Martin & Nessie lived in several rented houses
in Iredell County, including the Henry Setzer house.
Willie only remembers seeing/meeting her
grandfather, JacobGoble, one time. She and
Helen saw a very
dark skinned man coming down the road and Helen hollered,
“Daddy, here comes a black man!” It was actually Martin’s
father, Jacob. Martin, himself, was extremely dark skinned from
all the time he spent outdoors.
the family visiting her UncleHenryPinkneyJohnson Jr., her
mother’s brother, and his wife, Beulah, as well as her
and AuntBecky, Martin’s brother and sister.
UncleHen only had
Willie recounted to her son, Curtis, how as children they would
mix chocolate and sugar together to make "play" snuff and use a
stick as a tooth brush for dipping their fake snuff.
Willie's father, Martin, dipped snuff and chewed tobacco.
Once when Willie & Helen asked to try some snuff, he decided to
give them a "dip". Helen got sick and when Willie laughed
her her, Martin encouraged Willie to get a little bit more - and
to swallow a little of the juice. Well, that was enough to
make Willie sick, too. She never dipped snuff after that.
From an Interview on Sunday, 17 May
by Curtis Loftin
Willie said that since the family
were share croppers, they had to buy some of what they
needed from the local store on credit. She said
that once the crop came in (usually cotton), the first
bill Martin would pay was the fertilizer bill - then the
grocery bill. The family would sell eggs to the store
for extra money. Willie said that breakfast usually
consisted of ham (or sausage), eggs and grits. She
said Martin would buy a big sack of pinto beans and that
they usually ate beans and "taters" (sweet and regular)
at lunch (called "dinner") and then cornbread and milk
for supper. The Goble family raised hogs and thus
they had ham, sausage and bacon. They also raised
chickens but those were used mostly for eggs.
Martin supplemented the family meals by hunting and
trapping - rabbit, squirrel, cooter (a North American
river turtle) and possum. There were no refrigerators in
those days and the Goble family didn't even have an ice
box. They did have a smoke house where they would
hang meats to cure.
The younger girls all slept in the same bed - as did the
The children only had two sets of clothes - field
clothes and school clothes. Just as soon as they
would come home from school, they'd take off the school
clothes and put on the field clothes. Dresses were
made from colorful flour sacks. When baby sister
Doris died at the age of 9 months in 1934, the family
had to borrow appropriate clothes for the children for
When the family lived in Iredell County, they went to Sharon
Lutheran Church. That's where baby brother Lewis was
buried, as well as Estellene, Doris and the other Goble children
who died in infancy. Most only had a rock to mark their
graves. Eventually Willie's parents, Martin &
would be buried at
Sharon Lutheran Church, too.
Willie's early memories of moving from
Iredell to Catawba County and death of sister Doris
(Recorded 10 Dec 2008)
(Duration 3:07; Size 3.58 MB)
to move his family from Iredell County to Catawba County. They
loaded their meager belongings into a horse-drawn buggy, crossed
the Catawba River, and moved into Pump Alley’s old house on
(Pump) Alley Rd. (about 0.1 mile on the right), just off of
Sherrills Ford Rd. near Catawba, NC. It was a small 3 room
house. The kids all slept in one bedroom - in two beds. They
didn’t have mattresses for the bed and slept on straw ticks.
When the straw became flattened, it could be replaced. Lib,
Helen and Willie & Elgevia slept in one bed, while
& J.C. slept in another one.
Willie's early memories of Martin and the family when they
lived at Murphy Jones' house
(Recorded 10 Dec 2008)
(Duration 1:05; Size 1.24 MB)
J.C. Goble at the
old Murphy Jones home on Alley Rd. in Catawba County
Willie at the remains of the old Pump Alley house
Willie was the
next to the youngest child and thus had different
responsibilities at home. While J.C. (age16), Harlee (age 14),
Lib (age 11) and Helen (age 8) were working in the cotton
fields, Willie (who was 7 at the time) was helping her mother
at home, and also helping to look after Elgevia, who was 4 at
the time, as well as baby, Doris. James/Legs was 20 and married
at the time.
Willie’s siblings always thought Nessie “petted” her. Willie
used to laugh and tell Lib, Helen & Gevia, "Mom always said I
was the best kid she had. This would make the others a little
Willie didn't work in the field when they lived in Iredell
County because she was too young. She helped her mother
look after Gevia and Doris. Once they moved to Catawba
County, she did spend time working in the fields, too.
Their major crop was cotton.
North Carolina cotton fields
Willie said that
as a little girl, she and her cousin Fannie Bunton, daughter of
Marvin & BeckyGobleBunton, were the favorite nieces of her
UncleOtis Goble, Martin’s brother. Once he gave her a little
rocking chair and didn’t give the other nieces or nephews
anything - maybe because there were so many of them.
When asked what type of games they played, Willie said they
would make hats with leaves and sticks. They'd take an old
tire and roll one of the kids in it. She said they also
make playhouses in the woods. They'd rake the leaves to
make rooms and hallways.
