Kay (Ulrich) Wells – June 9, 2023

This is the “official” Obit for Kay.

Lynnette Kay Wells (known as Kay by family and friends) entered eternal joy, peace, and perfect love on June 9, 2023, after fighting the good fight, keeping the faith, and finishing her race. Born during World War II on December 27, 1941, in Waco, TX to Harry Ullrich and Lydia Grohowski Ullrich, Kay grew up with a tangible love of all people and embraced diversity. Coming into the world fresh on the heels of the Great Depression also shaped her formative years. She had a green thumb and started working at a florist shop as a teenager to help her family pay the bills, with gardening (flowers, plants, vegetables, and fruit) remaining a passion throughout her life. Kay continued mastering the art of frugality in adulthood by clipping coupons, sewing clothing items from scraps of material, adding to the family’s dime jar to save money for household items, and finding innovative ways to repurpose various objects most others would have tossed. Down-to-earth Kay knew what really mattered to her, and earthly possessions did not make her values-based list.

In 1958, Kay was at a friend’s house, with her tiny dog peeking out of her purse, and in walked a dashing young man, Doyle Wells, who was heading off to college to study preaching. He was immediately smitten, but she wasn’t convinced. They exchanged handwritten letters for a couple of years until Doyle stopped replying. In response, spitfire Kay mailed a one-sentence note announcing that if that’s how he was going to be, she was done…that is, until Doyle unexpectedly appeared at her door, walked her to his 1956 Chevy, and proposed. Thus began a 62-year story of ministry, triumphs, and heartbreaks, enveloped in dedication and unconditional love that included the meaningful relationships she shared with her many in-laws, friends, and future family.

Inventive, creative, and passionate are three words to describe Kay’s Sunday School teaching. She spent countless hours designing visual aids with an overhead projector, and little ones’ eyes were glued to her as she captivated them with her storytelling. Kay (a history buff) and Doyle also went on mission trips to Mexico, Czechoslovakia, and Czechia, returning with many insights about the historical changes between their visits.

Kay embraced her role as a minister’s wife and served from the kitchen using her excellent culinary skills. She delivered made-from-scratch cinnamon rolls and sourdough bread to loved ones and those who were sick or otherwise suffering. She hosted parties for congregation members, including an annual Stone Soup gathering. Kay and Doyle provided the melt-in-your-mouth cornbread and soup base, to which each attendee added a can of vegetables. There was a lesson in virtually everything she did, with this one exemplifying the benefits of sharing, collaborating, and supporting one another. No party was complete without games; two of her favorites were Bridge and Dominoes. Rarely could anyone be in a room without hearing Kay’s spirited, infectious laugh (or legendary sneezes). She could “have a conversation with a fence post,” having never met a stranger and knowing how to make newcomers feel welcome. She loved, remembered, and served people wholeheartedly.

The boundless love Kay exuded extended to her children. She never missed one of their events unless they occurred simultaneously, in which case she and Doyle alternated which activities they attended. She understood the power of being present and that modeling how to live was more profound than telling her kids how to live.

Kay was the bookkeeper for a nonprofit in Austin, TX during her senior years until a stroke altered her course. Healthcare workers raved about her positivity, perseverance, sweetness, and gratitude throughout her physical struggles, and several loved ones surrounded her on the day she went to her reward.

Kay was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Vernelle Richter. Left to relish her legacy of love, faith, service, laughter, and cinnamon rolls are her beloved husband, Doyle; her two children, Evin “The Kid” (Michaella) and Heather “Punkin” Wells; and her adored grandkids, Brooke, Riley, Hayden, and Addison Wells, along with many cherished in-laws, nieces, and nephews.

If you wish to honor the life of Kay Wells, nothing would have made her happier than knowing someone did so by engaging in an act of service for another person.

Kay (Ullrich) Wells – June 9, 2023

 
 

Kay’s daughter, Heather Wells, posted this loving tribute to her mother on Facebook.

Mom is no longer in pain, and she now enjoys perfect love, peace, and joy. Her body left this world Friday night, but her spirit lives on.

My mom lovingly served people from the kitchen. We delivered made-from-scratch cinnamon rolls and sourdough bread to families in need, and not a week went by during her healthy years when people didn’t rave about her culinary skills, to go along with her numerous other strengths.

