In Kaufman County, on August 25, 1932, Eula Mae Tarkington became the first-born child of Lester Earl and Eula Blanche Tarkington. Five siblings were born over a period of about 18 years. Eula Mae grew up in Navarro and Henderson counties, graduating as Valedictorian from Malakoff High School and being offered a scholarship to college. She then moved to Dallas, TX and worked for Gulf-Atlantic/West Coast Insurance Companies, from which she retired in 1997. Eula Mae's boss once wrote that she was quiet, especially accurate, thorough, cooperative and she always went the extra mile.
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Eula Mae married Ernie Silva and moved first to Korea, then Germany, where they had many interesting experiences. Upon returning to Texas they purchased acreage in Detroit, TX where she enjoyed designing a house which they built, and where she was active in helping raise cattle, peacocks, a few goats and all the stray dogs and cats that found their way to their ranch. She laughed about helping with the birthing of the calves.
After her daughter died in 2006 and husband, Ernie, died in 2007, Eula Mae sold the ranch and single-handedly moved to Corsicana to be near family. In Corsicana she volunteered at Navarro Regional Hospital, accruing many hours in the few years she was able to volunteer. At the United Methodist Church and at the hospital she became a friend with Allen Frederick Crooke. After a short courtship, they married in 2014. They held hands at her last breath.
Eula Mae worked extremely hard most of her life and survived a number of hardships and disappointments showing much courage and determination in the face of adversity. She loved family gatherings, enjoyed volunteering, her cat Lucky and her flower gardens. Sunday drives with her husband, Fred, were a delight, as was working alongside him on projects she thought of. Holding hands pleased her too. Eula Mae was an avid reader and owner of thousands of books and a large collection of jigsaw puzzles and puzzles of all descriptions. She delighted in the little red wagon her sister, Linda, gave her to help sort and place all of the books and puzzles. Eula Mae was loved and will be genuinely missed.
Family that preceded Eula Mae (Tarkington) Crooke in death: parents, Earl and Eula Blanche Tarkington; husband, Ernie Silva; daughter, Margaret Ann laukea; brothers, Lester Earl Tarkington, Jr, Stephen Tarkington and Kenneth Allen Tarkington; sister, Mary Beth Autry Gerard; nephew, Larry Edwards; nieces, Sandra Edwards and Karen Renee Ramos.
Eula Mae is survived by: husband, Allen Frederick Crooke of Corsicana; stepsons, Joseph Silva of Houston, TX and Bryan F. Crooke and wife Joyce of McAllen, TX; grandson, Robert laukea of Hawaii; granddaughters, Dawn Carrera and husband Pedro and Summer laukea, all of Vancouver, WA., and Deanna Tate of Hawaii; step grandchildren, Jacen Crooke, Abbigale Crooke and Tristan Wallis all of McAllen, TX. She is also survived by her sister, Linda Fricker and husband Ken of Corsicana; sister-in-laws, Jane C. Booher and husband James and Louise Tarkington; special cousin, Bobby Gragg and wife Mary , as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Thursday, December 19, 2019 at 2:00 PM at First United Methodist Church, 320 North 15th St., Corsicana, TX 75110. Visitation with the family will be held in the Parlor after the Service.
Special thanks to the staff at Navarro Regional Hospital and the staff at Twilight Home for their kind care. Memorials may be given to the First United Methodist Church of Corsicana.