Willie's memories of food, credit and
(Recorded 10 Dec 2008)
(Duration 1:39; Size 1.90 MB)
sister, Doris, was born 31 October 1933 and died 04 August 1934.
The photo at left shows Lib (age 13), Willie (age 8),
(age 5) and Helen (age 10) at the church for Doris’ funeral.
They were a poor family and had to borrow clothes for the girls
to wear to the funeral.
Willie was in
third grade when the family moved to Catawba County.
Willie and Helen both played basketball in the 7th and 8th grade
at Balls Creek Elementary School. In the 7th grade, Willie won
some socks for being the best on the team.
Willie and Elgevia both played guard and Helen forward.
and Helen eventually quit school in 8th grade to go to work.
Willie said… Helen could get by with anything with
Daddy. We were
sliding on the ice when we were kids, and Daddy asked me,
"Willie, were you sliding on the ice?"
I told him, "No!"
Then he asked Helen, "Helen, were you sliding on the ice?"
She said, "Yep!" He whipped me and didn't whip Helen.
When I asked him "Why'd you whip me and not her?"
He said, "You lied to me!"
“Helen and Lib fed me ‘rabbit pills’ when I was a
kid, too. They told me it was candy. They got a whipping for
Willie said the
children would sometimes go to Ebenezer Lutheran Church with
Mrs. PumpAlley, a neighbor. She also said that she,
Lib would walk to
Church during revivals. Their
brothers didn’t go with them and usually the Rudisill boys would
walk the girls back home.
The Martin Goble family when they lived at the old Murphy Jones
house in Catawba County
Willie, Elgevia holding Bud (Leg's son), Helen
After a short
while, Martin moved his family into the old MurphyJones house
because it was a little larger. MurphyJones was
EdnaJonesLoftin’s brother. Edna became
CharlieLoftin’s wife. This
house was also located on Pump Alley Rd. (about 0.8 mile on the
right). Willie lived there when she dated and married Sam. This
was the only two-story house in Catawba County that the Goble
family ever lived in.
Willie Aleen Goble
Willie said they could not sit or lean on the beds in the house.
She said most of their clothes were made from flour sacks.
When they came home from school, they had to pull off their good
clothes and shoes. They usually wore the same set of
clothes all week and only had one pair of shoes. The
children went barefoot almost everywhere except to church.
Living on a farm and feeding so many kids was sometimes
challenging. Willie said they lived on what they raised on
the farm and bought on credit, then paid the debt after the
cotton was sold. She said they ate chicken, ham and
fat-back. Corn meal mush was a regular staple and since
they lived in a rural area, they frequently ate squirrel,
rabbit, possum and cooter (terrapin). They would also buy
big sacks of pinto beans when.
Willie said that if they were seriously ill, they call on
FredLong. He as the cheapest doctor around and refused to
raise his prices when encouraged to do so by other doctors.
Dr. Fred bought possums from her Dad and was probably a usual
barter for Dr. Fred's services.
Willie during her
Most of the Goble kids
Willie was called “Bill”, Lib was “Can”, Helen was “Min”,
JCwas “Tud”, Harlee was “Doc”,
and James was “Legs”.
Harlee & James
nicknames with them
for the rest of his life.
being the baby,
didn’t have a nickname.
On one occasion
while Willie and Helen had been working in the field hoeing rows
of cotton, they ate too many green apples and got sick. “Daddy
let me quit working, but he made Helen keep on hoeing”.
was in charge of the kids when they worked in the garden and he
was "tough". On one occasion, he told them that he had weighed
the cotton from the day before and that if they didn’t pick as
much the next day, he’d “beat their butts!”
Willie, unmarried, with Bud Goble (James/Leg's son) at the
Murphy Jones property
both went to work at BetterwareHosieryMill in Catawba when
Willie was 15 and Helen was 16, boarding socks. You had to be
16 to work, so Willie lied about her age so she could get the
job. Willie and Helen were hard workers.
Willie's early memories of basketball and her sister Helen
(Recorded 10 Dec 2008)
(Duration 1:38; Size 1.87 MB)
Willie said she
dated several boys as a girl but never single-dated - she
always double-dated - usually with Helen. Willie said they
never really went to movies, but usually just rode
around in the car. Some of her early boyfriends (but
nothing serious) were SamTuddero and brothers Heman &
HarrySullivan. Willie said she liked both brothers who were
from a prominent family in the community.
Willie's early memories of Sam
(Recorded 10 Dec 2008)
(Duration 2:21; Size 2.70 MB)
When asked how
she first met
Willie said she had gone to Speedo’s store, just down the road
from where the MartinGoble family lived, to buy some candy and
Sam was working there. This was Speed’s 1st store,
and was located in the corner of Lowrance Rd and E. Bandys Rd,
at the entrance to MathisChapelChurch Rd.
She said, “He gave me a LOT of candy for
the money. He told a neighbor, Ms. Trimm, that he was “gonna
date that girl, Willie" … that "she was pretty". Willie always
said Sam was the best looking man she had ever met. Willie said
she was a “good girl” and never single-dated Sambefore they
interested in seeing Sam and Willie get together.
sister, asked Sam, "Why do you want to marry her? She can't
He said, "That’s OK! I can teach her how. I can cook!"
