Mrs. Elizabeth Holiday Thomas Ames, 87, departed this life from her Hare Valley home on Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020. Born Friday, Dec. 8, 1933, in Northampton County, a daughter to the late Blanche Parker Thomas and Exter Thomas, she was the oldest daughter of five children and grew up in Weirwood.
At a young age, she confessed her love for Jesus Christ by attending church, Bible study, and reading scripture—always wanting more knowledge of His undying love.
In 1950, she married Milton Edward Ames, and from this union five children were born. Elizabeth devoted her entire life encouraging her children to excel. She considered education to be a critical foundation for them. Elizabeth and Milton became very successful entrepreneurs in spite of their own limited formal education. While working as an agriculture laborer in the 1960s, she sold sodas and honey buns out of the trunk of her car to local and migrant farmworkers. This evolved into one of their most successful business ventures—the Let’s Eat food trucks where they sold hamburgers, hot dogs, and snow cones. Later, Milton started Let’s Talk Tires, selling new and used automobile tires from their backyard. She and Milton also sold firewood, coal, and Avon products. Working together, they were able to achieve success for the family. Milton and Elizabeth were known for their hard work ethic and strong determination to support their family, friends, and community.
With the help of her son, Larry, she became a master gardener – growing watermelons, squash, strawberries, tomatoes, and cucumbers. She loved gardening and would often speak of the garden her father maintained. For many years, she maintained her own yard by cutting grass on her riding lawn mower. She so strongly believed cleanliness was next to godliness that she washed clothes three times a week with two washing machines. She enjoyed watching TV shows. Some of her favorites were The Beverly Hillbillies, I Love Lucy, Sanford and Son, and World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWF). Listening to gospel music was her favorite pastime. Some of her favorite singers were Albertina Walker, Mahalia Jackson, James Cleveland, Shirley Caesar, The Mighty Clouds Of Joy, the Rev. F.C. Barnes, and The Dixie Hummingbirds.
Elizabeth touched the lives of her grandchildren by providing daily care and wisdom. She had stern rules for them because she realized there were important life lessons each would need to master if they were to become good citizens. As a child of the 1930s, she knew how it felt to go without food, so she emphasized thankfulness for what you have and to not waste food or money. Elizabeth was a very loving wife, mother, grandmother, and friend.
She was predeceased by her husband, Milton; parents; two brothers, Lawrence and Exter Jr.; and one sister Jannie Thomas. To cherish her loving memory, there are five children: Milton Jr. (Linda), of Tucson, Ariz.; Larry Sr. (Geraldine), of Chesapeake; Brenda Holden (Ronnie), of Onancock; Diane Ames, of Temperanceville; and Gloria Bailey, of Salisbury, Md.; one sister, Glory Carrie Dean Byrd; 10 grandchildren, Hope Chestnut, Larry Esau Ames Jr., Ronnita Holden, Gerald Patrick Ames, Alexandra Ames, Alison Ames, Aaron Ames, Travis Bailey, Gabriel Bailey, and Kristen Bailey; 13 great-grandchildren, Jazmine Wiggins, Talia Ames, Aliyah Ames, Naayah Ames, Jabriel Ames, Brandon Littleton, Angel Chestnut, Trinity Bailey, Brian Pierce-Bailey, King Ames, Alyssa Tucker, Heather Tucker, and Noah Tucker; two nephews, Reynold “Boney” Byrd and Robert Ames Jr.; four nieces, Mary Akers, Phyllis Baker, Ydetta Rogers, and Yetta Howard; and a host of cousins and friends.
Funeral Service for Mrs. Elizabeth Holiday Ames was conducted from the John O. Morris Funeral Home, Nassawadox, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, at 11 a.m., with Bishop David Sabatino officiating.
Mrs. Ames will be remembered as the wife of the late Milton E. Ames and the mother of Milton Ames Jr., Larry Ames, Brenda Holden, Diane Ames, and Gloria Bailey. The family plans to host a gathering celebrating her life on the Eastern Shore once it is safe to gather.