On the afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011, Vashtie Herron Yarbough was treated to a surprise birthday celebration. Over 150 immediate family members, relatives, and friends attended to honor her 93rd birthday. Vashtie was born on Nov. 7, 1918 to Garfield and Emma Herron in the small community of Timothy, near Chatfield.

Mrs. Yarbough was coaxed into attending by one of her granddaughters, Brandy Yarbough, who convinced Mrs. Yarbough she was going to a photo session for family portraits. Upon arriving at the Kerens Alumni Association Center in Kerens, Mrs. Yarbough was greeted by friendly smiles, hugs, and a resounding chorus of Happy Birthday!

The birthday celebration program was emceed by one of Mrs. Yarbough’s grandsons, Lance Yarbough. The celebration included a delicious meal prepared by her eldest son, Charles G. Yarbough, owner of Yarbough & Sons Catering of  Corsicana. An emotional Expressions and Reflections segment given by three of her sons, Carl Yarbough, Larry Yarbough Sr., and Toney Yarbough followed. Reflective “I Remember” memories were then shared by some of her grandchildren, Charles K. Yarbough, Laneece Yarbough, Maceo Yarbough III, Brandy Yarbough, Devaé Lucas, Toney Yarbough II, Carlyle Yarbough, and Aaron Yarbough. A touching video presentation was prepared by one of Mrs. Yarbough’s sons, Irvin Yarbough and Rev. Wesley McDuffie provided photography.

This celebration was special and unique in that it was not only a celebration of a significant birthday, but it was a celebration to highlight the bigger, positive impact Mrs. Yarbough and her life has had on so many people. After losing her mom at the age of 3, her father, Garfield Herron, raised her and her six siblings. As an adult, Vashtie married Maceo Yarbough Sr. and they had six boys. She lost her husband when the youngest boy was 3 years old, leaving her to raise them by herself.

The central theme of the program and the sentiments shared by all was how Mrs. Yarbough instilled honorable values and a strong work ethic in her sons and grandchildren, who are productive citizens and leaders in their communities. While raising those active sons, she also found time to be a role model and leader in her community and church where she has been actively involved as a 4-H Leader, Home Demonstration President, seamstress, and leader in numerous capacities in the church.

The 93 years and counting of Mrs. Yarbough’s life are both remarkable and inspiring. The Yarbough family would like to express their deepest appreciation to those who attended and give a special thank you and Happy Birthday to Mama Vashtie! We wish her many more years.

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