Winifred Yates Waller was born Sept. 24, 1930, in Wilson, Oklahoma to Henry Elbert Yates and Cozette Hembree Yates. She peacefully passed from this life on Nov. 02, 2023, at the age of 93.
Her family moved back to Texas, first to Abilene, then to Breckenridge where she grew up with her younger brother John.
She married Clarence Waller in 1951. Together they had three children, Melissa Lynn Waller Hahn, Stephen Clarence Waller, and James Henry Waller. The family lived in Albany, where Winifred continued living until her death.
Winifred may have been a rancher’s wife, mother, and grandmother, but she was also born to be an educator. She was not just a teacher, but a mentor and an advocate for all her students and was a passionate motivator to all she met. She had high expectations for all and would gently (and maybe sometimes not so gently) persuade each one to achieve high goals through hard work. Many a young student who thought her teaching was too difficult would come back years later to thank her for pushing them to learn and study, as those skills enabled them to achieve a college degree or success in their endeavors.
She was also an insightful resource manager, sharing and implementing responsibilities and decisions in cattle, cultivated crop and petroleum production alongside her five-generation Shackelford County family.
Her accomplishments and recognitions include:
Hardin Simmons University BA 1968, Hardin Simmons University MA 1976, Albany ISD Teacher, UIL Competitive Events sponsor, Texas Junior Historians and Old Timer Magazine, Delta Kappa Gamma Association, TSTA, Joint Council of Teachers of English Advisory Committee, Texas Sesquicentennial Oral History Workshops, 1982 Albany Chamber of Commerce Special Award for recording and preserving History and Heritage of Shackelford County, 1983 Albany’s First Lady of the Year Award, Vice President of Shackelford County Historical Commission, Albany Chamber of Commerce, Fort Griffin Fandangle, First Baptist Church of Albany, Published in the Old Timer (leading the Albany Junior Historians) and Texas History in May 1982.
She may have been known to her friends as Winifred, Winkie, or Winnie, but for almost 40 years she’s been known to her family as “Grandmommy”. She cherished her family and most loved being Grandmommy. It meant something special in its own way to each that had the pleasure of calling her by that name. With all her accomplishments, her family was her greatest treasure. Daily until the end she kept up with all her family through phone calls, texts, Facetime and Facebook.
Preceding Winifred are her parents Henry Elbert and Cozette Yates, her husband Clarence Waller, and her brother John Yates.
Surviving her are her three children Melissa Waller Hahn of Austin, Steve Waller (Susan) of Albany, and Jim Waller (Suzanne) of Houston. Eight Grandchildren Andy Waller (Ashley), David Waller (Courtney), Emily Hahn, Henry Waller (Taylor), Katie Waller Mumford (Mason), Jack Waller (Rachel), Virginia Waller, and Caroline Waller. Seven Great Grandchildren and another on the way. She is also survived by her brother-in-Law, Weldon Waller (Linda), numerous nephews and nieces and very special friends Jovita Rosales and Eva Alvarez (and of course we can’t forget A Cat).
Pallbearers were Andrew Waller, David Waller, Henry Waller, Jack Waller, Mason Mumford and Tony Wheeler.
She loved all and all loved her. Her memory will last forever.
Funeral services were held Monday, Nov. 6 at First Baptist Church of Albany with Pastor Stan Allcorn officiating. Interment followed in the Albany Cemetery under the direction of Morehart Mortuary.
Memorials in her name are suggested to First Baptist Church Albany, Fort Griffin Fandangle, or a charity of choice. PD