Willie said that
one evening her Daddy, Martin, came home drunk. He found
flashlight, that he had left at the house and said he was gonna
break it. Helen said, “Daddy, don’t break that flashlight.
That’s not Sam’s flashlight; it’s mine.”
Martin favored Helen,
and thinking the flashlight was hers, didn’t break it.
asked Martin, if he could marry Willie. Martin told him, “Yes,
but if you’re mean to her, I’ll get you!”
were married on March 21, 1942. They eloped to York Co, South
Carolina. Willie was 16 and Sam was 23 at the time. They lied
about their age in South Carolina in order to get married.
Willie said she was 18 years & 4 months - she was actually 16
years and 3 months. Sam said he was 24 years & 2 months - he
was actually 23 years & 10 months. FloydSigmon and Helen,
Willie’s sister, went with them.
Willie & Sam's Marriage License
Article About the Home of Judge E. Gettys
Willie & Helen Goble
After they were
married, Sam & Willie moved into the small 2-room house on the
corner between East Bandy’s Rd & Sherrill’s Ford Rd.
that belonged to the Loftin family - beside of
IdaLoftin (Sam's mother). The house only had a kitchen and a bedroom, but
did buy Willie a new bedroom suit when they moved in.
their kitchen table and bought a second-hand wood stove and
cabinet for their dishes. There was no water in the house and
no bathroom. They had an outhouse nearby but they had to
pump water at Mrs. Loftin’s house and then
carry it back home to use in the kitchen. They didn’t have
electricity or a refrigerator. They used a horse and buggy to
go from place to place, visit parents, siblings, etc.
Children of Sam William Loftin and
Willie Aleen Goble
half later, Willie became pregnant with Billy Ray. She and Sam had
been visiting with her Mom & Dad on Christmas Day 1943 when it
started to snow. While there, Willie went into labor and
had to go get his brother Mike’s car in order to drive her to
the hospital in Newton.
Because of the
snow, others in the family had to push the car, including Floyd
& Helen. Willie’s mother, Nessie, joined her as Sam attempted
to drive her through the snow to the hospital. From her parents
home (Murphy Jones place) they drove toward the old Gold Mine,
near what is today called the Mathis Chapel Rd., in order to stop by their little 2-room house
and pick up some clothes for Willie. From there, they turned
back on E. Bandys Rd. heading toward CharlieLoftin’s Home, as
well as the home of Floyd & HelenSigmon. When they got to the
bottom of the hill, the snow was so heavy & high, the car
couldn’t make it up the hill. Eventually Sam went and got
horses from RoySetzer to pull the car up the hill, as they
continued to the hospital in Newton. They had left
home about midnight but didn’t get to the hospital in Newton
till 7 a.m. the next morning. Billy Ray was born over 12
hours later on December 26, 1943 around 10 P.M.
Willie's memories about Billy Ray's birth
(Recorded 10 Dec 2008)
(Duration 1:48; Size 2.07 MB)
bought 40 acres of property on Dexter Path, just off of Shiloh
Church Rd. from FredGibson’s father.
Sam purchased the
property, then cut and sold the timber there to pay for the
property. Sam worked at RussCampbell’s sawmill at the time.
He used Russ’ horses to pull the logs that he had cut off of the
property. He also used some of the timber to build a house for
him & Willie.
Willie at the first
house Sam built on Dexter Path, off of Shiloh Church Rd.
Billy Ray was just a couple of week old when they moved into
their first new home.
In the beginning, there was no water in the house. Willie had
to walk to a nearby stream to wash their clothes, and also had
to carry water to the house for drinking and cooking. In time,
Sam would dig a well close to the house. They had no indoor
toilet facilities, so Sam built an outhouse on the property.
There was no electricity to the house, so they had to use
candles and oil lamps in the evening.
Willie, Sam & Billy
Sam and Willie got their first car while they were living in
this home - although Willie didn't learn to drive until she was
53 years old.
there, Willie started boarding socks 2nd Shift (3:00
to 11:00). Sam also planted a large cotton crop. Willie would
hoe cotton and work in the garden during the day and board socks
in the evening. When Sam wanted to put in another cotton crop
the second year, Willie told him “No”. She told him she’d hoe
cotton or work in the boarding room…either one…but not both.
At one time, Sam
& Willie hired a Ms. Setzer to keep BillyRay during the day
while they worked. She would come to their house during the
day, but go home at night. She would also do some cooking while
she was there, and Sam would come home for lunch at times. One
evening when Willie came home, he threw one of Ms. Setzer’s
“hard” biscuits against the wall and said to Willie, “Look at
what I have to eat!”
Elgevia, also lived with them for a short period of time.
Occasionally Sam, Willie & Elgevia would go to dances at
& LesterGibson’s. Genevia kept
BillyRay for a short time when
he was a baby.
