BIOGRAPHIES of HENDERSON COUNTY

LOIS ELIZABETH (PATTERSON) WILKINSON

Our selected mother this day, is honored with a loving tribute by her daughter, Betty Threadgill, who says, "The Angels whispering to one another can find among their burning terms of love, none so devoted as that of mother." God knew in His great wisdom, that He could not be everywhere, so He put His little children in a loving mother's care.

Mrs. Wilkinson was born June 12, 1917 to Charles Ervin and Arlie Mae (Ryals) Patterson, the 4th of 5 children. Eileen, the youngest, died at an early age. SHe had three brothers, Almer and Guy, both deceased and Elco "Pick" of Lexington. I have known and loved Pick for many years as it was he who drove the ambulance when we made a perilous trip to Memphis with my 14 year old son, Ben on the brink of death. He made other compassionate trips for us and finally was there 36 years later when it all ended. He was and has always been a true friend.

Lois was born and reared in the Middlefork community and still lives near the place of her birth. She remembers they had to work hard but had a happy, fulfilling life. Their home was a gathering place for neighbors and young people. There was always ample food for all who came. Many nights the young folks would play cards or dominoes and listen to the victrola. All the Patterson children had jobs. The boys worked in the fields, cut wood, etc. Loiskept wood for the kitchen stove and Pick kept water in the house. Lois says her mother played the guitar and taught the children to play. Betty says, Pick got his nickname from taking his guitar with him everywhere, playing and singing also; he played the mandolin and if you can believe it, he yodeled like Jimmy Rogers!

When Lois was growing up, Middlefork was known as Lizard Lick with 3 stores, a barber shop and cotton gin. On Saturday afternoons, people gathered to have a good time bringing musical instruments and visiting. Lois regrets that now people are too busy to enjoy the simple life. Family names in the Middlefork community are Rhodes, Ryals, Patterson, McAdams, and Crook. Many are related and it really is a family community.

Lois attended school at Middlefork where W.C. "Professor" Crook was the principal. He is the grandfather of Patricia Holmes, Winfield Crook and Susan Bunch. Lois has fond memories of these school years, especially of Kathleen Rhodes adn Minnie Page Adams, teachers of the school. Professor Crook started a high school class and taught 2 years before buses started transporting students to L.H.S. At this time, Lois was 16 years old an din love with Ernie Ray Wilkinson of Middlefork. They were married January 23, 1933. They had three children: Betty, Charles and Rick.

Betty is married to Paul Threadgill who works at Lexington Water Department. Betty works at Lexington First Federal Bank. They have two children Reid and David. Charles and his wife (Sarah Plunket) live in Lexington. Rick lives a short distance from his mother.

Lois is very proud of her family and there is never a happier time than when they all get together. Her husband Ernie died October 26, 1991 at the age of 80. She feels the loss very much but the love of family and friends have helped her through. Lois always loved her church and has been active at Unity Baptist for many years. She has served as choir director but a throat problem has limited her singing. She is secretary of the Sunday School; active in WMU and has been quilting for 21 years at the church on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She bowls on Wednesdays and belongs to a league. She has written her community news for the Progress for many years and has used this article to seek help for a needy family.

Lois worked at Salant & Salant for 30 years, retiring after suffering a heart attack, but has done Volunteer Work at Methodist Hospital.

Ernie Wilkinson is buried at Unity Cemetery in Chester County.
Lexington Progress "An Interesting Person" by Doris Jarrett

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