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Going strong at 93

VALLEY — Our Valley Times-News Good Neighbor of the Week, Kate Norred, has been a very good neighbor to the people in the Langdale community for many, many years. She’s 93 and has the energy of people a fraction her age. She’s been a faithful member of Langdale Methodist Church for more than 80 years.

Everyone at the church calls her Mama Kate for the motherly touch she has and she is well known for volunteering at the church and around the community.

“I thank the Lord every day for my age,” she said.

She was the youngest of 11 children and the only one still living. Her dad, the late Ager Lane, ran a minor league baseball team in Langdale. She has enough relatives in the local area to call the community Lane-dale.

Kate is thought to be the oldest living former cheerleader at Valley High. She went to school there during the World War II era.

Her late husband, Dr. Marvin Norred, was a chiropractor in Lanett. She has three grown children: daughters, Susan Caruthers and Ellen Meadows; and son, Larkin Norred, and nine grandchildren.

“Mama loves to travel and meet new people,” Ellen said of her mom. “She’s been to every state. She’s been to Hawaii seven times and to Alaska four times. She gets around great for her age. She drives a car and loves to play cards at the Community Center.”

She does lots of volunteer work at the church. She’s always there when the Bread Basket Club distributes food and previously worked at a soup kitchen at the church.

“You’re only as old as you feel,” Kate added, “and I’m not the oldest one at the church. John Lyons is a year older than me, and he’s still active.”

Mama Kate is one of those rare individuals who have a way of lighting up the room when she walks in.

“I guess it’s because I joke a lot,” she said. “I try to get people to laugh and to feel better about things.”

No doubt about it, Mama Kate has had people smiling and feeling better about things for a long, long time.