Helen Head Matthews, Willie and Sue Kale at Betterware Hosiery
variety of Campmeeting photos of Willie
still used their horse-and-buggy while living on Dexter Path,
but Sam eventually bought a 1935 model used car.
family had deep roots in the
BallsCreekCampground. When the
large Loftin family would get together for the Autumn event,
they’d have to use two tents because of all the kids and
grandkids. Alonzo & IdaLoftin’s tents were 69 and 70.
sister, FrancesCook, inherited 69 from her parents.
Sam built a tent
for Willie and himself down close to the spring and “Shack” area
- around 116.
sold this house on Dexter Path and purchased some property on E.
Bandy’s Rd where he built their second house. Sam built a
bathroom in this house and even installed a shower in the
started off with about 30 acres, but eventually bought 30 more,
and even more after that. He also built another building on the
property that became a beer joint.
In June 2011, Willie recalled
how on one occasion Sam had gone to Charlotte with Charlie on
business. He had promised to bring her back a new dress.
When he got back home, he didn't have the dress, but instead had
bought some liquor - and he himself was drunk. Willie
helped Sam onto the bed, but neighbor Ms. Trim had seen
the commotion and came down to see what was going on. She
kept Ms. Trim on the porch and tried to convince her that
everything was OK - embarrassed that Sam was drunk and afraid
that Ms. Trim would hear him. After Ms. Trim left, Willie
asked Sam why he hadn't bought her the dress like he had
promised. He said he didn't have time. She told him,
"You had enough time to buy that liquor" and in a moment of
anger, Sam slapped her. Willie packed her bags, took
BillyRay, and went home to her mama and daddy. When Willie's
dad, MartinGoble, heard what Sam had done, he talked to
SherriffRayPitts. The Pitts had provided the illegal
slot-machines in Sam's beer-join, but SherriffPitts told Sam's
he'd better never slap Willie again - that if he did, he had a
mule whose reigns would fit Sam's hand (In other words, he was
threatening him with "hard time" on the chain-gang).
Willie said Sam never touched her in anger ever again.
The second house &
beer-joint Sam built on E. Bandys Rd.
Sam was making a lot of money from selling beer
at his beer store & bar and was able to buy Willie a new electric stove, new refrigerator and even a
new deep-freezer. They also purchased their first living-room
suit while living at E. Bandys.
living in the house on E. Bandys Rd, Sam & Willie got “saved” and turned the beer joint
into a grocery store. Sam had gone to WilliamGuins’ to buy
some chickens and William invited Sam & Willie to a revival at
Mathis Chapel Baptist Church. Willie got saved first, then
Sam. The Loftin family had been Methodist for many generations,
but after their salvation experience, Sam & Willie joined the
Willie, she & Sam owned the first TV of anyone in the area.
Every Saturday night, Fred & EmmerMathis (who donated the
timber for the original Mathis Chapel Baptist Church building, where Sam & Willie attended)
would come over to the grocery store to watch TV.
Many of Sam and
Willie’s family lived in the surrounding Bandy’s community,
including Willie’s parents (Martin & NessieGoble) and Sam’s
mother (IdaLoftin). Sam’s brothers Charlie,
Oscar and sisters
SadieLee, AllieLee and FrancesCook all lived nearby.
Willie’s sisters HelenSigmon and LibIsenhour, as well as
brothers James and Harlee all lived within a few miles of
Sam and Willie’s home on E. Bandys. Elgevia and
Bill even lived in
the former beer-joint and grocery store at one time.
Campground photos of Sam, Willie and Billy Ray
Willie and Billy Ray
in 1944 - 1945
On one wintry
evening while living on E. Bandy Rd., Willie discovered that
BillyRay was missing in the middle of the night. He was 3 or 4
years old at the time. Willie remembers crying and saying,
“it’s so cold outside - he’ll freeze to death.” Eventually,
however, he was found in the spare bedroom under a stack of
clothes. He told them he had been cold in his room and climbed
under the clothes to keep warm.
It was also
during this time that Sam purchased about 40 acres, that he
eventually sold to LloyalDeal that would become
Sam’s brother, Oscar, built a home and lived in the Sugar Farm
(Below) Sam, Willie & Billy Ray
Mathis Chapel Church in 1952
Willie became pregnant again when they were living on East
Bandy’s Rd. She was helping to push a car during the snowy
winter, fell, and miscarried as a result.
Curtis was born in 1953
Eventually she would become pregnant the third time. Sam &
Willie were still living in the house on E. Bandys Rd. when
Curtis was born in May of
to build a house on Hwy. 10, just out of Catawba, for his cousin
GlennLoftin’s oldest son. When the house was completed, the
boy wasn’t able to get his loan to pay for the house, so Sam
decided to sell the house on E. Bandy’s Rd. to Carson &
VelmaPool and move his family to Hwy. 10. The year was 1954.
The Hwy. 10
house had two bedrooms, a kitchen, an inside bathroom, a living
room and a den.
built an inside back porch for a washing machine. Willie had
used a scrub board for washing clothes when she was first
married, but now she had a electric washing machine, and it had
a “ringer”. She’d hand-feed the sopping-wet clothes through the
“ringer” and all the excess water was pressed out. The family
had no clothes dryer, and all clothes were hung up outside on a
clothes line to dry.
locked the doors to their homes when they went off - or even at
night. Cars were never locked.
