The Victoria Advocate
EDNA - "Joe and I finally graduated from high school," Mary Ann Bitter said.
five sons have walked the stage and received diplomas from Edna High School
and now all eight of her
daughters have done the same at the Hockaday School
But Joe and Mary Ann Bitter
still have a way to go before they are finished with college for all 13 children.This fall, their youngest, Joella, will attend the University of Notre Dame and their second youngest, Mary Ann, will be a senior at Elon University in North Carolina.
"It was a five-hour drive," Mary Ann
said in a phone interview.
Their sister Mary Ann
, a 2002 Hockaday graduate, returns to Elon
is a business major with a minor in marketing and Spanish.
"We had a son and then a daughter, all the way down the line until the last four girls," Mary Ann
Russell, 40, is a 1984 graduate of Davidson College
is single, raises sheep and goats and lives in Harper," Mary Ann
Michael is 37.He attended Emory University for two years, then switched to Texas A&M where he earned a degree in economics and then a law degree from St. Mary's University in San Antonio.He
wife, Liliana, have four children and live in San Antonio.
John, like his
father, became a veterinarian.His
father, Joe, practiced in Edna
for 30 years before retiring in 1996.John received a degree in equine science from Colorado State University and earned his veterinary degree from Texas A&M.He
practices veterinary medicine in Argyle and lives in Flower Mound with his
wife, Monicka, and their three sons.
Patrick, 31, is a 1996 graduate of Notre Dame
.He is an investment banker with Merrill Lynch in San Antonio.He
wife, Paige, are the parents of two.
Stephen is also a Notre Dame graduate and a commercial lending banker in San Antonio, where he
is 26 and single.
For parents struggling to send one or two to college, the question might be "How'd they do that?"Mary Ann
admits that she
really doesn't have an answer."We were organized, I guess."
Speaking of her
daughters attending the private preparatory school, she
said, "They all made good grades.They never had a car.It was very academically challenging, but very rewarding.The transition to being away from home was hard sometimes, but they were all very well prepared for college."
While most of her
girls participated in sports, the boys did not.Mary Ann
said the boys were involved in 4-H activities, but because of their chores, sports were pretty much out of the question.
Basically, chores revolved around raising cattle with their father.
Remembering the days of making three meals a day for 15 and all that went with raising 13 children, Mary Ann
laughed and said she
does not baby sit.