Mom was a devoted preacher’s wife and created the curriculum and staffing for Sunday school classes. She and I spent countless hours in the garage with an overhead projector designing visual aids (before the days of Google Slides or PowerPoint), and she knew how to make them come to life. Little ones’ wide eyes were glued on her as she captivated them with her storytelling.

People regularly share testimonials about how she transformed their lives with her teachings, and, more importantly, by the example she set. My dad liked to say that Mom could converse with a fence post because she had never met a stranger and knew how to make newcomers feel welcome. Who wouldn’t want to talk to a person with that gorgeous smile of hers? And she knew how to laugh with her whole body.

I am grateful to my core for her genuine heart, the example of service to others she personified, and the life lessons that helped mold me into who I am.

Because of my mom and various experiences with her, I learned:

  • People are multi-faceted. Mistakes or struggles do not indicate the quality of one’s character. Forgiveness, grace, and perspective are paramount.
  • Find what’s good. Instead of judging a book by its cover, take the time to read the pages.
  • The most profound personal growth often comes through trials, not on the mountaintops.
  • Adversity equips us to serve others on a more profound, empathetic level.
  • Providing unconditional love does not require us to lose our self-respect. Boundaries are essential.
  • No one “makes me feel” a certain way. I am in charge of how I handle situations.
  • Self-compassion makes it possible to love others more fully.
  • Everyone deserves to have a voice.
  • Authenticity is much more meaningful than a shiny persona.
  • Sweeping legitimate issues under the carpet instead of addressing them does not create enduring peace.
  • Keeping up with the Joneses isn’t worth it. A values-driven life is one worth living.
  • Tasks one person can accomplish easily might be a challenge for someone else, and vice versa. Even if we’ve traveled on a journey similar to another person, everyone’s story and responses are valid and unique.
  • Quality of life matters and can change in the blink of an eye. Relish the small moments.
  • Contemplating loss enhances gratitude.
  • Love and presence trump “perfect” parenting. Kids learn by watching their caregivers, including what they model beautifully and their inevitable missteps.

I request continued prayers for my precious dad and all those who are grieving the loss of Mom. I have had many heart-to-heart talks with Dad to prepare him as much as humanly possible for what was to come, and he is a man of devout faith, but he still lost the love of his life. We sang, prayed, hugged, held hands, and reminisced all day. Uncle Ray and Aunt Sharon drove for several hours so they could support Dad and me tonight. They love and serve well and are two of the most phenomenal people I have ever known.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude for the time you all have taken to encourage and pray for us. You have brought us so much comfort, and I believe you also helped Mom’s body let go peacefully. Saying thank you isn’t adequate to express what I wish I could convey right now. I’m sending you all love.

Billy Markum – June 1, 2023

 
 
Will “Billy” Edward Markum, 80, of Waco, TX passed away Thursday, June 1, 2023 at Providence Hospice Place. .

Billy was born on August 21, 1942 in Waco to Bill and Juanita Markum, the first of 3 boys. He married Rae Jeanette Marion on January 27, 1962. He was a long-time member of Lake Shore Drive Church of Christ, where he served as a Deacon and a Sunday School teacher and lastly was a member of Crestview Church of Christ.

He worked for Caldwell Electric Shop, Central Freight Lines and Ram Aircraft. After retirement, he worked at Baylor Scott & White, Hillcrest Hospital, Home Depot and Jeff Hunter Toyota.

He worked hard his whole life and could fix just about anything. Billy was not one to sit
Billy was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend. He loved to laugh and his smile was contagious.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Juanita, and one brother.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 61 years, Rae Jeanette Markum, son Troy, daughter Leslie and husband Randy, brother Mike and wife Marilyn, grandchildren Candice and husband Med, Melody and husband Ryan, Nicholas “Nick”, Shawn and wife Elizabeth, and great-grandchildren Adelynn, Katelynn, Maisy, Calvin, Eliana, Wyatt and Layla; in addition to numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.

Extended family: Julie, Albert, Tabitha, Mike, Kaylee, Madison, Michael, Kayla, Jacob, Sadie and Hudson.

Special thanks to: Hospice-Community Healthcare of Texas, Gary Fulbright, Abiram Gonzales, Larry Williams, and Mark Henry.

