The Heroines

Ida McClure Stucky

is honored with a Medium Bench from John J. Stucky.

Learning was easy for our father; he spent a lifetime educating himself. He loved to learn. His joy in education was self-improvement and self-satisfaction.

Learning was not as easy for our mother. She saw education as a commodity that could improve our lives. Both Mother and Dad had eighth grade formal educations. Both had grown up "church mouse" poor. She was determined that things would be better for her twin sons, John and Joe. Education could change the tenant philosophy that had plagued the families for generations. She told us that we were going to college. We were repeating it when we were five years old. We learned very early that something was expected of us and that negotiation was not an option.

Ida McClure Stucky was a practical woman. She was a master at making something out of nothing. Our first shoes were sewn out of the tongues of Dad's worn out boots. She was a competent seamstress. She made all of our clothes when we were small, and all of her own. This was done on her Montgomery Ward treadle machine; there was no electricity.

Her flower and vegetable gardens were visited yearly by classes sponsored by the Extension Agency. Her windmill pumped into her gardens from May to October. We have said, in jest, that we were 20 years old before we knew that vegetables came in cans. All of hers were put into jars for the winter.

She lost her baby, our younger brother, when he was 20 months old. It was 48 hours from his beginning illness until his death. It was one of the few times that I remember seeing her cry. We were four years old but this made her even more determined that our lives would be different.

She was a God and Country woman, a 100% American. It was her nature to be loyal without question. Although her life had not been easy, she believed in America and that America was filled with opportunity for those who were prepared. Her church was very important to her. A window in the church honors her lifetime of service as a Cradle Roll teacher.

As she grew older, her love of life and of living things never left her. Her perfect roses, irises, and other flowers decorated her yard and her home.

Finally, on an evening in November, 1985, as we stood by her bed, she asked that we stand so that she could see both of us together. Having seen us together, she closed her eyes. We had lost our mother. America had lost a pioneer.

August 31, 1998