Annie EllistonMay 22, 1923 ~ September 8, 2017 (age 94)
Ann Elliston, 94, passed away Friday, September 8, 2017 at her home in Amarillo.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. at St. James Catholic Church in Seminole, Texas with Father Paul Karieakatt officiating. Burial will follow at Gaines County Cemetery. Rosary was held Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at 7 p.m. at St. James Catholic Church. Arrangements are made by Boyer Funeral Home of Seminole.
Annie (Ann) Barnes Elliston was born on a farm May 22, 1923 in Falls County near Marlin, Texas. A midwife came to her home for the birth; she weighed only 3 pounds and was placed in a shoebox. She was nursed to health with a tea towel soaked in strong coffee and sugar for the first two weeks of her life. For the rest of her life, Ann enjoyed strong black coffee.
Ann was born during the depression. She had nine brothers and sisters; two died during infancy. At age five she worked on the farm picking cotton. At the end of a day of picking, her father told her to wait by a wagon for the rest of the family to make one last trip through the cotton. After being alone for a while, Ann thought the family had forgotten her and she decided to walk home and became lost. She walked five miles while avoiding a charging bull in a pasture by hiding behind a tree. She found a family picking cotton and they took her in and fed her while one family member went to town on a horse-drawn wagon to tell the sheriff. Ann thought she would never see her family again. Ann’s father also went to town to report her missing and the sheriff directed him to the family who had found her.
Ann is an American hero! During WWII, Ann heard about work in a defense plant in Ft. Worth, Texas. After training in Waco, she moved to Ft. Worth. She had been trained 8 weeks on one job, but was assigned a new job at the plant. She made parts for bombers. She machined large pieces of iron into a very small part – sometimes taking three days to make the part. The plant was open 24 hours a day; she worked the evening shift. She paid $4 a week for a room in a house near the YMCA in Ft. Worth; she shared the house with four other women. When Ann began work, she made 65 cents an hour; when the war ended she was making $7.50 an hour.
When the war ended, the Defense Plant wanted Ann to move to California and continue her machinist work, but she wanted to stay in Texas because Walter Elliston was in a military hospital in San Antonio, having been shot fighting in Italy. Ann took a waitress job in Temple, Texas and was paid 65 cents an hour plus tips. Annie and Walter were married on August 30, 1945 in Westphalia, Texas.
Ann was well known in Seminole and Amarillo for her baking ability and once sold one of her Italian Cream cakes at an auction for $1,500! She enjoyed baking, volunteering for 20 years in Seminole for Meals on Wheels, working in the school cafeteria in Seminole for 20 years; sewing, working in her yard, and participating in St. James’ Catholic Church’s Fall Festival as the Sweet Shop chairman for over 25 years. She loved her neighbor’s dogs, her dear friends in Seminole, and her family.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Walter Elliston; her parents, Stanley and Josephine Barnes; her brothers, Felix Barnes and R. B. Barnes; and her sisters, Gertrude Schmidt, Gurley Blann, Christine Salvage, Verna Corum and Stella Barnes. She is survived by Son; Wayne Elliston and wife, Debbie, Daughter; Diann Gilmore and husband, Dr. Perry Gilmore; 4 Grandchildren; Chris Barlow and Sarah Elliston both of Amarillo, Mark Elliston of Borger, and T.J. Samples of Fountain, Colorado; 3 Great Grandchildren; Joshua Barlow and Jacob and Caleb Samples.
The family suggests memorials be made to the Downtown Women’s Center, 409 S Monroe, Amarillo, Texas 79101, or to St. James Catholic Church, 1006 Hobbs Hwy, Seminole, Texas 79360.