Mrs. Lois Nelson (1915-2009)
In 1998, United States Representative Ralph Hall of Rockwall, honor Mrs. Lois Nelson who was selected for Honorable Mention in the state’s search for the Outstanding Older Worker of Texas. The honor came from Green Thumb, which was employed her in Princeton, Texas as Site Manager of the Senior Citizens Center since 1982. As a result of her organized varied and interesting activities for the group, the center maintained high attendance. Rep. Hall also honored Mrs. Nelson, a 16-year employee of the Princeton ISD, for accomplishing her lifetime dream of becoming a librarian. She was also instrumental in the opening of the Princeton Community Library and was the library director.
At the age of 12, Mrs. Nelson dropped out o school in Dallas in 1927. She was in seventh grade and had never liked school. “It kept me to confined,” she said, “I might have been a little hyper.” Then she added, “But we didn’t know that word then.” It was hard times that also keep her from school and little Lois had to take over the family household while her father and stepmother worked in a textile mill near Love Field. She cooked and cared for her five younger brothers and sisters. A few years later, she was married to a mill worker herself and was caring for her own five (5) children.
Mrs. Nelson never worked outside the home. But after her husband died, she entered the workforce for the first time at the age of 68. She was hired through Green Thumb, a federal jobs program to provide income for older citizens. At one point in the program, she was working as a library aide for the Princeton school district. Mrs. Nelson offers a good reminder that there is no deadline on learning. She earned her GED at age 79. She received her library certification at 80.
The Princeton Community Library was just a little one-room affair in the back of the Princeton ISD Community Education Building. But it was Mrs. Nelson’s pride and joy – a little haven of learning and literature. “Oh, I love it,” she said, “I have always wanted to be a librarian.”
The information provided by articles from the McKinney Courier-Gazette, March 8, 1998 and Dallas Morning News, April 8, 1998 edition.