When I was young, I thought my mother was too brusk, too aggressive in responding to persons she thought were bigots, religious or racial.
Now, that I have somewhat matured, I admire her attitude. She was ahead of her time in believing and speaking out her belief that everyone was entitled to share in the blessings of the opportunities that were offered to immigrants in the United States in the late '20s and '30s.
Born in the north of Ireland, she experienced "The Troubles," (the times of animosity between Catholic and Protestant groups over who lived where, what they believed, with whom they associated, and any other trivial matter). She was determined that her children would never go through that.
She was a born leader, active in church and community. I remember her reprimanding a priest who had made a disparaging remark about black people and another time when she ordered two members of the Ku Klux Klan off the property, after she told them what she thought of them and threatened to sic our rather fierce dog on them if they stayed "a minute longer."
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She and the mayor of our community were leaders in the transfer of that community from a township to an incorporated city. Also, she and the mayor initiated a fundraising drive that resulted in the building of Beaumont Hospital nearby.
She never yielded to pressure to change her mind or her vote if, after more study of the issue involved, she still believed she was right.
I wish all of us could be as strong in defending what is right and good as my mother was.
-- Sheila Sullivan, Richland