Since Mother’s Day is this weekend, we will pause the Portsmouth-Columbus Turnpike series written by Blaine Beekman, for a special column about mothers. The final two in the Portsmouth-Columbus Turnpike series will run on May 13 and May 20.

This Mother’s Day I want to spotlight three women I think were important in my life.

First my mother, Janet Terwilleger Henry, who always supported me and encouraged me in my art and writing. She also instilled in me to be honest and carefully pick my friends. She told me never to think I was not good enough to be friends with anyone. She was born in 1914 and lived until she was 98.

My next very important lady to enter life with me was Ardith Wheeler, who I met Easter 1958 while home on leave from the Navy. We married July 10, 1960, and have a boy and two girls. Ardith is an outstanding mother as well as a Christian. She did an outstanding job of raising our three children.

The last of these three women was my late mother-in-law, Roxie Roark-Wheeler. She always saw the best in everyone and never spoke ill of anyone. She was the perfect example of a Christian lady. And I miss her dearly as well as my father-in-law, Greenville Wheeler. I couldn’t have asked for better in-laws.

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