Eleanor Walker Is 100 Years Young

Family and close friends gathered Saturday, Sept. 26 at Kristenwood Catering in Central to celebrate a milestone birthday for Eleanor “Buddy” Mondart Walker.

Eleanor was born Sept. 26, 1920 in Magnolia, Louisiana, later known as Greenwell Springs. She has been a loving wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, and friend for now over 100 years. 

Her parents were Haney Guy and Mattie Forbes Mondart. She is the oldest of four sisters, who were her best friends. Thelma Tridico Bush, Lou Digirolamo, and Gayle Passman. She had one son, Charles Roberts, four grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews whom she loves dearly. She is a member of Greenwell Springs Baptist Church in Central.

Eleanor graduated from the LPN program at Baton Rouge Vo Tech and worked at Baton Rouge General Hospital and Dixon Memorial Hospital for many years. She loved nursing. 

In fact, although she didn’t mind country living, she recalls leaving the house one morning after helping to cut corn, which she hated with a passion, to go on an interview at the Baton Rouge General. The gentleman told her she had the job and could she come to work that day. She said “yes” and promptly went home to tell her sisters they would have to finish cutting corn because she was going to work. They didn’t believe her and were so mad when she left for work a few minutes later with a big smile on her face.

This week, she shared some observations. Of all the inventions in her lifetime, she said electricity was the most important one because once they got it, they could do all kinds of things. It really opened their world. 

Growing up, she had friends at school but her best friends were her sisters. She recalled the bus driver Boon Morgan would drop them off in the afternoon from school and they would run change clothes so they could walk over to her grandmother’s house who always had fresh cookies in the safe. She was usually just finishing milking the cow and would squirt them when they tried to get a taste.

Even though they rode the bus to school, when they were young most of their trips to town were in a wagon. She can recall crossing the Comite River one night coming home when it was raining. Her dad had to get out and help the horses pull the wagon out of the mud. By the time they got home they were all cold and wet. Her mom got them all fresh clothes and then took some irons that she had warmed by the fire, wrapped them up and put them at their feet in the bed to help warm them up.

When asked who influenced her the most, she said it would have to be her mother. She was her mother, her friend, and her confidant — she was everything to her!  She recalls her mother being strong in her faith and made sure they went to church on Sundays. 

Her mother gave her the advice she feels was the most important in her life. She said not worry about anything, to help the things you could help and leave the rest alone. It was ok to “be concerned”, but just let God take care of things, and besides that, worrying gave you wrinkles! She also taught her and her three sisters to love each other all the time no matter what, that love was the most important thing that anyone could share with you.

The most memorable time in her life was when her son Charles was born. He was her heart, she loved him so much. He was a good kid, and her sisters loved spoiling him. She divorced his dad while he was still young. Later she went back to school to get her nursing degree so she could support them and later put him through college. She remembers it was tough, but worth it all when he graduated from LSU in Petroleum Engineering. She was so proud!

She said no marriage was perfect, but God needed to be a part of the marriage and a real part of your life. She is a member of Greenwell Springs Baptist Church, where her sister Lou was the secretary for over 35 years. 

God blessed Buddy so much over the years, but also gave her peace through tough times, like when she lost her son Charles when he was only 48. She said no matter how tired she is at night, the last thing she does before she goes to bed is read her Bible and say her prayers. She feels it’s the least she can do after all He has done for her.

When it comes to things that are hard to believe, she said she really doesn’t understand “that Facebook thing” or calling people on the computer. She went on to say she can still recall when the man walked on the moon. It didn’t seem like it was real either. 

She and her sisters were visiting at her sister’s house with her mom, her great-grandmother who they called Dommie, and some of their kids. She recalls the milkman came in and asked if it had happened yet. Dommie was just a-talking when Lou asked her to be quiet and watch the TV, to which she replied, “Well Lou, what is the occasion?” Lou told her the man was fixing to walk on the moon. Well, just like that before anyone could blink, Dommie slapped Lou on the leg as hard as she could and said, “Do you think I’m a damn fool?” Of course, it was even more shocking since Lou had on walking shorts that day, they all felt that slap!

She enjoys watching Steve Harvey in the evening and keeps up with the news, but her all-time favorites are Westerns. She’s seen them all and doesn’t mind watching them over and over. She loves all kinds of music. They used to listen to it on their Victrola growing up. She is especially partial to anything that makes you want to tap your foot and move around a bit. She loved to go dancing when she was younger. Of course, “younger” is a relative term at 100!

Her favorite foods include hot buttered corn bread, fresh corn, sweet potatoes, most fresh vegetables, and a fresh pan of biscuits with tomato gravy. She loves anything sweet, but her favorite would have to be her daughter-in-law Totsie’ s homemade divinity.  But really anything Totsie makes she said is delicious.

She said she doesn’t have any big regrets in life. She knows we would all make a few decisions differently if we could, but all in all she feels she’s had a good life, been very blessed and loved by many. 

She’s grateful that God has given her a clear mind and a strong spirit. She looks forward to one day reuniting with her family in heaven. Her sister Lou told her after her 90th birthday that if she wasn’t careful, we were going to have to hire people to come to her funeral because her friends would be dead.  

She said now that she’s 100 she’s wondering if Lou was right!

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