March 4, 1941 – May 6, 2019
Wanda Sue Trubenbach was born March 4, 1941 in Whitesboro, Texas in the home of her maternal grandparents Susie and Joe Stephens. She was the eldest of the three children born to Glennis and Harry Trubenbach.
Susie Stephens, or Granny to her grandchildren, developed a strong attachment to this baby girl born in her home. So great was this attachment that Sue lived with her grandparents most of the time until she was 15 years old. The aunts and uncles still living at home when Sue was born considered Sue their youngest sister.
Sue was a very bright child teaching herself to read before she started school and her love of reading never diminished. Sue also learned to sew at a very young age. In the beginning she traced pictures from coloring books onto white muslin from flour sacks and then embroidered the outlines. This was a natural skill to learn from a grandmother and mother who were both skilled seamstresses. Sue’s grandmother also made quilts from the scraps from her sewing projects. Therefore, it was not surprising that Sue also took up quilting. However, Sue didn’t just quilt to use up her scraps, she created works of art. She had a wonderful sense of color and design and her quilts frequently won prizes in quilt shows around the state. She had amazing skills with a needle making perfectly evenly spaced tiny stitches in her quilting projects. Besides quilting, she did crewel embroidery, crochet, and needle point all with outstanding skill. For a while she took up painting. She was especially good at tole painting, but she also did oils on canvas and some water color. It seemed that whatever she put her hand to, she excelled. She cooked and gardened just as her grandmother had taught her. She took great interest in plants, particularly to those plants native to the Texas panhandle where she lived most of her adult life. Visiting the Dallas Arboretum was sure to put her in a good mood.
Sue loved cats. In many of her photos as a preschooler, she is holding a cat. She always owned at least one cat, but usually multiple cats.
At age 15 Sue left her grandparents’ home in Whitesboro, Texas and went to live with her parents in Amarillo. She immediately took over the care of her 10-year-old sister whom she saw as neglected and needing guidance and structure. She took her younger sister to church and made certain that she had regular meals and clean clothes. Often Sue took her sister on her dates so that she would not be left home alone.
Sue fit right into Amarillo High School doing well in her studies and being a high school beauty queen. She was especially popular with a couple of neighbor boys. However, Sue never played coy with the boys. She never acted dumb or pretended to not know how to do things. She was good at volleyball, tennis, swimming, and water skiing and she wouldn’t pretend otherwise. Boys who couldn’t handle being beaten by a girl were not likely to be attracted to Sue. She was courageous and daring, diving from the high diving board as easily as from the side of the pool. When water skiing, she went over ski jumps with a slalom ski. The few times she fell, she got right back up and tried again. With team sports, everyone wanted Sue on their side. She could really spike a volleyball. As a young adult she learned to snow ski, and she took to the sport as avidly and daringly as every other sport she did.
On graduating from Amarillo High School in 1959, Sue attended Amarillo Junior College. After completing her two-year degree there, she followed her high school sweetheart, Loyd Bridges to Texas Tech University. Sue and Loyd left Texas Tech before graduating and married in 1962. After having their two daughters Kim and Cindy, Sue studied at West Texas State University until 1967, when she completed her B.S. degree.
For several years, Sue was a stay-at-home mom, sewing for her girls, getting involved in their schools and teaching 2nd and 4th grade Sunday School at Paramount Baptist Church in Amarillo. She was also a Brownie Troop leader. As a young mother Sue was invited to join the Amarillo chapter of Beta Sigma Phi, a social and cultural sorority that incorporates service as part of its activities. In 1973 she was voted Queen of their Sweetheart Ball. Many of Sue’s lifelong friends were from this organization. These friends often met together for meals. They called their group Eata Bita Pie.
In 1979, Sue got a job as a bookkeeper for Tom Marsh Inc. After a short while she began working as a personal assistant to Tom Marsh’s mother, Estelle Marsh, a prominent philanthropist in Amarillo. She was highly regarded by the Marsh family as she was intelligent and extremely flexible being able to accomplish whatever task she was assigned. Sue also was a travel companion for Mrs. Marsh. She continued in this job until the death of Mrs. Marsh in the fall of 2003.
