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Tribute to Mary Jo Richmond

Posted Monday, March 15, 2010, at 4:25 PM

The first time I ever saw Mary Jo I was 11 years old and in the sixth grade. It was the year that Southwest school opened and I was among the lucky ones that got to attend the beautiful school when it opened its doors to its first round of sixth graders.

One day a woman with the prettiest walk was in front of me. Even as a child I knew that with every step she was class and back then I didn't even know the word class. All though I was never in any of her classes she always treated me special. I was was blessed in later years as a senior in high school to be around her occaisionally when I worked at Central School as secretary. I got to know her better after I graduated, married and had a child. I worked at the old junior high, once again as secretary. Again, I was enthralled with the way she knew about dress styles and mainly the way she carried herself. During that year she taught me how to coordinate clothing and especially matching shoes and purses. For many years I would never have thought about buying a pair of shoes without a purse to match. One day as we were talking about style, dress, and etiquette, she talked about the way we carry ourseslves. She said "Kathy", she always called me Kathy,

"when you walk, always remember, walk slow and on purpose." I then knew why her walk was special. She walked that way on purpose! As I have grown older and not as sure of myself in heels, I find myself saying "walk slow and on purpose." If I never had that advice from her you probably would see me falling all over town when I am wearing heels. Even with her teachings I am still a klutz.

She always smelled so pretty. I called her one day to get her suggestion for a fragrance. She gave me the name of a yummy fragrance and sent me to Nickens Pharmacy to get it. She assured me it would be a good fragrance for me. To this day if I see that particular fragrance, I spray my arm and remember that pretty lady I first met so many years ago as child.

I remember the day she turned fifty and she cried all day. I never understood why and told her so. To me she was timeless.

I left town for a number of years and saw her only occasionally when I came back for a visit. Again, each time we met she always made me feel special.

Each time I go into MJ'S or Decor's, I feel her closeness. So Mary Jo when you look down remember the little girl, then the young lady, and now an aging woman that you left a great impression on and who misses you dearly.

Remember, I have so many people who have touched my life. You might be the next one with me somewhere in a Korner of the Daily Statesman.

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Kathleen is a resident of Dexter. She was born in Indiana, but her parents moved their family back to the Dexter area when she was three. Other than three years she and her husband, Collin, lived in St. Charles, Mo. and ten years in Birmingham, Alabama, she has spent her life in Dexter. As you can tell, Kathleen is a people person and believes in giving credit to whom credit is due. Thus, the reason for her hero/heroine column every other week in Kathleen's Korner. As you can tell, she also like to have fun, most of the time at her own expense. Kathleen (Grubbs) is a 1964 graduate of Dexter High School and invites her friends to her "Korner."
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