Doyle celebrates 100 years

Mildred Doyle celebrates her special birthday. (Contributed)

By CATHERINE LEGG / Community Columnist

Mildred Dean Doyle celebrated her 100th birthday on February 19 with a happy smile on her face and lots of family and friends gathered around in the home of her daughter, Beverly Hitt.

The one word that came from everyone when asked to describe Mildred was “giving.”  Many added strong, caring, hard working, loving, Christian and beautiful.  Daughter Beverly expressed that Mildred has been a wonderful mother,  part-time mother to her stepdaughter, Betty Adderhold and grandmother to her five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Son-in-law Bob Hitt said, “Mildred is a strong person, but she ruled her family in a very loving way.”  Beverly admitted that, like most daughters, she more fully appreciated her mother’s love, strengths and hard work after she grew up.

Mildred was born in Rockmart, Ga., but as a small child moved to Montevallo where she grew up. She attended elementary and high school in the building now known as the Jeter Building. After graduating, Mildred entered nursing school at South Highlands Hospital.  Her schooling there was unavoidably interrupted, but later she earned the LPN certification that served her well throughout her professional life.

In 1935, she met and married her soul mate, Joe Doyle, who was employed in Montevallo at Holcomb’s Grocery as the meat market manager.

His great storyteller and dancing skills attracted Mildred immediately. They had a good life together for 60 years until his death in 1995.

Mildred has held several long-term jobs during her working life.  She worked for Dr. L. C. “Foots” Parnell for many years, did private duty nursing, worked for Shelby Hospital, Klotzman’s Clothing Store and finally, held a position again with Dr. Parnell at the University of Montevallo infirmary.

Somehow, even along with working hard at her current job, Mildred found time to do beautiful needlework.  She even made the lovely wedding dresses for both her daughter and granddaughter.

Aside from family, Mildred’s love and efforts have always been for her church, The First United Methodist Church of Montevallo.  She belongs to Charity Circle there, always loved to work with the social and kitchen activities, and until her move to Knowlwood Assisted Living, had occupied the same pew every Sunday morning.

Barbara Broadhead, a good friend and fellow church member, tells us, “When we moved to Montevallo, she just adopted me.

“She brought us to the Methodist Church, had me join the circle and took me to the sewing club where I became a member”, she said.  “I think that just exemplifies the kind of caring individual she is.”
Catherine Legg can be reached at clegg2@bellsouth.net.