Grandma confided with me that she was afraid that she was going to spend all of the inheritance she wanted to give to her children and grandchildren.

I believe that the inheritance that we have received from her is priceless and beyond measure. We have received from her an example of a life lived in simple, steadfast, and reliable faith in and love for her Lord Jesus Christ. This life lived in simple faith and love has brought blessings down through her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
My Tribute to Elsie
Gladys Robertson Norton
(sister)

We thank God that Raymond and I were privileged to spend a few precious hours with Elsie on her birthday on May 8th. Since then I have been remembering some of my early relationships with Elsie, whom I adored. She was the oldest of our parents eleven children.

She played the piano beautifully. She could play and sing at the same time and she taught her sisters to harmonize. We learned “Have thine own way Lord” and when we attended a near by tent meeting I volunteered us to sing our beautiful quartet. She was so upset with me but we did it anyway!! The first of many.

When I graduated from high school, in 1938, my gift was a trip to visit Elsie’s wonderful family. I thought I was something special, traveling alone on the bus to Carolina. I had no idea of the sacrifices made by everyone so that I could go to see her. She gave me a precious gold cross necklace, which I still have. She always made the world’s best applesauce cake.

She taught us what it means to live a Christ-centered life and to influence your family to trust Him in all things.

Her children and grandchildren are dedicated to winning the world to Christ. What a legacy she has left for each of us. We thank God for her life. We have lost a rare good friend.
Remembrances of:
Nancy Rice Wallace
(niece, daughter of Claude and Lucy Rice)

Aunt Elsie was always my "pretty" aunt with her black hair and ready smile. Although she was always very busy, she was unfailing in her good nature. There was always a twinkle getting ready to happen in her eyes and laughter just below the surface. She was my mother's best friend-both in growing up and in adulthood. I was always envious of her three girls because they always had playmates right in the house. The girls were always beautifully dressed in clothes she had sewed.

Aunt Elsie excelled in almost everything she did and she did a lot. Her life was wrapped about her family and they always came first. Her leadership and nurture with Uncle Guy's help produced a wonderful family. Her deep spirituality is reflected in the lives of her children.

So, how do you measure the worth of one human being? Not by wealth or accomplishments or status, but by the modeling of a Christian life before family and friends. The seeds planted by love and nurtured throughout her life will live on in her children and grandchildren and in my memories.
"Big Sis" Elsie
Bob & Marian Mitchell
(brother)

Thank you for being my sister. We had some good times together.

I will never forget the big hoot owl sitting in your beautiful Christmas tree. Nobody had seen him until about 10:00 A. M. on Christmas Day. We had to carry the tree outside and shake him out. Then we ate and ate and enjoyed Christmas dinner at your home.

I will never forget any of this--it makes life worth hanging on to.

Love You, Bob

As Elsie's taste in clothes became more colorful and more flattering to her pretty coloring--I would tell her how nice she looked and tease her with "What would Ma/Mattie say about what you are wearing?" She would smile her serene smile, which I felt was a reflection of her personality.
Marian Mitchell
(sister-in-law)
My Memories:
"Baby Sister" Naomi Mitchell
(sister)

Sister Elsie was the oldest child of Mattie and Will Mitchell. She was married and had children of her own before I was born. Therefore, we were not as close as sisters might be.

But, when I was a child, I remember joyous trips from our farm in Dinwiddie to visit Elsie and her family in Mosley. These were all-day trips which could probably be made in an hour or so today.

I also remember the funny looking Airedale dogs which she and Guy had that scared me every time I saw them.

I was always "Baby Sister" to dear Elsie and I loved her dearly.
Remembrances of:
Dolly Porter
Sis #10

Since I started to write, Sis Elsie (as she always signed her cards) has gone to be with Jesus. What a celebration we can have now! We (Gladys, Barbara, Nancy, George, Brenda and the children and I) celebrated her 90th birthday on the 8th of May with Gladys' pound cake, ice cream, drinks and fruit, and even though she could not enjoy the food, she was with us in spirit. She was able to say "birthday" and I understand that she was not happy about being ninety. I am so happy that we were able to be with her on her special day...just as we had been on many previous birthdays,especially her 80th when the children planned a "Gala Affair!"

I am so glad that Cindi, Zachary and Eli and I visited Elsie in the past year so that the boys will have some remembrance of Aunt Elsie whom they only knew from photographs and a couple of family functions in their earlier years. She enjoyed their stories, their yo-yo performance and each of them recited Scripture verses for her. Elsie particularly enjoyed Zachary's which was taken from Romans 8:38-39. The boys really enjoyed Elsie's pictorial bulletin board and remarked "You mean all of these are our relatives?" What a joy!

