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 Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, October 12, 2007, Page 4

Jessie Woollums celebrates 75 years

No, you were not seeing things; and it wasn't just another politician looking for a vote.

At noon, on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2007, a white stretch limousine drove into Mount Ayr, carrying a group of eight ladies from Mason City destined for the Ramsey Farm. It was all part of a grand scheme for Mount Ayr resident Jessie Woollums in honor of her 75th birthday. A suprised Woollums never dreamed this group, whose friendship dates back 50+ years, would make a 3 1/2 hour trip for lunch.

Although Woollums was raised in and around Mount Ayr, she spent the majority of her adult life in Mason City. She knew most of these ladies through her church and a daily walking group which ended each morning's walk at the local Hardee's for coffee and fellowship. Some of these women have graduated from walkers to sitters and sippers. They have continued the walking, drinking coffee and "news sharing" without Woollums since she moved, but her connection to this group of friends remains strong. They kept the ruse by sending her birthday cards, never hinting their planned secret trip to Mount Ayr.

Her three daughters, Diane (Mrs. Joe) Masternick of Rochester, MI, Cathy (Mrs. Scott) Westermann of Colorado Springs, CO and Suzanne (Mrs. Scott) Woollums Badd of Dunedin, FL, planned the event via phone and internet. All three sons-in-law and a granddaughter, Leah Rodgers of Chicago, ILL, took time off work to sing "Happy Birthday" and help with preparations.

In addition to Jesie's friends from Mason City, ladies of Jessie's Mount Ayr Study Club, Pastor Sue Thomas and family from far and near were in attendance. Family came from Mount Ayr, Des Moines, Ankeny, Indianola, Eldora, Williamsburg, Shenandoah, Norwalk, Kellerton and Maryville, MO.

The luncheon was held at the new banquet facility, and was catered by Carol McCreary. The Ramsey Farm was a beautiful location to showcase southern Iowa charm, great food and party activities.

Photograph courtesy of Mount Ayr Record-News
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, October of 2015

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