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Ethel Mae Boatright Stukes

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Ethel Mae Boatright Stukes Ethel Mae Boatright Stukes, age 93 and beloved by all that knew her, died peacefully in Austin July 19, 2010. Born April 30, 1917, in Georgetown, Texas, she was the eldest child of Etta Mae Teague Boatright and Alexander Evans Boatright. Her father's ancestors were from Wales, and her mother's ancestors arrived in Galveston from Germany. Her husband Thurston Vance Stukes pre-deceased her in 1979 after 44 years of marriage. Ethel's greatest joy was her family, and she centered her life around them. She loved little white fluffy dogs, gem stones, writing poetry about family, coin collecting, home cooking, and talking about family and old times. She never missed sending a birthday card to loved ones, and she was an overly generous gift-giver. Her fond memories included her trips from Georgetown to Austin by wagon when only prairie grass lined the road. Climbing the circular stairway to the tiptop of the Capitol dome was a huge adventure as a teenager. She remembered the relief when autos became commonplace because it solved much of the "pollution problem" caused by the horses in the neighborhood on San Gabriel Street. She kept the Congress Avenue street pictures of her in a fur coat and the men in snappy hats. Always patriotic, she often reminisced about her life during World War II when she and Thurston with their young daughter LaVada traveled several years in a Vagabond trailer, as Thurston built war plants for the "good of the country." Although she was growing up during the Great Depression, she never despaired about the situation and considered herself fortunate to have such a good family. "Granny" loved carpooling her adored grandchildren Cynthia, Brad, and Holly and their friends all over west Austin in her orange station wagon. Today, grown-up native Austinites with families of their own still ask about her and share endearing memories. She worked for years at the Austin State Hospital. Appearing shy at times, she would surprise others by prowling lower Manhattan, off-roading through the red rocks of Sedona, visiting the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, strolling in San Diego, having watercress sandwiches at High Tea at the Plaza in NY, or throwing snow balls in the Colorado Mountains. Being presented to Queen Elizabeth II by Governor Ann Richards at the Texas Governor's Mansion in 1991 was a highlight she never expected to experience. She is survived and will be missed by her loving family: daughter LaVada Jackson Steed and husband Jim Steed; granddaughters Cynthia Diane Jackson and Holly Lynn Jackson; grandson Bradley Don Jackson and wife Dana with great-granddaughters Nicole Betty Jackson and Robin LaVada Jackson; Jim's father Corry Steed; and Jim's son Jason Steed with children Kelsey, Tyler and Katherine; and RaNee Harbison Steed; and Jim's son Bryan Steed with wife Gena and children Madison, Molly, and Jake. Ethel's youngest sister Janell Boatright Reece and family in Bastrop also survive her, as well as numerous nephews and nieces. Predeceased siblings are Altha Bertling, Edith Hopkins, Oliva Teague, Ada Ward, David Boatright, and Robert Evans Boatright. Pallbearers are Bradley Jackson, Jim Steed, Don J. Jackson, Jason Steed, Bryan Steed, Mark Reece, Darrel Reece, and Walter Sneed. Services will be at Weed-Corley- Fish on North Lamar in Austin at 1:00 p.m. Friday, July 23. Family burial services will be held earlier at Oak Grove Cemetery, a family cemetery where many of Ethel's ancestors are interred. Pastor Tom Goodman of Hillcrest Baptist will officiate. You may go to www.wcfish.com to sign a guest book and leave messages.

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Published in Austin American-Statesman on July 21, 2010
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