Three women retire after over a combined 100 years of service at the Texoma Expo and Livestock Show

Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 11:04 PM CST
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DENISON, Texas (KXII) - They matriarchs have helped generation after generation of students gain life skills and self-worth, through the hard work it takes to get to the show.

Mary Nan Story, Martha Mears, and Kathy Rains all said it is time for a new generation to take over the General Exhibit, but they have a feeling they won’t stay away for long.

“I think it was just time so you know you do something for so long and you just kinda get the gut feeling that okay it’s time to turn it over it’s time to do something new and different,” Mears said.

Martha Mears has been the Secretary of the General Exhibit at the Texoma Expo for 20 years and a part of the organization for 26.

She said turning over the reigns is bittersweet.

“So it’ll be nice to see if we can make some of those simple changes that might come along and see what they can do to really change it up,” Mears said.

Last year Mary Reed and Aurelia Holcomb from Gunter retired from the exhibition after putting in more than a combined 90 years of service.

“Where are they? They’re suppose to be here, they’ve been here for so long and they are so much a part that it was really important to really see them and we haven’t been able to do that,” Mears said.

Generations of clothing, art, crafts, photography, needlework, woodworking, and knife forging competitors accustomed to seeing their faces will have to find a new normal, much like everything else since last March.

“One of the things that’s really fun is seeing you know people and visiting with people that we don’t see that I don’t see that often, I’ll miss that part of it,” Story said.

Both Mary Nan Story and Martha Mears said the Livestock Show and Expo is a tradition they hope will continue for years to come, and knowing even a pandemic, even a winter storm couldn’t stop this year’s 152 entries, they know the future is bright.

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