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Edmond centenarian baked way through Great Depression

Humble beginnings make the years of plenty for a 100-year-old Edmond woman all the more sweet.
BY STACEY ALLEN Modified: August 13, 2013 at 1:11 pm •  Published: August 14, 2013

Exie Coldiron, an Oklahoma centenarian, once experienced a simpler way of life.

She grew up on a farm near Bristow and picked cotton in the fall. Now she lives in an apartment in Edmond, enjoying her golden years as the proud mother of seven children. Her insistence on a good education for her children produced lawyers, an oil executive, a trucking business owner, an owner of a plastics plant, a teacher and a couple of chemical engineers.

At age 100, she has lively stories to share, a good memory and good physical health.

Pursued by a prizefighter during an outdoor church meeting in Cole where her Baptist preacher father kept an eye on her, she sat close to the back, and Charles Coldiron sat behind her. He flirted with her until she allowed him to sit next to her.

Charles Coldiron would pick up his future bride in his 1929 Ford and take her dancing or to the drugstore for a fountain drink. She was married at 15 and had children by the time the Great Depression hit.

“Mother was always so positive. She was also a great cook, and we never were the wiser,” said her daughter, Ladona Sheets, about the hard times of the 1930s.

The Coldirons raised their six sons and a daughter on a farm and ran a milk bottling company.

“I could have shouted for joy when we got those plastic milk jugs instead of the glass,” Coldiron said. It cut down on bottle handling and cleaning and made their business much easier, she said.

Her children's friends loved to visit because of the pies and cakes she baked. Homemade bread was a regular menu item.

Holidays were a big deal. Occasionally the family took Sunday afternoon trips to the Oklahoma City Zoo.

“Back then, we could swim in the lake, and there was a sand beach,” Coldiron said.

She made quilts for each of her children when they were married. She enjoyed shopping for antiques and collecting dolls while her husband golfed.

An avid political supporter, she was a “Bellmon Belle” for former Gov. Henry Bellmon, and said she is still a great campaigner today because she loves to meet people and talk to them.

She spends her time with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and loves a good Western, especially if it stars John Wayne.

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