Naomi Ruth Fleenor was the only daughter in a family of three brothers, Willard and William who were twins, and Oris. My Mother was the story-teller in our family, and now I wish I would have recorded her many interesting stories she would tell us of growing up as a preacher's daughter. But I do remember her telling me often how her and my father, Clarence McGinnis, grew up next door to each other on W. Monroe St. in Alexandria, IN. on a cobbled brick street next to the train tracks. When her parents moved from Bedford to Alexandria, she was only 5, and that was quite a distance in the early 1900's, so her family traveled by train, which was quite an exciting experience for her and her brothers. Soon after they moved to their new home, my mother had two new friends, my dad and his sister Dorothy, who lived right next door.

Mother told me it wasn't always easy growing up as the only girl in a family of boys, plus being a preacher's daughter. Even though there were only 6 in her family, there were always people in their home from the church, and often on Sundays after the church services. She said it would be nothing for there to be as many as 15 to 20 people at every meal, so always lots of food had to be prepared, and then lots of work cleaning the kitchen. Her mother, my Grandma Clara, loved to bake, and everyone loved to eat at Grandma Fleenors home, especially when she baked the best burnt sugar cake. Mother said hers never tasted as good as her Mother's.

But there were some very special and fun times too. One funny story she told me was what her twin brothers did to her when she was a little girl & their parents were away calling on some of their church families. She said Willard & William always had a great sense of humor, but sometimes they could be quite mischievious, and on this one ocassion they were both, as they grabbed her arm and told her she was going to feel pain. Well, as she started screaming and trying to pull away from them, they dragged her over to the window, and put her hand on the window pain, and then laughed and said, "see, we made you feel pain!" I can imagine my mother had quite a few of these occasions with her brothers, just as I had with mine!

When my mother and father were in high school a horrible tragedy occured in my father's family when his mother died in childbirth with Harry McGinnis, and it was this that brought them close together, as she would go next door everyday to see him, and his family, to try to console them. Daddy was her childhood sweetheart, and on August 15, 1929, they were married in the Church of God, the church they grew up in. They were quite the combination-he was Irish and she was German. My father was more quiet and reserved, whereas my Mother was very out-going with her bubbly personality and beautiful smile.

When Mother was out of school, and just before she married my father she worked at the Gospel Trumpet Office, in Anderson, IN. She told me that her father knew the owner, so he helped get her the job. She also worked at the Alladin Lamp in Alexandria, IN. as a sales clerk. These were the only jobs she held, as once she married she felt raising her family was her priority. I always felt very special as a child growing up, as my mother could made you feel like you were the most important person in the world. When she walked into a room, it lit up with her smile. Though she was small in stature, she was big in heart, and had such a beautiful voice, often singing in the church choir, or at home in our kitchen as she would fix our meals.

Fleenor Family Tree | McGinnis Family Tree

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