• 75°

Ola Mae Lampley: Family is everything

When God has blessed a couple with 11 "wonderful" children, there is reason to celebrate.

That's exactly what Hurrie D. and Ola Mae Lampley do.

"We are thankful for our children every day but once a year we honor one of them in a special way," Ola Mae Lampley said. "We have six girls and five boys. This makes 11 years that we've been honoring one of our children and we started with the oldest."

The one honored this year was Dyjerlynn, the baby of the bunch.

The family and some close friends gathered at Galloway Park to honor Dyjerlynn Lampley, a captain with the United States Air Force Medical Corps stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base, La.

Brundidge Mayor Jimmy Ramage and Councilman Arthur Lee Griffin attended the gathering. Ramage presented Dyjerlynn with a special City of Brundidge pin. Neither Ramage nor Griffin beat around the bush about their intentions of trying to lure the family medicine physician back home once her military obligation is completed.

"She is an outstanding young woman and doctor," Ramage said. "We would love to have her open a family practice here."

Griffin said, although she has four years of military obligation, he is sure there will be a place for Lampley in Brundidge, if she should decide that home is the place for her.

"Dyjerlynn will be a real asset to Brundidge or wherever she goes," Griffin said. "We wish her well in whatever she does."

"She's our baby and we are so proud of Dyjerlynn," Lampley said. "We're proud of all our children and we'll keep honoring them. We'll start with our grandchildren now."

Lampley, laughing, said that with 36 grandchildren, they will probably honor three or four of them at a time."

Family has always been important to Hurrie D. and Ola Mae Lampley and it has been their desire to see their children succeed at whatever they choose to do in life.

"We came up hard," Lampley said. "Our families were sharecroppers. Times were real hard but they weren't bad times. We always had family around us and that makes up for a lot of things."

Lampley worked at the shirt factory in Brundidge for 25 years and her husband worked at Dorsey Trailers in Elba.

Neither of them found having 11 children to be a burden or a hardship.

"Joy," Lampley said. "My children were nothing but joy. And, having that many children wasn't hard. We had one to watch after the other. The one ahead would look after the one behind and we made it just fine."

Lampley said the things she and her husband wanted most for their children were an education, a loving home and work they enjoyed.

"Most of all, we wanted them to put God first," she said. "If you put God first the rest will fall in behind."

Lampley is as proud of her children today as she was the day each of them was born.

Seven of them are college graduates and all have done well in their chosen professions.

Among them are an attorney, an engineer, a teacher, a minister, a doctor and one who works for the department of agriculture.

Lampley said the children have most all of the bases covered if she and her husband should have a need.

"We've been real blessed," she said. "Children are a real blessing and family is everything. That's something everybody should know and I hope they do. That's what I tell my children and that's why we honor them - to show them our love."