|Thank you for visiting Virginia's memorial. Please look at her life story and the photo gallery. Feel free to leave a happy memory.|
"I had the pleasure of caring for Virginia while she was at Wide Horizon. When she was up and about, she walked with a bounce as if she was moving to a melody. Virginia had a key board in her room and would play cheerful tunes without sheet music. I think some may have been her own compositions."
"All the wonderful memories of my Aunt Gene by my cousins brings back a flood of even more. However, one of the most important is that she was the first in our family to be initiated into Pi Beta Phi national women's fraternity at Okahoma State University (formerly Oklahoma A&M. Since then 10 nieces and great nieces have followed in her footsteps and been initiated with her arrow pin. I know she would appreciate this legacy."
"Road trips to grandma’s house were a highlight of my youth. Regardless of the late hour, she was always outside when we’d pull into her driveway, illuminated by the porch lights and waving with both hands. Her home was filled with her best attributes: love and comfort, endless class, and just the right portion of fun and pizzazz. She always seemed to illuminate those around her with her strength, grace, spirituality, and unconditional love. I see those attributes in her daughter-my mother- and know that there will never be a woman in my family’s future that won’t benefit from her influence. She was really a remarkable lady and I’m so blessed for the time I had with her. Love you, grandma."
"Being a Barbershop Belle was a highlight in my life. We had such fun, just singing and singing. Virginia always made us feel like we were good, so we kept on singing. Fun trips to Angel Fire as a group were always a big plus. Love you Virginia"
"I was 4 years old when we moved to 310 Bryan Street in 1961, next door to Virginia, John and Linda. Linda and I became fast friends and the Yows family shall be forever imprinted on my youth. It seems like there were so many days when I went next door and just didn’t go home until the day was over. Looking back I’m sure they wondered if I was ever going to go home, but Virginia and John always treated me like I was one of the family. In fact I am not sure they didn’t think I was looking to be adopted. Could have been that “only” child thing looked pretty good from my perspective, but truly I’ve not known two more kind and loving people than Virginia and John. John was always so, so nice and patient and always willing to interact and converse with all of us youngsters on the block (and there were many of us back then and mostly boys). Virginia was always happy, always energetic and involved and always greeted me and others with a smile. I recall she tried to get me interested in piano and to this day I wish I had followed her advice on that but I was too interested in what I thought were more important “boy” things for that. I have so many great memories of them both and I know in my heart that for all the time I spent with them, at least a little bit of Virginia and John rubbed off and helped make me who I am today. Even though they’ve been gone from Borger for some time, that house will always be the Yows home and I will always have cherished memories of my time spent with the Yows family."
"Gene and I were the youngest of 9 children; I was the baby (I'm currently 95). When Mom took us to town, she would buy us hamburgers. Gene and our sister, Ione ate theirs quickly but I only took a bite when we crossed a railroad track. Oh how the girls wailed to our mother, "Mama, make Buddy eat his hamburger!!".
Gene graduated from college when she was about 17 and moved to Jay, OK to teach high school music. She said that most her students were older than she was. During WWII, she taught airplane propeller mechanics. Amazing! Years later, one of her former high school decided to pay Gene a visit. The husband of the former student protested saying,"I don't want to waste my time vising some shriveled up old prune!" She replied, "Virginia is younger than I am!"
