Wednesday, February 20, 2008


The Passing From This Life of Marie Gearner: 1913-2008

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TINNEY TALK, Observations by Joe Dan Boyd

MARIE SHAMBURGER GEARNER PASSED FROM THIS LIFE Tuesday evening, February 19, at Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler. Born in 1913, she would have been 95 on her next birthday, March 19. Marie was educated at Cartwright country school, near Quitman, and was a 1932 graduate of Winnsboro High School (WHS).

MARIE HAD BEEN A FAITHFUL MEMBER OF TINNEY CHAPEL since July, 1939, after her marriage to Elmer Gearner, who joined this church during a historic evening revival service of August 10, 1928, when 28 people were baptized. Forty four others also joined then by vow or certificate of transfer.

AMONG THE OTHERS BAPTIZED THAT EVENING were Ruby Fay Gearner, Elmer’s sister, Dovie Gearner, Elmer’s mother, and two Tinney sisters: Maude and Dolly. Dolly, a WHS classmate of Marie Shamburger, was my own mother, who died in 1936. Soon thereafter, Dolly’s two young sons (Tommy & Joe Dan Boyd) were adopted by Maude, who remained a close friend of Marie Gearner until her own death some 40 years later.

ELMER & MARIE WERE FARMERS OF ABOVE AVERAGE CALIBRE in this community, during a marriage that was blessed with three children: Elmer Wayne, now of DeSoto, Gailya, now of Winnsboro, and a member of Tinney Chapel, and Monty, now of Italy, near Waxahatchie.

MARIE’S HOMEMADE PEANUT CANDY was a favorite snack for the Domino and Forty-Two parties that Elmer and Marie hosted for friends during my youth. On such occasions, their oldest son, Elmer Wayne, my brother Tommy and I, all about the same age, forged friendships of such intensity that, when farm chores allowed, we played cowboy games with holstered cap pistols and speedy stick horses, swam in many of the community stock tanks, did a little fishing and engaged in serious discussions about the meaning of life.

OUR BOYISH BEHAVIOR LIKELY AMUSED GAILYA, Wayne’s younger sister, who, even as a youth, was very close to her mother, from whom she inherited the essential instincts of ladylike language and litany that we have come to respect and love. It was a unique era for all of us, perhaps best remembered for the leadership, mentorship, parental supervision and spiritual vision of Elmer & Marie Gearner.

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