Sadie Young’100 years young

Sadie Lohn has been away from her hometown since 1996 when she moved to the Panhandle, yet her hosts of friends in McCulloch County have not forgotten this lovely little lady. On Sept. 3, Sadie joined the select few among the millions of people in the world who live to celebrate their 100th birthday. A reporter for the Canyon News interviewed Sadie prior to her birthday and has shared this interesting insight into Sadie’s life and thoughts. She wrote: Sadie survived childhood snakebite to live to 100 years By Patricia Gardner Canyon News Staff When she was 11 years old, the devil’s serpent’a rattlesnake’tried to take Sadie’s life. The doctor who was summoned to her home said that if she lived through the night it would be a miracle and if she did she would be crippled for the rest of her life. Sadie Jane Parker Lohn, who made her debut into the world of Webb and Katie Parker on September 3, 1903, not only made it through the night, but when she was 14, played forward on the high school basketball team in her home town of Pear Valley. She then went on to receive her teaching degree from Howard Payne College in Brownwood. In 1903, Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company; Wilhelm Einthoven invented the electrocardiograph; the first Tour de France bicycle race was run; Wilbur and Orville Wright made their first powered airplane flight; the first motor taxis appeared on London streets; Jack London wrote ‘Call of the Wild’ and Richard Steiff designed the first Teddy Bear in honor of then President Theodore Roosevelt. Three days shy of her 100th birthday today, Lohn said she has seen many changes in her lifetime, but none affected her as much as surviving the snake bite and learning to walk again. She missed a year of school yet kept up with her lessons, all the time praying she would be able to attend college so she could become a teacher. ‘I knew the Lord would help me walk and play again like all the other children, so I exercised my leg every day. I even got to where I could go back to the cotton fields with my dad by riding on the back of one of our old horses,’ Lohn said. Lohn didn’t chop cotton anymore, but she helped bring the cows in to milk every night and never got over her fear of snakes. After graduation from College, Lohn began a long career of teaching in a one-room school at Salt Gap, where she had seven students in seven different grades. She continued there for five and a half years. She then moved to Waldrip, 10 miles from her hometown and taught all 12 grades for five or six more years. That was where she met her husband, John Lohn, who had returned from duty with the U.S.Marine Corp. They were married on July 4, 1932 in Yuma, Az. and took up residence in Brawley, Calif. where he was a volunteer fireman and a mechanic for Ford Motor Company. Two years later, they had a daughter, Janice, and then moved back to Brady where John ran a service station until his death in 1967. A teacher through and through, Lohn taught school for 25 or more years, including teaching Sunday School wherever she was since age 17. ‘The church has always been important in my life,’ she said. When I was young, I prayed I could get into college and the Lord provided. I have taught primary school children Bible lessons, sang in the choir, and worked in vacation Bible schools all my life.’ She also worked at Methodist Children’s Home in Waco and then in Buckner’s Children’s Home in Dallas. In 1996, Lohn moved to Canyon to be near her daughter who lived in Amarillo. She lived alone, enjoyed sewing, crocheting bedspreads, cooking and gardening in her yard until last year when she broke her hip while tending her flowers. It was at that time she entered I.H.S. Still determined to win over life’s set backs, Lohn hopes to one day go home again, although she realizes it will be difficult what with the loss of hearing in one ear from a recent stroke and diminished vision from macular degeneration. She said she is especially proud of her daughter who devotedly spends afternoons by her side or in the lobby playing piano for her and other residents of the center and encouraging her to recover. ‘We don’t change things, God does,’ Lohn says, ‘and by the grace of God, I have had a good life. I am proud of my daughter and her two sons and I wish that everyone could be as blessed as I have been in my life.’ A birthday party will be held for Sadie Lohn on Monday at IHS. Her friends are invited to attend or send a card. H I called Janice to check on the party. She said there were 22 guests even though it was a holiday and among the 44 cards Sadie received were two special cards from the members of the Lohn Baptist Church and the First Baptist in Brady. Janice is preparing a scrapbook for her mother. Sadie was a member of the Pear Valley Baptist Church until it disbanded in 1963, the building was moved to Lohn and members transferred to Lohn. After moving to Brady Sadie was active in the First Baptist Church there. Sadies’s husband, John Lohn, the sixth of the 12 children of Marion and Lizzie Lohn was born in February of the same year as Sadie, 1903. He was too young to serve in World War I with his older brothers but enlisted in the Marine Corp during peace time and was stationed in Hawaii. While there he was seriously injured in an a motor accident that