My theme for the A to Z April Challenge is “In-Laws and Out-Laws – Friends of the Family.” I will be researching friends, colleagues, neighbors - those people who came and went touching my family’s lives in both small and large ways.
is for Courtney Thurston Garland.
Courtney’s pictures are dotted throughout the college scrapbook of my grandaunt Velma Davis Woodring. Since Courtney was born and raised in Chase City in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, it is safe to assume that Velma and Courtney met as first year students at Harrisonburg Teachers College (now James Madison University).
One of the pictures was taken outside Wellington Hall, so probably Courtney lived in this dorm where Velma lived as well.
|Left: Courtney Garland|
In the background is Wellington Hall
But she wasn’t so much an athlete as a Renaissance woman equally at home in the arts. She was a member of the Choral Club and secretary of the Glee Club. She served as president of the Page Literary Society during the third quarter in 1925. Courtney put her writing skills to work when called on to write the Class Prophecy – in poetry form.
She must have been very social as well since she was a member of the Cotillion Club which was responsible for hosting dances throughout the year. In what looks like a “superlatives”-type election, her class dubbed her both Most Original and Most Accommodating. But her crowning achievement was earning the trust of her class who voted her Class Treasurer.
The quote assigned to her under her graduation picture was “I live in crowds of jollity.” Sounds about right!
|24 Mar 1907 - 5 Aug 1976|
Courtney graduated from the Harrisonburg Teachers College in 1926. This daughter of a general store salesman put her college education to work immediately. In 1930, she was a public school teacher boarding in Boydton, a town in her native Mecklenburg County.
By 1940 she was married to Everett Kyhn and they were parents to a 3-year old daughter. Everett’s work as executive secretary to Virginia Petroleum Industries necessitated a move to Richmond, Virginia. Even though Everett was quite successful in his career and served on numerous statewide committees, Courtney continued to work. She taught many years for Henrico County, in particular Ginter Park Elementary School as a classroom teacher and later as the school’s librarian.
|May 1975 |
Richmond Times Dispatch
accessed 26 Mar 2014
Courtney was a life-long learner. In May 1975, she wrote a letter to the editor of the Richmond Times Dispatch thanking the governor and General Assembly for allowing senior citizens to take college courses for free.
She died the next year while a resident at the Hermitage, an assisted living facility run by the Virginia United Methodist Church.
Count on my comrades at the A to Z April Challenge for clever and creative contrivances.