Patricia “Pat” Dwayne Williams passed away on March 29, 2023. A graveside service will be held at Memory Gardens, just south of Amarillo, Texas, at 11 a.m. Monday, April 3, 2023.
Pat Williams was born March 6, 1928, in her family home near grandparents and loved ones and, after 95 years of love and happiness, moved on to her heavenly, eternal home on March 29, 2023.
Patricia Dwayne Hallford was born in Newburg (Comanche County), Texas, on March 6, 1928. Pat was the third of four daughters and was born to Arla E. and Willie (Couch) Hallford. She was a fifth-generation Texan with roots in the Republic of Texas through her Hallford and Cunningham families. Her father was a schoolteacher and superintendent and his career took the family to Grosvenor, Jermyn, and Jacksboro, Texas. A change of career took them to Pat’s “hometown” of Quanah, where she graduated from QHS in 1945.
After a year at John Tarleton Agricultural College (now Tarleton State University), she worked in Quanah for Southwestern Bell as a telephone operator and then a clerk. Her father’s job took her parents to Amarillo by 1950. Pat moved with them and continued her job with the phone company.
In 1951, Pat met Durward Williams in Sunday School at First Baptist Church. Durward was a young airman from Big Spring, Texas, stationed at Amarillo Air Force Base. They married March 1, 1952, in the pastor’s office. They had three children, including a son who died as a baby.
The family moved from Amarillo to a farm south of town near Rockwell Road in 1964. Durward’s job with Colorado Interstate Gas took them to Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1969 for three years, but they returned to the Canyon farm, where Pat and Durward remained until 1994. In retirement, they moved to Krugerville, Texas, to be closer to their daughters living in Carrollton.
Durward died in 2006 and Pat moved to homes in Irving and Carrollton, nearer her daughters, for her final years. Having never lived alone in her life, she thrived on reading, working Sudoku and puzzles, and eating cereal and soup.
She was a spectacular mother to her daughters, Mackie and Janice. As young girls, they enjoyed her company as a playmate who would sit on the floor and play jacks and paper dolls with them. As her daughters became adults, she traveled with them to California and Holland; made extended visits to Austin, where she enjoyed sitting on the porch with the cats; and, in recent years, welcomed their visits to her room, where she loved to hear about their children and grandchildren, work, and life.
She studied home economics in college and practiced it for years, using fresh vegetables from her garden and beef from their herd to make delicious casseroles and soups (which her husband hated). She also baked fabulous cakes, cookies, pies (which Durward loved), and homemade ice cream. She took up oil painting in the 1970s and influenced both of her daughters to feel free to create even if it produced no income. She wrote prolifically, mostly letters to her sisters, Dorothy Jo, Billie, and Lou Helen, and her parents. She kept daily diaries through much of her adult life, though she kept them factual rather than emotional so no one would have hurt feelings down the line. She loved to travel and seek out adventures and was always happy to go for a drive just to see what she might find. She was the one who insisted the family move to Colorado so her girls would experience more of what was “out there.”
Though it is hard to imagine a life in the 1960s as “pioneer,” she really was a pioneer woman in a house on a dirt–often mud–road in the country with no phone and sporadic electricity and water. She raised a garden, planted the first trees on the property, milked the cow, tracked down cattle that broke through fences, and weathered cold Panhandle winters in a house built in 1902 with no insulation and very little heat. Durward was often working out of town as a surveyor so she handled it all.
One of the true delights of her life with Durward was their Friday night dates to dance with the “Ye Olde Squares” at the Amarillo Federation of Women’s Club. They began square dancing when it was a trend in the 1960s but found their friends and their place and danced for years. They not only danced with these friends; they also went to Red River each fall and saw them socially. Pat learned to needlepoint and met with the “needlepoint girls” monthly while Durward had coffee with their husbands. Most of those dear friends have passed away, but they were the consistent support group around Durward and Pat for decades.
Pat was raised in a strong Baptist family and met her husband in the Baptist church. In their early married years, they created the foundation for the Paramount Baptist Church in Amarillo and were among the charter members. Their daughter, Janice, was the first baby born to Paramount members just after the church was established.
Pat is survived by daughters Mackie Schaars and husband Theo of Coppell and Janice Williams of Farmers Branch; sisters Dorothy Jackson of Temple and Lou Helen White of Durant, Oklahoma; grandsons Brandt Schaars and wife Kathy of Fort Worth and Connor Schaars and wife Annie of Celina; and great-granddaughters Elizabeth, Julianne, Clara, and Maria. Sister-in-law Leta Ellis, of Austin. Nephews and nieces Donna, Hank, Patsy, Garry, Jo, and Becky are particularly special to her. Great-nephews, great-nieces, cousins, in-laws, and many more family members were often on her mind and her heart.
Pat was preceded in death by her husband Durward Ray Williams; her parents Arla and Willie Hallford of Amarillo; her son Clark Wesley Williams; and sister Billie Hays of Fort Smith, Arkansas.
The family would appreciate donations to Metrocrest Services in Carrollton, Texas (https://metrocrestservices.org/) or your favorite charity in lieu of flowers.
Pat Williams’ family wants to thank the fabulous nurses, aides, and staff at Briarview Senior Living, where Pat lived for the final three years and was cared for with compassion and love in her last days. Her hospice nurse Donald Osuagwu and hospice caregiver Carla Spencer were especially devoted to Pat and they are appreciated more than they can know.