BESSIE HIX MORRIS
By Sherry Heath
Bessie has been a staple of the Durning House since its inception almost 21 years ago. She is Brenda’s Mom (Brenda is the co owner of the Durning House). She has become Mom to all of us here. Bessie’s sister, Opal, has been our pie baker these 20+ years. These sisters live next door to each other and have shared their lives all of Bessie’s 88 years. Opal is 94.
Bessie and Elbert Hix reared 2 children, Brenda and Terry. Elbert owned Hix Auto Parts here in Van Alstyne until his death.
Bessie never worked outside the home and she will tell you that her job was running the household and providing a wonderul home for her family. She loves her yard and can grow anything. If a plant seed dropped by a passing bird happened to fall onto her walkway or into a tiny crack in the cement, she watered it until it became a beautiful plant. She would say, “Walk around it and enjoy its beauty”. She often gave me seeds and never understood why my plants were never as pretty as hers. I think she just has a magic touch.
Bessie was the youngest of 5 children, all reared on the farm and accustomed to hard work. Her father died at the age of 32, resulting in many hardships for the family. Bessie had to drop out of school and help her Mom with the chores. She never got to go back. Even without schooling, she has an incredible mind. She and Elbert have built several homes and she designed all of them, down to the last electrical plug. She designed our home.
Her life long interest has been in antiques. She is the one who influenced us to get into the antiques business and she taught us how to refinish furniture. Every antique trip we made had her as a companion and spotter for us. I know many of you have seen her at every estate sale we have done. She loves visiting with the people and sharing her knowledge. She loves jewelry and the older the better. She says she is not fully dressed unless she has on her beads and matching earrings, even if she is working in the yard.
Without a doubt the most wonderful quality about Bessie is her unwaivering love for and faith in God. Her life is a witness to that. She has been a faithful member of the Van Alstyne Church of Christ all of her life. When we have been away on antique trips and not been able to attend church, we have our own service together. Bessie dons her “church” clothes. I asked her once why did she go to all that trouble to dress up for our intimate small service and she said, “You must always give your best to the Lord”. To me that describes her character to a tee.
This beautiful lady is now facing her most challenging moments as she is facing the terrible stages of lung cancer. Even though her days consist of going from her bed to her chair, she still insists on wearing her beads and earrings.