Trudy Cathy White Shares the Story of Her Mother, Jeannette Cathy
Who is Jeannette Cathy?
Much has been written about (and by) my dad, Truett Cathy, after he started one of the nation’s leading fast-food restaurants, Chick-fil-A. But the “unseen” hero behind Chick-fil-A’s success is due in part to my mother, Jeannette M. Cathy.
Everything that is seen is the result of the unseen.
Raised during the Great Depression by a single-mom after her father left when she was a baby, my mother’s childhood was far from ideal. However, she would tell you this was not a disadvantage.
At the age of 5 she was introduced to a perfect Father, her heavenly Father. Upon Him the foundation of her life was built. She was always talking to the Lord: thanking Him for the beautiful clouds, the gift of life, or with help finding the TV remote (I can still hear her gentle, insistent voice, “Now, Father, I know You know where I left that remote. If You would just remind me, we can find it a whole lot quicker together”).
Mother walked with God. She talked with God. He was her constant companion throughout her 92 years on this earth.
From left → right: Dan Cathy, Jeannette Cathy, Trudy Cathy, and Don “Bubba” Cathy
Mother knew who she was and Whose she was, and she saw that truth in other people.
At a time when the color of someone’s skin warranted appalling discrimination, Mother built flourishing relationships with people of varying ethnicity, age, and social status. Her heavenly Father treasured them, so too would she.
I can picture her now, elbows-deep in dishwater alongside Eddie White, one of the first employees at the Dwarf Grill (my dad’s original restaurant). Mom and Eddie didn’t look alike and her husband owned the restaurant, but that never stopped mom from pitching-in and getting to know anyone my dad hired.