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Being mother and wife top priority for Nederland Mother of the Year

NEDERLAND — For this year’s Nederland Mother of the Year, caring for her children is her highest calling.

Martha Chance, 83-years-young, said being a wife, mother, a grandmother and a great-grandmother is her highest priority. She added she was surprised to discover she was named for the award.

“I don’t know why. Why me? I don’t feel I’m worthy,” Chance said.

Among the recognition the honor brings, Chance said she looks forward to riding in the city’s parades.

Chance will be honored with a ceremony at Nederland City Hall at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday.

The Nederland resident said she was a stay-at-home-mom until her youngest child, Wanda Hollier, also of Nederland, entered the first grade. Chance then took a job at a fabric store and later was employed as a bus driver for the Port Arthur Independent School District.

She drove the longest bus in the district’s fleet, and also transported teams to games in Houston. She later drove the special needs children’s bus until she retired.

“The mentally challenged children are very, very loving. It was rewarding employment,” Chance said.

Hollier said during her growing up years, she and her siblings knew they were truly loved.

“I remember her piano playing. I could pick it out even in a room full of pianos. I remember her in the kitchen cooking hot meals and sewing clothes,” Hollier said.

Hollier joked the only time her mother makes her homemade biscuits is when her brother comes in.

When Chance’s great-grandchildren come for a visit she plays with them and lets them do what they want.

“She lets the great-grandkids get away with everything,” Hollier joked. “When they’re here, it’s like no one else is around.”

Chance said it’s a real privilege to be with her great-grandchildren and she loves every minute she has with them.

Hollier also joked with her mother about being a big fan of shopping —especially when it comes to a new pair of shoes and a purse.

“We can’t pass a shoe store without going in,” she said.

Hollier said the greatest gift her mother passed on was the desire to give of herself.

“She would invite a guy who didn’t have anywhere to go for Christmas and serve him dinner. She plays piano at nursing homes and her Sunday school class at church (Fellowship Baptist in Nederland). A friend of her’s car was conked-out of commission and she ran her around,” Hollier said.

dball@panews.com