During the early morning of Feb. 5, 2023, we lost our beloved “Nana”, Hilda Jane Robbins.

Jane was born on Aug. 31, 1937 in Jackson County to her parents Ernest(Skeet) and Mattie Lee(Tootsy) Staton. Jane spent most of her education at Section High School, however, was required to move to Scottsboro High in the 10th grade as Section did not have a high school at the time. Jane married James Albert Robbins on Sept. 22, 1956.

She loved her church where she grew up and that is where she and James Albert attended church, Section United Methodist Church. She worked at Section High School for many years as the secretary and later transferred to the Jackson County Board of Education central office. James and Jane raised four children together, who all have their memories and lessons of life they cherish from mom and dad. Their children gave them six grandchildren, who made them special “Nana and Granddaddy.” Jane is survived by James Albert Robbins(husband); children: Susan Robbins Hancock, Craig Robbins(Kindra), Lee Robbins(Amber); and grandchildren: Corine Berry(Zachary), Isbella Robbins, Staton Robbins, Maggie Ella Robbins, Eli Robbins, and Avery Robbins. Jane’s son, Bert, passed away Feb. 7, 2023.

I, Corine Hancock Berry, Jane’s granddaughter, want to share a few of my cherished and loving memories of Nana to honor her this month for Mother’s Day.

The most precious memory my Nana left to me was her love of singing. I can still hear her alto voice on most Methodist hymns. Although many will also remember that she did not care to sing from  the Heavenly Highway hymnbook-who knows why? Nana had a very unique voice and always enjoyed and wanted to sing along whether that be in the car to an old country tune or at a family gathering on Christmas Eve. We went through a few years of singing the Twelve Days of Christmas, with family members having different verses. Jane usually preferred the five golden rings.

Nana had a love for handwritten cards. Whether is was a thinking of you or a birthday or just the random encouragement for the college student, she had a card for it! Nana would randomly send me whatever cash she had easily accessible-sometimes $10.00, but sometimes $3.00. It did not matter what was stashed in the card for me. Her words of encouragement and love will be missed the most.

One thing our family enjoys is eating good food. You know this is true while you sit eating lunch and begin to put together your dinner plates. Nana was the best cook! She enjoyed cooking most of her life although she did seem to tire of it and left the food planning to Granddaddy towards the end of her life. She also wanted to make sure there was something for dessert. I can remember standing in the kitchen while she put together her amazing corn bread. I asked, “Is this a cup of milk, Nana?” She responded, “ I don’t know. Maybe.” According to Nana, good corn bread is all about the consistency and the butter. It took me a long time before I even attempted to make corn bread in my house. When she says to use the whole stick of butter, you better use a whole stick of butter!

Nana loved shopping! I have many memories from a little girl getting pushed around in my stroller (that I was clearly too big for) up to more recent months when Nana, Mom, and I would go to our favorite shopping spot. She loved colorful clothing and encouraged it! I thank Nana for my flair of fashion and ability to dress professionally, but fun. And make sure you never forget your lipstick.

Another Nana classic that I think about many times is her being the slowest of the group. When everyone else is in the car she was still attempting to crawl in, you would hear,” wait a minute I am not in yet!” It was obvious that she was not in yet-the door was not closed yet. It never failed!

There are many words to describe my Nana, however, the best word and feeling that I learned from her is “family”. We love and support, encourage and listen to one another, and we stick together through thick and thin. She was always there for me-even during her afternoon nap when I came home from school. This is what I hope to pass on to my younger cousins, my family, and even those I meet along my journey. In loving memory and honor of you, Nana, during this 2023 Mother’s Day Celebration.  

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