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August 23, 2015 Deene Thomas Wadsworth, 84 years of age, died the same way she was born, surrounded by her family. On her final day, the prayers and well wishes of friends and family wished her Godspeed to her final home. Following surgery earlier this summer and a difficult battle with cancer, Deene passed peacefully from this Earth in the arms of her Savior, Jesus Christ, on August 23, 2015. The daughter of Wade David and Vera Gladys Thomas, she was born February 22, 1931 in Jester, Texas, 17 miles outside of Corsicana. Deene's early childhood was spent on the family farm with her 11 brothers and sisters. As the oldest girl, she was a second mother and Senior Drill Instructor to them all. Deene was predeceased by her parents, Wade and Vera; by her husband, William Marvin Wadsworth; and by brothers, James Harvey Thomas, Wade Lee Thomas, Ronald Gene Thomas, Carlos Franklin Thomas, Windol Royce Thomas, and Jackie Dale Thomas. Deene and Bill were married 34 years until his passing in December 1986. They made their home in Dallas, Texas, Palmyra, New Jersey, Columbus, Ohio, and Warsaw, Indiana. Upon returning again to Dallas and following Bill's death, Deene resided with her children in Ashburn, Virginia, Suwanee, Georgia, Houston, and most recently in Midland. One of many of Deene's endearing qualities was her unwavering support for the "underdog." If you had some of life's bad breaks and things were getting you down, Deene was on your side. She grew up during the Depression on an East Texas farm where the common payment to your doctor was in chickens. She never forgot where she came from. She had a heart for the less fortunate, not to enable but to give encouragement, a little monetary support if needed, and always a prayer. If your times were hard, Deene was your friend. A faithful member of Urban Park Assembly of God in Dallas for many years, her many friends there still miss her. Deene graduated from Kerens High School and moved to Dallas shortly thereafter. She worked for Southwestern Bell in Dallas before meeting and marrying Bill Wadsworth. She was a long time employee of Country Dinner Playhouse, Best Products and Samuels Jewelers, where she forged a long and lasting friendship with Nancy Braden. Deene retired in 2001. She is survived by her daughter DeAnna K. Moore (Ken) and granddaughter Amber Joy Moore, all of Midland; son Tracy David Wadsworth (Karen) and grandson Tanner William Wadsworth, all of Suwanee, Georgia, and granddaughter Laine Amanda Collins (Dustin) of Oakwood, Georgia; sisters Rene Waller (Sonny) of Andrews, Lilla Beth "Bee" Allen of Austin, and Edna Gwen Faulk (Marshall) of Rosemark, Tennessee; brothers Don Earl Thomas of Lancaster, Texas and Larry Wayne Thomas of Mabank, Texas; along with numerous nieces and nephews. Visitation with the family will be held Friday, August 28, 2015 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Griffin-Roughton Funeral Home in Corsicana. A graveside service will follow on Saturday, August 29, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at Campbell-Elrod Cemetery, led by Deene's longtime pastor from Urban Park, Wayne Brashears. Pallbearers will be Gavin Allen, Alan Floyd, Larry Don Thomas, Tanner Wadsworth, Seth Waller, and Harvey Waller. The family is thankful for the wonderful caregivers from Home Hospice of Midland, Crossland Care of Odessa and the Reverend Henry Pendergrass. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Pleasant Hills Children's Home, Dallas, Texas or The Wounded Warriors Project. A life well lived. Rest in Peace.