Curtis at age 3
her school class reunion at Balls Creek in 1960
Willie, Curtis, Billy Ray & Sam (Middle);
Floyd & Helen Sigmon (Right)
Sam & Willie would
live in this house on Hwy. 10 in Catawba for the rest of their
(Left) Willie & Sam with Bevery & Billy Loftin, their first two
grandchildren, in 1966
(Right) Sam & Willie with Curtis, Bill & Diane, Beverly, Billy,
Eric and Crystal
at Mathis Chapel Baptist Church in 1971
Willie and Sam had two children
(Billy Ray and Curtis), six grandchildren (Beverly, Billy, Eric,
Crystal, Beth and Philip) and eleven
great-grandchildren (Brandon Kale, Nicholas Loftin, Channing
Loftin, Matthew Loftin, Luke Loftin, Grace Loftin, Anthony
Bergin, Justin Bergin, Savanna Seese, Alexandria Seese and Kayli
Willie, age 80, with Curtis & Carolyn and their children in
Philip & Leslie Loftin, Beth & Brad Seese (Middle Row),
Alexandria & Savanna in 2006
most of her life boarding socks. In the 1970s, Willie stayed at
home with Sam because of his declining health. After his death,
she went to work at Catawba Middle School in Catawba as a
custodian. She was 55 at the time. She stayed at Catawba
Middle School until she retired at the age of 63, but she didn’t
stay retired for long. She eventually went back to work at
K-Mart in Conover as a "Greeter". She stayed at K-Mart for 7
years, until she was 70. When Willie told her Doctor that she
was going to retire from K-Mart, he told her he thought she
should continue working. She told him, “I’m 70! How old do you
have to be before you can retire?!” He agreed with her and
dropped the subject.
School photos of Willie when she worked at Catawba Middle School
December 1991 - Christmas Video
Willie "sneaked" and opened up one of the Christmas presents she
was suppose to get from Curtis & Carolyn for Christmas. When they found
out, they decided to play a joke on her and recorded this video.
This video of Willie will make you smile as you remember her
sweet and pleasant personality.
December 1993 - Willie & Philip - Christmas
& Hanukkah Video -
retirement, she continued to stay active - visiting family,
driving to church, and going daily to the Senior-Citizen’s site
for lunch daily.
July 6, 2003
Curtis chats with Willie - 01 Apr 2005 -
CLICK HERE Concerning 2005 trip to Israel by way of New
Curtis:"Like most southern
ladies, Mom was a wonderful cook. Her fried chicken, potato
salad, persimmon pudding and fruit sonker were just a few of my
"Her potato salad was unique, combining both mayonnaise,
mustard and vinegar to give it the tangy taste that I loved so
much. I love a mayonaise based potato salad and Amish potato
salad, but none compared to Mamma's. In her latter years, I'd
cook in her kitchen and help her make the potato salad. I'd
peel, cook and mash the potatoes, boil the eggs, peel and dice
the onions and pickles. I'd add the mayonnaise, mustard and
vinegar but she always did the taste test just to be sure it was
"We had a persimmon tree in the yard so we
always had persimmon pudding in the late summer and fall. She
also froze the persimmon pulp so we could have persimmon pudding
during the winter months."
INGREDIENTS: 3 lbs.
Potatoes 1/4 cup Pickles
(12-Day Pickles) 6 boiled
Eggs 1 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Mustard 1/8 cup
Vinegar 1 Onion, diced
Salt & Pepper to Taste
2 cups Persimmon Pulp 3 Eggs
1 3/4 cup Milk 2 cups
All-Purpose Flour 3 Tbsp.
Margarine or Butter 1/2 tsp.
Baking Soda 1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Vanilla
Dice and cook potatoes until done and mash.
2. Hard boil eggs and chop.
3. Chop Pickles. 4. All all
ingredients and stir. 5. Add
more mayonnaise, mustard or vinegar if
INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Mix all ingredients.
2. Spray baking dish with PAM.
3. Pour batter into baking dish.
4. Bake for 1 hour at 350°F or until done.
5. Serve warm, room temperature or cold.
never used a recipe when she make her potato salad. She
added the mayonnaise, mustard and vinegar then adjusted
to suit her taste. It always had a twang and was
especially good when it was still warm."
Curtis: "Mom eventually changed
the sugar in her persimmon pudding recipe to brown sugar
and suddenly it was even better. She got that idea from
her baby sister, Elgevia Goble Eggers."
my other favorite desserts was Mom's fruit "sonker" or cobbler.
After Mom passed in 2018, I tried to find the word sonker on the
internet but had no luck. I had been spelling the word 'sunker'
but when I discovered the spelling was acutally 'sonker', I
found an interesting article on the internet. Mom grew up in
Alexander and Iredell Counties - next door to Wilkes County."
One cook's cobbler is another cook's "sonker" - but
only if you happen to live in Surry or Wilkes Counties.
