On Thursday, April 7, the Delaware Association of American Mothers recognized Loretta Wootten, who is also Clerk of the Peace for Kent County, as the 2016 Delaware Mother of the Year at Woodburn, the Governor’s Mansion. In addition to Mrs. Wootten, Dr. Janet Trout was presented the 2016 Mother of Achievement and Michelle Wall was named as the Delaware Young Mother of the Year.
“This was a huge honor and very exciting,” Mrs. Wootten said. “I was thrilled to hear all the positive comments from my family, friends and neighbors. So many people have said such nice things about me.” Mrs. Wootten was nominated by her daughter, Brenda Wootten who said her mother had been a rock her entire life.
Mrs. Wootten was born in Milford and graduated from Milford High School. She is the daughter of the late Harry and Clara Lindale and is married to Wayne Wootten. She has two adult daughters, Donna Stanley, 52, who works at Dover Air Force Base, and Brenda Wootten, 52, who is a paralegal, employed by the State of Delaware for 25 years. Brenda is currently running for the position that her mother holds as Clerk of the Peace, as Mrs. Wootten decided to step down when her term ends this year.
Mrs. Wootten says that she has run 17 political campaigns, serving on Kent County Chancery Court before retiring from that position. She said that after her retirement when Edie Hemphill died suddenly while serving as Clerk of the Peace, many people asked her to run for the position. She did and served seven terms, deciding to step down to allow someone new to take over.
“It was time to let someone else do this job,” she said. “I am ready to enjoy my retirement.” Brenda nominated her mother because she met the qualifications set forth by the American Mothers Association.
In order to be nominated as Mother of the Year, the woman must have one or more children and embody traits highly regarded in mothers. She must display the ability to strengthen family relationships and exemplify the conduct spelled out by the Golden Rule. She should be active in the community and a positive influence on children and family. Brenda says her mother represents all of these qualities and more. Brenda says that her mother gives not only to her own kids, but to everyone she meets. Mrs. Wootten says that she considers her two daughters her biggest achievement.
“Raising my girls and watching grow up into great adults and citizens has been my greatest accomplishment,” Mrs. Wootten said. “I stressed to them the six pillars of character, which include trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. My girls have demonstrated all of these as they have grown up. They help other people and they are my biggest blessing.”
Mrs. Wootten said that her biggest challenge was losing her own mother at a young age, when her children were small. She said not having a mother to call for advice when her children were growing up was difficult. She also said that she had to balance raising her children, running the household, getting them to events like sports, scouts and cheerleading.
“This was while my husband worked two jobs, so it all fell to me,” she said. “It was often challenging and I didn’t have my mother to help me. Having her children turn out to be fine, upstanding members of society who also go out of their way to assist others made all the challenges worth it, however.”
Mrs. Wootten says that her best advice for new mothers is to be loving and positive. She said that encouragement helps grow self-esteem, something that is critical for children to succeed.
“I cannot stress enough how important the six pillars of character are when you are raising your children,” Mrs. Wootten said. “If you want your children to grow and succeed, those pillars will get them further than anything else in life.”