At 103 Years Old, Aunt Faye Just Keeps Going

“This baby girl won’t make it, she’s just too small”, is what the Doctor said when Oleta Faye Glover was born. She weighed less than three pounds when she was born on April 6, 1913 at the family cabin near Winnsboro, Texas. She was the fourth of seven children born to Larkin and Pearl Stroman Glover.

Oleta Faye’s grandmother, Nan Stroman, put the tiny baby girl in a shoebox and placed her on the open door of the cast iron cook stove. For three weeks, Nan kept baby Oleta Faye warm by placing one stick of wood at a time in the stove to maintain constant low heat. Oleta Faye survived, and has survived 103 years since.

Her father owned a sawmill and moved from community to community sawing stands of

Oleta Faye Glover Turner

Oleta Faye Glover Turner

timber. Oleta attended first grade at New Hope School and the family moved to Gladebranch when she was nine. Larkin began farming then and she finished school there.

At fifteen, Oleta Faye Glover married Clyde Turner in Winnsboro.  They had two children, Joan Thorpe of Tyler and Tommy Turner of Austin. She has five grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren. Family always came first, and she had a gift for making her children, grand-children, nieces and nephews all feel like they were her favorite.

100_2952As part of the War Effort, Oleta went from running her Singer Sewing Machine to running a Flange Machine at North American Aviation. Oleta was one of the first women hired to work in the plant at North American Aviation. Pictures of Oleta Faye running her Flange Machine appeared in the plant newsletter and on one of the plant posters.

Later, Oleta Faye worked at Titches Department Store for nine years and then became a claims supervisor for an insurance company. She retired after twenty years but she continued to work part time at Foley’s Department Store until 1989. She moved back to Winnsboro in 1995.

Oleta’ s love for the Lord always played an important part in her life. She was baptized when she was twelve in Gibson’s Pond near Winnsboro. She was a member of Forest Avenue Baptist Church for 20 years, Colonial Baptist Church in East Dallas, and First Baptist Church in Winnsboro. Her service organizations include Eastern Star and Red Hatters.

Oleta was a world traveler too. She was in Cuba just a week before Castro assumed power. In addition to traveling to all 48 states, she has been to Hawaii, England, Scotland, Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Canada and Mexico.

She has always loved gardening and was one of the first women to volunteer at the Dallas Arboretum. She was a member of the Bells and Blossom Garden Club in Dallas, and a 20-year member of the East Dallas Garden Forum. She organized the Sunshine Garden Club in 1980.

After moving to Winnsboro, Oleta Faye volunteered until she was 95 at Winnsboro Presbyterian Hospital. She worked the cash register in the cafeteria until her eye-sight began to fail, and then answered phones.

Oleta Faye lived on her own in her Winnsboro home until she was 101 years old, where she had a beautiful garden and many friends. After a fall and rehabilitation, she came to live with her Nephew and Niece, Mark and FullSizeRenderPenny Glover in Flower Mound.

Mark and Penny always called Oleta Faye “Aunt Faye”, and she was always much more than their favorite Aunt.  Beginning in 2001, Aunt Faye and her Texas Honeys traveled to Jackson Mississippi for Sweet Potato Queen Parade.  She was the Grand Marshall in 2013.  Aunt Faye is loved by Sweet Potato Queens all across the nation.

Aunt Faye enjoys healthy living in Flower Mound. In good weather, she is out and about 10384444_1143003022390539_5021467471479758433_ntouring the gardens and visiting the chickens & turkeys in her chauffer driven golf cart. She turns 103 years old on April 6 and is healthier now than she was at 102 years old. But she has overcome the odds since 1913, when the doctor said this three-pound girl would not make it.

Recognizing These Great Trees

by Mark Glover, 10/29/15

Trees have always been a major part of our lives. They are a stabilizing force, connection to nature, and a source of beauty we can depend on – day after day and year after year.  It’s hard to imagine life without these magnificent trees we enjoy.

We have about forty trees on just under three acres. Bob Rheudasil (my father-in-law) planted almost all these trees when he built the home on this property in the late 1960’s. Bob was a man of the dirt and a renowned tree farmer. He knew how to raise healthy trees and they have all grown to be splendid specimens.

tree awardTwo of our trees are really spectacular with immeasurable value to us. The Town of Flower Mound recently recognized these two special trees with awards. Love and appreciation for trees is something that makes Flower Mound special. We greatly appreciate these tree awards from the Town of Flower Mound!

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Bob’s Water Oak – click to enlarge

Bob’s Water Oak

34-1/2” diameter at 4-1/2’

47-1/2’ tall +/-

73’ x 65’ canopy +/-

Bob transplanted this sapling in the late 1960’s from a
creek bed off what is now Morriss Road, close to where Forest wood Middle School is. The Edward Marcus Lodge sat on this property until 1983. Bob planted several of this tree’s sons in the decades after planting this tree. Its descendants are quite impressive as well.

Neil Sperry used Bob’s Water Oak in his book, Neil Sperry’s Complete Guide to Texas Gardening, 1991, page 97. Neil recognized the quality of this tree when it was about twenty years old.  At forty-five years old now, Bob’s Water Oak is nothing short of magnificent.

Almost daily, I sit at Edward Marcus’s desk that was given to Bob Rheudasil. Just in front of 20151027_174247_001-1_resizedme, out the plate glass window, is Bob’s Water Oak.  And just beyond it, a 250 year old Post Oak. It’s a special place and I’m grateful to occupy it.

