Lifelong Learning is one of the mantras that I have used most of my life.

A little bit about me: I am a Chattanooga girl through and through, having been born and raised in Chattanooga. After graduating from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, I moved to the big city, Atlanta, when the population changed to 1,000,000. I worked as a legal secretary and then paralegal in a firm for about 12 years. I used my mantra to learn more about the law and so enjoyed the experiences and challenges. When the population of Atlanta rolled over to 2,000,000, I decided it was time to move back to Chattanooga. I decided I didn’t want to grow old in Atlanta by myself. I then worked for a law firm in Chattanooga for about 7 years. During my professional career, I served in the Paralegal Association in Atlanta and was president of the Paralegal Association in Chattanooga. I also served as president of the UTC Alumni Council and on the UC Foundation and the UT Board of Trustees.

I met my husband, Charlie, and by the way, we went to high school together. Charlie was a widower with three children, ages 17, 12 and 6. When he asked me to be his wife, he asked if I would retire and take care of the children. There again, lifelong learning came into play. I never had children of my own, so I was so fortunate to have the experience of helping raise my stepchildren. We now have 3 wonderful grandchildren that we love to spend time with.

I joined the Garden Club of Signal Mountain about 8 years ago. When our treasurer resigned and the president asked if anyone would volunteer to be the treasurer, my hand went up, beginning another chapter of Lifelong Learning. I have been very active in the GCSM serving as treasurer, first vice president, and then as president from 2018–2020.   As president, I wanted to have a project. I have been interested in making Signal Mountain and the town of Walden a Bee City USA, what better project for bees than a pollinator garden.

In 2019, I began taking classes to obtain my certificate in Native Plants from the Wild Ones, Tennessee Valley chapter. I recently received my certificate after 4 core classes and 8 electives and 40 hours of volunteer work, many hours of which was in building a pollinator garden at the Mountain Arts Community Center through the Garden Club of Signal Mountain. A garden is a lifelong project, and this pollinator garden will be here for years to come.

As District III director, my Theme is “Plant Natives for Our Pollinators” and my Project is “Enjoy Planting and Playing Outdoors.”

I want to use as my District Director mantra, one that our dear Garden Club friend and mentor Ann Schimpf always said, “Oh come on, you can do it, we will all help and we are going to have fun!”