Pictures of Billy Markum enjoying WHS60 activities

Delores (Behringer) Huggins –
April 20, 2023

Dolores (Dee) Clifton Behringer Purcell Huggins passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 30, 2023. Graveside Services will be at 10:00 A.M., Wednesday, May 31, 2023, at Waco Memorial Park with Pastor Tom Wagner officiating.

Dee was born on June 23, 1942, in Waco, Texas to Evelyn and Willard Clifton, Sr. at Hillcrest Baptist Hospital.  Dee graduated from Waco High School in 1960 and attended Baylor University for 2 years. In 1971 she became a Licensed Realtor and worked for Jim Stewart Realtors in Waco, Texas for 12 years. 

In 1985 in Waco, Texas she met the love of her life Dick Huggins, their love of traveling took them on wonderful cruises to England, London, and Paris, France during their 12 years of marriage. In 1990 they moved to April Sound on Lake Conroe. where she continued her Real Estate career with Pat Anderson Properties for 15 years and then Coldwell Banker United for 15 years.

On September 16, 1996, her life suddenly changed, Dick passed unexpectedly in his sleep. Her decision to remain at Lake Conroe was not an easy one but she had established her Real Estate career with many clients who became her friends and had a strong supporting group to help her through such a difficult time.

Health issues made her decision to hang up her realtor sign “Call Dee to See” In 2018, she moved back home to Waco to be closer to family and special friends. She resided at The Blake at Waco for many years before she passed.

Dee loved dancing, traveling, card games of any kind, and of course; Elvis Presley, she had a room in her home dedicated to Elvis.

She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Willard Clifton, Jr.; husbands Tony Purcell, and Dick Huggins.

She is survived by her brother, Larry Clifton and wife, Denise of Leroy, Texas; their children, Crystal Rumer and husband, Rick of Richland Hills, Texas, Candyce Perry and Marshal of Richland Hills, Texas, Kamille Beims and husband, Josh of Hillsboro, Texas; sister-in-law, Cindy Clifton of Salado, Texas, her son, Ryon Clifton and wife, Lacey of Salado, Texas; nephew; Mark Clifton and wife, Linda of Dallas, Texas; niece, Stacy Miller and husband, Mark of Dallas, Texas as well and many grand-nieces and grand-nephews.

Charles Chatham – May 7, 2023


Melynda Chatham posted the following on Facebook on May 8, 2023:

“The world lost the most wonderful, kindest, gentlest man ever last night.  Charles and I have been married nearly 62 years and we have known and been girlfriend/boyfriend since we were 10 years old.  My heart is shattered and I shall forever miss him…but he is free from the insidious disease of Alzheimer’s and for that I am grateful.  So goodbye, sweet husband,  till we meet again.”

The enduring love story of Charles Chatham and Melynda was featured in the September 2019 issue of the Waco Town Crier.

Mickey Lade Perkins –
August 25, 2022

 

Mickey Annette Lade Perkins, 80 years old, passed away on August 25, 2022.

She was born in Waco, Texas on March 23,1942 to her proud parents of Otto Rudolf Lade and Evva Isabel Moses Lade.

Mickey graduated Waco High School 1960 from Texas Wesleyan College 1972, Bachelor of Science Elementary Education and from North Texas State University 1984 with Master degree in Public School Administration.

Mickey was married to husband Johnny Perkins on June 17, 2007.

Mickey taught in public school for 15 years. She opened 3 daycare and preschools before buying a turkey farm. Mickey was an adventurous woman riding horses, motorcycles and flying planes. She enjoyed country music, drawing, and writing poetry. Her life was full of pets including: alpacas, birds, cats,dogs, donkey, fish, goats, hamsters, horses, lizards. mice, mules, rabbits, rats, turtles, snakes and spiders

Mickey is survived by her husband Johnny Perkins, brother Don Lade, children, Marie Bishop Peel and Chris and Angie Bishop, Laura and Tommy Roberson, and grandchildren Taylor, Sydney, Beau, Makayla, Adam and Travis, Shawna and Bruce Haynie and their children Matthew and Elliegh, Karen and Dale Ganus and their children Amanda, Meagan and Brittany.

