Edith Macefield is what you’d call one tough cookie.
She lived an exciting life, learning French, German and other languages before embarking on a career in the military. But after Edith had served several years in England, officials discovered that she was under 18 and sent her home.
When Edith returned to the United States, she eventually found a house she liked.
She spent the next 60 years there. It was her castle.
Then, some developers bought up all of houses and land on Edith’s block. They were determined to transform it into a shopping mall.
But 86-year-old Edith wouldn’t move. And even though developers offered her as much as $1 million for her home, Edith turned down every offer.
So instead of buying Edith’s home, the developers built the mall around it.
What no one knew was that Edith had an unexpected friend on the project.
Barry Martin, the construction project manager, knocked on her door one day, and he and Edith soon became good friends.
Them when Edith got pancreatic cancer, Martin became her primary caregiver.
“She didn’t want to be put into a nursing home,” Martin said. “She wanted to stay there and die in her house where her mother died. I kind of realized that I didn’t do it, she wasn’t going to be there.”
When Edith Macefield died in 2008, she left her home in Martin’s hands.
The contractor knew he had to do the right thing. For Edith.
He wouldn’t let the house be demolished—to the developer’s chagrin.
In 2015, Edith’s house was donated to charity. Now, its rooms are rented to low-income members of the community at reasonable rates.
In the end, Edith got her way. She fought for what she believed in and stood by it.
She refused to give in, despite pressure from developers. But perhaps more importantly, she stood up for others at the same time.
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