I am thankful for the influence Elsie had on all of our lives. Mama would let me visit in her home during the summer when we were out of school and we had such good times there. I especially remember the beautiful home, the piano she played so well, the songs we would sing together, the old grist mill in the back yard, and, of course, the "johnny house" which held several sizes of seats. I admired her so much for taking care of Mrs. Rice during her golden years. Elsie had a knack for interior decorating and no matter where she lived, her home was always so warm and welcoming. She was the most unselfish person; there was always a smile, a happy "note" to sing, something positive about her church, her relationship with her Lord or her family, and her children inherited these characteristics. As she aged, her faith became stronger, even in the death of her husband, Guy, and her daughters, Anne and Betsy (whom we all loved). She has instilled in all of us a love for Jesus and that He should take precedence in our lives. What a legacy to leave - children and spouses, grandchildren and spouses, great grandchildren, brothers and sisters, and an abundance of friends, who love each other - who serve others in the name of Christ in the world - and who share many wonderful memories.

Elsie used to tease me for introducing her as "my oldest sister." I am glad she was....and I will miss her and her influence. I loved her very much!
Remembrances of:
Judy Cook
(niece, daughter of Jack and Ruby Mitchell Cook)

The first thing that came to my mind when this request arrived, was Aunt Elsie's laughter. She had the special laughter that served as a magnet to draw us to her. Her laughter was infectious.

But, the times of laughter that I remember most are those moments when she and my Mom (sister Ruby) would share moments together. The two of them would talk and laugh at memories or the quirks of life. We aren't talking chuckles here, but lovely laughter! They shared a very special sister bond, and when together, they loved sharing stories of their family, reminiscing, and laughing together. It was always a joy to see them enjoy each other so much.

I have many fond and precious memories of Aunt Elsie. She was always loving to me and to others. She has lived her life being gracious, generous, hard working and brave. And, she shared her laughter! I do love Aunt Elsie!
My Memories:
Carolyn Rawlings
(niece, daughter of Ruby Mitchell Cook)

I am one of Elsie's many nieces, daughter of her sister, Ruby. I remember going with Mom, as a child, to Aunt Elsie's in Mosely, Va -- first in her house with the French doors in it (quite impressive to a child) -- and then to her new house down the road with the wonderful big window in front. My Mom and Elsie were very close and we always enjoyed the visits.

Aunt Elsie always openly expressed her Christianity. What a gift to those around her! She was such a special lady.
My Memories:
Jim Hethcock
(nephew, son of Fred and Jenny Rice Hethcock)

Elsie has lived a long good life and Jesus has prepared a place for her where she will see Jesus, Uncle Guy, her mother and father, Grandma and Grandpa, Anne and Betsy. What a happy homecoming it will be. She will not only see them, but will be with them forever in a place which Jesus prepares for those who love Him.

Aunt Elsie was a very strong woman, good wife, mother, grandmother and great grand-mother. I have many happy memories of your grandparents. When Uncle Guy married Aunt Elsie, he brought her to live with grandma and grandpa, his parents home. Grandpa and Grandma lived with them until their last days. Aunt Elsie was good to them and cared for them in their latter years. Grandpa said that Elsie was the best daughter-in-law of all his other sons wives. She was good to Grandpa when he was sick and helped Grandma to care for his needs.

Aunt Elsie was a beautiful woman, no wonder Uncle Guy loved her so much. They loved each other. Aunt Elsie had long beautiful black hair and plaited her hair into two buns on the back of her head. I always admired the way she set her hair. Years later Aunt Elsie went to have her hair cut without telling the family. When she came home the whole family cried because she had had her beautiful hair cut short. Before she had her hair cut, I remember mother telling me about Aunt Elsie performing in a church program. She was dressed in white, her long black hair hanging down her back, leaning on a cross with the congregation singing "Rock of Ages".

I remember when you mother, Anne, was born at home. Uncle Guy’s sister, Aunt Mamie, named her and Aunt Elsie put in Mitchell as her middle name. Aunt Mamie passed away shortly after that.

Aunt Elsie was a good cook and made the best home made biscuits every morning with home made butter and molasses. Uncle Guy and Aunt Elsie would help make homemade ice cream. On Saturday evenings all the family gathered in the parlor and Aunt Elsie would play the piano. All of us would sing hymns and familiar songs. That was the days without television, telephone or lights. We played games like Chinese checkers and Rook.

Those were the good old days . They worked hard on the farm but had fun times. I wish I could turn the clock back.
My Memories:
Mary Gotwald
(sister)

Elsie was a "big sister" to me in numerous ways. In my early childhood I had long hair and she could comb it without pulling which I appreciated. Later we were "bed buddies" and I was privy to some of her secrets as well as her philosophy of life. She taught me about "the birds and bees", love of music and literature, loyalty to others, and by example respect for one's elders. Her devotion and love for her children was remarkable and they, in turn, loved and respected her.

As adults, we remained good friends and loved each other without reservation. Our trip to The Holy Land was a high light in my life and will always remind my of our closeness.

I shall miss her!
Blessed Assurance
(Words by Fanny Crosby)

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest;
Watching and waiting, looking above
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.


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