“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
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.
As 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 Penny 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 touring 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.