Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

December 8, 2011

On The Bright Side – 12/7/11 -Mary Howell

On The Bright Side

Mary Howell


This week’s On The Bright Side is dedicated in loving memory of my third grade teacher, Ruby Minton, who passed away on November 8, 2011 at the age of 96.


Mrs. Minton was a “one-of-a-kind” teacher at Hemphill Elementary School. During her 35 year teaching career, she touched the lives of hundreds of students.  She often said that she never taught a pupil she did not love.


Mrs. Minton knew what it was to grow up with hardships.  Her mother passed away when Ruby was four years of age and her father died when she was 13 leaving her to live in foster homes until she went to college.  She earned a teaching degree from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. She fell in love with Harris Minton and the two sweethearts married on May 29, 1937.  They became parents to two precious daughters, Anna Ruth and Eugenia.


The Mintons were longtime residents of Sabine county and were beloved members of the First Baptist Church of Hemphill.


I spent many happy hours at the Minton home and watched television on many occasions since my family did not own a television set.  I remember watching the funeral of U.S. Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn which was attended by three living U.S. presidents. The televised funeral with such a prestigious gathering of government officials was a momentous event in our nation’s history.


Mrs. Minton had a great love and compassion for her students. She earned our respect.  One “no-no look” from her piercing blue eyes could change even the slightest thought of misbehavior in her classroom.


Although it’s been 53 years, I cherish many fond memories of her and my third grade year.  She not only taught us things an average nine-year old should know, she prepared us for a higher level of education and future career.


She taught us the basics of proper use of grammar and the importance of correct spelling.  I’m sure that when I get to Heaven, Mrs. Minton will ask me “Mary, can you still spell piano?” which was the first and only word I misspelled that year.


She taught us our Roman numerals and gave us her birth date in Roman numerals which were V-XII-MCMXV.  My classmates joined together to give Mrs. Minton her first birthday year.  I will never forget the surprised look on her face when she returned to the classroom that afternoon.


When Mrs., Minton’s health began to fail, she moved away from Hemphill to make her home closer to her daughter.  She passed away in Tyler in a care center where she remained alert until just a few days before her death.


Funeral services were held at Hemphill’s First Baptist Church on 11-11-11.  Her family, friends, and some former students paid farewell to one that they loved.


December 7, 2011

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