OBITUARY

Lola May Gulley

March 3, 1922May 6, 2019
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Lola May McMinn Gulley of Richland Hills, TX, went to be with our Heavenly Father on Monday, May 6, 2019, after 97 years of living life as a role model and Christian witness to everyone she met. She is preceded in death by her parents, Lemuel Dale and Lola Emaline Thomas McMinn and the love of her life, Bennye Wayne Gulley, who passed away 18 months ago just a few short months of their 75th wedding anniversary. Lola is survived by her brother, Thomas McMinn and his wife Doris, daughter Martha Farr, and her husband, Greg, daughter Jayne Knighton, and her husband, Neal, three grandsons and their spouses, five great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews whom she loved and adored.

Growing up in the Texas panhandle just outside of Wellington as the next-to-youngest of eight siblings (seven of whom were girls), Lola recalled fond memories of her childhood. She often said, “We were poor, but we didn’t know we were poor, because we were rich in love.” During those early years, Lola mastered all things domestic – skills she learned from her mother and namesake, Lola McMinn. And master those skills she did! She was a homemaker in every sense of the word. Her greatest joys were taking care of her family, cooking, sewing, crocheting, volunteering, serving, and hosting showers for numerous brides and mothers-to-be. Lola was the consummate home-maker. She never worked outside her home, but her work within her home to provide the most loving, nurturing environment was her job – and her joy in life.

Lola loved and adored her grandsons. After raising (and dressing) only daughters, she easily transitioned to shopping and sewing for boys. She often said that her children and grandchildren were her pride and joy.

Lola was also a mover and shaker, long before the term was popular or even known. She volunteered at the girls’ schools, serving as room mother and PTA president many years. But her work in the church is what is most remembered. She was a Sunday School teacher and director, an active WMU member, and a volunteer extraordinaire. Her faith guided her every decision. Through the years, Lola was known for her pithy sayings – all of which spoke truth from God’s word. “Sin is everywhere.” “Give it to the Lord.” “Take one day at a time.” This is the legacy we take from Lola. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that contributions be made to children served through Buckner Children and Family Services.

Buckner Children and Family Services 700 North Pearl Street Suite 1200 Dallas, Texas 75201 Office: 214-758-8000 www.Buckner.org

Services

  • Visitation Thursday, May 9, 2019
  • Funeral Service Friday, May 10, 2019
  • Committal Service Friday, May 10, 2019

Memories

Lola May Gulley

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Suzanne Mulvaney

May 11, 2019

I have so many happy memories of my Aunt May!
One of my favorites is how she helped me graduate from college. Let me explain...It was the very, very hot summer of 1970. Paul and I were packing for our move to Hawaii. I was just pregnant with Jeremy, and I didn't feel well.
But I had to finish my final senior project, which was tailoring a complicated wool coat. I was struggling. Aunt May took mercy on me, and "helped" me finish my project. I don't know where I would be now, without her help. She was there for me when I needed her.

Another memory was how she was always happy to see me, which made me feel special and loved. Even when she was at Brookdale, I still got a big smile when I came into her room.

I will miss Aunt May, but I thank God that she was in my life for 71 years!

Paula Jane Smith

May 11, 2019

Please join me as we begin today’s service with prayer.

Gracious Heavenly Father,
We come to you this afternoon as a family with grateful hearts for the sweet Christian life of love and service of Lola May McMinn Gulley which was lived out before us not just on Sunday but every day of every week of the lifetime we spent with her. We know her as Mom, Dee, Aunt May, and Lola. But you know her as “Daughter”. Thank you that she is now at home with you, the place toward which she has had her eyes set since childhood.

Thank you for the memories all of us here today share:
of the hundreds of happy hours spent in her home;
of the delicious smells coming from her kitchen;
of the sound of her sewing machine going at almost supersonic speed;
of the beautiful things she made with her hands;
of the sight of her Bible always open as she prepared next Sunday’s lesson;
of the fact that she never once, not once, waivered in matters of faith;
that she stood as a firm witness to everyone of your Lordship over her life;
and finally, that she loved us all so much.
Thank you for these memories which will continue to bless our lives always.

Please keep your arms around Martha and Jayne and their families as they move through the remainder of today and during the days and weeks ahead as the sweet memories of their lives spent with Aunt May and Uncle Wayne come flooding back into their minds. Please keep the lessons we learned from Aunt May’s life alive in our hearts as we all seek to serve you.

We ask these things in the name of your dearly loved Son, Jesus.
Amen

Steve Farr

May 10, 2019

As much as I respected and admired your father, I knew the real power in their loving relationship and the family was founded in your mother’s quiet strength. Their relationship always reminded me of a famous Russian saying that the husband might be the head of the family but the wife was the neck which only allowed the head to look in the correct direction.
 
I will always fondly remember how your mother called your father “Wayyyyyne”, introduced me to fried bass, taught me the value of wearing boots rather than walking barefoot (even in the cold streams of Red River), the value of red finger nail polish on chigger bites, and always warmly welcoming me into her home and family.
 
