My Mother


History of Shirley Hoover Plummer

Shirley was born in Richmond, Indiana on October 7, 1919.  She was the fourth child of  James Hoover and Ethel Manis.  She grew up in Richmond.  She used to tell me stories of driving the old Model T. She said she and her brother Bob would go out and she would get behind the wheel and Bob would crank the car up.  She wasn't very old, but they would take off  down the road in the car. She said her dad would come out sometimes and chase them down the road.  She loved talking about driving that old car.

Shirley was a very independent, stubborn woman.  Maybe those years of growing up in Richmond was the reason for that.  Her mother, Ethel, died in 1935 when Shirley was just 15 years old.  Her father married shortly thereafter, and she did not have a good relationship with her stepmother.  

When Shirley was 18 she met Charles Plummer, whom she married a few weeks after she turned 19.   The married on Halloween in 1938.  

Over the next several years they had nine children, one daughter died as an infant.   Their oldest son, Jack, died in a waterskiing accident when he was 35.  

During the years that they raised their children they did a lot of traveling around the country.  My older siblings have loads of stories to tell about their adventures during the years of moving around the country.  They didn't have much money and they would just pick up and move around to find jobs.  By the time I can remember we were living in Connersville and although we moved around town we stayed in Connersville.  

Shirley struggled to raise her children with little income and lots of love.  She and Charles never got into a very good financial situation.  Charles did a lot of manual labor and had to travel to find work at times.  

One of the hardest times in life for Shirley was when her son died.  She and Charles had a very difficult time and it wasn't too long after that Charles died.  

Shirley spent a lot of years living on her own.  I remember one incident where one of her daughter's boyfriends was not treating the daughter very well.  Shirley kept a baseball bat beside her chair for protection since she was older and lived alone.   She picked up the bat and told the man that she would use his head for batting practice if he didn't stop immediately.  He knew her well enough to know that she meant what she said.  He left the house quickly.

In the last few years of her life she maintained the independence she had always had.  She fell and broke her arm walking 16 blocks and tripping over a cracked sidewalk.  She wouldn't call and ask someone for a ride so she had decided to walk.  She had to go into a nursing home which wasn't something she liked at all.  She died on December 9, 1997 at the age of 78 years old.  She left behind a lot of memories and her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will always carry a part of her in their hearts.  She was the kind of person that left a impression on all of those she loved.

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