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March 13, 2013

Chickasha resident reflects on 90th birthday

CHICKASHA — A recording of a woman's voice in prayer streams from the small cassette player on the kitchen table in Edith Lynville's apartment.

The voice is Lynville's mother. After the prayer, it is Lyville's voice singing a tune while she strums an acoustic guitar.

This tape, which Lynville treasures, documents her family's history and love of music. Some of these recordings are decades old. And it is in to her ninth decade that Lynville carries these memories.

Lynville grew up on a farm with her family. As a girl she helped chop cotton, bail hay and make molasses. Chopping cotton had to be done very early in the morning, before the dew settled and made the cotton heavy, Lynville remembers.

There were all kinds of animals on the farm, Lynville said, such as horses, goats and milk cows.

The older girls would take turns going home to make dinner for the rest of the family. She had four sisters and two brothers. Edith fondly remembers her mother referred to the group as "Mother's Lucky Seven."

Having seven siblings meant that there was always someone to play with.

"We had fun. We played basketball, made stilts to walk on, jumped rope, rolled a tire down a hill ..." Lynville says with a laugh.

Lynville married at 17 to Earl I. Lynville, who was 18 just after he got out of civil conservation camp. He worked as a welder and she stayed busy at home with with their eight children: Lee, June, Earl Jr., Joyce, Jerry, Gail, Janice, and Jimmy.

Lynville's son, Lee, has been returning the favor, living with and caring for his mother.

Lynville has many hobbies including crafts and sewing. She has made two wedding dresses for her daughters and she used to do alterations to get by after her husband could no longer work. Lynville has also worked in the manufacturing of sports shoes, been certified to do income taxes and a variety of other positions.

She has also enjoyed gardening and still loves flowers. A birthday bouquet for her 90th birthday sits on her kitchen table.

Music is one of Lynville's many passions, whether she is playing a melody on her keyboard or her acoustic guitar.

Lynville said that when she was growing up, music was something her family enjoyed and studied together. Her mother, Sallie Brown, was a songwriter. Lynville remembers her first guitar was $3 from Montgomery Ward many years ago.

Lynville said that music is a lifelong passion, though her hands aren't as flexible as they used to be.

She enjoys gospel music, especially quartets. Her favorite band is The Bishops, who are comprised of three sons and their father.

"I love the Bishops."

When asked if she had any life advice for younger folk, Lynville said, "Just trust in God. Call on him and he'll answer. I like the statements, 'Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door will be opened.'"

Lynville moved to Chickasha on Dec. 20, 1986. Her husband, Earl, died shortly after. Lynville went to stay with family in California for a while, but came back to Chickasha. She said that she always comes back here. She knows her way around and her daughter, June McDowell, is helpful in getting her around where she needs to go.

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