As sad as I am to know Mrs. Gulley is no longer here, I can’t help but smile knowing she is now enjoying a game of 42 with your father. I can only hope they are saving me a chair to one day join them.
 
Steve
 

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Biography

Memories of Lola May

Birth: March 3, 1922 in of Wellington, TX just outside of Childress, just outside of Amarillo
Death: May 7, 2019 in Richland Hills, TX where she had resided for the past 68 years
Name: She went by both Lola and Lola May; Dee to her grandkids; Aunt May to her nieces and nephews
Descendants:
Children – Martha Gulley Farr and husband Greg; Jayne Gulley Knighton and husband Neal;
Grandchildren – Drew Farr and wife Erin; Britt Knighton and wife Christina; Kyle Knighton and wife Emily;
Great Grandchildren – Ethan Farr (age 11); Sydney Farr (age 6); Reid Knighton (age 7); Brooks Knighton (age 4); Eli Knighton (age 2)
Favorite Colors: Red and pink; she wore those two colors almost exclusively
Favorite Hobbies: Cooking, sewing, and crocheting
Favorite Place: The cabin in Red River, New Mexico
Interesting Facts: Charter Member of Richland Hills Baptist Church; Never lived anywhere but Texas; was known for her pithy sayings like “Sin is everywhere.” “Give it to the Lord.” “One day at a time, Sweet Jesus.”

From Daughter Martha: When I was growing up, our family of four (Wayne, Lola, Martha, and Jayne) went camping – first in a tent, then in a trailer. But our Dad was outnumbered. The three women of the family thought we needed something more substantial than a trailer and outhouse. So despite his love for camping, Dad built us a cabin in Red River, New Mexico. Mom saw her “job” at the cabin the same way she saw her job in Ft. Worth – as the one to hold the house together. She embraced her responsibility to be the ultimate host. Just like back home in Texas, she cooked; she sewed; she crocheted; she threw parties, and she made Red River our home away from home.
Mom loved the colors pink and red. She dressed in these two colors almost exclusively. Only Lola could figure out how to decorate an entire house in pink – pink carpet, pink sofa, pink drapes, pink dishes, pink glasses, pink towels, pink everything! She even made me wear pink! Jayne who had blue eyes was allowed (and encouraged) to wear blue, but not me! As a child Mom dressed me in pink…and on a rare, special occasion, red!

From Daughter Jayne: What I remember most about my mother is that she was always there. And by always, I mean ALWAYS. Since she never worked outside her home, she was available for Martha and me at any given time. She would drop whatever she was doing to attend to my needs. Sometimes that meant putting her life on hold to sew a new “outfit” for me, often in a day’s time. My mother could sew anything. She was known for making a quick trip to Monnigs or Striplings, sketch a dress that I wanted, and rush home to replicate it. Martha and I were the best dressed kids in school. We never had store-bought clothes until we were in high school, and even then, only rarely. And it wasn’t just that she sewed for us. She made clothes for our cousins too. We were a cute, well-frocked group…all because of Lola!
I also remember that Mom was a great listener. Unlike our Dad, Mom wasn’t one to tell us what to do. She listened to our laments and then empowered us to make our own decisions. If advice was given, it was always in the form of a scripture verse – not her personal opinion. Mom had hundreds of scriptures memorized. Her Bible was marked up with her left-handed scrawl. She loved the fact that both of my boys were left handed just like their Dee.

From Both Martha and Jayne: Our mother always had a home-cooked meal ready every evening at 5:00 PM sharp. When our father died 18 months ago, Mother still thought that she and Dad should be sitting down at dinner together every evening at 5:00. Unfortunately, Mother’s dementia kept her from remembering that Dad had passed. So each evening for the past 18 months, the staff at Brookdale had to leave a vacant chair for Wayne next to Lola. If someone tried to sit in the vacant chair, Mom quickly reminded the unwanted guest that the vacant spot was reserved for her husband, Wayne. When mother passed Monday evening at 5:01 PM, my sister and I looked at each other, smiled through our tears and said, “Just in time for dinner with Dad!” You see from 5:00-5:01 they would have been praying before actually beginning the meal at 5:01!
Our mother made the most amazing pies. Her “best” pie was arguable; it varied from person to person. For Dad, it was always pecan. As Mother aged, she began to change the recipe. Perhaps it was her dementia; perhaps it was her never-ending need to experiment with new recipes, but toward the end of her cooking career, Martha was able to capture the original recipe in order to carry on the pecan-pie making tradition. For Jayne, pie-making was left to Lola and Martha. But that doesn’t mean Jayne didn’t enjoy a great “Lola Pie.” Each year on Jayne’s birthday (usually while in Red River since Jayne’s birthday was in early August), Lola made two coconut meringue pies - one to share with everyone attending the birthday celebration, and one just for Jayne! Lola’s love came through her pies!

From Son-in-Law Greg:
Lola never needed a computer.

