Thanks Bertha for taking time to be interviewed… We have loved our time spent together and always leave feeling refreshed, loved, seen and cared for. It is truly an honor to highlight you & your story here.

Will you tell us a little about yourself?


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I am 66 years old, retired after 30 years as a Chemist/Product Development Manager in R & D, 22 years of which were spent at Dow Chemical, the balance at SC Johnson & Kimberly Clark.-BV

whoa, so impressive….-RD

What about your family?

I am married to Charles Vaughn and mother to two incredible sons. I am Grandma to 2 sweet babies.-BV

your sons are pretty amazing, a Doctor and a Physical Therapist -RD

Where have you put down roots?

I was born in South Carolina, attended college in North Carolina and have spent most of my years living in Midland, Michigan-BV

How many years have you lived in Midland?

I have lived here for 45 years.-BV

You are a strong Oak of Midland and our community is blessed by your family’s contributions here. :)-RD

In what ways are you involved in our community?

I have been an active member at our church and a member of the Midland County Historical Society Advisory Group.-BV

How do you want to change or improve Midland?

I would love to see Midland be recognized as a caring community without regard to race, sex or anything else. Diversity makes us better.-BV

us too, us too….-RD


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What are your dreams?

My dream is that my grandchildren would grow up in a world where they have equal opportunity, are appreciated for their individual uniqueness and are judged by the content of their character.-BV

amen! -RD

What are you passionate about?

Trying to live out my Christian faith in my daily life and living a life of integrity.-BV

What breaks your heart?

It breaks my heart when people are mistreated or victims of injustice. It saddens when others have the inability to treat others with love & respect.- BV

yes, agreed… I am excited to listen & learn during our upcoming coffee & conversations and work together on impacting positive change.- RD

How have the winds of life made you stronger?

As a child of the “Jim Crow” South, I don’t give up easily. I have confidence in my abilities and am willing to work hard for success. –

And my favorite verse is, All things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.
Romans 8 :28-BV

It is truly remarkable that this was a reality in your lifetime, it is our desire to continue to see positive change and more improvements about how we handle racial inequity and injustice in our country. You have accomplished so much, your strength, resiliency and intelligence is inspiring to me and many others.- RD

Where do you get your grounding?


Bertha with her grand daughter, honoring 3 Generations of strong, accomplished & beautiful women.

Bertha with her grand daughter, honoring 3 Generations of strong, accomplished & beautiful women.

From my maternal grandmother who was born in 1899 and weathered much adversity during her life but overcame them all.- BV

It was such a joy and an honor to create this picture with you to honor your mother and grandmother. Your legacy of both GRIT + GRACE is beautiful and serves as such a wonderful reminder of how in spite of challenges & adversity, you can overcome and make beauty from hardship. But that we must not stop working towards more equitable communities. -RD

Thank you so much for sharing part of your story with us, we feel honored and encouraged! We want to join you in your dream to create a more caring community for EVERYONE. -Renee’ Deckrow

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My dream is that my grandchildren would grow up in a world where they have equal opportunity, are appreciated for their individual uniqueness and are judged by the content of their character.


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