Mattie, 84, visits Santa

Published 10:30 am Friday, December 14, 2012

For the first time in her life, 84-year-old Mattie Turner sat on Santa’s knee during a recent Christmas party at the Church of Ascension in Virginia Beach.

The Branchville mother of nine asked Santa for a Mercedes Benz.

Santa said he could possibly get her “a smaller version” of the luxury car.

Mattie responded, “maybe next year.”

Mattie, who drives a 1998 Toyota Camry, was with her daughter, Beverly Hobbs of Virginia Beach, when she visited Santa.

“I doubt she ever sat on Santa,” Beverly said. “She’s from Emporia and grew up in the country.”

Mattie drove a bus for Southampton County Public Schools for 43 years before retiring at age 80.

She and her late husband, Elisha, are also the parents of Elvin Turner of Roanoke Rapids, N.C.; Mariah Fitchett, Mattie McNeil and Rebecca Minor, all of Virginia Beach; Patrick and Ronald Turner, both of Seaboard, N.C.; Winfred Turner of Chesapeake; and the late Freddie Turner.

• Longtime Southampton County resident Nellie Bryant celebrated her 90th birthday on Dec. 5.

Friends and the Rock Church Life Ladies Group had a birthday lunch for her at Mary’z Cafe in Newsoms.

• David Holland, who in November 2011 made an unsuccessful bid for Southampton County Sheriff, left the area in August to work corporate security for Wells Fargo in Miami.

His job involves investigating robberies, domestic violence, assaults and more. The 57-year-old former Drewryville man is also responsible for the site and personnel security at 122 Wells Fargo offices in Miami-Dade, the Florida Keys, Naples and Fort Myers, Fla.

Prior to heading to Florida, Holland was director of Southside Community Corrections and Pretrial Services in Emporia. He was also the former assistant commander of personnel for the Fairfax Police Department.

• Brooke Adams has saved her late mother’s home from foreclosure.

Adams, 29, raised $1,500 during a Dec. 1 estate sale at the Zuni home of Kim Cobb, who died unexpectedly on July 25 from pneumonia and a lung aneurysm. She was 54.

Using proceeds from the sale, her mother’s retirement fund and a small loan, Brooke came up with $3,541 to catch up with the mortgage so she could rent the Mill Creek Drive home. A family who lost their home to a fire will move in.

Brooke’s father, Bill Cobb of Portsmouth, uncle Ronnie Cobb of Franklin and grandfather, the late Raby Cobb, built the home. Bill and Kim Cobb were divorced.

On a side note, Bethany Presbyterian Church in Zuni donated a month’s mortgage payment of $1,100 after Cobb’s death.

GWEN ALBERS is managing editor of The Tidewater News. Her email address is