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Janice Keith visited Tom and Jewell Johnson recently. Tom and Jewell are still able to live at home due mainly to the assistance they get from their sons, Lowell and Larry. Grandson, Kent Johnson, is there all the time as well.

Norma Stillings played Christmas music at Rocky Ridge in Mansfield and the nursing home at Hartville, Monday afternoon. Before the week is over, she is supposed to play in five different homes. She volunteers with Hospice Compassus and helps with the “Santa” visits.

When I got home from our Ladies Bible Study, Thursday morning, my son, Dan told me that our cousin, Chalmer Hendrix had died. Chalmer was born near Ava on June 1, 1916. He and his wife Lucille (Langston) had moved to California about 70 years ago. He had worked for the Tri-Valley Growers until his retirement in 1981. He and Lucille loved to travel, but due to Lucille’s health they could only make short trips. After Lucille’s death Chalmer made numerous trips to Ava and Branson, Missouri and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Chalmer departed this life, December 6,  while on a trip to Branson. I was sorry to hear that Chalmer had died, but it seemed almost fitting that he should finish his life while on a trip to Missouri. He just was not one to give up the idea that he should make those trips. That determination had brought him a long way on a lot of adventures.

I could not help but remember the time about three or four years ago, when he had come to Ava for the Stillings Family molasses making. I had gotten a call from the Super 8 Motel from a night clerk asking my advice. Chalmer was not able to lie down and catch his breath. I went down to see about him, and he would not agree to go to the Emergency Room. The ambulance had been called and they had advised him to go, but he just would not. He did want to see a doctor, though.  I said, okay, I would take him to a doctor the next morning.  He rested or slept on a recliner that night and the next morning, I took him to a doctor’s office. They said that he had to go to the hospital, as they could not do what he needed there in the office. So they sent him out in an ambulance and I followed it to Springfield. He ended up being admitted. By the next morning he was feeling 100% better, I brought him back to Ava, and he was able to finish his visit here in Ava. I was very thankful that he did not die then and doubted that he could make another trip, but he did.

Chalmer’s friend and cousin, J.G. Heinlein, who had driven him around while he was here on these trips, died Tuesday, December 11. Chalmer and J.G. were third generation descendents of Andrew and Ann Hartley. This family supplied many of the businessmen of Ava, lots of teachers in Douglas and Ozark Counties, some preachers, and a family of doctors. That Hartley family went a long way on populating the area around and between, Cow Skin and Beaver Creeks. There are many of the Hartley descendents buried in the Denny, Arno, and Arden Cemeteries.

Losing Chalmer and J.G. makes me realize that my Dad’s generation will soon be gone. I did enjoy knowing them.

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