Coke County, Texas


Sadye Chumley, 104 years of age, passed away August 4, 1999, in the Robert Lee Care Center. Her passing leaves much sadness but many wonderful memories. She was born June 12, 1895 in the Divide Community to John Q. and Sally McCabe. Her actions at an early age indicated that she was destined to be a special person. At the age of five years she learned to read from the Bible as her Mother read to her and was able to tease her sisters by reading their love letters and telling on them at the dinner table! Sadye finished the last grade of school offered at that time, the 9th grade, and attended Howard Payne College in Brownwood. She returned to Coke County where she took a test and received her Teacher's Certificate. The first year she taught in Stiles, Texas and the next year the Wildcat Rural School in Coke County. Her parents often offered room and board to the school teachers and there she met Fern Chumley who taught at the Chapman School on the Divide. Fern married Frank McCabe, Sadye's brother and as a result of this association, Sadye met Mark Chumley, Fern's brother and he and Sadye were married on August 12, 1916, in San Angelo, Tom Green County, Texas. She and Mark had three children: two daughters - Louise and Jo Marie, and one son - Derwood. Derwood died in 1922 and Mark passed away March 14, 1984, in Big Spring, Texas.

Our Mother's loving nature assured us that even though the world about us was in turmoil, our world with her was strong and stable. Her first love and Guide was the Lord Jesus, whom she served all of her life. For many years she taught a Sunday School Class both in Bronte and in Robert Lee. Always active in the Baptist Church, she loved WMU and mission work We never heard our Mother ever condemn any person, always excusing any kind of behavior and treating everyone with loving kindness. Her ability to laugh at herself and see humor in any situation was one of the things about her that always amazed her family and friends.

She was a wonderful cook and spent many hours preparing food for others and taking dishes to the church for those who were bereaved or celebrating happy events. She and Mark were always among the first to visit and take food when anyone became ill and passed away. Her specialty was homemade yeast bread and fried fruit pies. Hundreds of loaves of bread were baked in Sadye's kitchen and taken to someone ill or in need. When her family came home for a visit the first thing they looked for was a loaf of Sadye's bread and fried pies.

A wonderful seamstress, she made clothing for all her family as long as they were at home and for her granddaughters as long as her hands were able to hold a needle and thread. Always making blankets, pillows and clothing for new babies. At the age of 95 years, she made a Cathedral Window quilt which was exhibited in the San Angelo Quilt Show in 1996.
Sadye's memory was so remarkable. She never forgot anyone she ever met - and especially the children and grandchildren of her friends and acquaintances. Even as late as this past year, many of us were asking her about Coke County history and families - and she always remembered them. The children from school would come to her and ask about their grandparents and great grandparents and she was able to tell them about their families. Often times she would remember when and where they married and where they lived at many times in their life. Sadye and Mark always helped hold both local, state and national elections in their precinct for many years. Her grasp of current events, both national and international, as well as political history was remarkable and she read her newspaper daily until she became ill last month.

When Sadye entered the nursing home on June 1, 1992, she had a tremendous adjustment to make. She was so independent it was very difficult to accept any assistance from others. I've been told that she was always pleasant to the nurses and staff and thanked them each time they did anything for her. Her thought was always for others before herself and she loved her caretakers so much!

At the request of a great-niece of Taos, New Mexico, the church bells were rung 104 times at 10:00 o'clock in the morning at the church near Guadalupe Square in Taos. At the same time, a celebration of Sadye's life and funeral services were being held Saturday morning, August 7, at the Robert Lee Baptist Church. Bro. Smith of Duncan, OK, now 88 years of age, officiated at the funeral service. Bro.Smith had served in the past as the pastor of the church and was much beloved by Sadye and the other members. Pallbearers were deacons and former members of the church. Burial was in the Robert Lee Cemetery.

Sadye is survived by two daughters, three grandchildren and spouses, five great-grandchildren, and spouses, and six great-great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews; great-nieces and great-nephews; and a host of friends.

Submitted by Jo Collier

This page was updated: Tuesday, 05-Jan-2010 13:29:04 MST

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