This deep-dish pie with the funny name appears to be
peculiar to this part of the state (North Carolina).
Although much debated, the sonker is a deep-dish
pie, juicier than cobbler and typically served in a
rectangular baking dish. It was a dessert large enough
to feed a big family or farmhands who'd spent the day
working in the fields. It was often baked in a bread pan
that fit inside a wood-burning stove.
The late Cratis Williams, a special assistant to the
chancellor at Appalachian State University, grew up
eating sonker in an eastern Kentucky community settled
by people from Wilkes and Surry counties. He wrote that
the word "sonker" descended from a Scottish word...
Others suggest that the name stems from a twisted
pronunciation of "sunk", because the dough was sunk down
on top of the fruit.
Mom's sunker recipe. It was usually made from apples because
they were easily abailable, but could also be made with peaches,
blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and even sweet potatoes.
You can use canned fruit, but need to drain the fruit juice or
Willie Goble Loftin's Homemade Sonker
6 Apples, peeled and sliced
1 cup Milk 1 cup Self-Rising
Flour 1 cup Sugar
1 stick Butter
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray baking dish or pan.
3. Spread out the apples in dish.
4. Mix flour, sugar, butter and milk until just
mixed and pour over apples.
5. Bake for 44 minutes to an hour.
Curtis: "Thanks, Mama. I love
Curtis: "We were actually a fairly poor
family when I was growing up, but I never lacked. I even managed
to go to college. I'm not sure how we pulled that off since only
Mom was working at the time. With their help, sholarships,
grants, a prospective teacher loan, and GOD's help, I managed
four years at
Appalachian State University, and went on to teach
for 30 years in the Catawba County NC School System."
"We didn't have meat at every meal. It just wasn't
available. I loved her southern cornbread, and even though we
frequently ate it with butter, most of the time is was crumbled
into a glass that was then filled with cold milk. Cornbread and
milk is still a favorite, although I still prefer southern
cornbread over the often sweet cornbread (My wife
favorite). A glass of cornbread and milk made up the whole
meal, and then I was back outside to play."
"Beef liver fried with onions was also a favorite when I was
growing up - and Mom's cooking helped me to lern to love it. I
didn't learn to like chicken livers until I married Carolyn."
Martin Luther Goble lived with us for about 10
years when I was growing up. He would hunt and catch rabbit,
squirrell and cooter (a North American river turtle with a dull
brown shell and typically haveing yellow stripes on the head).
Mom told grandpa that she'd gladly cook all of those for him but
she wouldn't clean them. He'd have to do that. Which he did.
Cooter was made into a stew with onions, potatoes and flour to
thicken. I never ate any of those growing up. Mom liked rabbit
but wouldn't eat squirrell.
Curtis: "Another one of Mom's favorite
desserts was her Million Dollar Pie."
Curtis: " Another one of Mom's
favorite desserts, and mine, too, was her Million Dollar
Pie. She'd make a least two and sometimes three at a
time. There was always a pie for me and Carolyn, and if
there was a third one, it went to her sister
1 can Eagle Brand Sweet Condensed Milk
1/3 cup Lemon Juice 1 can
Crushed pineapple, drained 1
cup Pecans, chopped 1 large
Cool Whip 2 Graham Cracker
1. Mix together 2. Pour into
2 graham cracker cruses 3.
Chill for 5 to 6 hours in fridge.
1. Can be frozen and then thawed.
Curtis: "A family favorite was Mom's cheesy
rice. Whether it was for breakfast, lunch or dinner, we always
loved it - as do my children and grandchildren. To begin with,
it's not a dry rice. It's moist. Follow you cooking directions
for the rice, but 4 minutes before it is done, add 6 (or more)
slices of American Cheese. I've modified it by cooking the rice
in chicken stock and using White American Cheese. It' wonderful
with bacon, sausage and eggs or with fried chicken. This is
definitely a Loftin family favorite."
"By the time Mom reached the age of 85, I was doing all of
her cooking. After she burnt herself several times, I asked her
to let me do the cooking for her and she did. She still used the
microwave, however. I kept her provided with quick-fix items for
her microwave. She also had Meals-On-Wheels for lunch on Monday
- Friday. She always had cereal for breakfast and loved corn
flakes with a little sugar on top."
"Mom had to give up the family church,
Mathis Chapel, about
2012 because of mobility, so she went to church with Carolyn and
me at Covenant Church in Lincolbnton. For four years, we ate at
Arby's for lunch. She loved their Classic Roast Beef as well as
their Chrispy Chicken Sandwitch. And she especially enjoyed the
curly fries. When she finally went to Cardinal Care Nursing Home
in Lincolnton in late 2016 to live, they wanted to put her on a
diabetic diet. I told them, 'Absolutely not! She's old, doesn't
have love to live, has to live here and has limited mobility.
Eating what she wants is something she enjoys and we will not
take that from her." Once every couple of weeks I'd bring her
salt & pepper catfish from Captain Pete's (one of her
favorites), or sandwiches from Arby's."
