When I married my husband, I also got the best mother-in-law in the world! She welcomed me into her heart and home completely and after 41 years of being married to her son, I cannot recall her ever criticizing me even though I am sure I have disappointed her at times. She always chose to encourage, forgive, and love.
Last Thursday she went home to heaven and oh how she will be missed!
Let me tell you her story--it's a love story.
Hilda Gattmann Patton aka Mema was born to Fritz and Josephine Gattmann--the beloved baby girl in a family with five kids.
She grew up to be a beautiful young woman.
Hilda fell in love with Henry Murriel Patton, the boy next door. As children they used to rendezvous and talk through the hole in the backyard fence.
Right after high school graduation toward the end of World War II, Murriel enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was stationed across the country in California. He flew home to take
Hilda as his bride.
Hilda set up her first home in Navy housing, a quonset hut. They were a happy couple.
After Murriel fulfilled his commitment to the Navy they went back home to settle in Savannah, Georgia. Murriel began working for the telephone company and they started their family...
Henry, Jr., Eleanor, Jeffery...
and Anita and Dorothy...
Hilda and Murriel worked hard to provide for their family and theirs was a happy home. The years passed and the kids grew up, married and then grandchildren began to arrive...
The heartbreak of Hilda's life came when her dear husband Murriel died. She was a
one-man woman and when asked if she would ever date again, she said that she didn't plan to...the only way she would consider dating again would be if she could date Murriel.
The family continued to grow and now there are 15 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren with 2 more due by the end of the year!
|This picture of grands and great-grands was taken at Hilda's 80th birthday party in 2009.|
The last few years Hilda has battled health problems. Her family has been by her side through it all until last Thursday she left her earthly life for an everlasting one in heaven. We trust that she received a joyful welcome from her parents, siblings, and especially from her beloved Murriel! I feel sure she also heard "Well done, My good and faithful servant," from her God as her faith has now become sight.
We were blessed to have her for so long and we will, we do sorely miss her! She lived a life of love--a great legacy.