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Resident Spotlight: Wylna Putnam

wylna putnam

Tribute is home to many outstanding community members who have lived rewarding and enriched lives. Whether they raised their family, worked, volunteered within their community, or a combination of them, they have undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the lives of those around them and continue to do so.

Wylna will be 96 this year in June. She was born in Tehuacana, Texas, the 8th of 10 children. There were three boys and seven girls. She worked on her dad’s farm and was the “tomboy” of the seven girls. Her father said she could drive a pair of mules better than any man! Her father farmed with mules….no John Deere tractors were around, and even if they were, there was no money to afford one. She hunted and fished with her brothers. She picked cotton when she was old enough to drag a cotton sack behind her. 

She attended schools in Tehuacana and Mexia, Texas, and graduated from Westminster College in Tehuacana and became a teacher. Her first teaching position was in a one-room schoolhouse in Fort Parker, Texas, with ten children at different levels of education. Teaching children at different grade levels was difficult, especially since some would attend one or two days a week. She had to get the coal oil stove going every day on cold days, which she said was one of the messiest parts of the job. In 1946, she took a 4th-grade teaching position at Blooming Grove School in Blooming Grove, Texas. 

She met her husband (Y.M. Putman) in Blooming Grove on a blind date, and they married on June 1, 1947. They moved to Pasadena, Texas, in 1948, and Y.M. started a 30-year career with Shell Refinery in Deer Park, Texas. In 1949 their daughter, Charlotte, was born. When her husband retired in 1982, they moved to Navarro Mills, Texas, to a 50-acre farm, surrounded by childhood friends and family on that piece of heaven. He had his cows and tractors; she had two lawnmowers, hedge trimmers, and a whole acre with a house in the middle of the other 49 acres to keep clean and manicured. 

They joined Blooming Grove Methodist Church and were active members. They lived there for 21 years together until his death in 2003. Wylna sold off their livestock and continued to live at the farm for another two years. In January 2005, she moved to Celina, Texas, to be with her daughter, Charlotte. Wylna moved to Tribute Senior Living in April 2021 for around-the-clock care.

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