McDonough native, Tommie Lillian Glover, is pictured with niece Tonya Grier (standing) during an annual Glover family Christmas dinner. Glover will turn 95 years old on Dec. 28.
By Johnny Jackson
The children of Tommie Lillian (Clark) Glover are planning the 94-year-old's first formal birthday celebration. Tommie Glover turns 95 on Dec. 28, but family members said they plan to host a 95th birthday celebration Dec. 26.
It will be held at Shiloh Baptist Church's Education Center in McDonough, from 1 p.m., to 5:30 p.m.
"It just kind of slipped up on me, but I feel all right about it," said Glover, of reaching the milestone. The McDonough native was born, Dec. 28, 1915, the third child of Thomas Clark and Hattie Bell (Spencer) Clark, according to her daughter, Julia Hayes, of Lithonia.
Hayes is Glover's fourth, of 14 children with late husband, Rev. Theodore Glover. The couple, noted Hayes, was married in 1933 and attended Bethlehem Baptist Church in Locust Grove until the reverend's death. She said her parents were married 23 years before her father's death in 1956.
"My daddy passed on when he was 43 years old," said Hayes. "She was 40, and she had to take care of all her children."
The daughter recalled the lessons she learned from her single mother. "She was a person who was so giving," Hayes said. "I know she went through some hard times, but she never complained about her children. She wanted us to get educations, and she wanted children who tried to do what was right."
Hayes' youngest sister, Atlanta resident, Edna O'Neal, echoed those sentiments. "She taught us that we should live a good life, and that we should mean something in society," said O'Neal. "We always had a good example. She's lived this long life, and may out-live me, because she is obedient to God. She raised all of us that way, that God should be first in our lives."
O'Neal's older brother, Johnnie Glover, is the seventh child. "It was tough," said Johnnie Glover, of McDonough. "We were about the poorest people there were, and she was left with all of us."
The aging mother worked several jobs over the course of her life, including doing housekeeping work, said the son, who retired in 2005 from the Henry County Sheriff's Office, after 34 years in local law enforcement.
"She was a hard worker, and she did everything she could for us children, to make sure we had our way," he continued. "It was tough on her, [but] we all grew up understanding that you've got to sacrifice and keep pushing in order to survive. We're a blessed family."
The Glover family remains close-knit nearly 80 years after it began, according to daughter, Hayes. She said her mother reigns as the matriarch of five generations, which includes more than 50 grandchildren and a host of great-grandchildren, as well as great-great-grandchildren.
Hayes describes her mother as an inspiration to others, who has lived a Christ-centered life. She said her mother continues to worship with the Community United Pentecostal Holiness Church.
Known for old-fashioned "T-cakes" and her attention to history, Tommie Glover has lived through two World Wars, the Great Depression, and the Civil Rights Movement, in addition to her own challenges. "Some way, I came through," said Glover, who views the future of the world with hope.
"It's worse now," she said. "The times are different from what they were. But I hope it will get better for the future."