Madeline Maxine Watkins Westbrook

December 24, 1934July 9, 2018

Madeline Maxine Watkins Westbrook

Madeline Maxine Watkins Westbrook, 83, of Houston, Texas, died on Monday, July 9, 2018, at Eagles Trace Retirement Community. Madeline was born December 24, 1934, in Luling, Texas, to Dr. Pruett and Maxine (Henderson) Watkins. A sixth-generation Texan, Madeline was proud of her Texas roots, and the fact that she was a direct descendant of one of the original 300 colonists who arrived in Texas with Stephen F. Austin. She was a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, and was delighted to extend this membership to her granddaughters as well.

Madeline married her high school sweetheart, Dr. Bill R. Westbrook, December 21, 1952, and together they had three sons, William Raymond Westbrook, Steven Patrick Westbrook and Douglas Len Westbrook. Although she encouraged her husband and sons as they obtained advanced degrees, Madeline did not pursue higher education until after the death of their son, Steve. She discovered that Steve had taken novel-writing classes at Rice University, Houston, with Professor Venkatesh Srinivas Kulkarni. Madeline decided to pursue novel writing, and, she too, attended Rice University and became a student of Professor Kulkarni. At age 71 she wrote The Ghostwriter & the Muse, a story of a son’s death-bed promise to build a bridge from eternity in the form of messages sent to his mother and family through music, writings and signs from nature.

Madeline loved books and liked to say, “I was born with a book in my hand and a song in my heart.” She loved reading, collecting books and keeping up with new releases, and especially enjoyed giving her favorite books to friends and family.

She and her husband loved traveling and especially enjoyed cruising with their Unity Church friends, led by the Reverend Howard and Diane Caesar, attending writers’ conferences in both Maui and Whidbey Island, and traveling with their grandchildren and showing them the world.

She and her family also enjoyed projects, and one of their largest was purchasing, in 1972, the 100-year-old Zedler Mill, in Luling, Texas. The five-acre property included a mill house, smoke house, barn, stable and various other buildings. They worked together, with additional friends and family, to host Chili Cook-offs and Arts & Crafts Fairs.

Madeline is survived by her son William Raymond Westbrook and wife Susan Shands Westbrook; daughter-in-law Ginger Westbrook; and daughter-in-law Lisa Timpson Westbrook. Also, grandchildren Jennifer Westbrook Waddell (daughter Avery); Elizabeth Westbrook and husband Devon Treece (daughter Maxine); Christopher Westbrook; Katie Westbrook; Aaron Westbrook; Daniel Westbrook; and Abigail Westbrook. Other survivors are sister the Reverend Linda Margaret Watkins; stepmother Janice Longacre Watkins; niece Jane Westbrook Galler and husband Thomas; nephew Dr. Mark Westbrook and wife Judy (daughter Shannon; son Colin and wife Mallory and daughter Adeline); nephew Dale Westbrook and wife Lori; niece Cheryl Young (sons Dillon and Tyler); and Jim Smith (daughters Trinity and Ashley).

She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Bill R. Westbrook, son Steven Patrick Westbrook and son Douglas Len Westbrook.

Madeline’s family would like to thank her friends for support given especially in the last few years. Your love shared in the form of visits, notes, and gifts of flowers and favorite foods have enriched Madeline’s life. They would also like to thank caregivers at Eagles Trace Retirement Community and Bayou Vista Assisted Living, who skillfully cared for Madeline with compassion and dignity.

A celebration of life service for Madeline will be held Saturday, August 4, 2018, from 11:00am to noon, at Unity Church of Houston, 2929 Unity Drive, Houston, Texas 77057. A reception will follow the service.

Memorials may be made to Unity Church of Houston (, 2929 Unity Drive, Houston Texas 77057; and Urban Harvest (, 2311 Canal Street, Suite 200, Houston, Texas 77003.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Westbrook family.


4 August

Celebration of Life Service

11:00 am

Unity Church of Christianity

2929 Unity Drive
Houston, TX 77057


Madeline Maxine Watkins Westbrook

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LaVenia Bailey

July 16, 2018

I worked with Mrs. Westbrook on and off for four years. This is truly heartbreaking. I pray now god the family far and near, my coworkers who cared for her as well. May God bless us all and may she rest in paradise.

Nancy Habermacher

July 16, 2018

I will remember Madeline as an inspiring, determined, strong women who was kind to many and encouraging to all. She and Bill were a special couple and dear friends. I'm thankful our paths crossed.

Millicent Westerfield

July 13, 2018

Oh I have so many memories of Madeline....and Bill. We went to church together for 25 years and then out to brunch with the Pooles and Steve Price. We went on cruises together and saw sights and smelled wonders. Had marvelous times.
Then at Eagle's Trace together. I really miss you. You were my first real friend at church and my friend at Eagle's Trace.


Aaron Ellisor

July 10, 2018

Just a few photos I had quick access to. I love you Madeline

Lois Avalos

July 9, 2018