Our Special Treasure: Jimmie Lou Lyons’ 50 Years at WIH


April 11, 2012

Jimmie Lyons celebrates her 50th anniversary at the Women’s Institute of Houston. We spoke with her recently about her thoughts and experiences here through the years.

 

WIH Reporter: Tell us about how you came to the Women’s Institute?

Lyons: It was 1961 when I came to The Women’s Institute, when Miss Ruth Sterling was here. My brother worked here, and told me that the the lady that was working here had to leave, so I came to work here. I have always been well pleased working here. They have treated me so well.

WIH Reporter: You’ve seen a lot of changes. What was it like in the early years?

 
 
 

Lyons: It was a little house on Westgate. We had classes downstairs in the home of Dean Richardson. After Mr. Richardson passed away, the Women’s Institute bought the home and we had classes upstairs also.

WIH Reporter: It appears to us that people don’t know all you do behind the scenes here.

Lyons: There was a lady who brought some cookies from home. She asked Mrs. Webb about adding these cookies for classes at the Women’s Institute. Mrs. Webb said, “Go ask Jimmie, she’s the one who makes these decisions.”

 

I order all the cookies. I order all the soda and the coffee. One time, when I put one type of cookie on one end, and another kind on the other end, a lady came to me and said, “Jimmie, you are hiding my favorite cookies. You like the other class better. I’m going to have to have to join the other class to get these cookies.”

I’m a jack of all trades. If they need anything, I am here to help. I help in the office. I’ve helped with brochures, answered phones, stapled handouts, and my son Cornell and daughter Lisa have come in to help also. It’s all in the family!

WIH Reporter: Tell us about Sunday classes.
 
Lyons: Sunday classes are great! We all a have a wonderful time. I have worked Sundays for many years. The only time I was absent was when I had a stroke in 1997. I came back 2 months later, and started working half days. They were so kind to me.
 
WIH Reporter: We all feel very lucky to have had you here at the Women’s Institute for 50 years.
 
Lyons: I’ve spent so much of my life in this wonderful place. I am the mother of 11 children. Three of them were born during my time at the Women’s Institute. With one of my babies, Mr. Richardson joked that he would probably be the one to drive me to the hospital but it turned out that this baby was born on the weekend. I used to ride the bus to work and I could always leave in time to be there for my kids after school. It has been really a pleasure working with Mrs. Webb and I feel very blessed to be here.
 
Please join us for a coffee and cake to celebrate Jimmie’s 50 years on April 11th. The invitation is below.