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My Grandmother, my jewel, Josephine Coffelt Norris

Journal by sdsmith

This is a little story about my grandmother Josephine Coffelt Norris, who is the apple of my eye. I always call her my "jewel" because that's exactly what she is. I was raised by my grandmother as a baby. I lived w/her and my grandfather Leon Norris in Altoona,Alabama (Etowah County). She was born in Marion County Tennessee, in Orme, and her parents were Leo and Francis (Cleveland) Coffelt. She has 5 more siblings, Floyd,James "Buddy",Velma "Sis",Mary Ruth, and Morris Coffelt. Floyd,Buddy, and Velma are all deceased. PaPa Coffelt came to Altoona when Grandmother was a small child to work in the Coal mines, and he also owned a grocery store in town. My Granparents (the Norris's)were both wonderful people. Grandaddy's parents were William Zebedee "Bill" and Verna (Freeman) Norris, and he had 8 other siblings, Garland,Dean,Buddy,Billy,Lovee, Pauline,Shirley,and Brenda. They lived in Altoona but I believe they came from Blount County originally. Grandaddy worked at Republic Steel(the furnace department), in Gadsden, Alabama until he retired due to illness. He'd suffered a heat stroke, and that led to many more strokes, depression, then seizures, and eventually he was in a hospital bed, and was sick for many years, and died on April 4,1994. This was my grandmother's 2nd husband to die. Her first husband was Floyd Babe Mann, who died of diabetes at age 39 around 1955 or so, and left w/my grandmother 3 children, Glenda, Sandra, and Charles, ages 5 to 12, she remarried a couple years later to my grandaddy,Leon Norris,and they gave birth to my mom, Karen Norris. I had a happy life w/my grandmother....I say my grandmother only because I can't remember much life w/grandaddy since he was sick in bed most of the time. I remember him taking me to Mrs.Prince's Dairy Bar in Altoona in his aqua colored 4 door 57 chevy, and steering the wheel w/his leg and pretending it was driving itself. I also remember him filling up my yellow plastic kiddie pool w/giraffes on it, and getting in it w/me and he busted it!! I cried my heart out. I was probably age 3 at the time. The other memories I have of him are of him being sick, and Grandmother checking me out of school to go w/them to Gadsden to the Psychiatrist, Dr. Feist, and his other doctors. I always got car sick, and they would have to pull over for me. My kids now are the same way....I wish there were more happy times w/him. I miss him a lot. But Grandmother was the one who was more like my mother, and she made sure I had nice things, and took me to church, and only let me hang around w/good friends. She was kinda strict, but I did sneak around and party a bit w/my friends, but most teens do that. I slept w/her until I was 12 because I was afraid of the dark(and still am), but finally I made myself move across the hall in what she called the guest room, and claimed it as my own. I remember when sleeping w/her, that she would stand there in the dark next to her bed and close her eyes and pray, and raise her hands to the Lord, she would speak in tongues and cry sometimes. She was a good woman. She is getting very old, and year and a half ago she had a heart attack and open heart surgery, then her 3rd husband was diagnosed w/mesothelioma cancer from asbestos exposure. George Long died on Feb 29th (leap year), 2008. He was a story teller, and loved to talk. He was a knife maker, and loved to show them off, and each knife had a story w/it. He'd been in the navy many years ago, and has been all over the world. He took my grandmother traveling in their motor home out west, in the Tennessee mountains, North Carolina, and Florida, and gambling in Mississippi. She really enjoyed that. And now he's gone as well, and will be missed. Grandmother has really been thru a lot, taking care of and loosing her 3 husbands, and being a widow raising her 3 children, heart attack and open heart surgery but she is the strongest willed, and most stubborn person I know. She smiles and laughs a lot, and is just so sweet, and I love to visit her on Sundays after church, and she cooks me and my husband a wonderful home-cooked meal. She has given me a lot of great advice, and has done so much for me. I know there were times growing up that I took her forgranted and I wish I could go back. Lord I don't know what I'll do when that lady is gone to be w/Jesus. I just hope I can be there in heaven w/her someday....

Surnames: COFFELT NORRIS
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by sdsmith Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2008-03-11 19:04:55

sdsmith , from Arab,Alabama, has been a Family Tree Circles member since Jan 2007. is researching the following names: COFFELT, , BIEBEL and 7 other(s).

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Comments

by sdsmith on 2008-03-13 12:20:59

Isn't she beautiful?

by ngairedith on 2008-03-13 16:55:40

She is indeed very beautiful and you have a very wonderful relationship with her. I envy you because when I was born I only had one grandparent still alive and she died when I was 9. Grandparents have a special bond with their grandchildren

by sdsmith on 2014-04-11 20:02:19

Grandmother I wish I could be with u in your last days. I miss u so much my heart is breaking. It's been so long now. I'm so sorry it happened this way. I see u every night in my dreams. We will be together again my love. My jewel....my mother

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