Loftin    Setzer    Goble    Johnson




(1925 - 2018)


(1888 - 1979)


(1860 - 1929)


(1839 - 1911)


(1813 - 1880)


(1761 - 1840)


(1724 - 1813)

Goble III

(1698 - 1750)


(1669 - 1733)

Goble I

(1641 - 1676)


(1590 - 1657)


(1540 - 1593)



(1903 - 1987)


(1908 - 1983)


(1910 - 1911)


(1912 - 1995)


(1913 - 1914)


(1915 - 1915)


(1916 - 2005)


(1918 - 1980)


(1921 - 1998)

(1924 - 2010)

(1925 - 20??)


(1928 - 20??)


(1928 - 1929)


(1933 - 1934)



History of
NC Counties




& High School






































































































































Willie Aleen Goble


Born: 04 Dec 1925, Iredell County, NC
Died: 06 Feb 2018, Lincolnton, Lincoln County, NC


YouTube Videos of Willie sharing her memories



Interview with Willie
November - December 2006

Willie Aleen Goble Loftin was the ninth child of Martin Luther Goble and Beulah Vernesta Johnson. She was born December 4, 1925.


(Left) Willie, 2nd / 3rd Grade Iredell County


Willie's memories about lunch at school in Iredell County
Audio File (Recorded 10 Dec 2008)
(Duration 1:38; Size 1.88 MB)

Click Here

Martin & Nessie lived in several rented houses in Iredell County, including the Henry Setzer house.

Willie only remembers seeing/meeting her grandfather, Jacob Goble, 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.


Willie remembers the family visiting her Uncle Henry Pinkney Johnson Jr., her mother’s brother, and his wife, Beulah, as well as her Uncle Ode and Aunt Becky, Martin’s brother and sister.  Uncle Hen only had one leg.

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 2015
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 boys.

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 the funeral.

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 & Nessie, would be buried at Sharon Lutheran Church, too.

Willie's early memories of moving from Iredell to Catawba County and death of sister Doris
Audio File (Recorded 10 Dec 2008)
(Duration 3:07; Size 3.58 MB)

Click Here


Martin decided 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 Legs, Harlee & J.C. slept in another one. 


Willie's early memories of Martin and the family when they lived at Murphy Jones' house
Audio File (Recorded 10 Dec 2008)
(Duration 1:05; Size 1.24 MB)

Click Here


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 jealous.”

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 & Becky Goble Bunton, were the favorite nieces of her Uncle Otis 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 clothing
Audio File (Recorded 10 Dec 2008)
(Duration 1:39; Size 1.90 MB)

Click Here


  Lib, Willie, Elgevia and Helen


Willie’s baby sister, Doris, was born 31 October 1933 and died 04 August 1934. The photo at left shows Lib (age 13), Willie (age 8), Elgevia (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.  Willie 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!"


Another incident from Willie
     “Helen and Lib fed me ‘rabbit pills’ when I was a kid, too.  They told me it was candy.  They got a whipping for that!”


Willie said the children would sometimes go to Ebenezer Lutheran Church with Mrs. Pump Alley, a neighbor.  She also said that she, Helen and Lib would walk to Center Methodist 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

Nessie, Martin, James/Legs
Willie, Elgevia holding Bud (Leg's son), Helen


After a short while, Martin moved his family into the old Murphy Jones house because it was a little larger. Murphy Jones was Edna Jones Loftin’s brother.  Edna became Charlie Loftin’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 Dr. Fred Long.  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 teenage years

Most of the Goble kids
had nicknames.

Willie was called “Bill”,
Lib was “Can”,
Helen was “Min”,
JC was “Tud”,
Harlee was “Doc”,
and James was “Legs”.

Harlee & James
carried their
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”. 

Sometimes J.C. 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


Willie and Helen both went to work at Betterware Hosiery Mill 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
Audio File (Recorded 10 Dec 2008)
(Duration 1:38; Size 1.87 MB)

Click Here

Helen & Willie Goble

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 Sam Tuddero and brothers Heman & Harry Sullivan.  Willie said she liked both brothers who were from a prominent family in the community.


Willie's early memories of Sam
Audio File (Recorded 10 Dec 2008)
(Duration 2:21; Size 2.70 MB)

Click Here


When asked how she first met Sam, Willie said she had gone to Speedo’s store, just down the road from where the Martin Goble 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 Mathis Chapel Church 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 Sam before they were married.


