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Barbara Craigmyle attended the Owen County Fair last week to support her best friend, Vicki Turner, who she thought would be receiving the Mother of the Year award.
Instead, Craigmyle was surprised when her niece, Kasey Towles, presented her with the Mother of the Year award.
To be selected as Mother of the Year, the applicant must be nominated by a friend or family member. The nominating letter was sent by Towles.
Craigmyle is married to Paul Craigmyle. The Craigmyles had three daughters – Venessa Duke, Stephanie and Melody Craigmyle. Duke passed away in 2003 from a brain tumor.
In 1997, Craigmyle’s middle daughter, Stephanie suffered head injuries after being hit by a drunk driver. Stephanie has lived with Craigmyle ever since.
In 2007, Duke’s husband, Richard, also passed away, leaving behind two grandchildren, Laura and Brandon Duke. Craigmyle took responsibility for the two grandchildren and continues to raise Laura.
Craigmyle said she is thankful for her family.
“I’m blessed to have them,” Craigmyle said. “I feel like I’ve done no more than any other as a mom. When you’re a mom, you do what needs to be done.”
Craigmyle said that when raising her daughters, she had several keys to being successful.
“When they were younger it was prayer, patience and peanut butter,” Craigmyle said. “Once they got a little older, it was prayer, patience and more prayer.”
Craigmyle said although tragedy has struck her family more than once, people can always deal with things they never dreamed of.
“Things can get tough,” Craigmyle said. “But we can always handle a lot more than we think we can.”
Craigmyle and her husband have been self-employed since they started their business, Owen County Frame and Body Shop, in 1972.
Towles said she nominated Craigmyle for the award because no matter what she must endure, she continues to be a great mother.
“She has been such a great mother through all the illnesses, car wreck and cancer,” Towles said. “She has always been there for her family and she’s now raising her granddaughter. She’s not only a great mother, but a fantastic grandmother.”
Craigmyle said receiving the award was humbling and unexpected.
“It was a great honor,” Craigmyle said.
Craigmyle said the only advice she could give to other mothers is to cherish every moment.
“Mothers need to be thankful for every moment,” Craigmyle said. “Cherish good health because you never know when something unexpected may happen. Don’t sweat the small stuff, just hang in there.”