Although Mrs. Gulley handled all the correspondence, business, and finances in their family, she never touched a computer. Not once. She didn't need to. She had three things she used to manage all the "data" in her life with a level of efficiency that no high tech device will ever match.
First was her fantastic mind. I swear, from memory she could tell you every name, birthdate, and anniversary of every Gulley and McMinn who ever lived. If anyone had a date wrong, Lola would immediately correct them. "No, they weren't married on June 3rd, it was Monday, June 5th." She was always correct.
If someone needed any other information, she always had her second tool: an old beat up address book. It was always in reach at the table in the den. Full of loose pages and small notes on slips of paper, it was an encyclopedia of every address and phone number or important notation about every person the Gulleys had ever known. Flipping through the pages was like traveling through time. If someone had moved, their old address was simply crossed through and the new address written under it. Want to know how many different phone numbers Martha and I have had since we were married in1973? Want to see where a cousin lived in 1986? It was in that book.
Lola's third tool was an amazing - I swear magical - drawer of files in the den. She filed EVERYTHING. The drawer was something you would expect to see in a Harry Potter movie. She filed everything. I watched her file thousands of items over the years, but never remove anything. All the family business and finances went in - nothing ever came out to be trashed. If anyone had a question that wasn't filed in her mind or in her address book, it was in that drawer. If Wayne found a small defect in a shirt, Lola would go to the drawer and produce a receipt and declare, "I'll take it back to the store, I bought it at Striplings, March 5, 1979, for $12.03."
No. Lola never needed a computer.

From Son-in-Law Neal: Reflecting on Lola’s life brings joy as well as numerous chuckles. The biggest of these chuckles comes from a quote I will borrow from my father-in-law, Wayne. And I quote, “I love any kind of cake as long as it’s spelled P-I-E.“ While it was Wayne’s saying and he considered any dessert that Lola fixed as delicious, his favorite was one of Lola’s pies. The best news I had as a son-in-law was discovering that Wayne was willing to share those pies with me. She was a master with the crust, too, and could concoct every kind of pie filling imaginable. She made the best pies ever. My absolute favorite was a wild raspberry pie made with wild berries gathered along a mountain trail in Red River. Jayne and I brought back the wild raspberries and watched as Lola washed them, stewed them, and prepared the most scrumptious pie filling for one of her beautiful crusts. Her golden crust and that savory, sweet raspberry filling brought smiles to every person at the table. I truly believe that God invented ice cream to go along with a Lola pie!

From Grandson Drew: “Why did you name her Dee?” my mom asked. I wish I had a great story behind it. As the firstborn grandchild naming honors fell to me, and after almost 40 years the honest truth is that I don’t remember how she became Dee. Maybe it was the way she always said “Hidey” (pronounced like howdy with a long i). Maybe it’s because my first name starts with a D and being the ever accommodating woman that she was she just went with what I was saying and it stuck (unlike my Papa who plotted and schemed to get me to say his name on a day my parents were feeling adventurous enough to let him watch me). I don’t know why, but I do know that now that she’s gone the color red will never look quite so bright. Mashed potatoes will never taste as good (no matter how hard my loving wife tries), and my personal alphabet will only have 25 letters forever more.




From Grandson Britt: A lot of people describe their Grandmother as “sweet and gentle.” It’s the MO for most granny characters everywhere. But most of the time, sweet and gentle is an amalgam of moving slower, speaking softer, and living enough life that they aren’t worked up over every little issue. With my grandmother, it was that...but it was a lot more. I know that Dee was sweet and gentle because that’s how she has always been. Being rooted and grounded in love, walking with Jesus, and prioritizing family molded my grandmother into a person that spoke softly, didn’t get worked up, and loved and served others. The proof of that love is in the legacy she and my grandfather leave behind. A generation of daughters, sons in law, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who follow (or try to follow) in their footsteps. Sowing and reaping is a biblical principle that often accompanies consequences, but in Dee’s life, it is truly describing a harvest of a life well lived and one that the family is proud to remember.

From Grandson Kyle: Growing up, we went to Papa and Dee’s house pretty often on Sunday afternoons after church. After we would eat a big lunch of brisket, mashed potatoes, and Dee’s deliciously weird Fruit-jello things, we would eventually end up in the living room with the Cowboys game on TV in the background. Mainly, we would talk in the living room, but the guys, especially Papa, wanted to have a game on, of course. I remember how Dee always sat in her chair - the only chair that didn’t have a view of the TV. All of our chairs faced the TV, but Dee faced us. It’s not that Dee never watched TV, it’s just that when we were over, she would rather watch us... so she would sit and crochet and smile and chat with us as though there was nothing more important in all the world than us; And for Dee, that was true.


From Great Granddaughter Sydney (kindergarten): [Context: Sydney’s dog, Jagger, died last week.] Dee and Papa can now be together and married again! Maybe they will have another wedding in heaven together, and they can adopt Jagger. (NOTE: This gives new meaning to Jesus’s words about coming to Him in child-like faith!!!!)

From Niece Paula: Aunt May was nineteen when I was born. She turned twenty shortly thereafter. I have pictures of people holding me in the most gorgeous white satin quilted blanket edged in lace that Aunt May made. I only realized recently how incredible it was that someone as young as she was able to do such intricate work. From then on, I can almost number the periods of my life by the things she made for me. Every one of the cousins can do the same.