Greene County, Arkansas


Lois Magnolia Branch Jobe



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March 10, 1907 ~ February 9, 1971



It's important to look back at some of our mother's history which greatly affected her and the direction in her life. We can only guess that Mama suffered greatly after her own mother died unexpectedly on March 19, 1918 at the age of 32 year of age. Mama had just turned 11 years of age at this time. Her little brothers were Jeff, Grayson and Alva. Jeff was only 7 years of age and would be 8 in November, 1918; Grayson was 3 years, about to turn 4 in June; and Alva was almost 2 - birthday in April. Bernice was the oldest. She turned 15 in May of 1918, and Hilary who was only 12; 13 in November of 1918. Mama was the middle child and the world came crashing down on her shoulders at a time when she was still a child, but forced to quickly become an adult.

After Bernice married Add Newberry in 1923, Mama was the lone female in a house of males. Joseph Branch owned a farm located just outside the boundaries of Paragould. We know that farm life was difficult at best; full of chores all day and little or no time for play or relaxation. She had already become the mother figure for her brothers. This was what fate dealt her and she made the best of it. In addition to all the struggles at hand, on a purely emotional level, her father was not always there for his small children. This must have imprinted Mama with an unyielding determination to make sure her children would get all the care and love that had often been absent for her and her brothers after the death of her mother. And as the hands of fate were dealt early in her life, she was also unfortunate to have been born with a cleft palate, a condition causing some alarm today, but back then when it occurred, it was devastating. For some reason, this condition had not been repaired until she was into her early school years. A person with all this "reality" on her shoulders could have gone in another direction…but she stood her ground knowing that there had to be a future for her.

The aunts were around, but most had young families and couldn't have had the time to help very much in her time of need. Her mother, Sarah Frances, had been born the oldest in her family. Her younger siblings were still bearing children during this tragic time in Mama's life.

Aunt Eva Carmack Jobe (wife of Lawrence Jobe) told us that Mama worked very hard in the house and on the farm. Aunt Eva was dating Lawrence Jobe when she first met Mama living on her father's farm in the Paragould area. She stated that Mama always had dinner ready for her father when he came home. It was expected of her and there was not much praise for her good deeds at that time in her life. Her father had little hope that Mama would ever get married due to the scar on her face resulting from the cleft palette. Mama met Dad…and the rest is history…

Mama and Daddy married May 9, 1925 - two years after Bernice married Add Newberry in 1923. They married in the home of B. MacDonald in Paragould; a statement made many times as I was growing up. Mama hadn't run away from what she felt were her responsibilities after her marriage. She had a very strong sense of family which was carried right through to her death with her own children.

Her brothers, Jeff, Grayson and Alva, were still coming of age and needed her help. Jeff was 12 when Mama married, Grayson was only 9 and Alva only 7. She continued to forge on and we know just a bit of her life and how it unfolded back then.

I have often wondered if Grandpa Branch changed drastically as a result of his own fate. He lost his wife when she was only 32 years of age. He was left with 6 children to rear. This was a sobering reality. What kind of life did he have for all those years? Was he a very different person when his wife, Sarah Frances, was alive?

Today, we may have labeled Mama a victim of circumstance. She wouldn't have liked that label. She didn't see herself as a victim. Instead, she chose to be a loving, caring person who always went out of her way to help others in need. Our Mama would have never stood for anyone's pity. She stayed close to the two younger brothers, Grayson and Alva, helping them wherever possible with what little she had. She was always kind to her father; helping him until the end of his life.

Mother’s father, Joseph Branch, was consumed by disease in his later life which finally killed him in 1945. His death certificate states he died of pneumonia.

Lois Magnolia Branch Jobe went on to give birth to ten children. She lived in Greene Co. and Mississippi Co., Arkansas most of her life. In her golden years, she moved to Missouri to be near her children and they loved her and enjoyed being around her. She was always full of life, laughing, loving and caring about others more than herself. She passed from this earth on February 9, 1971 in Springfield, Mo. She was interred at Clark’s Chapel Cemetery, where many of her ancestors are laid to rest. Clark’s Chapel was a place where she took her own children every year for what was once called "Decoration Day." I can hear her as she walked through the cemetery pointing out the graves of the ancestors…"Don’t forget they’re here, now," she would say as she looked back at us to make certain we were paying attention.

We miss them both so much…even today. We were proud and fortunate beyond words to call them our parents.

By Judith Jobe Raterman, daughter.

Obituary is located at this link >  Mrs. Jobe


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