I hope you will indulge me as I present the audio recording of the Words of my sister Angela Shell Holbrook and myself about our grandmother, Mattie Johnson Padgett, at her funeral held this past Sunday, October 5, 2014. She passed away one week ago today.
And here is her Obituary from October 4, 2014. It was placed in the Hickory Daily Record:
October 2, 2014
Mattie Johnson Padgett
The air drew a silence as one of the Catawba Valley’s best known voices passed into heaven with her heavenly father today. After a lifetime defined by courage, she passed holding the hands of Pam, Tommy, and Angie until the end.
Mattie was a recognized celebrity to long time residents of the area. People will recognize her radio name Lillie Ann and she was the Swap Shop Lady on WIRC am radio, here in Hickory. Whether sending letters and notes to loved ones or potential buyers, she was always your friend on the airwaves.
Mattie was born on August 31, 1922 in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, the youngest daughter of Alfred Theodore Johnson and Mary Alzada Woods. Mattie was married to Clarence Ensley (Vic) Padgett Jr.for 53 years until his death in March 1999.
Mattie joined the United States Navy in 1943 during World War II. She was one of the first Naval Female Cadets to attain the rank of Gunnery Sergeant. In 1945, she met Vic Padgett after his airplane crash he endured while serving as a Lieutenant in United States Marine Corps.
After the war, she and Vic married in Asheville on March 6, 1946. They began life at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. The next year Pamela was born in Durham.
Employment brought Vic to Hickory in 1948, where Mattie was hired to work at the newly founded WIRC am radio. She was hired by Edmond and Margaret Smith and worked there as Announcer and Programming Director until her retirement in 1990.
Mattie is survived by her only child Pamela Padgett Connelly and her children James Thomas Shell, Angela S. Holbrook (Steven) and Jennifer Shell.
Many thanks to Hannah and Lisa of Hospice and all the staff. A heartfelt thanks to friend and caregiver Wynda Howerton. Without her help, Pam would not have been able to keep her mother at home and care for her.
Services are to be held at First Presbyterian Church in the Fellowship Center at 3p.m. on Sunday, October 5th. The receiving will be thereafter and burial will follow at Fairview cemetery. Services will be presided over by Whit Malone, Lynn Webber, and Dan Duke of Bethany Lutheran Church.
Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 3710 North Center Street, Hickory, NC 28601 and/or the Hospice of Catawba Valley, 3975 Robinson Road, Newton, NC 28658.