EVA JEAN WORTHLEY MUSSER’S (MOM’S) DECADES
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By Cheryl Musser and added to by Daryl Musser
1925 – The first decade of Mom’s life began on January 11, 1925. She grew up with her parents and three brothers on a farm south of Sherburn, Minnesota. Her Grandparents homesteaded this land. Her life centered around play, chores, church and family. At age 5 she started country school. At 7 she started piano lessons with her teacher (Mrs. Mondale, former vice-president Mondale’s mother) coming to the home (50 cents an hour). Her life’s love of music began.
1935 – ages 10 – 20. She continued country school attending by bicycle or pony-cart or sleigh in the winter. She attended High-school in town. She was involved in school choirs, church choir, and 4-H. A bread-baking demonstration won her a trip to the State Fair. She received blue-ribbons in canning also. She was part of a 4-H all accordion band. World war II started just before she graduated from high-school. She helped her Dad with chores and in the field when her two brothers went into the service. Later she went to work in a Defense Plant that made parts for a turret gun.. She rented an upstairs room in the home of an elderly couple named Musser. They had pictures of their four handsome grandsons on the piano. Later she moved back home and went to work in a Hemp Plant where fiber was processed for rope for the Navy. Her employer’s name was George Musser. She met (Dad) Vernon Musser through this Uncle. He was the boy with the wavy hair pictured on the piano.
1945 – ages 20 – 30. She Married Vernon Musser on December 10, 1945. It was 20 degrees below zero that day. They first lived on the County Farm that her Father-in-law rented north of Fairmont, MN. Later they moved into the house across the road from the childhood farm she grew up on south of Sherburn. Four children came into their lives: Dana, Doyle, Cheryl and Daryl. They won a Westinghouse Washer and Dryer, a year’s supply of Gerber’s baby food, and a year’s supply of Diapers just for having twins on that day in September. All God’s blessings.
1955 – ages 30 – 40. She continued to care for their children with God’s strength and also took various part-time jobs. They took a camping family trip to Yellowstone and Mt Rushmore. The end of this decade brought tornado damage and loss. Hogs nearly ready for market were lost to cholera bringing additional financial struggles. Eva Jean’s mother, Edith Worthley, passed. A farm Auction and a move into town followed this very difficult time.
1965 – ages 40 – 50. This decade saw Mom still working at various clerking jobs (Hardware Store, JC Penny’s, and Johnson’s Clothing Store). She saw her last two go off to college and her first two graduate from college and marry. During this decade we sold our two riding horses and saddles. The Mare pulled our Grandfathers wedding cart in town parades, family get togethers, and for neighborhood fun. The money was used for a camping trip to the West Coast. Mom loved trees so this included the mighty Red Woods in CA. There are now three grandchildren. A trip to Connecticut for Christmas with Doyle’s. Mom is now working for the local State Farm Insurance office in Sherburn.
1975 – ages 50 – 60. The early part of this decade mom planned a fall-foliage trip to New England. Cheryl and Daryl Joined mom and dad for this trip. On the way home Mom stopped at the home of Norman Rockwell in Stockbridge and succeeded in a short visit in his home.
Back home mom tried a new job on an assembly line at Univac making computer boards. It was good pay but stressful. She wasn’t disappointed when a company lay-off ended that job. For the next 8 years mom worked at Friendship Haven, a home for mentally handicapped adults.
In 1979 mom helped son Dana move his family from Colorado to Westpoint MS by driving their motorhome in a caravan of their vehicles and belongings. She returned for Christmas in 1983.
Mom was also blessed with a trip to Germany and Austria going with friend Kathy Lee from Sherburn and her daughter. After 18 years working at St. James Frozen Foods Dad suffered a lay-off. He then began part time maintenance at Friendship Haven. They now have 7 grandchildren.