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On August 20, 2015, Vera Wecker passed away peacefully in her Fort Worth, Texas home surrounded by her two daughters and other loved ones. She was 98 years old and in good health and spirit of mind until very near the end. Vera Elizabeth Hansen was born on November 19, 1916 in Ames, Iowa. She was one of six children born to George Hansen and Dorothy Christensen Hansen, Danish immigrants who met in Chicago after moving to America. Vera was proud of her Danish roots and talked fondly of her upbringing. She was raised with a "make do" and "waste not, want not" mentality which she carried with her for the rest of her life. Although she was always frugal, Vera was giving to her family, her church and to the causes she believed in. From the beginning, Vera was curious and showed an aptitude for learning. She skipped 2 full grades in school and eventually entered the 9th grade at the age of 12. After graduating from high school, Vera went to work at the VA hospital in Gulfport, Mississippi. Due to her asthma problems, she was advised to move to a drier climate and eventually settled in Midland, Texas where she began work with Texaco Corporation in the oil business. Soon after, she transferred to Shell Oil, where she remained for 30 years before leaving to work for an independent oil man until she retired. Vera loved Midland, Texas, or the "Tall City" as she called it and was known to say that there wasn't a better place to live. She lived most of her adult life in Midland, before moving to Fort Worth to be near family nine months before her death. Vera was a women of letters and frequently penned notes to the editor at the local Midland paper. She was a passionate observer of politics and was fond of discussing issues of the day. She was tolerant of different viewpoints and didn't believe in trying to change another's mind. She would often say, "A person convinced against their will is of the same opinion still." Mostly, she just wanted others to approach things thoughtfully and have an opinion, no matter what it was. She sent frequent notes to her family, always typed, never hand-written, but signed "Love Vera" at the bottom. These letters were typically short, to the point and included a piece of "her mind." Most of the time, these letters and her messages were welcome and even when they weren't, her words were hard to forget. She was pretty smart, after all. Vera was a pretty lady with a big smile. In her younger years, she had red hair and lots of freckles, two thing that didn't impress her much. No matter, these freckles caught the attention of a dapper young man named Paul Wecker, who always had eyes only for her. They married in 1936 and were together for 67 years until his death in 2004. Vera and Paul were "very" regular members at the First United Methodist Church in Midland. They loved their Sunday school class where they met many of their long-time friends and frequent travel partners. Vera especially loved to show off her children and grandchildren at Sunday school. She didn't mind so much if you missed the Church service, but she liked you to visit Sunday school with her. She would take you by the hand and introduce you to every one of her friends in class. Other things about Vera - She loved to square dance, didn't particularly like to cook but always made the best scrambled eggs and brownies, liked a gin and tonic around the dinner hour, played bridge with her lady friends and enjoyed the Community theater in Midland. Her pet peeves were leaving all the lights on in the house, talking long distance on the phone too long and someone saying, "I am bored," to which she would reply, "Bored people are boring. She had no time or sympathy for people that were bored or couldn't find something entertaining to do. Vera is preceded in death by her husband, Paul Wecker; brothers, Codi Hansen, Jimmy Hansen, Warren Hansen and sister, Bernice Hansen Turner. She is survived by her two daughters and their husbands, Paula and Don Patteson, and Judy and George Blakeman, her five grandchildren, Tracey, Doug, Shelley, Paige and Lindsey, 14 great grandchildren and her sister, Leslie Strickland. A Memorial Service for Vera will be held on Saturday, September 12, 2015 at 2:00pm at the First United Methodist Church in Midland, Texas. Donations can be made in Vera's name to any local Hospice Chapter or to the First United Methodist Church in Midland.
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Lucille Wemple died Friday, Aug. 28th, at a local hospital after a long illness. She was 84. Born in Midland on July 24, 1931, she was the youngest child of Midland pioneers Fred A. and Edith Wemple. Among his many civic achievements, Mr. Wemple served on the State Board of Education and was chairman of the Texas Highway Commission, a forerunner of today's TXDOT. Lucille was the first homecoming queen at Midland High School and graduated from MHS in 1948. She graduated from Hockaday Junior College in Dallas and attended Southern Methodist University, where she was active in Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. She was a secretary at First State Bank and an office manager at the First National Bank until 1974. She was named Secretary of the Year in 1971 and served as president of the local chapter of Professional Secretaries International (formerly the National Secretary Association). She was active in the Midland chapter of the Zeta Tau Alpha alumnae association. Returning to school, she received a bachelor of arts degree in Mass Communication from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin and a master of business administration degree, also from UTPB. For many years, she was an instructor in business classes at Midland College. Following her retirement, she lived for a time in Paris, Texas. She returned to Midland in 2015. She was predeceased by her parents and a brother, Allen Wemple. Survivors include her brother, Fred W. Wemple and wife Georgann of Odessa; two sisters, Edith Wemple Avery of Austin and Evelyn Wemple Allen of Austin; nephews, Allen Wemple Jr. of Midland, Scott Wemple and wife Alana of Spring, and Cliff Avery of Pflugerville; nieces, Diane Wemple Lorusso and husband Gary of Palmer, Alaska, Susan Wemple Courtney and husband Kevin of Midland, Andrea Avery and husband David Shackelford of Pflugerville and Ginger Avery Dixon and husband Jason of Round Rock; and numerous grand-nephews and grandnieces. Graveside services are scheduled at 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 3, at Resthaven Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to Methodist Children's Home of Waco or to a favorite charity. Arrangements are under the direction of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home & Crematory of Midland. Online condolences may be made at www.npwelch.com .
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