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Morning Sun
  • PATRICK'S PEOPLE: Ann Pugh, Frontenac, is getting a new beginning

  • Ann Pugh, Frontenac, has done some hard things in her life. One of the hardest, coming up soon,  will be to move away from her dear friends.



    Pugh has sons in Oklahoma and Idaho, and a daughter in Colorado.

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  • Ann Pugh, Frontenac, has done some hard things in her life. One of the hardest, coming up soon,  will be to move away from her dear friends.
    Pugh has sons in Oklahoma and Idaho, and a daughter in Colorado.
    “My children told me I should go closer to them,” Pugh said. “They conspired against me. I really had three places to go. I feel really blessed to have good children.”
    She has chosen to move to Harrah, Okla., which is three miles from her Oklahoma son, and will live in Red Cedar Village, a new senior citizens community.
    “I’ll be in a duplex, brand new and all brick,” Pugh said. “The place is going to have a community center, a storm shelter and a walking path.”
    She was born in Franklin.
    “My father died when I was a year old,” Pugh said. “My mother raised six children by herself and it wasn’t easy. She’s one person I really admired. I asked her once why she didn’t put us all in an orphanage, and she said she just couldn’t do that.”
    Sadly, Pugh was only 18 when her mother died.
    She and her husband Dave were married in 1943 during World War II. They moved to Colorado after the war.
    “My husband got sick from the altitude, so we moved here,” Pugh said. “He was only 63 when he died and i was 59. I’ve been a widow for 26 years and it hasn’t been easy.”
    It was her empathy for bereaved women that led her and a friend, Betty Loftus, to start New Beginnings about 25 years ago. A fellowship for widows, it meets at 11 a.m. on the first Tuesday of each month.
    “We saw the need,” Pugh said. “We were just sitting one day at AARP looking at all the widows and we thought this would be good recreation for them. We’re all in the same boat.”
    She said the group first met at the Holiday Inn Express, then at Western Sizzlin and then at Otto’s Cafe. Now it will probably moved to the Corner Bistro.
    “We used to average around 30 widows at each meeting, and now it’s eight or nine,” Pugh said. “We had a new person last time. I’ve seen a lot of women go through losing their spouses. People just don’t realize how hard it is when you lose your spouse. Most of these women were married 50 or 60 years. We become a support group for them.”
    New Beginnings has no dues. Those attending just come and pay for their own lunch.
    “We offer them to come for fellowship and the women really do enjoy it,” Pugh said. “Sometimes it’s sad, but sometimes we laugh and carry on as if we had good sense.”
    Page 2 of 2 - She hates to leave New Beginnings, but said that dear friend Mattye Foxx had promised to see that the group kept on meeting.
    Pugh has also been active in local AARP since 1978.
    “I’ve been president three or four times and vice president,” she said. “At the moment I’m on the chapter entertainment committee.”
    But when she becomes an Okie, Pugh will be closer to family. In addition to her three children, she has 10 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
    And, of course, she intends to stay in touch with her close friends in the Pittsburg area.
    “I’ve told them to get a cell phone and get plenty of minutes on it because I’ll be calling and they’ll be calling,” Pugh said. “My kids will bring me back on Memorial Day to my husband’s grave at Mt. Olive Cemetery. I haven’t missed a Memorial Day since he died.”
    She’s also hoping to make new friends in her new home.
    “I’ll walk into that community center and ask who likes to play cards,” she said. “I might even start a group for widows down there.”
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