Auta Mae grew up in a large family of cooks. She is the youngest of eleven children. Her mother taught her to cook when she was just a little girl. Auta Mae quickly discovered a love for preparing meals, a skill which she has used her whole life. She worked in many different kitchens in the OKC area, including the famous Beverly’s Pancake House. Ten years ago Auta Mae retired at the age of 70.
Since she’s retired, her big family has only expanded and Auta Mae leaves most of the cooking to the grandchildren who stay with her. She currently has not only grandchildren but also great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. She and her two living sisters are sure to pass on the family’s cooking knowledge to the younger generations. All three girls continue to use the recipes their mother taught them, along with a few of their own.
“We all help one another [with meals],” Auta Mae said. “We call each other to see who’s making what for the holidays and it all works out.”
She lives a more relaxed lifestyle nowadays, but still likes to fish and garden. With the help of her grandson, Auta Mae hopes she grow another vegetable garden this summer. When it’s possible, she likes to attend church. The days Auta Mae cannot be at the service; she says she prays from her living room.
“When people do you wrong, I say you just can’t worry about that,” Auta Mae said. “I say you need to pray for them every night. And I do.”
Auta Mae and her family moved to OKC in 1948 from Idabel, OK. She moved into her current home in 2004 after her husband passed away. They had been married thirty-five years.
Rebuilding Together OKC will be working on Ms. Auta Mae’s home during CapacityCorps MLK Work Week. The MLK Team will complete remodels including Installing grab bars, replacing windows, texturing and painting.