LOUISVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) — On Mother’s Day, we all pay tribute to our mothers, who often are the backbone of any family. A Louisville family has plenty of love to go around thanks to a mother who comes from a long line of strong stock.
Ozola Eichelberger was one of 13 children. And she had 14 children of her own. That flock has blessed her with more than 75 grandchildren and yet even at age 95, she remains the matriarch.
Her son, Roy Eichealberger, a Louisville firefighter, says she’s one of a kind.
Ozola Eichealberger grew up in Winston County and she remembers the old days like it was yesterday.
“It was just kind of rough back in 1937, we didn’t have much money and we didn’t really have much to eat, but we raised what we ate. It’s a lot of fun to have a big family, you know we had a lot of fight among ourselves, but it was a lot of fun to have brothers and sisters.”
Coming from a large family herself, she had 14 children of her own, all adults now living all over the country. Her daughter, Ruth Bennett, fondly remembers growing up with a large family.
“She was a great mother, she is a great mother still. We had plenty to eat, we had lots of fun, we always went to church, we just had a wonderful time,” she says of her childhood.
Even at age 95, she still stays very active. Ozola gets up everyday to cook, make quilts and even canned food for her children to take home.
“She’s still got that will power to go and do and work in the garden and cook canned, make quilts, she’s still got will power to do and a good mind,” said Roy Eichealberger.
Winston County Supervisor Mike Peterson has been friends of the family as long as he can remember.
“They’re just an amazing family, they are an amazing family, there are some amazing genes in this family,” Peterson said.
Her older brother, Major Jewel McDonald, says they had a lot of fond memories growing up that he will never forget.
“We had a lot of good times together, but I want to tell you this about my sister…She wanted me to play with her you see, she said oh no mama didn’t say it, I come back and I went to play with her and then the next thing you know my mother was there with a switch so she pulled a trick on me. I never will forget that.”
All of Ozola’s children went into different careers like firefighting, child care, and the ministry. And those line of strong genes are carrying on — all 14 children still are living.