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Partlow resident Madeline Curtis is the matriarch of her family
Madeline Curtis shares pictures of her ancestors, most of whom lived in Partlow.
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Curtis' husband, who served in World War II, was more deliberate and laid-back than Curtis.
"I used to tell him, 'How you ever followed General Patton across Europe is beyond me,' " she said.
Curtis never wasted a moment. If there was a chore to do, be it wallpapering a room or painting the whole house, she took care of it.
"If you have anything to do, you do it so you'll have it behind you," she said.
Curtis said she has slowed as the years have passed. She doesn't drive anymore because people seem to be in such a hurry, and she's not sure she can move fast enough for them.
But she still cooks and cleans, and she's always ready to share a family story or to listen to someone going through tough times.
On a recent night, one of her younger cousins stopped by. Leigh Goodwin recently moved back to Spotsylvania, and she enjoys visits with Curtis despite their age difference.
"She's not only a relative, she's one of my dearest friends," Goodwin said. "I can tell her anything in the world, and she usually has some pretty sound advice."
And, of course, she can ask Curtis any question about her family's past.
"She's the matriarch of the Payne family," Goodwin said. "Just about everybody in the family has picked her brain for the history."
Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425