About Minnie Lee
Minnie Lee Olges was born on January 23, 1906 in Madison County, Kentucky to Milo and Thula Prewitt. She had eight siblings, four brothers (Everett, Clarence, Morton, Jim) and four sisters (Estella, Ethel, Sallie Bee, Eloise). She was just fifteen years old when she tragically lost both of her parents on August 18, 1921. Her father Milo was digging a well and was overcome by gas fumes after an explosion. Her mother, Thula went down into the well to help him, she too was overcome by the fumes. She and her siblings stayed with different relatives but remained very close.
Minnie Lee was very independent and a hard worker, which was a necessity in order for her to survive. After her parents’ death, she went to Russell Creek Academy, in Campbellsville, KY, and graduated in 1926. She went to Campbellsville College where she would play on the women’s basketball team with her sister Ethel.
There’s so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, it behooves all of us, to say nothing about the rest of us.Minnie Lee
She was elected Sophomore Class President. The Sophomore Class Officers yearbook photo had a poem:
“A girl that’s seldom meek and mild,
The girl that’s peppy all the while,
The girls that’s never cross nor blue: Minnie Lee, that’s you.”
She had the most beautiful soul and was one of the sweetest people you could ever meet. Her niece, Jeannie (Estella’s daughter) said, “Aunt Minnie Lee had a kind expression on her face and was the best-hearted person I’ve ever known, and I loved her dearly.”
On June 9, 1932, Minnie Lee Prewitt married Joseph Olges in Louisville, KY. Joe was catholic and Minnie Lee became a devout catholic, too. They had five children, Joseph, Jack, Mary, Ruth, and Roberta, and fourteen grandchildren. Their eldest son, Joseph, died in a tragic drowning accident when he was eight years old on Feb. 3, 1942.
Minnie Lee and Joseph separated and she then went to work at St. Joseph’s Orphanage as a childcare worker. Upon retiring she bought a house on Beech Drive in Louisville, which was right down the street from her daughter Mary Murphy. She lived there for the rest of her life. She died of natural causes on October 5, 1996 at the age 90.
In reminiscing, her son Jack said the first thing he thinks of in connection with his mother was a statement she often shared with her children, “There’s so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, it behooves all of us, to say nothing about the rest of us.”
Her daughter Mary said, “Growing up we never had TV or neighborhood kids to play with, so to help pass the time mother would read to us, complete novels like Little Women, and all of Mark Twain’s books. She had a way of reading so that you felt and lived the story, right along with the author, and we loved it. We used to beg her to read to us.”
Her daughter Ruth said that once when she and her husband Ronnie went on a short vacation, and their daughters, Ronda (four years old) and Renee (three years old) stayed at grandma’s house, “One day Ronda was fixing Grandma’s hair and she had it teased real good when the ice cream truck came. Ronda jumped down and went flying out the door with Grandma right behind her. Ruth said Grandma told her she just knew the man thought she was a wild woman with her hair sticking every way.”
Her daughter Roberta said that when she and her sisters would ask their mother if they were pretty she would say for them to remember that, “Pretty is as pretty does!”