Mote to become centenarian March 1


By Dawn Hatfield

GREENVILLE — Amelia “Millie” Mote will celebrate her 100th trip around the sun on Wednesday, March 1. Born 1923 in Reading, Berkshire, a market town in the Thames Valley of England, Mote has lived first-hand through much of the history the rest of us can only read about.

At the age of 18, Mote began working in a munitions factory where, for four years, her job was to inspect detonators. Mote explained that during WWII, females as well as males had to register in England. Her choices were to work on a farm, join the service, or take a job in the munitions factory. Mote chose the dangerous factory work because it paid better, and since the family had just lost their father (a WWI veteran), Mote wanted to be able to help her mother as best she could.

At the factory, Mote recalled ladies worked in groups of 10 in small block buildings as accidents were prone to happen and keeping the blasts contained to limit loss was important. Sadly, Mote recounted the story of one of her friends who was killed in a factory explosion just days before she had planned to see her love who was scheduled to have a short leave from the service.

Mote said, “We spent a lot of time in air raid showers—there was TNT everywhere!” Riding the train home after her work shift was scary, she remembered, as the German planes tended to be most active at night.

Mote recalled working the night before D-Day, and hearing increased activity, she said, “Oh God, it’s starting—the invasion!”

One positive that came from the war, though, was Mote’s meeting her husband, Maurice Mote, a GI from Greenville, Ohio. By 1947, the couple were stateside where they settled back in Greenville and began to raise a family. Being from a larger city atmosphere, Mote explained she asked her husband upon arriving in Greenville, “Where is uptown?” To which he replied, “This is it!”

Mote soon began to feel at home after creating the first women’s English club in town where 17 women from England, France, and Australia regularly met. “We drank pots and pots of tea!” Mote recalled. They were all homesick, having come from larger cities and finding rural life to be quite different, but they found solace in their friendships.

Mote worked in the cafeteria at East School for 16 years, just across the street from her (then) home. She recalled those days when people lived in “true neighborhoods,” where everyone knew each other. She has since outlived all her previous neighbors and the ladies from overseas whom she called her dear friends.

Still, Mote is enjoying her golden years. She and her daughter, Maureen, go shopping frequently. She loves watching Ohio State football and doing crossword puzzles. Mote, with a sharp sense of humor still intact, joked there isn’t a lot of trivia to ask that she hasn’t lived through. She loves cooking and continues to eat hearty home-cooked meals as well as the occasional $3 cheeseburger bundle from McDonald’s, one of her favorites. Mote only recently gave up driving, chuckling, “I thought maybe it was about time.”

Her husband, Maurice, passed away 27 years ago, but the Motes’ legacy lives on in their daughters, Maureen, Christine, and Kathy, their three grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

When asked if she ever thought she’d live to see 100, Mote giggled, “No! I just live one day at a time.”

Birthday cards may be sent to Millie Mote c/o Dawn Hatfield, The Daily Advocate, 100 Washington Avenue, Greenville, Ohio, 45331.

Reach Daily Advocate Reporter Dawn Hatfield at [email protected] or 937-569-0066.

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