Lena Ledbetter Hobbs celebrates 89th birthday
Ozark County native Lena Ledbetter Hobbs, now living in Dallas, Texas, celebrated her 89th birthday Monday by enjoying gifts of chocolate, a fresh-flower bouquet and a party balloon followed by a meal with her daughter, Anita Hobbs Horton, at her favorite Mexican restaurant. The waiters “swooned over her and sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and left her with an enormous sopapilla for dessert,” Anita reported, adding that “the entire restaurant clapped and cheered. She loved it!” Lena was born Nov. 27, 1928, in Ozark County, the daughter of the late Maxine and Hobart Ledbetter. She grew up in the Lutie area, now Theodosia, where her parents operated the Ledbetter store for more than 50 years. She graduated from Gainesville High School in 1946 and attended classes at what is now Missouri State University to earn her teaching certificate. On May 17, 1947, in Mountain Home, Arkansas, she married Ozark County native and World War II veteran Rex Hobbs. They lived in Kansas City, where he worked as a pressman employee at Hallmark Cards. After her husband took early retirement, they moved back to southern Missouri, where he was self-employed as a cattle farmer and a school bus driver for the Ozark school district. They moved to Texas in 1996 to be closer to their adult children, Anita Horton, and David Hobbs and wife Robyn. Lena has three grandchildren: Sophia Horton Couch and husband Matt of San Diego, California, and Jackson and Ava Hobbs of Dallas. Mr. Hobbs died in 2013.