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Dear Tom,

My aunt Alice is on her second marriage to her husband Howard.  They have been married for 27 years and they have 16 children…it’s like “8 is enough” times two!  They each have 8 offspring from their previous marriages, plus grandchildren & great grandbabies.

At 75 years of age, she says she owes her good health to the good lord.  She retired from RJ Reynolds where she worked as a quality assurance technician.  You would never know she is a smoker when you hear her sing – she says she used to smoke Winston’s but they changed the “taste” so she now smokes monarch 100 reds.

My aunt keeps her garden well-tended and blooming with flowers; she still cuts her own grass, and takes care of her 88-year-old mother who lives with her.

Her home has always been open to everyone and is a place of refuge for the neighborhood.  She loves to cook and always has a pot of something on the stove but she could really use some new appliances.

The stove in her kitchen was given to her over 15 years ago and it was 7 years old then.  Her refrigerator is a spare fridge from my cousin’s garage that he used for storing frozen foods and beverages.

THURSDAY MORNING MOM: Gwen Alice Williamson  was originally published on