Cake, Coffee

Cake Lady Legacy

Don and I met Mae Husher at First Christian Church in 1992 when we moved to Grove, OK from Huntington Beach, California. Mae was a sweet lady who loved the children and families of Cookson Hills. She and her husband had no children of their own, so each summer they would adopt two boys for a week to visit. They would teach them how to fish, swim in the lake, and have picnics in the park. They would also take them to our church Vacation Bible School. It was a fun week for all.

Cake, Sweets,
Forty cakes brought twice a year was always a treat for the children and staff of Cookson Hills.

Mae, with the help of the Tuesday morning Bible Study ladies, would take cakes twice a year to Cookson Hills. In the spring when the Dogwoods were in bloom and in the fall when the foliage would be in full color. They would take forty cakes! 

My first encounter with Mae was simple, she told me,: “Sue, make a cake and go to Cookson Hills with us and eat lunch with the children.” It was that trip I fell in love with the children of Cookson Hills. When I got home I told my husband, Don, “You have to go the next time we take cakes to Cookson Hills!”  He did go on the next trip!  That trip marked the beginning of our support of the children and families at Cookson Hills. It was at the Dining Hall where we met Walter and Patty Duke who were houseparents at the time. 


Cake and Coffee
Mae Husher, the “Cake Lady”, loved the children and families of Cookson Hills.

On one of our trips, Mae asked for a cup of coffee to go with her cake. She was told they had no coffee. There was no money for coffee.  Well, Mae took that to heart!!! The next trip out to Cookson Hills, Mae took coffee along with her cakes. But not just a can of coffee. No, that would have been far too simple. The entire back seat and the floorboard of her car were full of coffee. So began the “Coffee for Cookson” at our church.

Cakes and coffee went on for many years at First Christian Church, Grove. I have no idea how many years Mae took cakes before we came along in 1992. My guess is many, many years. But when Mae was no longer able to make the trip because of her health, she looked to others to replace her.


Mae had a plan and so did God!!! Mae approached me one day and said, “Sue, don’t ever let Cookson Hills be without coffee.” So Don and I picked up Mae’s baton and we have tried to make sure “Cookson Hills will not be without coffee” 

Don and I have Mae Husher to thank for sharing her love of Cookson Hills’ children and families with us. The pay is great….the hugs, smiles, and friendships keep us going!!!

Coffee, Coffee lady, gift,
In the 1990s Don and Sue Henderson prepare to give a gift.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR — Sue Henderson, affectionately known as the “Coffee Lady” around here, and her husband Don have been strong supporters of Cookson Hills since 1992. We are incredibly thankful for their service as they’ve helped host many Thanksgiving Dinners for our families, and also began PROJECT J*O*Y where the First Christian Church of Grove gives a “Christmas Gift to Cookson Hills” with presents to the kids and staff!