By Christopher T. Matthews
Stephen A. Kemp, nephew and facilitator of the 90th birthday celebration for LuVilla Smith, was the host, at his home, for his aunt, who is like a mother to him. He said, “I have been a blessed man to have a mother and a aunt, who was there like a mother, and I have been blessed to have two mothers; at the end of the day. I am grateful to the Lord Almighty for this and I am here to return the love, and I would like to wish my Aunt a happy 90th blessed and joyous birthday.”
LuVilla Smith shared some of her life’s journey about being born to Walker Kenneth Thompson and Lillian Mae Hawkins in Long Run, Ohio, September 16th 1926. As the youngest of the females, out of the eight children, they all moved to Steubenville, Ohio, when she was still a small child.
When Ms. Smith was in her early 20s, she came to Toledo OH, to visit and decided to stay. She gained employment in a Florence Dress Store at 2210 W. Central for 25 years as a retail worker. Following that, she worked as a cashier at Woolworth’s retail store in downtown Toledo until they closed in 1993.
Unfortunately, Ms. Smith said that, she did not raise any children of her own but she did help raise other children within the family.
Ninety three-year-old Edward Daniel Thompson, aka Kemp, is Ms. Smith’s brother and they are the remaining survivors of the eight siblings. He caught the bus from Dayton, Ohio to be with his sister for her 90th birthday. When asked would he like to say anything about his sister, Mr. Thompson replied, “He does not want to say too much, as so not to give her the big head, as he chuckled, but he then expressed how he loves her dearly and he wishes her a happy 90th birthday.
Sherry Thompson, niece to Luvilla Smith, feels blessed to have an aunt and a uncle in their 90s, who are healthy and living by themselves.
Kenneth Edward Thomas Jr. expressed his love for his auntie on her 90th birthday. He said, “When he first found out that she was living in Toledo, he b-lined down, up the highway from Steubenville, Ohio, so that he could meet her, a woman who is his great grandmother’s sister, who reminds him of her. His connection was fostered with her immediately and it has never stopped.” And, he wished her a happy 90th and many more to come.