affected his health in later years. John spent quite some time in and out of the veterans hospital in Waco. Sadie carried on with the grace and fortitude that has defined her life. She never lost her love of the classroom and always attended the opening day of school at Lohn. Sadie had three sisters, Thelma, Mable and Ellen and one brother, Webbie. Webbie never married, lived at Pear Valley on the home place until he went into a nursing home; Sadie helped care for him. She has two sisters-in-law, Mable Lohn Clark in Austin and Annie Laurie Lohn Ludwick in Brady. As she said in the interview, she has been blessed in her life and her many friends and family members feel they too have been blessed to know her and send their best to her on her 100th birthday! Tom Kleumper was 80-years-old on Sunday, Aug. 31 and on Tuesday Sept. 2, he checked into the hospital in Fredericksburg for removal of gallstones. He was only there overnight and was back home on Thursday and picking up the mail. Diane Reed and Tanya Swenson drove to Killeen recently to visit Lt.Derrick Bobo who is stationed at Ft. Hood. The ladies were taken on a tour of the base and were treated to dinner at the Olive Garden and a movie, “Pirates of the Caribbean.” The following day they drove to Waco to shop at their favorite store, Barnes and Nobles, and stock up on some good reading material. Derrick is progressing in his flight training, last week he went up for his solo flight. He will be transferring to Pensacola, Florida in February. In the meantime his wife, Michelle, is working on her degree at Angelo State and her future commission in the U.S.Air Force. Derrick and Michelle were here over the holiday for a visit with grandparents, Klein and Celeta Reed whose other visitors were Sam and Ginny Reed and their weimeramers, Harley, Saphy and Springer. Charlie and Anna Campbell from San Angelo came on Saturday and spent the day. Nadine Browning made a weekend trip to Amarillo to see Barbara Young and Dale who is still in the hospital recovering from a rather lengthy illness. Nadine drove to Abilene so Joyce could chauffer her to Amarillo. Several former Lohn natives were in Brady this past weekend to attend the West, Patterson, Jeter, Thornton cousins reunion at the Civic Center. One of the senior members of the cousins at the event was Jewell Thornton Latimer whose family lived at Lohn years ago. Jewell started school at Lohn in 1925 and her first grade teacher was Lorna Draper. Jewell lived in Abilene for many years; worked for U.S. Brass as an inspector and also worked 21 years for Timex before retiring. She continued to live in Abilene until she felt she should move nearer her daughter’s family in De Soto. Jewell is 86 and despite heart surgery and other problems looks remarkably well. Jewell’s brothers were Marvin, Horace, Delworth and Milton; sisters were Ella Mae, Grace and Ada. The oldest sister, Vermillion, died at 18 months. Their mother was Lou Ella West Thornton, a sister of Loyd West and Verna West Browning. Loyd West married Blake Draper and Verna West married Emzy Browning, my uncle. The Thornton family was well known in the community. Delworth Thornton, called Coot by everyone in Lohn community also attended school at Lohn, worked at the service station across from the school, but had to quit school in the eighth grade to help support his brothers and sisters. The children picked cotton in the fall and quilted in the winter. Lou Ella was an expert seamstress and helped support her family by doing alterations for the Brady Dry Cleaners. (Coot may have also been one of the school bus drivers pictured in the 1939- 40 annual.) Coot Thornton married Mamie Allen whose parents, Thomas A. and Savanna Tennessee Guess Allen, were farmers in the Lohn area. Their other children were Charles, Porter and Wilta Bea, who attended school at Lohn. Mamie graduated in 1938, Wilta Bea in 1941. They had two step- sisters, Frances and Delphine Allen. Delphine, who is buried at Lohn, married a Chaney and had two children, Bill Chaney, long time weather man on an Abilene T.V. station and a daughter, Rose. Milton Thornton , known as Buddy, was involved in a car accident when he was 18 and lost his eye sight. He learned to play the steel guitar and became a very talented musician, wrote songs and produced records. He played often at Buffalo Gap. Buddy died at 80, two years ago in Abilene, but before his death he realized a dream of learning to play eleven different instruments simultaneously. He practiced long enough to make the dream a reality and did play eleven different instruments at one time and was listed in the Guiness Book of World Records for that feat. Buddy attended one of the Lohn Homecomings in the past. The majority of the people attending the West, Jeter, Thornton, Patterson reunion have direct ties to the Lohn and Pear Valley communities so I invited them to come to the Tabernacle at Lohn for their next reunion. I stopped by the reunion because two of my first cousins from Abilene were there, Eulalia Browning and Mary Joyce Browning Ray. There will be a wedding shower for Bryan and Sheila Finlay Patterson, recent newly- weds. Everyone is invited to attend. The shower will be Sunday Sept. 14 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the tabernacle.

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