Tiny Lrueese was the name she was given by her great-aunt, Lily Lrueese Hollis.
“That name’s on my birth certificate, my driver’s license and everything else I have,” said Tiny. “When God made this mold, he made just one. I’m happy with my name and my life.”
Thirteen years ago, she was named director of Bethune Community Center. Prior to that, she was assistant director for two years.
“I like to watch the kids play,” said Tiny. “It gives them somewhere to go and something do. It’s good because they get to interact with other kids. When they get out of school, they come on down here. All I hear all day is ‘Miss Tiny, Miss Tiny, Miss Tiny.’ At least they know my name. I love it though.”
Tiny said at times it’s like rearing her own children again.
“I try to teach them how to act and how to be good citizens,” she said. “You just have to take the time and have the patience when you’re trying to tell them something. But I don’t mind getting on them. I’ll do that if I have to. Down the road, they’ll see what I was trying to tell them.”
Tiny said that for her, manners go a long way, and that’s one of the things she’s trying to instill in the children.
In the summertime, there are 40-50 children at the center. During the school year, that number decreases to 20-25.
Tiny became a widow in 1995, when her husband of 32 years, Joe, died of a massive heart attack. He enjoyed sports and that was something that he passed on to Tiny, their children and their grandchildren. One of Tiny’s happiest moments are when she’s watching their grandson, CJ Savage, play sports for Piedmont High School.
Tiny was born in Gadsden and lived in Cedartown, Ga., when she and Joe met.
They have two children, Charles Dudley and Eboney Lewis of Piedmont. Their grandchildren are CJ and Devonte Thompson of Pensacola, Fla.
Tiny is a longtime member of Thankful Baptist Church where she is an usher.
About three years ago, Tiny received an ipad as a Christmas gift from Eboney. It didn’t take her long to learn to use it. She’s spent many enjoyable moments learning things she never knew about, keeping in touch with friends and family through Facebook and playing Candy Crush.
Tiny also likes to work in her yard.
Tiny had a stroke three years ago.
“Right now, I’m doing good, but I’ve got a little limp on my right side. But I thank God for my limp. I tell everybody He just did that to get my attention and slow me down.”
Fresh out of high school in Cedartown, Tiny went to work at Arrow, where she sewed sleeves in shirts. She worked at Goodyear in Cedartown and then at Piedmont Executive where she, again, sewed sleeves in shirts.
Contact Margaret at firstname.lastname@example.org.