McNabb legacy continues through giving

Published 3:00 am Thursday, August 3, 2017

Annie Lois McNabb was the mother of 10 children. She experienced the greatest sadness a mother can know in the loss of a child several times over, including the tragic loss of a daughter in a plane crash.

McNabb knew great sadness and she also knew great joy. That’s the way McNabb lived her life, overcoming sadness and finding joy in all things, even the little things, especially little children.

And, was her love of children that inspired her own children to organize the Annie Lois McNabb Back to School Event in 2013. On Saturday, the McNabb family will once again host the back to school event for school age children 12 years and under. The event will be from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at Murphree Park in Troy. Parents are asked to attend with their children.

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The kids will be treated to hotdogs and the trimmings and each will receive back-to-school supplies that will get them off to a good start, said McNabb’s daughter, Vachon Watts.

“Mother would be very happy knowing that we are doing something for children,” Watts said. “She had a big heart for children and this is our way to remember her and also make sure that children start school with the things they need to be successful early on.”

Watts said her mother loved learning and she loved young people.

“She was the youth director at First Missionary Baptist Church in Troy for 35 years and was the leader of the Crusaders until well into her seventies,” Watts said. “Those young men loved and respected her. When Mother died in 2012, they came from all over the country to attend her funeral and several of them asked to be on the program.”

Watts said her mom did anything she could to help young people. She would go out of her way to help anyone.

“She encouraged and supported those she cared about, even if it meant giving in,” Watts said. “Mother was a die-hard Alabama fan but when one of the Crusaders was on the team at Auburn, she turned. She said she was going watch Auburn play and she was going to root for Auburn to win and she did.”

WSFA personality Tonya Terry is Watts’ niece and she had a strong affection for McNabb.

“Tonya spoke only two lines in a play that my mother directed but she said she would have walked 500 miles just to say those two line for my mother,” Watts said.

Annie Lois McNabb’s legacy will live on through her children and grandchildren and also through all of those who knew her and those who know about her through the annual Back to School Event.

“This is something our family wants to do to give back to the community and it’s also a way to remember and honor our mother,” Watts said. “She wanted all children to be successful in life and getting a good education is so important to success in whatever you choose to do.”

Watts said, hopefully, the Annie Lois McNabb Back to School event will help encourage and motivate the children to have a successful 2017-2018 school year.