Sue didn’t have one of those personalities that one would call sweet or affectionate. She was not a hugger and not prone to exaggeration. She always told the truth without embellishments. Some might say she was blunt. Others would say she was straight forward. She had not an ounce of pretense about her and she always said exactly what she meant and meant what she said. One thing she never talked about was her generosity and kindness. She donated to many causes and to every beggar she met. One had to be careful about admiring anything Sue owned because if you said you liked something, she would give it to you. She remembered birthdays and valentines for all her friends and close family. Her friends say she was fun and sassy. She liked shopping, not only for herself, but always with an eye out for gifts.
Sue is preceded in death by her parents, Glennis and Harry Trubenbach and brother, Kirk Trubenbach.
Sue is survived by her daughter Kim Messerschmitt and her husband Kyle, daughter Cindy Bridges, grandson Travis Messerschmitt, granddaughter Amy Messerschmitt, and sister Sandra Michael, all of Dallas, Texas. Her surviving nephews and niece include Steven Michael and his wife Christine and their two sons of Boston, Massachusetts; Charles Michael and his wife Amanda, their two children of Larchmont, New York; Elizabeth Gonzalez and her husband Fernando and their two children of Dallas, Texas.
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Ted Dickey West Funeral Home
8011 Frankford Rd.
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Carolyn Christian Gallmeier
May 18, 2019
To Cindy and Kim and your extended family....I am saddened to learn of Sue’s passing. But I am celebrating that she has broken free from the chains of disease and our sometimes broken world. Your obituary captured Sue’s essence perfectly. I knew her for many years as she lived down the street from my parents. But I knew her best as fellow quilters in our small quilting group. We started out as “the dirty dozen”, but some years later one of our spouses renamed us the rag dolls. She was a faithful member and contributor. Her quilting was head and shoulders above mine. She was quite the inspiration for all of us! We made many road trips, quilt shows and fabric hunting expeditions as a group. I have so many good memories of those years. She was a beautiful, kind and gentle woman. Praying for peace for you all. The Lord be with you.
May 12, 2019
In the last several years our mother suffered with Frontal Temporal Lobe Dementia and the steady decline that accompanies that. In November 2014 Mom and I moved to share a home together in Dallas, so Kim and I could partner together in her care. In February of 2019 her needs moved beyond what we could do to care for her safely in our home, and we moved her to a residential care home very near to Kim and her family, Sandy (Mom's sister), and me. She received loving care by the staff and daily visits from family. We take comfort knowing she was always happy to see us and could verbally tell us that she loved us up until the very last day we were with her. We know she was ready to leave the trap of dementia and the earthly struggle. On Monday morning, May 5, 2019, she passed peacefully and quickly after a brief struggle with aspiration pneumonia. Thank you all for your support and expressions of kindness. We are more than proud to be her daughters and move ahead with her life of love to us.
Thank you for your support and kindness. It has comforted us and eased our grief.
-Cindy Bridges & Kim Messerschmitt
May 10, 2019
Dear kim and Cindy and the family at large.
I am so honoured to have been part of a journey of a very sweet lady,one who had a sence of humor,I am so glad I crossed paths with her and appreciate the time spent with her.
I remember her fake smiling and just show casing her teeth and it just made my day and every other person who got to work with her.
To me it was not just work but a connection with a person that needed love and affection..I hope I gave that in the best way possible.
You were amazing sweet lady will miss you here at Graystone.
Will never forget your your smile,your thank you everytime I did anything for you...you wont be forgotten..rest well Sue Wonder.
May your beautiful soul rest in eternal peace with a heart that is heavy yet full of love Annie.
May 10, 2019
Dear Kim , Cindy & Sandy
I am thinking of you and want you to know I treasured your Mom’s friendship.
I will miss her.