On October 10, 1931, a tumultuous world was made a little brighter when Hilda McGee Fair was born in Zebulon, North Carolina to the late Wiley and Repsie McGee. She was the 4th of 6 siblings: Elizabeth Wrenn, Dorothy Mattox, Fola Eason, Bobby McGee, and J.L. McGee. Her father died prematurely of a brain tumor when she was just 5 years old. She spent her early years helping her mother carefully grade tobacco leaves before big corporations took over the industry and also making stacks of peanut butter and crackers to sell to tobacco workers.
Surely, she had no idea what she was getting herself into when she married Vernon Fair at the age of 17, but she stayed faithfully married for 70 years. Together, they had 5 children: Randy, Hilda, Vernon Jr., Carol, and Robin. As Vernon was a Navy man, she bore much of the responsibility of raising those five children in Washington D.C. and Norfolk, VA while Vernon was away on assignment. In the late 1960s, their family left the city life behind and moved to Clear Lake in Carmel, Louisiana. She adapted to life on the lake complete with alligator hunts, singing bullfrogs, and a variety of other experiences she never had in Virginia! She was welcomed into the Carmel Community and the Cooperative Extension Service where she built a host of friends. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, and dedicated much of her time and talents to her family, church, and community.
She had a sunny disposition and an attitude of positivity and grace, even in the face of adversity. She loved people and had camping friends all over the country. She was dedicated to her church, Carmel Baptist, and took every opportunity she could to make sure her granddaughters were in church (and also made sure they were wearing slips underneath their dresses!). She wasn't the type to rock babies and bake cookies, and she certainly wasn't overly fond of handprint and footprint art (although she did cherish the giant platter with adult-sized painted footprints that her granddaughters made for her one Christmas!), but she always had a craft project to share with her 11 grandchildren. She loved to quilt, sew, listen to gospel music, read her Bible, and make a coconut cake. She knew how to set a beautiful table (but often used the "good" paper plates instead), and her home was the gathering place for countless family get-togethers and pig roasts. Her family will be forever grateful for her influence on their lives and the legacy she leaves.
After 90 years of life, Hilda McGee Fair completed her journey on this earth and reached the end of the Glory Road on March 30, 2022. She was greeted by her husband, Vernon Fair; daughters Carol Fair Peacock and Robin Fair Hogg; siblings, Elizabeth, Dorothy, Fola, and Bobby; parents, Repsie and Wiley McGee; and countless other friends and family members. Although her earthly journey has ended, those still traveling behind her include her children, Hilda Fair Rives and husband Judson; Randy Fair and wife, Susie; and Dale Fair and wife, Cathy; grandchildren, Rhonda Fair (Randy), Brandy Peacock (Jason), Carie Vickery (Will), Melissa Lewis (Kevin), Michelle Melton (Lance), Jennifer Green (Travis), Krystal Mills (Dan), Elizabeth McCormick (David), Melinda Elliott (Tom), Emily Peck (Ben), and John Fair (Katherine); 19 great-grandchildren; nephews George Wrenn and wife, Dawn, Russel Wrenn and wife, Linda.
We have faith that Jesus has welcomed her home and it is that faith that allows us to celebrate her life at a service of remembrance on Saturday, April 2 at 2 pm at Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Mansfield, Louisiana; visitation begins at 1 pm. Burial will be at the Northwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Keithville, Louisiana on Monday, April 4 at 11 am.