Graveside services for Olivia White will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26at Lone Valley Cemetery at Marvell. Visitation will be Friday, Jan. 25 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Robert Lee Brown Memorial Chapel.
I have been asked to share some of the events I can remember of my 108 years of life. First, I thank our heavenly Father who gave me a long life. I was born Olivia Williams in Marvell on Jan. 28, 1904. I was the second of 12 children of the late Alfred and Lula Jane (Gibson) Williams. Nine brothers and two sisters preceded me in death.
I grew up on a farm in a small village that grew to become a big town. We grew everything on the farm, cotton, corn and hay. Everyone had a big vegetable garden. The only thing we had to buy from the white man's store was, sugar, salt, flour, coffee and rice. Everything else we grew. We raised hogs and cattle for meat and we had chickens, geese and ducks. We had fruit everywhere and on Christmas my grandfather would buy a bunch of bananas and some oranges.
My mother made our clothing, she and my Aunt Nina. So I had plenty of homemade dresses, plus pleated skirts and mid-day blouses. The material used was of voile and gingham. I would have a whole lot of ribbons in my hair and on my dresses, especially if they were Sunday dresses. I didn't like red but my mother loved it so I kept my mouth closed.
I remember when the Titanic went down. I was very small and helping my mother set out cabbage, collards and tomatoes in the garden. My folks did their planting on Good Friday sometimes and by the Farmer's Almanac.
I professed a hope in Christ and was baptized at age 11 under the pastorate of the late Rev. James Chandler, of the St. John M.B. Church. At age 14, I was secretary of the Sunday School.
I remember the first car I saw, a Model “T” Ford. My grandfather John Gibson had one. In 1923, I moved to St. Louis, joined Pleasant Green M.B. Church and served on the usher board for 17 years.
In 1932, I was united in marriage to Graham White. No children were born of this union. Graham preceded me in death. We moved to Chicago in 1947.
I joined Olivet Baptist Church under the pastorate of the late Dr. J. H. Jackson. I served as vice president of the Friendship Circle for over 30 years.
As a licensed beautician, I specialized in styling.
What ever happened to the Hudson Car? Oh, I forgot this is a new day and everything is different now. What happened to dances like, “Walking the Dog”, Balling the Jack and “Shake that Thing? “ My sister Ruby injured her hip doing the “Twist”. I did a dance called the “2 Step”. No one was hurt doing the old time dances.
Page 2 of 2 - One of my best memories was the first Gibson/Taylor family reunion (1975). We had over 300 family members there.
Olivia White departed this life Jan. 20, 2013 in Chicago at the Renaissance Center on South Shore. She leaves to cherish her memory, her nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews and great-great nieces and nephews, cousins, friends and many acquaintances.
Family and friends may sign the guestbook at:www.brownshomeforfuneralsinc.com.