By Gwen McCaffrey McReynolds
Dorothy Mildred Reed Loggins of Rutherford will celebrate her 100th birthday Saturday, Dec. 7.
Dot was born to Barnett Tull and Sue Addie Richards Reed in 1919 in the Bells Chapel community of Gibson County. She was the granddaughter of James Madison and Alice Susannah Calhoun Reed and of Terrestus Herschel and Rebecca Avarilla Smithwick Richards.
Dot was a cradle roll member of Bells Chapel Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Her grandfather, James Madison Reed, was a charter member of the congregation founded July 23, 1875. The church was named his maternal uncle, Thomas Franklin Bell, who had given land in 1888 on which to build a church.
Dot attended the Bells Chapel school, where she was valedictorian of her eighth class, until the tenth grade at which time she transferred to Rutherford High School. She graduated in 1937.
Her courtship began with Reuben Wilson Loggins Jr., a neighbor in the Bells Chapel community, some time during high school. They did not become serious until after Wilson joined the Army Air Corp in October of 1940. It was after Pearl Harbor was attacked that Wilson, who was stationed at Wilmington, N.C., proposed to Dorothy “over the phone.”
When Reuben was on a one-week furlough, the couple went to Corinth, Miss., accompanied by his sister, Bettye Jean Loggins, and his first cousin, John T. Logan, to get married on July 15, 1942. Her best friend, Martha Helen McCage, was working and couldn’t go with them.
Reuben shipped overseas on Christmas Day 1942. Dot went to Hattisburg, Miss. to see him off. One of her memories, after he shipped out, was having a pimento cheese sandwich at the only place open on Christmas Day. She lived with her parents while Reuben was away.
While Reuben was overseas, Dot trained in the Rutherford High School gym as a seamstress for the newly formed Rutherford Garment Factory. Her most vivid memory was when Martha McCullar came to her sewing machine station and told Dot that she was needed at the front office. When she got there, her husband, now a staff sergeant, who had been in England for over two years was standing at the door.
The couple moved to Bellville, Ill. for a short time after the war. They returned to Rutherford to make their permanent home. On Aug. 24, 1948, Dorothy gave birth to Sharon Sue Loggins. When Sharon was two, the family moved into their new home on McKnight Street. The house was the first one built in Rutherford using the G.I. Bill.
Most of Dorothy’s working career was spent at the Rutherford Garment factory. She and Reuben did, for some time, operate a grocery store on Main Street in Rutherford. Dot and Reuben enjoyed 58 years of marriage before he died Aug. 26, 2000.
Dot served as the grand marshal of Rutherford’s Davy Crockett Days Parade in 2018.
An accomplished seamstress, Dot made most of her clothes as well as those of her daughter, Sharon. In addition she produced countless stuffed animals, dolls, and doll clothes for her friends and family. Throughout her life she composed poems, often humorous, that she shared with family and friends. She is known for her canning and cooking skills.
Dot still enjoys picking corn and processing garden vegetables. She is an active member of Bells Chapel Cumberland Presbyterian Church, she continues to enjoy her almost lifelong love of reading.