Cover photo for Martha Ann Powell Yows's Obituary
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Martha Ann Powell Yows

March 29, 1922 — November 27, 2021

Martha Ann Powell Yows

Martha Ann Powell Yows, 99, passed away peacefully in her sleep November 27, 2021. A Celebration of Life will be held 4:00 pm. Saturday, December 4, 2021, at Ranchers' Steakhouse, Gatesville, Texas, and guests are invited to stay after the Celebration for a Mexican food meal. There will be a visitation from 3:00 to 4:00 at Ranchers. Martha Ann was born March 29, 1922, on the Powell family farm to Samuel Jones Powell and Agnes Duncan McCrocklin Powell. The first sixteen years of her life were spent living and working on the farm with her younger brother, Sam, and cousin Gene Rennert. This was during the Great Depression. They were years of “make-do” and “do-without.” Lessons of “waste-not, want-not” were carried through the rest of her life. At age 17, she graduated from Gatesville High School as a Charter member of the Class of 1939, and until her death served as class historian, letter writer, and reunion planner. With money she borrowed personally from Lady Faunt LeRoy, she started college in 1939 at Texas State College for Women (now Texas Woman's University, TWU). On December 24, 1942, she married James Thomas Yows who was a high school classmate. James was in ROTC at Texas A & M University and went into the Army in January, 1943. While he was in Europe during World War II, Martha lived with her parents. Their first child, James Thomas Yows, Jr., was 15 months old when James came home from the war. They later welcomed the birth of two daughters, Sue Ann and Sara Jane. Martha and James purchased his great-grandfather's home which was built in 1883 on the Yows Ranch north of Gatesville. Over the years they renovated and remodeled the home, and it was the only home in which the family lived. After the children started school, Martha Ann finished her B.S. Degree in Home Economics at TWU. She taught home economics at Flat High School 1955-56. She earned a M.S. Degree from Baylor University 1956-57, and from 1957 to 1977, taught sixth grade science at Gatesville Junior High School. James worked as Superintendent of MATES at North Fort Hood. For recreation during their working years, the family enjoyed fishing and water skiing on Lake Buchanan where they owned a water front cottage at Paradise Point. James and Martha both retired in 1977 and spent several years restoring fences and improving pastures on the ranch. In 1983, they leased the ranch and bought their first fifth-wheel travel trailer. Over a period of eleven years (and several more trailers) they toured every state in the contiguous United States, nine Provinces of Canada and nine states in Mexico. They took three conducted tours through England and 11 countries in Europe. In 1988, they started spending every winter at Fun N Sun RV Resort in San Benito, Texas. They took country, polka, and ballroom dance lessons, and became very accomplished dancers. They traveled several times to mid-west states for polka festivals. In 2003, they took a trip to Hawaii, celebrating their 60th anniversary. Soon after that trip, James passed away. Martha continued spending the winters at Fun N Sun where she joined the Writer's Workshop and the Texas Valley By-liners. That is when she started writing stories about “bits and pieces” of her life which started in horse and buggy days and ended in the space age. Her family cherishes a collection of about 600 stories she wrote. Martha Ann's roots in Texas go deep. She is a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT) through her great-great-grandfather, John Prince Coles, who was head of one of the 300 families that came to Texas with Stephen F. Austin's first Anglo Colony. Two other great-great grandfathers Stephen Williamson and Jesse McCrocklin, came to Texas when it was a Republic. Martha Ann enjoyed giving programs about Texas to many different organizations. Martha Ann served her community. For many years she visited weekly with friends and acquaintances confined to nursing homes. She took them her stories to read, listened to them tell their stories, and loved them. She was a member of Coryell Retired School Personnel, Gamma Alpha Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma (women teachers society), Coryell Hospital Auxiliary, and American Red Cross (was blood drive coordinator many years, taught Red Cross swimming lessons). In 1984, she received the Norris Graves GHS Outstanding Student award. She was named Lady of the Year by Beta Sigma Phi 1985-86. She was a Methodist. She was a Democrat. She contributed her time and financial support to worthy causes. Martha Ann was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, infant brother Charles, brother Sam J. Powell, Jr., grandson Stephen Maxwell, step-great granddaughter Karlie Odum, sisters-in-law Roberta Powell and June Yows Sanders, and brother-in-law John Ben Yows. She is survived by her children, James T. “Tom” Yows, Jr. (Joani), Sue Ann Vernon (Glenn), Sara Jane Maxwell (Ronald); grandchildren, James Justin Yows (Mary), Jocelyn Yows (Heath Grimes), Jennifer Kirby (Justin), April Farney (Jamie Ament), Sam Hix (Tera), Michael Maxwell (Emily); great-grandchildren, Jazz Mason, Lexi Reid (Conrad), Alyssa Angelo, Evelyn and Wade Kirby, Randi Farney (Zak Koehler), Riley Register (Reese), Lucas Farney, Riot and Ruckus Hix, Sophie and Sam Maxwell; stepgrandchildren Bryon Cunningham (Lara), Cristy Cunningham, Sharon Vickerson (Rich), step great-grandchildren, Gilbert, Adrian, and Tony Arriaga, Sabrina Delorosa (Dan), Latisha Arriaga (Britney Martinez), Grant Cunningham (Melanie), Reid Cunningham, Lilli Snyder (Andrew), Patrick Cunningham, Rachel Brosig (Blake), Spencer Odum (Deserae), Nick Vickerson (Hannah), Jake Vickerson (Kelby); step great-great grandchildren, Gibby, Gabby, Tony,Jr., Adahalia, Arial, Martin, Serenity, Dimitri, Luciano, and Nicholai Arriaga, Jasmine Kultgen, Wade Martinez, Hanna and Gavin Snyder, Blair, Dallas and Walker Brosig, Olivia Cunningham, Aubree and Hudson Odum and Shepp Vickerson. Also left to cherish her memory are nephews Bobby Jake Sanders, John Kevin Yows (Marie); niece, Kristina Yows (John Shields) and cousin Gene Rennert. Per their wishes, James' and Martha's ashes will be “joined together” and buried in the Yows plot at the Masonic Cemetery, Gatesville, during a private family gathering. A special “thank you” goes to ALL the staff at Coryell Health Independent and Assisted Living at The Oaks for the love and care they have given Martha Ann, and to Bluebonnet Hospice for their care and compassion. Memorials may be made to a charity or organization of your choice, or to the Agnes Powell Gamma Alpha Recruitment Grant (a grant Martha Ann established for aspiring teachers in honor of her mother) c/o Tammy Browning, 304 Sioux Dr., Gatesville, TX. 76528.
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