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Elizabeth “Betty” Ann Miller

1923 – 2017

“If you stand very still in the turmoil of life and wait for the voice from within-you’ll be led down the quiet ways of wisdom and peace in a mad world of chaos and din.” — Patience StrongElizabeth “Betty” Ann Miller has died at home with her beloved daughters and esteemed caregivers. Her stock was Alsatian and Irish. She was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota to William Patrick Murphy and Melanie Weygand in 1923 and grew up on a Depression-era farm 2 hours north, in Arlington. At 17-years of age, she hitchhiked to California and got a job as “Rosie the Riveter”, building the B-17 for the North American Aviation Company in Los Angeles. On December 1, 1943, she met Marine LCpl Marshall Middleton Miller, from Goldthwaite, Texas who was scheduled to ship out for the Pacific Theater the first of the year. With a burning, spontaneous love, at 20 and 22 years of age, they married on December 25th. No time for a honeymoon, Betty cried as he sailed out of port and did not see him again until he returned from the Battle of Saipan terribly wounded and partially paralyzed. Other women might have left him; this injured Marine, but she did not and so began long years of operations, profound pain, and physical rehabilitation. He never totally recovered from his wounds, but through it all, she remained by his side for 57 years: “I will never leave you my darling, come what may.”

In the 1950’s she moved to College Station with Marshall and their three children. Marshall worked for the Poultry Science Department at Texas A&M and Betty dedicated herself to raising her family and being a loyal friend to many in the A&M community. She could spell any word in the dictionary, loved ice water and fudge, and used to play golf in the heat of summer. She could sing beautifully, was a skilled seamstress and an excellent cook. Her red beans and cornbread were renowned in the neighborhood.

We are her three children and have always been in awe of her and now that she is gone, we weep. She was the morning after the storm, the soft voice, the enduring patience, the heart of laughter, and the eternal love. Her many friends knew that Betty could always be counted upon. At the end, she was as sharp as they come and deep in her eyes there burned a fierce and tender story.

You probably did not know her, yet we share her death with you. Why? Because all of us will lose or have lost a mother, and we are joined together in these moments as we recall the universality of the women who gave us life: our mothers.

In her name, we send hope beyond grief to all of you.

She was predeceased by her parents; siblings Margaret, Eva, Monica, Audrey, William; husband Marshall Miller; sister-in-law Mary Ann and niece Andrea.

Betty Miller is survived by daughters Melanie Fuller (David), Mary Kraus (Bob), and son Duke Miller (Teresa); grandchildren Elizabeth Ennis (Brad), David Fuller (Alison), Marshall Miller, Charley Zipp, Robert Zipp, Kate Henderson (Jeremy), Mercy Kraus (Ryan Simons); great grandchildren Emily and Ethan Ennis, Anna and Claire Fuller, Caleb, Lydia and Caroline Henderson; brother Thomas Murphy, sister Virginia Rasmussen, and brother-in-law Sam Smith and numerous nieces and nephews.

Special thanks to Hospice Brazos Valley for their loving kindness to our mother and family this last month.

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Louise Carter

March 13, 1915 – April 28, 2016

 
Louise Carter was a profoundly stubborn woman. She insisted on living alone and did so successfully until she was almost 101 years old — no worries, she was not so bull headed about driving herself because she really like to walk. Once while traveling with her grandchildren in London they exited at the wrong tube station for their destination by 5 blocks and she insisted – at the age of 83 – on walking those extra blocks – despite her granddaughter’s protests which included “in these shoes? REALLY?”

Stubbornness was not the only secret to her longevity. Desert after each meal (breakfast included) was a necessity — chocolate and 2% milk definitely did her body good. She will be remembered as being a beast at playing 42; loving animals (but never in the house); and cooking (she could ring a chickens neck and have it prepared for dinner in such a way the KFC would be envious).

She was progressive in regards to equality for women in the work force, equal educational opportunities and made sure that her son as well as her grandchildren could become and accomplish anything with a good educational foundation and hard work. We appreciate her dedication to our futures.

She rolled with change – incorporating some things more than others (much to the chagrin of her family – hearing aides and email were not embraced). She liked to travel, especially with her sisters (who also lived into their 90s). Interestingly, her will to travel stopped around the age of 95, at that point she became suspicious that each trip was actually a ploy to move her to one of her grandchildren’s homes. Her family honored her wishes and she wasn’t moved to assisted living until she truly could no longer live alone and per her wishes she never moved in with family as doing so would have impinged on her sense of independence.