This was contributed by Virginia's little brother, Uncle Buddy Ingle"
"Most of the family may not know that Aunt Gene and "Uncle Daddy John" (as she called him) were my Godparents but they were more than that, they were my second set of parents. To this day, Mark, Linda, and I consider ourselves 'pseudo siblings'. Mark and I began our trips to Borger when Linda was 6 month old and Mark was potty training. Being the helpful big sister, I flushed somebody's diaper down the toilet. I vaguely remember that. I'm sure that made the adults happy. Aunt Gene taught me to sew at an early age. Mark asked her why the sewing machine was called "Singer" and she told him it was because the machine could sing but only when you weren't looking. Of course the machine began to sing and Mark fell for it for quite some time. She had such a wonderful since of humor! I also remember her for having amazing faith. There was a time we all went to Paladuro Canyon. We were chased by a tornado on the way home. I was terrified until Aunt Gene calmed me with her faith in God. That has always stayed with me. She told me that heaven is doing what you love. To me, that means she's loving God and making music. I miss her but I'm so glad that her spirit is finally free. Gayle"
"It was such a pleasure spending time with Virginia in her Texas home. We had lots of fun times together and share three terrific grandchildren. I'm so grateful I got to spend some quiet time with her in these last years. Much love to you, Virginia, and to Linda. KK"
"Virginia Yows was the the most vibrant and lively of people. She was my mother's dear friend and my dear friend's mother. She found room in her generous heart for a beleaguered middle child (my perception of my adolescent self), who absolutely loved being at the Yows' dinner table and feeling like an honored guest. I was comfortable there. I could say what I thought. Sometimes I was even funny ... or so I was made to feel. Mrs. Yows started taking Linda and me (piano students of the same age) to Don Knotts movies at the Morley. I'm pretty sure the last movie I saw sitting beside Mrs. Yows was on a senior trip to U.T. Austin for U.I.L. contest, where the Yows' were our chaperones. The movie was "Shampoo". Not a very comfortable movie so see as a 17-yr-old sitting next to your best friend's mother. That was the only time I can ever think of being the slightest bit uncomfortable in Virginia's presence. I have a photo of the two of us at my parents' house in Borger. I was visiting home from New York City in 1983, and I couldn't wait to show off my newly polished cooking skills to one of the most sophisticated and fun people I could think to invite over. I wasn't disappointed -- she was ALWAYS such great company. And I shall always miss her."
"Linda, I'm so sorry for your loss... it's never easy to say goodbye to our parents. I remember planning that wedding brunch that Karen mentioned and I still have the recipe your Mom gave me for her 'Champagne Punch'. Such a classy, beautiful lady. Hugs and prayers to you and yours."
"Aunt Gene and Uncle John were like second parents to me. I loved spending a few weeks in Borger every summer for many years. Aunt Gene always took me under her wing as the oppressed little boy. She taught me manners and taught me how to play poker. We watched baseball together on Saturday afternoons. She only got mad at me once and that was over the infamous donut incident. She was hosting bridge that day and had picked up about 3 dozen donuts for the event. When no one was around, I decided to sample each and every donut. A while later as she was setting up for the bridge party, opened the donut box and to her horror, found one small bite taken out of every donut. I don't recall my punishment, but know it was far, far less than what I deserved. A few years ago, I reminded her of that incident and she said: "Yep, you were a little stinker"."
"Linda, I have so many wonderful memories of your sweet and beautiful mother! She always supported you and those of us involved in the same activities. She ALWAYS made time for and seemed to love having "us kids" around. I remember dancing the Carioca with you, Linda, choreographed and accompanied by Mrs. Yows. What fun and we owned it better that Fred and Ginger! Our senior year, your mother would occasionally cook MARVELOUS meals for us at lunch. We'd hurry to your house where she had everything ready...we'd eat, and then scurry back to school. She was always there for us, applauding our successes and encouraging us after our failures.Your mother had a full and wonderful life and I'm so grateful that she was a part of mine. Rest in Peace, Mrs. Yows! Peace and comfort to you and your family, Linda! .
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"I have many dear memories of Aunt Gene, and since Linda’s phone call on January 5, I’ve been bringing back as many of those pictures in my mind as I can. For three or four golden summers starting when I was about nine years old, Mimi and I would board a train in Tulsa and, some hours later, would arrive in Amarillo where we were welcomed by our amazing Aunt Gene. By dinnertime when Uncle John joined us, the picture was complete, and for the next couple of weeks Mimi and I were not only in Borger, we were in heaven! The kindness, generosity, fun and adventure we experienced in our time there made a very positive impact on me… and later on for my expectations for my life. Of course, I didn’t realize it at the time, but I’m quite sure that is true.
