By OBSERVER Newsroom

Julia Mae Saffold and her daughter. Courtesy of the Saffold family

As a mother and home chef, Julia Mae Saffold would feed your stomach. As a devout Christian, she’d feed your spirit. The area senior passed away Sept. 3. She was 91.

Saffold was born in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, on July 21, 1932, to Martha (Anderson) Edmerson and John Henry Edmerson. She was the youngest of eight children.

As a young lady, she and her mother moved from Oklahoma to Stockton to join other family members. There, she met the tall, dark and handsome Amos Saffold at Hamilton Temple Church of God in Christ. The couple married Oct. 23, 1954, and had five children.

Mother Saffold cherished her role as a homemaker. She loved her family and expressed that love through food. An excellent cook, Mother Saffold was well known for her homemade biscuits, red velvet cake and other delicious dishes and desserts.

Mother Saffold wasn’t afraid of hard work whether in or outside her home. After her children were older, she worked as a seasonal cannery worker at Tillie Lewis Cannery in Stockton, working seven days a week during the summer. Saffold retired from the cannery after 15 years. Much later, she volunteered as a foster grandparent, assisting children and adults with disabilities.

She enjoyed helping others and serving in this capacity also provided the opportunity for her to socialize with the other senior volunteers. Saffold received numerous awards and other recognition for her excellent service.

Always physically active, Saffold often took long walks, chopped wood for her fireplace, mowed her own lawn, walked stairs and performed other laborious tasks well beyond her 70s, which served her well in her elderly years.

For pleasure, she enjoyed watching “Family Feud,” completing jigsaw and word search puzzles, bowling, gardening and singing. Her favorite songs included “Silent Night,” “Hold on to God’s Unchanging Hand” and “Oh Happy Day.” Saffold also enjoyed playing the tambourine at church.

In the same way that she adjusted to life after her husband died in 1989, she adjusted to leaving her own home to be cared for by her daughters with wisdom, strength and grace. Mother Saffold remained as independent as possible, blessing her family with her company, laughter and matriarchal affection.

Mother Saffold was saved and trusted in the Lord for more than 55 years. She was a member of Hamilton Temple Faith Chapel Church and Greater Fellowship Church. Around 1995, she joined White Rose Church, now known as Greater White Rose Church, where she remained a member until her passing.

Mother Saffold was preceded in death by her parents John and Martha Edmerson; husband Amos Saffold Sr.; grandson Rodney Shaw; five brothers and two sisters. She leaves to cherish her memory daughters Jeanette Hale, Sharon Saffold, Karen Blount (Darrel), and Valencia Saffold; son Amos Saffold Jr.; grandchildren Edwin Lee (Antionette) Chondra Shaw, Megan Matthews (Micah), Amos Saffold III, Marcus Hale, Dion Hale (Olivia), Lindsey Sherman (Lawrence), Evan Clayton (LaRon); 21 great-grandchildren, half-brother Cliff Fanning, eight sisters-in-love and four brothers-in-love, numerous nieces and nephews, cousins, church families, and friends.