Her resume is as follows: She was born into the Manning family – one of three girls (Opal, herself and Gay) She graduated from Sam Houston State University. She met her husband – the fabulously funny Gaston Carter on the day that he decided to have his portrait taken – so lucky for him he was looking spiffy. Although I am sure that she married him because after weighting the pros and cons she felt that it was a rational decision – she was extremely practical to her core. She was a teacher in Midway in a one room school house and then in Madisonville while simultaneously helping Gaston run the ranch and raising her only child Jerry. She loved her family dearly and was very generous to everyone around her. She is preceded in death by absolutely everyone other than her devoted daughter in law Betty Carter ; her 3 grandchildren (Ron Carter, Dr. Kimberly Carter and Jill Spearman) and her 4 great-grandchildren (Colby, Ben, Aiden and Sloane).

Once she transitioned to assisted living she decided that enough was enough, that she had lived a healthy and meaningful life and was now done. She passed peacefully in her sleep (as she wanted) fully embracing the new adventures to come. She was a profoundly loveable woman and we will miss her but we certainly enjoyed our time with her – all 101 years 1 month and 15 days of it.

A graveside funeral service for Louise Carter is set for 2 pm, Sunday, May 1, 2016 at the Allphin Cemetery near Midway, TX in Madison County. There will be no visitation for the public. Walters Funeral Home in Centerville is in charge of all arrangements.

img_9249Surrounded by her family, Shirley Louise Bronson Taylor left this world in peace for her new home in Heaven on April 24, 2016.
 
Shirley was the youngest of four daughters born to Bert and Rose Bronson of Bunker Hill, Kansas.  Her three sisters, Mary Lou, Doris, and Betty, along with Shirley and her parents moved from Kansas to Petal, Mississippi when the Great Depression made farming in Kansas an unreliable way to support the family.  Shirley’s father was a fine horseman, who had worked the fields with draft horses in Kansas, and continued to work with riding horses in Mississippi.  
 
Shirley attended high school in East Forrest, Mississippi, where she played cornet in the band, soloed in the Petal United Methodist Church choir, and was crowned Rodeo Queen on her horse, Punkin.  Her love for both music and horses turned into lifelong passions.  
 
Shirley attended Mississippi Southern College (now know as the University of Southern Mississippi), graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education in 1958.  While there, she caught the eye of a handsome member of the football team, who found his way to the family farm, supposedly to look at a horse.  Shirley’s sister, Mary Lou, expressed suspicions that “it wasn’t a horse this young man was shoppin’ for,” which proved correct when Jim Taylor married Shirley in her home church in Petal, Mississippi in 1958. 
 
On their first anniversary, Shirley presented Jim with their first child, Russ. Ricky followed by surprise just 10 minutes later. Barely a year after that, Tammy arrived to round out their busy family.
 
With a move to San Antonio in 1963, Texas became Shirley’s home for the rest of her life.  The next year, Shirley and Jim moved to Seguin, where they established their beloved Taylor Acres.  In Seguin, Shirley taught girls’ Physical Education, obtained a real estate license, worked at Hexcel Corporation, and greatly enjoying working one day a week at the Seguin stockyards on sale day.  She poured her love for horses into helping her children learn to ride and show.  She was a committed parent in the Guadalupe County 4-H horse club until Ricky and Russ graduated high school, when she began her own amateur showing career.  These experiences created lifelong, cherished friendships in Seguin. 
 
Her boys remain active horsemen in Texas, while Tammy moved to New York City and Los Angeles, developing careers in both theater and culinary arts.  When Jim took up showing cutting horses, she became a big fan of the sport, making many good friends with her fellow “bleacher creatures” at cutting contests. Shirley also found time to be an avid fan of the San Antonio Spurs, who are making her proud in the playoffs this season.
 
After 44 years in the country, Shirley and Jim decided to move to town, and they chose College Station, where Ricky and his wife Martha were living. There they joined the family of Aldersgate United Methodist Church, for whom they are thankful and by whom they are blessed.  They also loved getting to know Martha’s family. When Shirley’s health declined in the final years of her life, she was blessed to receive expert care, and the family is especially grateful for the kindness and love offered by Dee Blackmon and her wonderful staff at the Establishment and Grace House. 
 
Shirley leaves a legacy of love and Christian faith to Jim, her devoted husband of 58 years, and three children, Ricky, Russ and Tammy, along with several grand- and great-grandchildren, two surviving sisters and a host of relatives and friends. If it is possible to enter the Pearly Gates on horseback, we know she rode in singing.