1985 – ages 60 – 70. Now at age 60 another big transition brings Mom and Dad to Boulder, Colorado to learn all about apartment managing. We all returned to Sherburn Minnesota in Sept 1985 to celebrate the 100th year of the Worthley homestead. After two years as assistant managers in Boulder they moved to Loveland to manage a complex there.
Another dream vacation when Mom and Dad accompanied Daryl’s for two wonderful weeks in Hawaii. With Dad’s failing health, managing became to heavy-duty so they moved back to Boulder. Mom did the financial books for an apartment complex and Dad helped with maintenance. Mom’s job was phased out to a computer so she went to work at a Post Office contract station in Boulder.
Dad had two knee replacements, prostate surgery, later a mild heart attack and eventually a major heart attack. He died on August 6, 1991. Mom continued to work at the Post Office. She had a goal of finishing her book in time for the 1993 Worthley Reunion. Finally “Square Roots On The Prairie” went to press.
Another move at the end of 1993 brought Mom to the Village Place at 600 Coffman Street in Longmont CO and to Calvary Church. She now has 12 grandchildren.
1995 – ages 70 – 80. March of 1995 fulfilled a life-long dream of a trip to Israel. Mom and Cheryl joined a group from the Church in Boulder. Thanksgiving of 1995 Mom, Cheryl and son Justin had a fun trip to Florida visiting the Everglades and enjoyed an air boat ride. They also enjoyed a 3 day Cruise to the Bahamas.
Mom downsized to a one bedroom apartment still at Village Place but now with a 3rd floor west view. She always enjoyed the sunsets from her bay window. There are now 14 grandchildren and 4 Great Grandchildren.
2005 – ages 80 – 90. January 2005. For Mom’s 80th Birthday sons Dana and Doyle flew in from CT and VA for a surprise party at Cinzetti’s Resturant. She enjoyed having all 4 kids together for a few days. Another Worthley Reunion was held in 2011, this time at Estes Park YMCA. One Brother, Darrell Worthley, and mom were the only ones from their generation able to attend. But there were many nieces and nephews and grandkids. Around 70 in attendance. January 2013 brought another trip. This time to Florida for a grandson’s wedding. Mom enjoyed visits to Cape Canaveral, Flea and Fruit markets, boating on Lake Okeechobee and especially staying with the Weigum family, Grandson Ryan’s In-Laws.
Sept. 2013 brought Oklahoma cousins to Colorado for a surprise 60th Birthday party for mom’s babies Cheryl and Daryl. This decade ends with 14 Grandkids and now 25 Great Grandkids.
2015 – ages 90 – 94. Mom’s 90th Birthday party was held at Calvary Church in Longmont CO. All of her children and spouses and many relatives were able to attend. Many friends from Church in Boulder attended including 3 special friends from a Writers Group. Mom was a part of this group of ladies for the 34 years that she lived in Colorado. She thoroughly enjoyed their meetings and their companionship.
At 91 Mom had worsening back pain. She fought this for over a year, lost weight, took herself off pain meds, and felt like she wanted more time on this earth. Cousins from Oklahoma came again to help her celebrate. January 2018 mom was doing well. She even managed going bowling as we celebrated three January birthdays. In the Fall of 2018 mom finally gave up driving, even though the licensing division told her that her last renewal was good for another 5 years. The end of January, 2019, started a battle with fluid buildup. Two hospital stays and two Physical Therapy courses revealed that she would not be able to live on her own any longer. She moved into long term care in June. Mom had a party at her apartment complex where she had stayed for 26 years. It was a great time of seeing friends from the complex and several from the Calvary Prime Timers group also. We finished moving mom out of her apartment on Sunday, June 30, 2019. Monday afternoon Cheryl and Daryl and Shawna spent time with Mom talking, playing songs and hymns that she enjoyed. Mom looked like she was finally resting comfortably. Shawna came back after work and read Bible verses with her. 3:30 a.m. the call came that mom had passed into eternity with complete peace and happiness. She will be greatly missed. Mom has 14 Grandkids and 29 Great Grandkids with number 30 expected any day.