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 Bertha Lee <I>Fleming</I> Houck

Bertha Lee Fleming Houck

Caldwell County, North Carolina, USA
Death 10 Jan 1962 (aged 76)
Morganton, Burke County, North Carolina, USA
Burial Morganton, Burke County, North Carolina, USA
Memorial ID 5057724 · View Source
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Bertha Fleming was born near Brown Mountain Beach, Caldwell County, North Carolina, to Margaret Amanda Setzer and Thomas Zebulon Vance Fleming. Her mother died of typhoid fever when Bertha was 16, and she cared for 6 brothers and sisters until her father remarried. She knew what it was like to be poor and live through hard times.

On December 18, 1907, She married E.J. "Romey" Houck, and they were to share their lives for more than fifty years. They had six children.

Bertha loved flowers and yardwork, and Romey liked to cook. She was a sweet and patient person who loved children and never raised her voice to them. One of her favorite activities was to visit her relatives' graves, and she shared this pastime with her children and grandchildren who carry on that tradition today.

A family story that reflects the kind of person Bertha was is one that happened during the Depression years. One day a man came to her door asking for a little bread or leftovers for his wife and children.
"No, I won't do that," said Bertha. The man started to leave but she called him back and demanded that he bring his family in to her kitchen where she sat them all down and cooked a hot dinner for them. When husband Romey came in for his lunch, he looked at the strangers and said, "Bertha, what in Heaven's name are you doing?" And she replied, "In Heaven's name I'm doing what Jesus told us to do." Romey meekly got his plate and joined his wife's guests.

She suffered from diabetes but resignedly boiled her glass syringe and taught her grandchildren how to sharpen the reusable(!) hypodermic needles for her insulin shots. Her favorite "rescue" for low blood sugar was a few swigs of hot Pepsi-Cola. Eventually, she developed diabetic gangrene and lost a leg. She never recovered from that surgery, and died in Grace Hospital on a snowy January day with her children nearby.

  • Created by: Armantia
  • Added: 14 Sep 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5057724
  • Armantia
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Bertha Lee Fleming Houck (23 Oct 1885–10 Jan 1962), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5057724, citing Forest Hill Cemetery, Morganton, Burke County, North Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Armantia (contributor 19036309) .