Curtis:"I had the world's greatest Mom."
(Below) December 25,
2008 - Willie is 83-years-old
Willie surrounded by Curtis and his family
(Back Row) Brad, Beth, Leslie, Philip
(Front Row) Savanna, Carolyn, WILLIE, Curtis, Alexandria
Willie gets a hug from youngest great granddaughter Kayli Loftin
(daughter of Philip & Leslie Loftin) at the Loftin Family
Reunion on Sunday, 17 May 2017
Willie continued to live by herself until November 2016.
During the course of that year, she had 10 falls - several of
which required her to go to the hospital. She broke several ribs
on one fall, and had many bruises and contusions. In November,
Willie told Curtis that it was time for her to go into a nursing
home and ask him to make arrangements for her. Curtis and Willie
talked about it and the decision was made for her to go and live
at Cardinal Healthcare in Lincolnton. Willie resided at Cardinal
for almost 15 month.
Willie's Declining Health: On Friday, 26 Jan 2018, when
Curtis arrived at the Cardinal Health Care at 1:00 p.m. for a
visit with Willie, he found that she was having difficulty with
her breathing. They usually had her oxygen levels set at 2L but
they had already turned it up to 3L and even 3.5L. Curtis
requested that Willie see her doctor, Dr. Radu. Dr. Radu
diagnosed her with Respiratory Distress and said he felt she
needed to go to the hospital. Willie was transported to Carolina
Health Care in Lincolnton. Curtis & Carolyn met the ambulance at
the hospital as Willie was taken into the Emergency Room. The
Emergency Room doctor ordered several tests. X-Rays showed that
her lungs were clear and that she showed no signs of pneumonia.
They also ruled out a blood clot. Emphysema was the final
diagnosis. Willie never smoked but Sam did - for many years. Her
breathing difficulties stemmed from second-hand smoke. Willie
was moved to Room 206. Carolyn and Carolyn went home for the
By Saturday morning when Curtis & Carolyn arrived a the
hospital, Willie was actually feeling a little bit better. She
ate breakfast and they sat and talked. She seemed to decline on
Sunday. When Carolyn and Carolyn got to the hospital Monday
FACEBOOK POST: Tuesday, 30 Jan 2018 - Mom's not doing too
good right now. Her CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) levels were 70 when she
first went into the hospital last Friday. They're not supposed
to get above 40. When the nurse checked her CO2 levels today,
they were 110. The nurse told me she had "never" seen anyone
with CO2 levels that high. She is wearing a "Bi-Pap" mask -
trying to force the CO2 out of her body. A C-Pap forces oxygen
"into" your body - a Bi-Pap forces oxygen "in" and CO2 "out. She
can't take some of her meds because she can't swallow, so
they're not giving her food, and just a "little" water. They
don't want anything to go down into her lungs. It levels do not
improve, they will need to move her ti ICU - where nurse-patient
ratio is 1-to-2 instead of a regular room where the ratio is
1-nurst-for-5-patients. Continued prayers appreciated.
FACEBOOK POST: Wednesday, 31 Jan 2018 - Mom's situation
for today is only slightly improved. They have her oxygen set at
5L instead of her usual 2L. She's allowed to eat today but she
has no appetite. She's not happy with her circumstances or the
Bi-Pap - which is hard on her care givers. Continued prayers
FACEBOOK POST: Thursday, 01 Feb 2018 - When I talked with
Mom's nurse this morning, her CO2 levels were down to 38 - which
was very good. The nurse told me that Mom was doing well. She
ate some turkey and dressing today. Her blood-sugar was a littl
high but meds brought it down. Her heart rate was a little high,
but meds also helped to regulate it. The nurse said Mom had been
pleasant today - not always the case when Mom is sick. The nurse
also told me there had not been a need for Mom to war the Bi-Pap
that day because ehr CO2 levels seemed to remain less than 40.
Mom's doing a lot of sleeping - which is good for the healing
process. She'll stay overnight in the hospital and I'd be
surprised if she went back to Cardinal tomorrow.
FACEBOOK POST: Saturday, 03 Feb 2018 - Mom slept the
entire time we were with her. She was using her Bi-Pap and her
hands were constantly moving as she slept. I didn't know she was
so restless when she slept. I talked with her nurse and was told
that she did well last night. Today, she's awake and "fussing".
The nurse said that was a good thing knowing that she slept most
of the day yesterday. She ate today. I hope her appetite
Monday, 05 Feb 2018: When we arrived at the hospital
today, Mom's blood-pressure was 69/42. They doctor had ordered
"nothing by mouth", not even her meds. They did have a "drip"
going into her arm. The nurse told me, "You need to spend time
with her today". Carolyn called Beth and Philip, as well as my
sister-in-law Diane, who called her son Eric. Beth, Philip,
Diane and Eric joined us at the hospital. We held Mom's hand and
prayed with her. She tried to talk but we really couldn't
understand what she was saying. By 12:35 p.m. her blood-pressure
had dropped to 61/35. Dr. Goupta told the nurses to keep her
comfortable and to give her morphine if needed, only feed her if
she asked for it. Sometime shortly after that Dr. Finney
informed us that she hemorrhaged when she had a bowel movement.
