Edith Fuller was born on May 31, 1919 to Joseph Stell and Hannah Victoria Simpkins. She was born at home in the country about three miles from a little town in Louisiana called Eros. She grew up in a house her Papa built the year she was born. It had a long, enclosed hall down the center, with big rooms on both sides.
There were ten children in the family: Ottice, Tello, Reubin, Collier, Lois, Edith, Medria, Mildred, J.S. and Ollie V.They lived on a farm. No electricity, no radios, no refrigerators, no cars. Summers were spent planting cotton, chopping cotton, and picking cotton. Gathering corn. Picking peas. They had cows, mules, pigs and chickens. They grew sugar cane and made sugar cane syrup. On their property was a very cold spring of water which is where they kept their milk in gallon syrup cans. They had two fireplaces in the house to keep them warm when it was cold. Every Saturday it was Edith’s job to clean the lamp globes.
Her mother’s mother, Grandmother Vaughn, lived with their family. She was the widow of a Civil War veteran and drew a pension which she shared with them. She made sure they had plenty of good food to eat. At Christmas time there were oranges, apples, and always a “hoop” of cheese. Chocolate pies, coconut pies, egg custard and pound cake. Edith always received a little doll for Christmas.
Grandmother Vaughn had some favorites among the siblings, but Edith always said, “I was not one of her favorites!” But Grandma Vaughn loved her family, and when she would receive her pension check in the mail, Papa would hitch up the mules, and they would all climb in the wagon and go shopping in Chatham, a little town about ten miles down the road. That was always a fun day for everyone.
Edith rode the school bus to a one-room schoolhouse for several grades. Always a gentle soul, but with a feisty spirit, one day she challenged another girl on the school bus, and decided she needed to “take care” of the problem between them by “whupping up” on the girl. No more problems after that, but she always felt badly about the fight.
They had an old-fashioned pump organ in their home and her sister Ottice played it well. They attended the Methodist church where Ottice played the organ. Every two or three months Papa would take Ottice and Edith to singing conventions in the area. Ottice would play and Edith would sing. This was even before she was a teenager.
After the boys grew up and left the farm, Edith became Papa’s helper. She helped plow with a team of mules named Maude and Rhoda. Rhoda was a good mule, but Maude was mean and bad. Edith was scared to death of her. Also, before she went to school each morning, she had to milk two cows, one of which liked to kick her and knock the milk pail over, scaring Edith badly.
Edith’s family attended the Methodist Church. When she was seventeen, she and some friends attended a “Brush Arbor” revival meeting, and they especially loved the singing and preaching. Brother Jack Hudspeth was the preacher. Edith received the Holy Ghost and was baptized in a creek named “Possom Branch”. Later another preacher, Brother G. A. Mangun, came and preached. He stayed with Edith’s parents for several months until he left to attend the Apostolic Bible Institute in St. Paul, Minnesota.
At church Edith met a good-looking guy named Theodis Fuller and married him when she was seventeen years old. He picked the guitar and later the bass fiddle, and after they married, they sang together at church. Their first child, Robbie, was born at the home where they lived with Theodis’ parents. When it was time for the birth, the doctor rode his horse through the woods to their home, found an empty bed and slept through the night until it was time for the baby to be born.
She and Theodis would walk to church, about five miles through the swamp, crossing the Flat Creek on a log. Theodis would walk ahead of Edith, carrying Robbie on his shoulders. When it was dark, he shined the way with his cherished flashlight. After church they would walk the five miles back home. No streetlights, just the moon and stars, and Theodis’ flashlight.
Theodis thought he would be a farmer but was not successful, so he began as a door-to-door salesman, selling Rawleigh products. They were good products, but because of his quiet nature, he just couldn’t talk anyone into buying them. Then they moved to Fairbanks, Louisiana, then on to West Monroe. There he worked for the Columbian Carbon Company for many years until he retired.
Billie Rose was born in the hospital in Monroe, Louisiana. It was in West Monroe that they first had a telephone…with several on the party line. And finally, a car! After moving to West Monroe, Edith got a job working in the bag factory. After both girls were married, Edith attended school and became an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) and worked in Obstetrics helping to deliver babies, even helping to name some of the babies.
Edith and Theodis loved to travel. They bought a small travel trailer and traveled all over the United States and much of Canada. Theodis would not fly in an airplane, but Edith wanted to see the world, so she flew on a trip to the Holy Land and to Jamaica, and in her eighties, she flew to England with her two daughters, three granddaughters and two great-granddaughters. They rented a fifteen-passenger van and had a most wonderful time touring and making unbelievable memories. After Theodis’ death, Edith also took several bus trips with other seniors.
She was a faithful member of the First Pentecostal Church in West Monroe, Louisiana for many years. Around her ninetieth birthday, she moved to be with her daughter Billie in Oklahoma City and Robbie in Dallas. She spent her most recent years in Dallas and attended The Life Church.
Edith passed from this life on January 31, 2022. She is preceded in death by her parents and nine siblings. She is survived by her daughters, Robbie Guidroz and Billie Smith, and son-in-law Dale Smith; her grandchildren Arlen Guidroz, Elizabeth Goodine, Angela Hadlock, Stephanie Hutton and Dub Smith; her great grand-children Bradley Goodine, Bethany Cranfield, Colton Hadlock, Haley Senchal, Justin Hutton, Carly Hutton, Evan Smith and Ella Smith; and her great-great grandchildren David Cranfield, Zara Cranfield and Indie Cranfield.