Dawes County’s newest centenarian nonetheless enjoys life, counts her blessings and proceeds to praise the Lord. She says her existence has been “a wonderful journey,” and she’s astonished she has lived so prolonged.
Lyla Scott Mendenhall of Chadron had her 100th birthday on Tuesday, Dec. 8, but due to the fact of the COVID, there could not be 1 big bash in which every person could acquire to enable her rejoice as she blew out the candles on her cake.
Therefore factors ended up strung out and the partying lasted for much more than a week. The occasions integrated a “drive-by” on Sunday afternoon Dec. 6 when about 25 cars and trucks filled with buddies and admirers paraded previous her apartment at Prairie Pines to enable her know they ended up considering of her.
In the times that adopted, Lyla shared a “100-piece birthday cake” that her four daughters had requested from Safeway with the people of Prairie Pines, and the postal assistance delivered about 125 playing cards and letters congratulating her on the milestone, Quite a few of the cards contained messages thanking her for the affect she experienced on their lives.
Then on Wednesday, Dec. 16, following singing Xmas carols at Prairie Pines, the Cardinal Singers from Chadron Significant, produced it a stage to gather outside her apartment and sing “Happy Birthday” to her as she smiled and waved to them though standing outdoors her doorway.
It was straightforward to place her condominium. It was the 1 with the indications stating that she was “100 Years Young” and “Happy 100th Birthday Lyla–You are a blessing to numerous.”
The latter assertion is accurate. Her overall adult lifetime has been devoted to sharing the gospel while educating Sunday university and main Bible research for both of those youths and grownups. Her impact has been popular, involving her family members and lots of other people.
All 4 of her daughters–Beth, Bonnie, Billie Jo and Patti–attended Bible colleges and married men who had been going into the ministry or turning into missionaries. A majority of Lyla’s 13 grandchildren have followed their moms and dads into comprehensive-time Christian provider and she has higher hopes that the 14 good-grandchildren will continue the trend.
Just one of her fantastic-granddaughters wrote in Lyla’s birthday card, “I am thankful for your spouse and children legacy. You have blessed us with your prayers and support. Your faithful journey with the Lord is an inspiration and encouragement.”
Another card contained this observe: “As a boy, I recall you as a lovely woman teaching Sunday faculty below the pine trees at Open Doorway. You performed a significant in my and quite a few of my siblings’ religious improvement.”
Though descendants have or are serving in faraway destinations this sort of as Brazil, Greece, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Malaysia and reside in almost a dozen states, she is aware all of their names and utilizes contemporary know-how to stay in make contact with.
Through her daily prayers, she many thanks the Lord “that I can nevertheless consider.”
Lyla was born Dec. 8, 1920 “on the prairie,” as she places it, in a humble dwelling close to Oral, S.D., where by her moms and dads, Perry and Willa Crom, were dwelling. She was their only boy or girl until eventually they adopted two boys, Marvin and Melvin, a couple of yrs later.
In 1930, the household moved from South Dakota to a farm on the Desk south of Chadron. Which is where she grew up. She graduated from Chadron Substantial in 1938.
She was married the adhering to calendar year to Wilford Scott, whose relatives lived about 3 miles from the Crom area. The new couple’s ranch headquarters had been at the best of the Desk together Highway 385, where by he was a prominent registered Hereford producer and wheat grower.
Equally the Croms and the Scotts have been Christian households who worshipped at the Open Door Sunday Faculty. Its solutions at first have been at the Desk Center University prior to three barracks have been acquired in the late 1940s from the Alliance Air Foundation, where by hundreds of paratroopers experienced been properly trained during World War II.
A single of the barracks was converted into the new Open Doorway Church that is positioned about a mile north of the Desk Centre School and is occasionally referred to as “The Little White Church ‘Mong the Pines.” The other two barracks became dormitories that every single summer season housed dozens of youths who arrived there to go to what turned Victory Heights Bible Camp.
Even right before the dormitories ended up in location, the camps were being held. Lyla remembers that one year the girls at the camp slept in the faculty dwelling and the boys slept in the haymow of the Scotts’ barn.
Via the several years, the Scotts normally hosted evangelists and missionaries at their dwelling and served provide money aid.
Lyla recalls that her maternal grandmother, Lorena Weldon, experienced a strong influence in her life, advising her to research the Bible and stick to the Lord fervently.
Following possessing taught Sunday school for yrs, Lyla was invited to show up at a Kid Evangelism conference in Lincoln for some special training. In the course of the following 15 decades she assisted establish and guide Excellent Information Clubs for small children stretching from Gordon to Harrison. Some of the periods lasted a handful of hrs and many others had been week-very long periods similar to Vacation Bible Faculties.
Lyla’s everyday living adjusted abruptly when Wilford died unexpectedly at age 63 in 1978 and the ranch was at some point sold. Two yrs afterwards, she married a different strong Christian, Lewis Mendenhall of Hay Springs. Following living on his farm for a even though, they moved to Chadron and had been married 29 several years before his loss of life in late 2009.
As she displays on her life, she suggests she has substantially to be thankful for.
“Life has been excellent,” she famous. “Through the decades, I’ve gotten to go to the graduations and weddings for several of my grandkids and have been to 31 of the greatest metropolitan areas in the United States and went Brazil and New Guinea, the place household users have been on the mission subject.
“I’ve also been to Canada, Mexico and Australia. I loved heading spots and meeting new persons.”
After attending place churches for a lot of yrs, Lyla joined the 1st Baptist Church right after relocating to Chadron and again taught Sunday school and grew to become a deaconess. She also hosted Bible research in her residence and then at Prairie Pines right up until a handful of many years in the past.
Lyla’s favored Bible passage is from Isaiah 40, which she spontaneously quotes, “He presents ability to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. But these who wait for the Lord shall renew their energy, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall operate and not be weary, they shall wander and not faint.”
When asked what she thinks Heaven will be like, she responded, “It will be a area of relaxation for me, but the main detail will be to see Jesus deal with to deal with.”