Annie Aldora Kines Mathis was born April 7, 1930 in the community of South Bowie to Albert & Gladys (Melton) Kines. The eldest of 6. Her mother was away from home often, so Annie became the sole caretaker to her 5 brothers and sisters, as well as picked cotton from age 5 to help provide income for the family. (.25 a day) Her father was a ranch hand and true cowboy, so they moved a lot. She picked cotton from sun up to sun down, completed her school work and cared for a family. She never complained and would to her dying day as the old song says “take a old cold tater and wait” if it meant that someone else was hungry. In late Parkinson’s my mom would care and feed the children as she had in life, often refusing (in her confused state of mind) to eat until the children had been fed.
The Kines family and the Mathis family all lived in the Kaufman County community, so she had aunts, uncles and cousins to help bare some of the load. The family settled in Edgewood TX throughout her teen years, she once said that she received her high school diploma with the help of the community of Fruitvale.
In the early 1950’s she moved to Dallas and on Feb 3, 1951 married Clarence Mathis. She worked at several jobs, but a large part of her working life was spent at Simplicity Pattern Co. from 1954 until they closed in 1981. In 1982, Clarence was already retired, so they moved to Cedar Creek Lake, where they planned to live the retired life, only Annie couldn’t not work, she had worked her whole life, so she began a new career as a home health aide. She served many of the elderly in the community and became very attached. Especially to one that shared her passion of sewing. They bonded and shared a friendship for many years.
In 1992, with the continued decline in Clarence’s health, they moved to the Town of Scurry, to be near her daughter. Again, unable to sit still she helped with the care of her grandchildren in Scurry and in Mesquite. In 1996, she started yet another career, making pizza with her son-in-law, where she worked until 2012.
If you are sitting here today, you have probably been the benefactor of Annie’s giving spirit. Whether it was money (which she was not rich), a gym suit for school, something as simple as a class picture for graduation or to pay for drivers ed. A meal, a place to live, a job or just a place to land for a night, a couple of days, a week, a month because you were tired and out of options. It may have been a friendly face that made you feel welcome to a family you weren’t so sure liked you or a loving embrace when you needed it. She loved to mail cards, birthday, thinking of you or celebration or letter of encouragement and I am sure many of you missed them when she could no longer write. When some of you were children, you received a little brown bag at Christmas, inside you would find fresh fruits, nuts and candies, times were tough and sometimes that might be the only taste of Christmas you got, because back then there were no handouts. Annie loved a good family gathering and would cook for days, especially those little pecan pies, she was famous for, and everyone would take those before they filled their plate, just to make sure they got one.
Her daughter recounts that when she still lived at home, her mom would enlist her help to provide families she knew would get nothing for Christmas with something, no matter how small. She would scour garage sales and not sure how but come up with old dolls that need some clothes, cars that need a little TLC. She would mend and sew. These small tokens and a bag of groceries would be left on the doorstep, no recognition needed as to where they came from, but the joy on Annie’s face when one of the kids would say “look what Santa left”
Annie loved a good joke (some a little naughty), a good copy machine and a stamp were her internet to share her newfound story or joke with friends and family. She and her son-in-law had a tradition of gag gifts, he once gave her a pair of striped socks with toes but she had to open 3 sealed cans to get to them and the watch inside, she laughed so hard with each can she had to open with the manual can opener he gave her. She in return gave him a 20 ft. yacht, 6” yacht with 20 pairs of feet attached.
Annie was recognized by the Theta Rho and Odd Fellow girls and boys club as their “honorary grandma” for her dedication to helping them to raise funds for their activities. She would sew little children’s quilts to be auctioned off at their luncheons or donate gifts.
Annie loved to sew. I am sure many of you here today own a hand sewn quilt with love in every stitch.
All this being said Annie was not a Saint (though some would argue) she was one of the Angels that walk among us.
Annie is preceded in death by her husband, Clarence Mathis. Her young brother, James William Kines, who was killed when the family car was hit by a train in 1942, the rest of the family survived with injuries. Her mother, father and 2 sisters, Connie and Alberta are also waiting at the gates of heaven. Also, most of her brother and sister-in-laws.
Her surviving family include son, Duane Mathis & wife Mary, of Mesquite. Daughter, Geneva Benton & husband Lee of Scurry. 5 grandchildren Patsy Salters of Mesquite, Jack Mathis & wife Shauna from Nebraska, Randall & partner Bryan of Virginia. Jessica Schudalla & husband Billy of Lindale. Kelly Benton of Scurry.
6 great-great grandchildren, some by blood, some by the Grace of God, Jackie Jackson & husband Brian of Denison, Clayton Salters of Mesquite, Angela Roberts & husband Kason of Tyler, Amber Horn & fiancé of Whitehouse, Cheyenne Mathis of California and Dakota Mathis. She was blessed by the Grace of God with 3 great-great-great grandchildren and by blood with one on the way.
Annie will be laid to rest at Morrow’s Chapel cemetery in Ola, next to her beloved husband and since most Kines never left Kaufman County she will be buried next to her parents and among several aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, old friends, her brother and 1 sister.
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