Matriarch: a mother who is head and ruler of her family

This Lee’s Summit family enjoys a rich history of four generations of women as vast in talents as they are in their beauty within. This family stands out for their mutual respect for one another and the life lessons they have passed down from one generation to the next. Their shared love of music, compassion for animals and focus on others are some of the commonalities among this generational family. We sat down with them to find out their passions and lessons they have learned from one another.

Eva Louise Rowland: The Matriarch, 96

Louise, also known as “Gigi” is described by her family as loving, kind and a great example of spending wisely. She is 96 years young, and is in great shape. Louise is very knowledgeable and keeps up on current events. Not only does she have an immense love of music and is a gifted singer, but she can often be found dancing around the house.

What Inspires You?

 Small town religion, school, family closeness and music.

 What woman do you look up to in life and why?

My mother—she sewed for us and kept house for us with no indoor water. She made most of our clothes and encouraged us to enjoy music.

Do you have any words of wisdom for the next generation of women?

Take care of your body. Be kind to animals. Truthfulness is a must. Put your family first. Always be thankful for what you have. Spend your money wisely.

Suzanne Siler, 74  

Suzanne, also known as Mimi, is described by her granddaughters as being incredibly well-rounded. She can sing, play the piano, sew, paint, take beautiful photographs and uses her creativity to help others and her community. Suzanne likes to serve her community in many ways, but one way that she gives back is by extending herself to students with special needs by taking their senior portraits. Her giving and loving personality is evident to all who know her.

What inspires you?

Music and the arts, nature, exercising, being with friends and family and my spiritual connection.

Who do you look up to in your own life?

I look up to my mother for setting a great example with money, encouraging appreciation of music and being kind to others.

Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for the next generation?

When overwhelmed, remember “First things first.” Everything in life is about balance. Always listen first and remember that relationships are everything. Be persistent. When people treat you with disrespect, remember it’s not about you.  And lastly, just because we have “rights” doesn’t mean it is always right.

 

Jayme Richardson, 49

 

Jayme is described by her daughters as an unstoppable “Jedi” who is a true super woman. She juggles so many things and is a master of all of them. The impact that she makes on the lives of others just out of the goodness of her heart, is something that many admire about her. She expects nothing in return and does everything with such patience and courage.

 

What inspires you? 

 I am inspired by people who lift others up and make positive changes in our world.

What women do you look up to in your own life and why?

I look up to and notice women who are proud of who they are and strive to make positive changes in the world.

Do you have any advice for the next generation of women?

My advice for the younger generation is to have as little phone time as possible. Be true to yourself, and always do things for the right reasons. Surround yourself with positive people who inspire you to be better and do better. Try new things and have as many adventures as possible.

What would you tell the “younger you” from years ago if you could? 

I would tell the “Younger Me” to always lead with love and light. Never dim your light.

Abbi Richardson, 23

Abbi is a true leader and a great role model. She is very passionate about everything she does and blazes a perfect trail for her younger sisters to follow in her footsteps. She has a creative mind and has inherited a love of music and dance.

What women do you look up to in your own life and why?

The number one woman in my life I look up to is my mom. She is wise, patient, kind, independent, and strong. She is a Jedi! 

Do you have any advice/words of wisdom for the next generation of women?

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Be a good listener and work hard to follow and accomplish your dreams. God’s timeline is different than your own timeline. Never forget where you came from and always cherish your family.

Clara, 20

Clara is a sensitive and kind soul who inherited her love of animals from her great-grandmother. She is described by her family as funny, loyal, smart and confident. She is the first person who will go to battle for you and stay by your side.

What inspires you?

I am motivated and inspired by my friends and family daily. I have such a great support system, and I am pushed to be the best version of myself. I am shown by many people in my life that success does not happen overnight and that hard work and dedication are a necessity.

Do you have any advice for the next generation of women?

If I could give advice to younger women, I would say to just be yourself. Growing up, especially in high school can be hard to be who you really are. With today’s technology and social media, comparing yourself to others is an easy thing to do, but everyone has special qualities that make them unique and beautiful in their own way. When you are yourself, your light will shine wherever you are and whoever you are around.

What would you tell the “younger you” from years ago if you could? 

Something I would tell my younger self is to just live in the moment. There are so many things that I worried about when I was younger that closed me off from so many opportunities that were right in front of my face. Living in the moment and letting go of the past is something that everyone should do. You will live a happier and healthier life!

Olivia Richardson, 16

Oliva “Liv” is described as the feisty one who isn’t afraid to take risks. She is down-to-earth and loyal to her family and friends. She lights up a room wherever she goes and is incredibly adventurous. Liv meets life head on and is always up for a new experience.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by people who have overcome big challenges and come out on top.

What woman do you look up to in your own life and why?

I look up to my mom because she is always positive and she works hard.

Do you have any advice for girls in the next generation?

Stay true to yourself. Quality over quantity. Spread love and positivity.

What would you tell the “younger you” from years ago if you could? 

Your friends will change but as long as you stay true to yourself, the ones that matter will always come back.