Wanna Louise Haile (Lu) to everyone who knew her, was born in Campwood, Texas July 5, 1924.She met the love of her life, Herbert Q. Haile, when she was 14 and never looked back. Lu and Q were seldom separated until his death in 1998. Together they had very rich and meaningful lives. Highlights included living in Hawaii right after Pearl Harbor was bombed during World War II, owning Pacesetter Gallery, a fine arts gallery, in Uvalde for seventeen years, and traveling to many places around the United States including the scattered cities her two children, four grandchildren and nine great grand children reside.
Lu was known for picking up and taking off at the drop of a hat. Whenever we would talk to her by phone we would not say, “how are you?” but rather, “where are you?” For their 25th anniversary, Q had a wood carving done of two old country people, the woman had a packed suitcase and the sign said “Twenty five years, I don’t know what’s it’s meant, she’s still got her git up and go, and mine has up and went.” Then in a last ditch effort for control, a sign was added that says, “and be home by dark!” They had such a perfect ebb and flow to their relationship.
Lu and Q were leaders in a couples Sunday School class for many years and served as role models and mentors to many young couples. Her generosity of time and caring to the community and family will never be forgotten, whether it was teaching a grandchild to drive, or swim, or serving gourmet meals to anyone who sat at her table. She seemed to always have great wisdom to share at the perfect time. One of my favorite sayings she said to me, when I was down was, “Donna, if you were perfect, who would you hang out with?” She had a way of getting to the heart of things.
Lu died Saturday, November 21st at Veranda Assisted Living. She was in hospice but her son, Charlie and her daughter-in-law, Stephany were there with her. The family loved her so dearly, and have much to remember and smile about. At 90 years old a family reunion celebrating her milestone birthday, was held at Tapatio Springs. Since she was such a George Strait fan, and he is one of the owners there, we thought we might just see him during our stay. Lu said, if George should show up, I’ll ask him to sing, “You’re something special to me.” Well, that gave Stephany and Donna the idea of making up t-shirts with that on it. So the picture at the top of this page is with some of the family gathered, t-shirts matching. One of my favorite signs that mom had at her front door when she lived in Salado was, “If you're not God, or George Strait, take your boots off!”
As they retired, their favorite thing to do was to go out to the ranch with a evening picnic and binoculars and watch the deer come into the feeder. They had a pretty comfortable deer blind.
One of Q’s favorite stories is about the evening that he shot a deer late and all of the comedy of errors that took place before they finally got it home. Donna has the antlers and on the plaque it says, “Ask Lu about this one!”
I am sure that for all Lu has accomplished in this life she heard that coveted phrase, “Well done my good and faithful servant,” when she saw Jesus last Saturday. The family will miss her tenacity, her lively spirit and her unconditional love. But we know that Lu and Q had to be rejoicing to see each other again.
Lu is survived by two children, Charlie Haile of Con Can, Texas and Donna Shepherd, of Eloy Arizona, and their spouses, daughter-in-law, Stephany Haile and son-in-law, Rick Shepherd. Grand children include Keri Davis and her husband Jason along with her three sons, Zachary, Andrew, and Gregory Richardson residing in Brandon, Mississippi and Kelly Opferman and her husband Richard, along with their children Jamie, Tyler and Zoey Opferman, residing in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania. Donna’s two children Laura Weatherly and her husband Chris and their three children, Silas, Noah and Sam live in Savannah, Georgia and Chris Huffman, in Lakewood, Colorado.
A private memorial service will be held, another family reunion, to celebrate a life well lived and admired.