Family-Life-Pastor Nathan Groom from Covenant Church in
Lincolnton and Pastor Travis Triplett from Mathis Chapel Baptist
Church in Catawba County came by to talk to the family and to
pray with us and Mom. As evening approached, Carolyn and I
encouraged Beth, Philip, Diane and Eric to go on home - that we
planned to stay over-night.
Tuesday, 06 2018: Carolyn and I went home to get a shower
and change clothes. When we got back, Hospice came to talk with
us and let us ask questions. Around 12:30 we signed the papers
for Hospice to work with Mom. Mom was sleeping, so I settled
down to read my Kindle. About 1:13 a nurse came rushing into
Mom's room with a stethoscope - checking for Mom's pulse. She
had passed away quietly, while she was sleeping.
FACEBOOK POST: Tuesday, 06 2018 - Cousins, Family and
Friends, I wanted to let you know that Mom passed away today at
1:13 at Carolina Health Care in Lincolnton. She passed
peacefully and had been asking the LORD to take her for years.
It is a difficult time for family, but I know she was ready to
Willie Aleen Goble Loftin passed away on 06 Feb 2018 in Lincolnton, Lincoln
County, NC, as a result of old age and COPD (Emphysema/Respiratory
Failure). Even though Willie never smoked, her husband Sam
Willie started "boarding socks" in a local hosier mill
when she was 15 and worked in that industry until she was in her
50s. At the age of 54, she became head custodian at
Catawba Middle School and worked there for 9 years blessing
everyone with her friendly smile. After retiring from Catawba
Middle, Willie went to work as a Door-Greeter at K-Mart
and worked there until she was 70.
Willie loved reading her Bible, reading Christian
romance, listening to the Gaither Homecoming videos, working
puzzles and spending time with her family.
Willie is survived by a son,
Curtis Loftin and his wife
Carolyn of Catawba; a daughter-in-law, Diane Self Loftin
of Conover; a sister,
Elgevia Goble Eggers and her husband Bill of Maiden;
6 grandchildren, Beverly Loftin, WilliamRayLoftinJr. and his wife Kay of Conover,
ChiefEricLoftin and his wife Suzanne
of Conover, CrystalLoftinHuffman and her
husband Chad of Granite Falls, BethLoftinSeese and her husband Bradley of Conover, and
PhilipLoftin and his wife Leslie of Newton;
11 great-grandchildren, Brandon Kale, NicholasLoftin, ChanningLoftin, Matthew
Loftin, LukeLoftin, GraceLoftin,
SavannaSeese, AlexandriaSeese and
KayliLoftin; 2 great-great-grandchildren,
AidenKale and DawsonBurgin; numerous
nieces and nephews.
There will be a receiving at Burke Mortuary in Newton on
Thursday, 08 Feb 2018m from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Funeral services
will be conducted at
Mathis Chapel Baptist Church, 1786 Mathis
Church Rd, Catawba, NC 28609 on Friday at 2:00 p.m. with Pastors
Travis Trip and Paul Schronce officiating, followed
by graveside services.
TRIBUTE To Willie/Mama: (By Curtis Loftin) My "Mama" was
absolutely awesome. She was truly one of those people who loved
the LORD and loved her family with all of her heart. Mom was one
of the younger children in her family so she was one of the few
who worked in the house along side of her own mother while the
older children worked out in the fields. She loved to share
stories about her family when she was growing up. She was a good
wife who worked and took care of Daddy when he was no longer
able to work. She nursed him tenderly until the day he died in
1979, when she was 54. Mom & Dad kept Grandpaw (Martin
Goble) for many years, until Dad got sick and she couldn't
look after them both. Mama was a "giver" and would go without so
that she could give to her kids and grandkids. She was truly a
"cheerful giver". Mama loved to pray and always remembered her
family in her daily prayers - petitioning the LORD when she knew
there was a spiritual or physical need in their lives. She loved
preaching and gospel music (especially the Gaither Homecoming
series) and was faithful to her church (Mathis
Chapel Baptist Church where she was a charter member) from
the time she got "saved" until she was no longer physically able
to go. She went to church with Carolyn and me at Covenant Church
in Lincolnton for four years before she asked me to place her in
a nursing home. She knew she needed the additional help, but I
often felt she asked to go - just so I wouldn't eventually have
to make that decision myself. She was just like that - always
looking out for me. Even in the nursing home, she went to all
the preaching and singing events there. I lost Daddy when I was
26 and am thankful that the LORD let me keep Mama until I was 64
- what a blessing. But I do miss her - and I know I always shall
- until we're reunited in Heaven. I love you, Mama.
A Few Additional Pages You Might Want to
Willie's Letters to Curtis When He Was in
Willie tells about meeting her husband, Sam
Loftin, their early homes & furniture,
Sam's cafe & beer joint, her first job and farm life in the
(Recorded 10 Jun 2010)
(Duration 8:41; Size 562 MB)