Mimi and I first visited Gene and John before you were born, Linda. We were given full attention…the royal treatment. Coming from our modest (to say the least) circumstances in Tulsa, to us those treats were the equivalent of children in today’s society being taken to Europe! Aunt Gene made us feel right at home in that first little home of theirs. She toured us around town. She played the piano for us. She introduced us to a neighbor girl we could play with. We enjoyed the two Yows dogs, Stinky and his friend, whose name escapes me. We visited the Borger country club often where we swam and could order snacks or lunch. Uncle John drove us out to feed his horses where we could always expect to see rattlesnakes in the barn, or at the least be cautioned to watch for them. Such adventure! As an aspiring cowgirl, getting to take hay to three horses thrilled me down to my boots. The horses were not gentle enough for a beginner to ride, but I could pet their noses and take in that great smell of horsehair and sweat.
I remember the everyday events, too. Quite rightly, we were expected to set the dinner table and help wash dishes. We had to wash our hands every time we touched anything besides the dishes or the towel we dried with, e.g., our hair or face or each other. (To this day, when my grandchildren are in my kitchen, they hear “wash those hands again.”) When huge net petticoats were in fashion in the 50’s, Aunt Gene let us choose fabric that she then sewed for us while we all listened to the baseball game on the radio. Sometimes while riding in the car Mimi and I would shout out “There’s an ABE truck!” Of course, that’s “Amarillo Borger Express” which was Uncle John’s (and his brother’s?) trucking company.
I remember the visit when we were told that a baby was on the way. We visited “the new house” under construction and were blown away by its huge size compared to our small home and the second set of light switches being installed at child’s level in “the baby’s room.” What luxury, we thought!
Our last visit may have been when I was about 13. Mimi would have been 16 and soon our summers would be filled with Tulsa friends and events. But that beautiful baby, Linda, was nearly two years old and clearly was the center of everyone’s attention. Okay, we were a bit jealous of precious Linda, but we couldn’t help but enjoy her, too. Aunt Gene told us that one day she found her ivy plant that decorated the coffee table was surrounded by most of it’s leaves, picked off by tiny fingers. When she showed this to Linda and asked what had happened, baby Linda held up both arms for a hug from her mom and with a trembling voice said, “Looove?” Gene loved that story.
How fortunate I was to have those summers with the excellent example and influence of Aunt Gene and Uncle John in my life! She was so spunky and fun-loving. He was a true gentleman…a gentle man… whose kindness was ever present. Sadly I don’t have photos to share, but I treasure my memories from those special days and will forever feel so much love for both of them.
"I will miss Grandma doing her little dances :) I will always remember sitting in her closet in Borger, for some reason it was one of my favorite spots. It smelled like her and there was a lot to look at in there! Love you Grandma, I know you're still smiling and dancing wherever you are."
""Mrs. Yows", as she will forever be to me, was always so welcoming and treated me as a daughter throughout high school. And I'll always remember and be grateful for the wedding brunch that you all hosted--it made me feel like a grown up. She also helped get my mom into the singing group (YIKES! I can't remember the name of it) and that was one of my mother's very favorite activities after she retired and she was so proud to be a part of it. So many things I could say...just such a wonderful mom, wife, citizen, Christian, friend, person. By the way, I love the pictures of her here. Prayers for peace and healing for all of the family."
"I have wonderful memories as a little boy visiting my fiesty fun aunt (and my sweet, gentle uncle). I remember her talking with the other adults about her opinions on how to hold notes when singing. None of this sliding up and down! She would cover my ears to make what she thought was an off-color comment, although I could hear. I remember being in the big luxury car driving to dinner while "downtown" was playing on the car radio. I remember lots of cackling laughter all the time. My aunt was so animated with joy and wit. Love to you and your entire family. xoxoxo"
"I am saddened by this. Your mom influenced my decision to make music education my career. She was amazing. Peace and comfort to you and your family."
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