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Rose Mary (Barber) Berry

From Then To Now

Rose Mary Barber


After graduation from high school I married Hurbon Allen Berry on February  10, 1962.  My husband passed away in 1995.  We had been married 33 years.  Most of those years I spent as a Wife, Mom, and Grandma.  We have two children, a son, Thirl Eugene Berry, born April 17, 1964 and lives with his family in Ladson, SC and is co-owner of an Electronic Company. 


Our daughter, Melinda Joann Berry, born July 22, 1971, lives with her family in Gideon, MO.  She is an LPN and works from her home as a Medical Transcriber. 


We were also blessed with 4 grandchildren, Adam Dale Jordan, born December, 1991 and attends school at Clarkton, MO., Cayce Almazan Berry, born August, 1994 and lives in Ladson, SC., Johnna Lynne James, born February, 1999 and attends Gideon School.   Kaler Andrew James, born August, 2000 and attends Gideon School.   Who could ask for more?


My life began June 6, 1941 at Spadra, AR.  My parents, William Clarence Barber and Grace Myrtle (Hill) Barber were 40 years old when I was born.  I was the youngest of 6 children.  I had 3 sisters and 2 brothers.


That same year the Arkansas River flooded out of its banks and forced my parents to move away to find work.  We moved to the countryside southeast of a little town named Gideon, in the "Boothill" of Missouri.


Times were hard in 1941 and my parents barely made it that year having arrived in late October past the work season with five children, one being only 5 months old ... me!  Crops were already out of the fields except for the "rough cotton" or boles.  My parents, like many other parents, supported their families by "pullin' boles." 


By age four, my oldest brother was in the Navy and my older sister was married.  I spent a lot of time with my older sister and brother-in-law while mom and dad worked in the fields.  I was with them so much that in later years most people thought I was their daughter and mom and dad were my grandparents.


I remember when I was five years old, my older brother coming home from the Navy.  I was so scared when he picked me up and hugged me.  He was a total stranger to me.  After a few days I got use to having him around and he taught me to tie my shoes.


During my "growing up" years we moved away from Gideon four times and would stay away up to two years but we always came back to the southeast countryside of Gideon and worked in the country and cotton fields.  I attended schools in Mt. Vernon, Canalou, Parma, and graduated from Gideon High School in 1959.


My dad passed away in 1958 at the age of 57, just four days after my 17th birthday.  My dad didn't live to see me graduate.  He would have been proud because he never knew how to read or write.  He went to work in the coal mines and timber when he was only 12 years old.  The only thing he could print was his name W.C. BARBER, but he always wanted better for his children.  Even though Dad couldn't read or write he was really good at counting and math.


My mom had a 5th grade education but she had a lot of "Common Sense."  She never failed to speak her opinion about anything.  Dad was the quiet one, but together they raised 5 of their 6 children to adulthood.  My oldest sister died at the age of 11 in Arkansas before I was born.


Looking back now I know we all were really blessed to have had so many good teachers at Gideon in the 40's and 50's.  I wouldn't have changed a thing about my school days.  I did okay with what I had.  I think everyone helped each other more back then.  I was poor, but happy.  I sure didn't know the word b-o-r-e-d, like the kids today.  It took our entire family to make a living and I will always remember the struggles and hardships we had.  Out of six children, I was the only one that got to finish 12 years of schooling.  Thanks to my mom and dad who always encouraged me.  Also, my brothers and sisters who were always there for me.  Remember, I was the youngest so I got a lot of "do's and don'ts" passed down to me.  I have memories of GHS that will never be forgotten.


After dad passed away, my mom remarried to George Davenport ... so, Inez, Irene Iona, Alberta and Lester became my "kinfolks."  After all those years being classmates and friends at school, we were now step-sisters and step-brother.


After graduating I worked at Cafeterias, Hotels, and Dry Cleaners.  I traveled through Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Iowa, Texas, Kansas, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama and of course Missouri. 


I live in Gideon.  My time is spent doing a lot of sewing, quilting and helping my daughter and 3 of my 4 grandchildren.  My granddaughter in Lodson, SC had never seen snow until Christmas 2004 when she was 10 years old.  These small pleasures are what makes a grandma happy.  I have a full life.  I've learned to thank the Lord for everything that comes my way and to take one day at a time.  I have my Lord, my family and my friends-what more is there in this lifetime.

My love to all.  Rose Mary.


Rose Mary's Photo Album


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