Everyone wasn’t interested in seeing Sam and Willie get together.


Lib, Willie’s sister, asked Sam, "Why do you want to marry her?  She can't even cook!"
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 Sam’s 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.


Sam eventually asked Martin, if he could marry WillieMartin told him, “Yes, but if you’re mean to her, I’ll get you!”  


Willie and Sam 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.   Floyd Sigmon and Helen, Willie’s sister, went with them.


Willie & Sam's Marriage License


Article About the Home of Judge E. Gettys Nunn


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 Ida Loftin (Sam's mother).  The house only had a kitchen and a bedroom, but Sam did buy Willie a new bedroom suit when they moved in.  Sam built 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

Name Birth Date Death Date Spouse
William Ray Loftin 26 Dec 1943 19 Aug 2005 Mattie Diane Self
Curtis Dean Loftin 08 May 1953   Carolyn Janet Weeks

Willie with Billy Ray,
Nieces and Nephews

A year-and-a 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 Sam 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 Charlie Loftin’s Home, as well as the home of Floyd & Helen Sigmon.  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 Roy Setzer 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
Audio File (Recorded 10 Dec 2008)
(Duration 1:48; Size 2.07 MB)

Click Here



Willie and Sam with a new-born Billy Ray in 1944


Eventually Sam bought 40 acres of property on Dexter Path, just off of Shiloh Church Rd. from Fred Gibson’s father.  Sam purchased the property, then cut and sold the timber there to pay for the property.  Sam worked at Russ Campbell’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 Ray
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.

While living 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 Billy Ray 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!”

Willie’s sister, Elgevia, also lived with them for a short period of time.  Occasionally Sam, Willie & Elgevia would go to dances at Genevia & Lester Gibson’s.  Genevia kept Billy Ray for a short time when he was a baby.


Helen Head Matthews, Willie and Sue Kale at Betterware Hosiery in Catawba


A variety of Campmeeting photos of Willie


Sam and Willie still used their horse-and-buggy while living on Dexter Path, but Sam eventually bought a 1935 model used car.

The Loftin family had deep roots in the Balls Creek Campground.  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 & Ida Loftin’s tents were 69 and 70.  Sam’s sister, Frances Cook, inherited 69 from her parents.

Sam built a tent for Willie and himself down close to the spring and “Shack” area - around 116.

Sam eventually 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 basement.

Sam and Willie 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 Billy Ray, and went home to her mama and daddy.  When Willie's dad, Martin Goble, heard what Sam had done, he talked to Sherriff Ray Pitts.  The Pitts had provided the illegal slot-machines in Sam's beer-join, but Sherriff Pitts 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.

Also while 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 William Guins’ 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 Baptist Church. 

According to Willie, she & Sam owned the first TV of anyone in the area.  Every Saturday night, Fred & Emmer Mathis (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 & Nessie Goble) and Sam’s mother (Ida Loftin).  Sam’s brothers Charlie, Oscar and sisters Sadie Lee, Allie Lee and Frances Cook all lived nearby.  Willie’s sisters Helen Sigmon and Lib Isenhour, 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.

Additional 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 Billy Ray 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 Lloyal Deal that would become Sugar Farm.  Sam’s brother, Oscar, built a home and lived in the Sugar Farm area.

(Below) Sam, Willie & Billy Ray
at 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 1953.


Sam contracted to build a house on Hwy. 10, just out of Catawba, for his cousin Glenn Loftin’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 & Velma Pool 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. 

Sam eventually 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.

Families seldom locked the doors to their homes when they went off - or even at night.  Cars were never locked.

Curtis at age 3 (1956)

Willie celebrates 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 lives


(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 Loftin).


Willie, age 80, with Curtis & Carolyn and their children in 2006
Philip & Leslie Loftin, Beth & Brad Seese (Middle Row), Alexandria & Savanna in 2006


Willie spent 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 - CLICK HERE


After Willie’s 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 York

Willie's Cooking
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 favorites."
"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 "right".

