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Loweda Wood 

A century of memories 

Centenarian remembers time in Aledo and more 


On Aug. 5, 1957, American Bandstand, a show catering to teenage baby boomers and featuring popular songs and dances of the time, made its television debut. 

That was also the day that Loweda Wood celebrated her 34th birthday. 

The former Aledo resident and member of the Greatest Generation just turned 100, and her family held a birthday celebration in Kennedale with more than 250 people in attendance. 

Wood said it is difficult for her to express just how much it meant to her. 

"I have just been overwhelmed," Wood said. "I'm still floating around on air. They are wonderful people and it was a great party.  

“I sat up and cried for part of the night. I'm just blessed with so many friends that I can't even describe to you the feeling that I had at that party." 

Wood's daughter, Charlotte Patterson, helped organize the event and said that while it did mean a lot to her personally to have that kind of turnout, she was not at all surprised. 

"Mother has always been a what-you- see-is-what-you-get type of person," Patterson said. "She is the same today as she was yesterday and will be tomorrow, and she has always had the most generous and loving heart and compassion for people. She would do anything for anyone, and there were generations of people there.  

“I have two brothers, and some of their friends were at the party, because they could remember coming to Mr. and Mrs. Wood's house when they were growing up and having sleepovers and other things. We always had an open door. She's met so many people in so many walks of life, and she's the same with everyone." 

And Wood has tried to live her life with a general sense of gratitude.


Growing up in the Great Depression

Born in a log cabin in Millsap in 1923, Wood was 6 when the Great Depression started. She said that the lessons she learned from that period have remained with her throughout her life. 

"I think people should have to live on a farm for a while and learn how to work," Wood laughed. "I worked in the field and I worked in the cotton patch, and it never hurt anybody. It taught me a good work ethic and to be honest.  

“We had a vegetable farm one time during the Depression and my daddy would gather loads of vegetables like carrots, radishes and watermelons and take them up to Oklahoma City. Once he had to bring them all back and feed them to the dogs because the market had hit bottom." 

Wood still remembers much of her childhood quite well. 

"I was born while (Calvin) Coolidge was president," Wood said. "And then (Herbert) Hoover got us in a bigger mess, and then next was (Franklin) Roosevelt, and I loved Roosevelt. He was president when I got married.  

“My husband was in the service for five years. He came home after that, and we enjoyed 52 years together. He was a wonderful, caring person. He taught me a lot." 

Luther Wood, who entered the Army as a buck private, eventually attained the rank of Lieutenant. He passed away in 1992. 

Patterson, 74, said she still remembers the important lessons her parents imparted on her as a young girl. 

"My parents brought us up in a home of integrity and honesty," Patterson said. "They always taught us that life is short, and we should enjoy every moment that we get. We did a lot of things as a family, things like vacations, family time and we learned the books of the Bible sitting around the dinner table at night." 

 Reflecting on life

When Wood reflects on her life and tries to understand how she has had such a long and satisfying existence, she said it boils down to two things. 

"The Lord has been good to me," Wood said. "I've been blessed with good health and memory. I've had a wonderful, wonderful life and, also, when I make friends, I try to hold onto them and keep them around." 

Patterson, however, said at a recent doctor's visit, Wood offered up a slightly different hypothesis. 

"What she told her doctor when he asked her ‘What do you think your secret is to a long life?’ was 'I don't smoke, I don't drink, and I don't cuss, but sometimes I wanted to,'" Patterson said. 

Wood moved to Aledo in 1949 and lived there for more than seven decades.  

She managed a women’s shoe store in Ridglea called Paul’s Shoes for 22 years and has been a near lifelong member of First Baptist Church of Aledo.  

Wood is a devoted Texas Ranger fan, and she went with her grandson to see Nolan Ryan inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. 

Patterson said that still having her mother around for so long is a luxury for which she is eternally grateful. 

"It's absolutely wonderful," Patterson said. "Back when she first moved to Aledo, the population was 250. We were always told that Aledo is just a little bedroom community. They didn't want any industry, and it was very small. Of course, we all know how that has changed. She came to live with me so that we could cook together and do things together, and I'm blessed. I'm very blessed." 

Wood and her husband were two of the original signees of the Aledo Charter to incorporate. Luther, who served in the army during World War II, has a brick in the Aledo Veterans Plaza. 

Patterson said the most important lesson her mother taught her was a credo by which Wood has always tried to live her own life. 

"She taught us the Golden Rule at an early age," Patterson said. "Treat others the way you would want to be treated." 

Wood has tried to make the most of her time here on earth, visiting 42 states, including Hawaii, and has been to Canada and the Bahamas. 

She has children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great grandchildren. And as to whether or not the long time Aledo resident has accomplished all that she wanted to in life, that answer is — not quite. 

"I would still like to jump out of an airplane," Wood said. "When President Bush did that, I said, 'I want to do that a few times.'"


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