Life Sketches Written by:
Ethel L. Devine Lewis
My life began on a cold winter day, January 26, 1928, in Canute Oklahoma, to my proud parents - Albert Devine Sr. and Myrtle Bradford Devine.
I am the youngest of nine children to reach adulthood. My parents had more children, but all died at birth or at a very young age. During my early years, we lived in the small town of Stafford, Oklahoma.
I was too young to be enrolled in school, but I would go to school with my older brothers & sisters just for the fun of it.
We moved several times and at each location, my Mother felt that the school was too far for my sister Laura and I to walk there, so my Mother kept us at home. During this time my brothers were the only ones enrolled in school.
By the time we moved to Clinton, Oklahoma my oldest sister and my four older brothers had either married or left home. The remaining four of us at home attended the Excelsior School in Clinton. This was the first time my sister and I were enrolled in school. We were not enrolled in the grade corresponding to our age, however; we kept up with the other children.
My oldest sister Minnie and her husband S.J. moved to Porterville, California in 1937 with their three children. After the birth of two more children (now five children), the family came back to Clinton to visit and stayed for several weeks.
In 1940 when I was twelve years old, my sister Minnie and her family returned to Clinton. She wanted my sister Laura to come to California to help her with the children. What Minnie didn't know was that her baby sister would also be going back with her. I grew up very scary, and my sister Laura was my protection, (she was very brave, smile).
Minnie enrolled her oldest child Sadie and I into the Vine Street School. I was in the fifth grade and Sadie was in the first grade. Of course, being twelve years old and in the fifth grade, I was behind two grades. I passed the fifth grade, and I was blessed to skip the sixth grade and put into the seventh grade and I never looked back.
I graduated from Bartlett Junior High School and then went on to Porterville Union High School
During my ninth-grade year, I got my first job working at the Porterville Ice Cream Parlor with my sister-in-law, Jewelene M. Whitlow Devine. I didn’t work there very long because I was giving my nephews and nieces free ice cream. After that, I worked in the fruit fields picking grapes, plums, oranges, and potatoes with Minnie and her children. During my twelfth-grade year, I became disinterested in my studies and left school.
Later on, I met and married Everette Myers and had two wonderful children, Everette L. Myers Jr. & Brenda J. Myers-Love. I didn't know at the time about the challenges of married life, but I soon found out. Everette and I separated and later on we divorced.
I moved in with my Cousin who lived in Richmond, California and we worked together in San Francisco. While living in Richmond, I met Edward Z. Lewis, who was in the Navy. We courted for a while and decided to get married. We also had two wonderful children, Ronald Lewis, and Debravon Lewis Miller.
During his Navel Tour Duties overseas, our family moved to National City, San Diego, Porterville, Alameda, and Oakland. I worked on many jobs including J.C. Penny, Montgomery Wards, Sears, Motels, Canneries, Post Office and a Child Care Center.
My husband and I retired and moved to Sacramento in 1989, where we both became members of the "Capitol City Seventh-day Adventist Church". My husband remained a member until his death in 1997. I then sold my home and moved in with my son, Ronald.
In 2008, I worked with the "Foster Grandparent Program". I loved it very much – at 80 years of age.
I have left many things out, however, the most important things are written here.
This is 'Ethel's Life'.
May God bless each of you as He has blessed me” lo these many years”.