Richmond Hill History Museum Hosts Bob Fennell



Folks in our area have a great opportunity to learn some valuable local history when the Richmond Hill History Museum hosts Bob Fennell this Thursday night, June 6 at 7:00 p.m.

Bob Fennell is the son of the late author Margaret Fennell Judy, who passed away in October of 2013, after a short illness at the age of 87. The youngest of six children, she was born in Clyde on March 19, 1926. Born into poverty, Margaret had very few opportunities at her disposal, and by all accounts, she was destined for a life of unfulfilled potential and hard times.

However, a chance meeting with automobile magnate Henry Ford (of the Ford Motor Co.) changed her life in amazing ways. After Ford saw Margaret present a musical reading of the 23rd Psalm during a Chapel program at the Martha-Mary Chapel (which is now known as St. Anne’s Catholic Church), he was so impressed with her that he offered unexpectedly to send her to business school.

This was presumably fairly easy for him to do, as Henry Ford was America’s first billionaire.

But that is not why the Richmond Hill History Museum hosts Bob Fennell this Thursday night.

Margaret graduated in 1944 from Richmond Hill High School and later from Draughn’s Business College in Savannah (which eventually became South University). She wound up serving as both a secretary to Henry Ford through 1952, and continued on as a secretary and bookkeeper for the International Paper Co. for the next 30 years.

Among other activities in her long and busy life, she volunteered for her church as a secretary, clerk, Sunday school teacher and choir member. Margaret was also a volunteer for many years at the Richmond Hill Historical Society, so it is only fitting that the Richmond Hill History Museum hosts Bob Fennell for this book reading and signing of his late mother’s autobiography.

Margaret Fennell Judy was in the process of working on that book of her life’s story, and finished it before her untimely passing. Entitled “Little Did I Know,” the book is filled with the kind of colorful stories and entertaining anecdotes about growing up in the South during the 1930s and 1940s which only someone who had lived the unusual and varied life that Margaret Fennell Judy did could have authored.

According to those familiar with it, her book “tells an interesting and charming story of how, sometimes, one can be at the right place at the right time.” The book describes how Margaret and her family relocated to Richmond Hill after our government took possession over her hometown of Clyde during the 1930s. This was to facilitate the construction of Ft. Stewart. It also covers her times working alongside the iconic Henry Ford, which may be of great interest to many.

Richmond Hill History Museum hosts Bob Fennell so that he may pass along his late mother’s anecdotes, and promote her posthumously published memoir.

This event is free to the public and takes place at the Richmond Hill History Museum at 11460 Ford Ave. For more information, go to or call (912) 756-3697.

Hopefully, many readers of this blog can enjoy this special free event when the Richmond Hill History Museum hosts Bob Fennell, Thursday, June 6 at 7:00 p.m.

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