By Stacy Smith

Ms. Evie Roberts is a crafty one. She is so crafty that for 18 years she worked with people of all ages with mental challenges on crafts and other tasks at a learning center. Today, she continues to enjoy working with Crowne Health Care of Eufaula residents with lower cognitive skills on creative tasks such as painting, arts and crafts. She describes herself as “crafty.”

At 91 years old, she has celebrated seven years as a resident of the nursing home, of which she has served as President of the Resident Council for five years and is currently President of the Hostess Club. She especially enjoys decorating the facility for special occasions like family socials.

“I also worked at Historic Westville in southwest Georgia,” explains Ms. Roberts. Historic Westville is a village reconstructed to show how people lived in the 1800s. She worked to educate children and adults about the history and lifestyles of the Southern United States during that time period. She demonstrated making soap, candles and biscuits.

“I trained a group of my mentally challenged clients to work at Westville performing similar tasks such as I performed. I swelled with pride when I saw them succeed at their jobs. There were many interesting people from all over the world who visited the historic village,” said Ms. Roberts.

A reward she appreciates receiving in her life is raising six children. She raised four children who lived from birth, a neighbor’s child the Welfare Department asked her and her husband to raise, and one of her grandchildren after her daughter Laverne died a few days after giving birth.

“Ms. Roberts has a true gift of turning the hard things in life into good,” said Linda Railey, Administrator of Crown Health Care of Eufaula.

“We lived on a farm and times were not always easy, but each one of these children learned to fly with their own wings. They are, all of them, beautiful people,” explained Ms. Roberts.

“Ms. Evie Roberts is a champion for the underdog and down trodden.  She is not tall in stature, but there is nothing short in her sharing of unconditional kindness and love. She makes others feel 10 feet tall,” remarked Railey.

“My Mama, Daisy, taught me to sew, cook, and clean,” said Ms. Roberts. “She taught me to quilt. Mama also taught me that the definition of love is ‘doing the right thing.’ That love is found in actions.”

She has eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. “I made quilts for each family member so that each time they wrap themselves up in their quilt, Mama is there loving them too. I spread her love to them in this way,” said Ms. Roberts. She is currently working on quilts for her 3 great great grandchildren!

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For more information about the pageant, click here.

Editor’s note: This is the third story in a 10-part series about the finalists for the 2016 Ms. Alabama Nursing Home Pageant. On July 14, we’ll post a story about Ms. Crowne Health Care of Greenville Millie McDonald.

Stacy Smith, APR, is a freelance writer based in Birmingham, Alabama.