Dalma Vivian Lankford Morrow died June 12, 2012 in Dallas. Services will be at 4 p.m. Thursday, June 14 at the First Baptist Church in Big Lake with burial at Glen Rest Cemetery. Arrangements are by Johnson's Funeral Home. She was born Easter Sunday, March 31, 1918 in Midland. Her young parents Nina Odessa Toby and Thomas Mart Lankford homesteaded in Lea County, New Mexico where Dalma's brother Leonard Earl Lankford was born. She started school in Lamesa and during her fourth-grade year in McCamey, she had a life-changing bout of scarlet fever. The family soon moved to Alpine where Dalma was baptized at the First Baptist Church on...
Dalma Vivian Lankford Morrow died June 12, 2012 in Dallas. Services will be at 4 p.m. Thursday, June 14 at the First Baptist Church in Big Lake with burial at Glen Rest Cemetery. Arrangements are by Johnson's Funeral Home. She was born Easter Sunday, March 31, 1918 in Midland. Her young parents Nina Odessa Toby and Thomas Mart Lankford homesteaded in Lea County, New Mexico where Dalma's brother Leonard Earl Lankford was born. She started school in Lamesa and during her fourth-grade year in McCamey, she had a life-changing bout of scarlet fever.
The family soon moved to Alpine where Dalma was baptized at the First Baptist Church on October 26, 1929. She graduated from Alpine High School in 1934 and began attending Sul Ross Teachers' College. She chose teaching as her career, wanting to be as well-trained and professional as possible. She said with pride, "I spent my life sitting in little chairs reading to children." After a year at Sul Ross, she moved near Pandale where she taught the children of a ranching family. She completed her degree in 1939.
While in college she was active in art, music, and Baptist Student Union. With the Girls' Glee Club, she traveled to San Antonio to hear pianist Ian Paderewski. She also attended the national BSU convention in Memphis where she participated in a public demonstration with 2500 other students showing the world their dedication to Christ. It was here she first began to appreciate Psalm 46:10. Of her first trip east, she wrote, "Our boat ride on the Mississippi River was fun, but doesn't compare to the Pecos!"
One of her joys living in West Texas was attending Paisano Baptist Encampment beginning in 1930. She often recalled a time when the camp was lit at night only by lanterns and moonlight, and when rain fell, "you climbed a tree and waited for the water to go down."
Always observant and a conscientious citizen of the world, Dalma liked to say she started her teaching career (in Presidio, Texas) September 1, 1939, and the next day, beginning in Europe, the world changed forever.
In Presidio she met Clarence Morrow, and they married at midnight, May 19, 1940. She forever described their fifty-one year marriage by saying, "We always had so much fun." When Clarence became an engineer of the power plant at Marfa Air Base they relocated to Alpine. Dalma taught at Centennial School and finished her master's degree. In 1947, they returned to Presidio where she taught kindergarten in her home before Clarence accepted an offer to relocate to Big Lake.
Dalma taught first grade in Big Lake until she retired in 1983. She thought first graders were the most important people in any school, and she took seriously her responsibility to teach them. She taught school for 38 years.
She was active in Trail Blazers, Reagan Garden Club, Delta Kappa Gamma, and Texas State Teachers' Association. After retirement she traveled around the USA and Europe and volunteered at the Reagan County Library. She enjoyed taking fresh flowers to her friends' classrooms and happily acknowledged she was lucky to have a husband with a green thumb who provided enough flowers to go around.
She and Clarence were members of the First Baptist Church in Big Lake, and she was always proud Big Lake was her home. In 2001 she moved to Dallas to be near her daughter's family. When asked how she liked living in Dallas, she said, "not much." But she was a good sport about leaving West Texas and relished being close to her grandsons. She was thrilled to be their grandmother and delighted in everything they did.
When she was eight years old, Dalma became an artist and throughout her life she worked in many media: oils, acrylics, charcoal, watercolor, and ceramics. For thirty years, she was inspired and influenced by artists at the Sul Ross Art Colony. With a strong will to create and an eye for color, fabric, and design, she was also an inspired dressmaker. She laughed about finishing a quilt in 1990 that she began in 1935. Of any creation, no matter whether sewn, potted, or painted, "one of a kind" was her aim.
Her goals in life were the "to be a good mother, to make a good home, and to keep Clarence happy." She more than succeeded in all these things. But she was the best at keeping her faith. She never failed to find something for which to be thankful. Her favorite verses were: Psalm 128:1, Philippians 4:6, John 12:46, Ephesians 3:20, Proverbs 16:20, and Psalms 40:11.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Clarence Morrow. Survivors are daughter Vivian Morrow Jones, son-in-law Newton Jones, grandsons Andrew Morrow Jones and Samuel Newton Jones. The family would like to acknowledge the care and respect Dalma received from the staff at Presbyterian Village North, Dallas.
Memorials may be sent to the First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 549, Big Lake, TX 76932.
Family and friends may sign an online guestbook at johnsons-funeralhome.com