Penoma Ophelia "Oma" Seay
(His grandchildren knew her as Maw-maw)
b. 18 Sep 1888 Talladega, Alabama, United States
m. 9 Aug 1906 Ironton, Talladega, Alabama, United States
d. 20 Jun 1955 Irondale, Jefferson, Alabama, United States
Buried at Oakhill Cemetery in Talladega, Talladega, Alabama, United States
Aaron, Celia, Oakley, Evelyn, Andrew, Houston, William, Wilburn, James, & Harry
Most of the children had nicknames given them by their maternal grandmother or (as in Celia's case) by their grandchildren:
Celia = "Cee-cee"
Oakley = "Slats"
Evelyn = "Effoon" (sometimes spelled with an "m") or "Took"
Andrew = "Sam"
William = "Doot"
Wilburn = "Hap"
James Nathaniel = "Nat" or "Mot"
Education & Career:
8th grade according to the 1940 census which was a milestone for someone born in the rural south in 1888. "... few rural Southerners... went beyond the 8th grade until after 1945." (source Wikipedia). Oma was a homemaker all her life and one of the greatest cooks that was ever born (according to grandchildren).
He husband retired from the Louisville & Nashville in Dec. 9, 1937. Rail was the common mode of long distance travel during Oma's lifetime and she dearly loved to travel. Fortunately for her, one of the benefits of her husband's occupation was free passage on any train at any time to any destination in America whenever she felt like traveling. Click HERE for a photo of Oma in New York City with her grandson, Rick Vincent. Click HERE for a letter Oakley wrote to Oma while she was in California.
Oma's family was artistic. Oma played the pump organ in church. Her mom, Fannie Walker Pace, was a painter and made crafts. She passed down some of these genes to Oma's daughters who could also paint. Oma's father, John Nathaniel Seay, was a lawman and a gunfighter in the old west at times. He moved his family to Texas but had to return to the deep south when he killed a man there. He returned by covered wagon to Talladega County, Alabama where he was commissioned as a Justice of the Peace. Oma inherited his fiery temper and passed this down to some of her children as well. Before the family left Texas, Oma's artistic mom remembered the home they lived in there and did an oil painting of it. Click HERE to see the painting of Oma's childhood Texas home. The painting captures a unique moment when, after an unusually cold time, it snowed. That night, with the snow reflecting the bright moonlight, Oma's father stepped out on the porch with his shotgun to see a fox raiding the hen house.
I wrote an article about the trip to and from Texas and a bit about their life there where Oma's family lived. You can read it at this link:
According to this War Ration Book printed in 1943, Oma was living at "P.O. Box 143, Calera, Ala." was a "Housewife", age 55, Female who weighed 159 lbs and stood 5 ft. 6 in. tall. My dad and first cousin Jean told me the house in Calera was a log home built by Oakely and Oma's oldest sons still living at home. During the time Oakley and Oma lived on the farm in Calera, Shelby County, Alabama, their son Sam lived just down the road.
Oma could visit with her granddaughters Jean, Sue, or Faye whenever she wanted. Jean and Sue have fond memories of those years in their grandmother's kitchen. Oakley would sit in the living room and listen to the news on the battery powered radio (there was no electricity in the area) or he would sit in the yard in his rocking chair in the cool of the evening reading his newspaper. Oma spent several hours enjoying her grandchildren until she grew older with too many grandchildren to give time to each of them. Jean remembers getting off the school bus and walking over the railroad track then down the road to grandmother's house before going home.
When Oakley was put in a nursing home for old age, Oma continued to live in Irondale during her last years on earth. She died just 2 weeks and 2 days after her husband. -Ron.V
Follow the hyperlinks on this page for Oma's husband Oakley and other info on Oma's family.
For more photos of Oakley Vincent, click the following links:
A Tintype photo of Oma taken about 1891
A photo of Oma's Parents, J.N. & Fannie Pace Seay (probably about 1906)
Cornshuck Bonnet made by Fannie Pace
A "paste" doll made by Fannie Pace
Photo of Oma, Oakley, and Aaron taken about 1908 at their farm in Talladega.
(The black lady was the children's beloved mammy, "Aunt Febby.")
Oma's 1955 Death Certificate
A 1961 Photo of Oma's brother Beaury Seay with Oma's sons, nephew, and grandson
(Back Row L to R: Nat, Ron, & Clarence Vincent; Front Row: Hap Vincent and his Uncle "Bubby")
Photo of Oma taken while visiting relatives on Hardy Road in Hueytown, Alabama. This photo was
taken in 1954, just one year before Oma died.