Kate Cole turned 100-years-young on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016. She was born in 1916, one of 11 children who grew up on a farm in Allen County. She has seen quite a few changes in this world over the years, but doesn’t consider herself any different than anyone else. She has a humbleness about her that supersedes her years, but definitely has knowledge we can all learn from, which is to take life as a blessing no matter how long you have in it.
“I feel blessed to be able to make it to 100, but I have to admit, I never thought about getting this far,” chuckled Kate, who has a magnificent sense of humor to go along with her healthy heart and mind.
It would be impossible to list all of Kate’s memories and experiences which she has accumulated over the years. She has lived through six major wars, a depression, the dust bowl, two stock market crashes, a civil rights movement, 17 United States Presidents, and the list goes on and on. When Kate was born women could not vote for four more years.
She remembers when there were no televisions, no radios, no electricity, no running water, no telephones and one room school houses, where girls only went to school through the eighth grade. Kate went through the eighth grade three times because she did not want to leave school. She loved school and one of her fondest wishes was that she could have gone to high school like the boys.
“They didn’t look at girls the same back then,” said Kate. “They didn’t have the same opportunities. They were expected to get married or go work in a store, which I did.”
No regrets, however, Kate had a wonderful life as she tells it. She worked hard, as did her brothers and sisters. Living on a farm you had to pull your own weight. It took everyone to make it work. She said back then your neighborhood was all you knew. Everyone knew each other and everyone was involved. She even met her husband at a neighborhood event.
Kate and her brothers and sisters sang in a group together when growing up. As The Dixie Red Wings, they would travel all around, even singing every week in Nashville, Tenn., on WSM Radio. Cowboy songs is what would describe the type of music they sang. Kate learned how to yodel, which she can still do today. One of her brothers, Jimmy Jones, sang with the world renowned Gaither’s Gospel group for years.
When asked what some of the biggest changes have been over the years, Kate stops for a moment and ponders. Clearly she says that the world has little by little, slowly as no one seems to notice, changed, but not always for the good.
“People took the time when I was growing up to visit with one another. I remember sitting till bedtime at our neighbor’s houses and just talking and playing,” Kate said. “People don’t take the time anymore.
Kate said she doesn’t know what’s wrong with the world today. “It’s getting crazy,” said added. One of the problems she thinks is we don’t have leadership anymore like we used to have. “No one wants to be a good leader anymore,” she said.
One of the greatest gifts Kate enjoys in her life are her two grandchildren and her 6 great-grandchildren.
“I love spending time with them. It’s a joy you can’t explain,” said Kate.
Kate lives with her only daughter Martha and Mickey Meguiar. She lived by herself after her husband died several years ago, but decided it best to spend the rest of her days with her family in Russellville.
“I can’t describe how wonderful my daughter and Mickey are to me. They are wonderful people and I love them both so very much,” said Kate.
Kate’s family threw her a birthday party Saturday, Aug. 6 at the home of her granddaughter, Lori and Thomas Bouldin. Numerous friends and family came to celebrate her 100 years of life and all the generations that have come because of it.
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.