Water Oaks are not native to Flower Mound, making this tree a little rare to begin with. This tree enjoys splendid health and will continue to provide pleasure for decades to come. Bob left us quite a gift with this tree.

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Freedom Oak click to enlarge

Freedom Oak

37” diameter at 4-1/2’

42-1/2’ tall +/-

69’ x 69 ‘ canopy +/-

This Native Post Oak has stood for about 250 years. We started calling it the Freedom Oak when we first learned its approximate age. It was an acorn about the time this Nation was founded in 1776. Perhaps it is 50 years older or younger, but 1776 provides an easy point of reference.

20151029_111909_resizedThis Freedom Oak may have heard a Native American Indian telling a story of the first white men he saw. It may have felt the rolling thunder of 50,000 Buffalo storming across Long Prairie, or may have provided refuge for a pair of bear cubs trying to escape a storm.

With the arrival of white setters, this tree would have seen new breeds of animals – horses, cattle, goats and chickens. Barbed wire, farming and ranching changed the landscape; then tractors, automobiles, houses, and more progress. Generations of families have come and gone during this tree’s life. Some may have stopped to enjoy this old tree; others scurried by, too busy to pay attention to an old tree.

25253_113282378695478_100000411498448_181316_2793910_nMany of us appreciate these old trees. Beyond their beauty, trees are living history and a strong connection to nature. If you take pause under one of the old trees and listen very carefully, you can hear their mighty whispers.

Let’s Preserve Our History & Heritage!

They say many things about history. One is that history belongs to those that invent it. This is a scary thought to me. If true, this means a great deal of history is mere fiction and invented incorrectly.

A large percent of history is simply forgotten as well, never to be revealed of again. As the old-timers fade away, so does the history of their lives.

I knew some of the old-timers around Flower Mound and heard some of their amazing stories. I am still hearing stories, rummaging through old photographs, and collecting what a lot of people consider worthless junk. I sometimes wonder how many boxes of old photographs, newspaper stories, letters, and other artifacts are thrown away or lost as we lose our early residents.

The lives of those that were here before us are a treasure and should be preserved.  The older I get, the more I appreciate history. I hope you feel the same, and together, we can preserve our history and heritage.

I was blessed to have lived with and be a family member of Bob Rheudasil. He was the first Mayor of Flower Mound, my father-in-law, and one of the greatest men I have ever known. I always thought of Bob as the “Last Gentleman Cowboy”.

Bob Rheudasil as a young man

Bob was a real cowboy in early Flower Mound days and ran a cattle ranch with 4,000 acres and hundreds of world renowned Aberdeen Black Angus Cattle. When development and urban sprawl came to Flower Mound and a huge cattle ranch no longer made sense, Bob adjusted and became a renowned tree farmer. He planted many trees that still stand proudly around Flower Mound.

I want to write about Bob Rheudasil and early Flower Mound leaders to preserve these stories, many of which Bob told me.  Hopefully some of you will share your early stories too. Together, we can discover and record the real history and heritage of Flower Mound, and not leave it to others that may distort or guess at it. We can’t have strangers inventing our history and heritage for us, now can we?

Bob Rheudasil died on September 19, 2011, just months after the 50thAnniversary of

Bob Rheudasil receiving a Proclamation for Flower Mound's 50th Anniversary

the birth of Flower Mound. One of the last times Bob stood on his own was at a 50thAnniversary Celebration, where he proudly received a Proclamation from the Town of Flower Mound, honoring his early leadership. I believe Bob and God waited for that 50th Birthday party. Bob loved Flower Mound. He had a major stroke just days after this presentation and never recovered..

Flower Mound was born in 1961 in the midst of a land skirmish known as the Denton County Wars. The City of Irving was attempting to annex a lot of North Texas including Flower Mound.  Flower Mound had to fight a significant legal battle against this annexation, or become part of Irving.

Bob Rheudasil, Doc Wilkerson, Edward Marcus, and other early residents banded together and won a Landmark Legal Case to stop this massive annexation. Flower Mound was incorporated quickly after and Bob was elected the first Mayor.

Bob was a real ambassador for Flower Mound and always said, “I welcome you to Flower Mound, as long as you welcome the next ones to come”. These are some of the most unselfish words I know. Bob said them to every new resident he met, as he watched Flower Mound grow from farms and ranches to the community it is today. I hope more residents adopt this principle, as I have.

Flower Mound was born fighting for land rights and it seems like Flower Mound has been fighting ever since.  If you have been around Flower Mound long, you know the politics are always spirited and sometimes bloody.

Aside from fighting each other, we have always had to fend off outsiders from plundering the town for profits and precious resources. These struggles continue and are a part of who we are – even today. We have always had a lot to fight for and our struggles have made Flower Mound the quality community it is today.

When Bob was with us, a friend wanted me to help get the old-timers together at the Flower Mound Presbyterian Church to discuss the early history of Flower Mound, and to celebrate Flower Mound’s 50th Anniversary. I asked Bob if he would help me organize the old-timers and invite them. Bob told me all the old-timers he knew were already at the Presbyterian Church, in the cemetery next door. Now Bob is there with them.

Bob Rheudasil in his Bluebonnets

Bob and others in Flower Mound led amazing lives and left us a proud heritage. Let’s re-discover and share their lives, before this history is lost forever or invented by those that don’t really appreciate it.