Ella Ruth Williams of Farwell, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend passed away peacefully to be with her Lord at the age of 102, on January 25, 2020 in Lubbock. Ella was born in Custer City, Oklahoma on May 5, 1917, one of five children of Bennette Dumbauld and Freda (Clinton) Dumbauld. She grew up in Clinton, Oklahoma during the trying times of the “Great Depression” and the “Dust Bowl” which tempered her views on life and how one should live, views that she passed down to her family by example.
Ella graduated from Clinton High School in 1934, where she excelled at tennis, and her love of music led to her participation in the Girl’s Glee Club and Girl’s Octet. She was named “Most Popular Girl” in her senior year. After high school Ella attended Southwestern Oklahoma Teacher’s College in Weatherford, Oklahoma, where, just short of a degree, she fell in love and married Edwin Vernon (Jack) Williams in Clinton on Christmas Eve, 1937.
Ella and Jack eventually moved to the Farwell area where Jack was a teacher, coach, and administrator in the Farwell school system for many years. Ella Ruth was a homemaker in the traditional sense of the word, raising three young, rambunctious boys, with a dog and a Shetland pony, while living on a farm at West Camp, with no car or telephone at her disposal, and being somewhat isolated from society. The nearest neighbor was a mile away. Living conditions improved when they moved into Farwell and she finally obtained a driver’s license. Ella Ruth and Jack were blessed with their fourth child (finally a daughter) when the boys were older and had been somewhat domesticated. As a homemaker, she was very supportive of her husband in his endeavors and was very proud of the accomplishments of her children and those ongoing of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Ella was a long-time member of the Hamlin Memorial Methodist Church in Farwell, where she and Jack had many close friends. Her love of music led her to sing in the church choir. As a self-taught musician, she spent many hours at home at her piano. Ella loved games and played card games with the children as they grew up. She also loved playing bridge with her friends in Farwell, and was reputed to be an excellent player. She especially loved word games and was the undisputed family champion at Boggle and Scrabble. Though Ella was a humble and compassionate person with a wry sense of humor, challenging her at either game usually resulted in disappointment for the challengers. Her love of word games extended to doing crossword puzzles, a pastime that she pursued to the end of her life. A very literate person, even in her later years Ella could recite the counties in Oklahoma (in alphabetical order) and long stanzas of poems she had memorized in school.
Ella loved to sew for the family, especially her daughter, and sewed many dresses and other garments for her, including gowns for school events, always keeping the current fashion trends in mind. A naturally-talented artist from an early age, Ella’s artistic ability was put to good use in later years as she became an accomplished amateur portrait and still life oil painter, her paintings are now proudly displayed in the homes of her family. Ella and Jack always had gardens in the back yard, growing both a multitude of flowers and plentiful fruits and vegetables. Though the quantity diminished as she grew older, there were always beautiful flowers that she tended in her back yard until age 100, which incidentally was the age at which she gave up driving. Ella and Jack had many pet dogs and cats over the years, the latest, a kitty named Dottie, still resides at Ella’s home and is cared for by compassionate neighbors. During the last two years of her life, while living in Lubbock with her daughter, Ella would frequently call the neighbors to hear how Dottie was doing. Over her long lifetime, Ella’s family and friends especially enjoyed her quick, dry wit. She was known to end her phone conversations with the phrase “see you in the funny papers.”
Ella lived a full and purposeful, happy life and leaves behind a legacy of love, faith, wisdom and wit to her grateful family. She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, and her siblings. Her survivors include four children, Bert B. Williams (Cypress,TX), Richard D. Williams (Houston, TX), Thomas N. Williams (Ft. Smith, AR), and Sharon L. Armendariz (Lubbock, TX), ten grandchildren, and twenty-two great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Navajo Ministries in Farmington, NM or the Methodist Children’s Home in Waco,TX.
A service will be conducted at Hamlin Memorial Methodist Church in Farwell at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, February 7, 2020. Burial will follow immediately in Sunset Terrace Cemetery in Farwell.
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