"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."
Potato Salad * Persimmon Pudding
     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
     1. 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
     1. Mix all ingredients.
     2. Spray baking dish with PAM.
     3. Pour batter into baking dish.
     4. Bake for 1 hour at 350F or until done.
     5. Serve warm, room temperature or cold.
Curtis: "Mom 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."
Curtis: "One of 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."
A Foothills Twist on Pie: The Sonker
by Andrea Weigl
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.
Curtis: "This is 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 syrup."
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 350F.
     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 you."  
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 Carolyn's 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."
"Grandpa 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."
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 Elgevia."

     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 Crusts

     1. Mix together
     2. Pour into 2 graham cracker cruses
     3. Chill for 5 to 6 hours in fridge.
     4. Serve.

     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


Christmas 2008 Video - CLICK HERE


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 night.
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 morning
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 appreciated.
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 improves.
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 do.
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 did.

Death Certificate


Willie Aleen Goble Loftin - Obituary

[CATAWBA, NC] Willie Aleen Goble Loftin, age 92, of Catawba, NC, passed away Tuesday, 06 Feb 2018, in Lincolnton, NC. Born 04 Dec 1925 in Iredell County, NC, Willie was the daughter of the late Martin Luther Goble and Beulah Vernesta "Nessie" Johnson Goble.
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.
In addition to her parents, Willie was preceded in death by her husband of 38 years, Sam William Loftin; a son, William Ray Loftin, Sr.; and 11 siblings, Mae Johnson Baldwin, Ethel Goble Sharp, Lewis Goble, James "Leggs" Goble, J.C. Goble, Harlee Goble, Fannie Elizabeth "Lib" Goble Isenhour, Mary Helen Goble Sigmon, Estelene Goble, Doris Goble, and 3 unnamed siblings who died in infancy.
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, William Ray Loftin Jr. and his wife Kay of Conover, Chief Eric Loftin and his wife Suzanne of Conover, Crystal Loftin Huffman and her husband Chad of Granite Falls, Beth Loftin Seese and her husband Bradley of Conover, and Philip Loftin and his wife Leslie of Newton; 11 great-grandchildren, Brandon Kale, Nicholas Loftin, Channing Loftin, Matthew Loftin, Luke Loftin, Grace Loftin, Anthony Burgin II, Justin Burgin, Savanna Seese, Alexandria Seese and Kayli Loftin; 2 great-great-grandchildren, Aiden Kale and Dawson Burgin; 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 Check Out

Willie's Letters to Curtis When He Was in College
Click Here

Willie's Webpage About Her Life
Click Here



Willie was buried beside of Sam at Mathis Chapel Baptist Church in Catawba County


Curtis brought flowers to the grave for Mother's DaY

YouTube Video Memories From Willie

Willie's early memories of her Dad's work, farm life and seeing her grandfather,
Jacob Hedrick Goble, for the first (and only) time.
(Recorded 10 Jun 2010)
(Duration 3:00; Size 194 MB)

Click Here


Willie talks about her aunts and uncles:
Otis Goble, Rebecca Goble Bunton and Henry Pinkney Johnson.
(Recorded 10 Jun 2010)
(Duration 2:53; Size 187 MB)

Click Here


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 early 1940s.
(Recorded 10 Jun 2010)
(Duration 8:41; Size 562 MB)

Click Here


Willie shares early memories of Billy Ray Loftin, beer joint and prosperity,
moving to their house in Catawba and Sam's numerous property holdings.
(Recorded 10 Jun 2010)
(Duration 7:48; Size 505 MB)

Click Here


Willie recounts Sam's jobs, Roy's store, Mike's dry cleaners
 and the three beer joints (belonging to Sam, Mike & Speedo).
(Recorded 10 Jun 2010)
(Duration 2:58; Size 192 MB)

Click Here


Willie's life, including jobs, horse & buggy days, getting to the hospital
 for Billy Ray's birth and learning to drive.
(Recorded 10 Jun 2010)
(Duration 8:31; Size 552 MB)

Click Here




Thanks to Brenda Isenhour Schronce for sharing Grandma Nessie's photos.
There were photos of Mom that I had never seen.


Thanks to Diane Goble for sharing the link for the news article on Judge Eddie Nunn.


If you have additional photos or information on Willie Aleen Goble Loftin, please contact me.

A special thanks to Willie Aleen Goble Loftin and Brenda Isenhour Schronce for the photos of Willie and her family.