Lawleys show meaning of serving together

Published 3:54 pm Friday, November 16, 2018

By DAISY WASHINGTON / Community Columnist

The five-decade union of Clifford Wayne and Flo Mae Lawley has taught the couple a lot about the art of compromise.

Clifford is a Navy veteran, Flo is an Army veteran, and they have two children.

“The proudest moment for us was when we had our children. We raised two good kids,” said Clifford, 78.

Clifford and Flo Lawley, Shelby County RSVP members for 15 years, have spent much of their time serving together at the Pea Ridge Senior Center. (Contributed)

A central part of Clifford and Flo’s life centers around the Pea Ridge Senior Club.

Clifford has continued his mother’s tradition of fellowship at the center.

Members for the past 15 years, the Lawleys are regulars at Pea Ridge functions.

They look forward to the second and fourth Tuesday of each month when the group of about 40 members comes together for worship, fellowship and good food.

Flo works in the kitchen to set up food for serving after the worship service and then clean up.

She also assists with cleanup after meal time.

Retired meter reader for the City of Montevallo, Clifford lends a hand with most maintenance such as waxing the floor and minor repairs (ice maker), changing clocks and other small maintenance tasks.

He also lends a hand in the kitchen as well by setting the tables when it is time to eat.

The center was once a thriving and integral part of the Pea Ridge community.

The women would meet at the center one to two days each week for crafting activities such as ceramics and quilting.

The quilts were in turn sold at a bazaar that the women held.

The center provided field trips for members. The center’s choir performed at different events throughout the community, including nursing homes, other churches and the funerals of residents in the community.

Flo, who retired from a 26-year career as an accountant, has been a member of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church for 15 years. She assists the Finance Committee by counting the offering on Mondays.

The Lawley duo, though it is going more slowly these days, is still going strong—56 years strong, to be exact.

“The key to a successful marriage,” Flo said with a laugh, “is when you are having an argument, know when to stop; in other words, shut up.”

Flo is grateful for the passage of time because “some things that bothered you when you were younger, as you get older you learn not to let bother you,” she added.

This duo has been RSVP members for the past 15 years. They are recipients of the RSVP Presidential Volunteer Award and have been acknowledged for having logged more than 20,000 hours.