*****
Mickey was an accomplished artist. She did a lot of the artwork in our 45th reunion directory. These were made into 8×10 prints and later these prints were sold to make money for other reunions. Mickey liked acting crazy at times and she attended all the reunions that she possibly could. Here are some pictures of Mickey having fun at different reunions with fellow classmates:

2005 with Charlotte Suttle Kleibrink 2010 with Charlotte Suttle Kleibrink
2010 as Lady Gaga 2010 with hubby, John
2010 with Jack Smith 2010 with Mickey Lady
2010 with Linda Phelps McKee 2010 with Tim Lasseter Latta
2010 with hubby, John 2010 with Gayla Miller Webb and John
2018 with hubby, John 2018 with Betty Leudeker Gatlin and John

Waco Town Crier – May 2023

 

It’s that time again. The months are flying by!!!

Attached is the May issue of the Town Crier. A great big Thank you to all who have contributed. Next month I will have some pictures of those who were at the luncheon this past week.

Parts of the Waco area had some bad storms last night (April 27th). The hail in Bellmead was reported as large as grapefruit- 4.5 inches. Sirens went off in Woodway but no tornados. They are expecting a repeat of the weather tomorrow after 3:00 pm. We need the rain but storms, storms go away! Hope all of you are remaining safe.

Now, … enjoy the May issue.

jeanne

Contents this month include:

  • From the Editor
  • From Our Graduates
  • Regarding Jeri Ann Boyton Guyton
  • Updates
  • My 80th Birthday Celebration … by David Dibb
  • Did You Know?
  • May Birthdays
  • Some Facts on the Year 1960

Margaret Picha Featherston – December 31, 1942

   

Margie Featherston of Ovilla passed away peacefully on December 31, 2022 with her daughters and husband by her side.

She was born in Cransfills Gap, TX as the fifth of six children.

She graduated from Waco High School, then moved with her parents to Fort Worth.

She married Jack Featherston and settled in Ovilla where they lived for over forty years. She was a faithful servant who worked at Holy Spirit Catholic Church for over twenty years making an impact on many.

She is survived by husband of 57 years, Jack, daughters Laura Featherston (Debbe Robinson) and Amy Featherston (Paul Gowan) and granddaughter Lucy Ciarochi. Brothers George Picha (Gladys), Albin Picha, and Robert Picha (Jo Ann). Sister Jean Ward and many beloved nieces and nephews.

James Maxwell –
February 22, 2023

A note from John Ferguson:
This is to let you know that following a lengthy illness, our dear friend Jim Maxwell died this morning in Santa Fe. There will be no obituary, and funeral plans are private.

For those wishing to send condolences:
Gary McLeod:
100 Rio Vista Place, Apt. 146
Santa Fe, NM 87501

Ernest Higginbotham –
January 26, 2023

Ernie was born on January 13, 1942, to the late Ernest Franklin Higginbotham and Margaret Helen Higginbotham. He grew up in Waco and graduated from Waco High School in 1960.

After high school he was recruited by Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas to play baseball, then a year later he was recruited by Baylor University in Waco to play baseball for them.

Ernie then joined the Marines on August 1, 1962 and was stationed in San Diego, California.

During this time, he earned numerous badges and other honors.

Ernie left the Marines on May 13, 1968. His discharge certificate was a testimonial of Honest and Faithful service. He was a Marine for Life!

After leaving the Marines he stayed in Southern California for many years and joined the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

Ernie moved back to Houston, Texas in 1985. He started a construction company where he resided until he met Kim, and they moved back to Killeen.

They were married on February 14, 2000.

Ernie was a devoted Texas Longhorn fan, Dallas Cowboys fan, loved boating, Elvis Presley and Mickey Gilley.

Ernie was devoted to his family and loved helping and spending time with them.

He had a wonderful sense of humor, a loving heart, and a warm smile.

Ernie was a loyal husband and friend and will be greatly missed by many who consider themselves blessed to have had him in their lives.

Ernie was the best husband, dad, step-father, and Papa anyone could ever hope for.

Ernie was preceded in death by his parents, Margaret Helen and Ernest Franklin Higginbotham, his brother, Robert Higginbotham.

He is survived by his wife Kimberly, two sons from a previous marriage, Craig and Eric Higginbotham, step-daughter, Tiffany Bralley, and her husband J.D. Bralley; brother, Donald Higginbotham; grandchildren, Hudson Bralley; Ashlee and Amanda Higginbotham; Kyle Higginbotham; as well as several nieces, Lori, Jennifer, Julie and Tanya; and his beloved cats, Sam and Sissy.