Linda and I went down to Corpus Christi this weekend to celebrate my Grandmothers (Nana) birthday. Below is a blurb my mother wrote for the newspaper.
LOCAL WOMAN CELEBRATES 90TH BIRTHDAY WITH FAMILY
Ina Eugenia Harrison ( Keefer) was born on December 12, 1915, in Hico, Texas, to Winnie Broadway Harrison and Julius Caesar Harrison. She was the eldest of her siblings: Barbara Harrison Hiser, Martel Wayne Harrison, Myrtle Lee Harrison, and Gloria Harrison McNaughton. Only she and her younger sister, Gloria, remain.
During her youth, the family lived in several Texas cities (El Campo, Dallas, Waco, Bryan, San Antonio) as her father was an Electrical Engineer on various jobs, which was to their good fortune during The Depression. As a young woman, Ina moved to Corpus Christi in the mid-1930's, when Water Street was just that - water. She lived on a farm with her uncle A.C. Watson and his family, until she went to work at Merchant's Credit, then she moved into the city. That horse farm was considered to be way out in the country. Today, it is called South Alameda.
In 1937 she met and married Ferrell Keefer, son of local residents Pauline and Harry Keefer, and sister to Adelaide Keefer McAdams. In 1938, they had their only child, Peggy Pauline Keefer (Gillis). In 1944, Ina and her daughter moved to San Francisco, California, while Mr. Keefer served in the Army in Honolulu, Hawaii. Ina worked in one of the grocery stores owned by Pauline and Harry Keefer who had recently located there.
After World War II ended, Ina, Ferrell and Peggy returned to Corpus Christi. In the early 1950's they moved back to San Francisco for another year and a half before permanently making their home in Corpus.
After Peggy left for college, Ina became very busy with church work. In 1957, the First Christian Church was located on Upper Broadway, and just down the street from the local library. As an avid reader, she spent a lot of time at both locations. She is a Past President of the United Church Women, and also a Life member of the National Federation of Music, and the Oso Chapter of Eastern Star.
During the 1960's, grandchildren were added to Ina's family tree. First there was Jeffrey, then Gregory, Shelley and Kimberley. Ina spent lots of time with the children in the 1960's and 1970's, as she was their welcomed sitter when Peggy and Jim were off on company trips.
In 1986, Ina took over her husband's business (Bell Finance Service), when he passed away. In 1998, she sold the company, and she retired from the business world, but not from life. She continued to travel nationally and internationally for several years.
To celebrate her 90th birthday, her daughter, Peggy, hosted a dinner at the Vietnam Restaurant on December 10th, and a luncheon at Crystal's Restaurant on December 11, 2005. Those attending were grandchildren, their spouses and great-grandchildren who had arrived for the weekend from Houston and the Metropolitan area. They are Dr. Jeffrey Gillis (Sandy), Gregory Gillis (Linda), Shelley Gillis DeLuna (Louis), Kimberley Gillis Minchich (Matt). The great- grandchildren, are Nicholas (7) and Michael Minchich (1