Veltmon Olivia Goodman White
March 24, 1925 – October 19, 2023
“And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed.” – Maya Angelou, When Great Trees Fall
She would want us to remember that family and friends come first because in the end they are really all we ever have. She would want us to remember that she was “older than sliced bread”, a fact she loved reminding her great grandchildren of. She wouldn’t want us to be distraught and brokenhearted. She wouldn’t want fancy linens or poignant words to carry her home. She would want us to remember the things she taught us, the stories she told, the songs she sang, the meals that she prepared, the memories that we made with her. She would want us to rejoice in that she was finally going home.
Grandma was born on the heels of World War I and grew up on the threshold of the Great Depression, thus instilling, upon her at a rather young age, a true appreciation for the simpler things in life. After graduating from Lockhart High School, she found work at Kelley AFB, as an analytical testing assistant in the medical ward. While residing in San Antonio, she met and later married George A. Black, CPA. In 1945.
After the birth of their only son, Arthur, the family moved often before settling in Brownfield, Texas. It was here in Brownfield that Grandma found her niche in life as a professional orchid horticulturist while operating her own antique shop. In her spare time, she managed George’s CPA office which afforded them retirement and the return back to the Goodman homestead in Delhi in 1973.
After building their home, together they opened Lockhart’s first CPA firm with Grandma resuming her role as office manager, until George’s passing in 1985.
She later married Norval P. White and lived out their golden years in Delhi until he passed in 2000.
For years, Grandma maintained an abundant garden full of fruits, herbs, flowers, trees, and vegetables. I have so many fond memories of my mother helping Grandma pick and can vegetables. I remember walking with Grandma under the magnificent pine trees she planted decades prior, holding her hand and talking about everything. Her great grandchildren spent many weekends with her helping her tend to livestock and her garden – often reaping the rewards of freshly baked goods she would make specifically for them, only! They were her pride and joy.
My sister and I spent many summer vacations with her learning how to play Old Maid and Go Fish, polish rocks, use a typewriter, make homemade Big Red ice cream, cookies and pies, canning, and gardening. We would go on tractor rides, catch frogs, take nature hikes to the back of her property to see if the neighbors exotic animals were out grazing. She would often take us to church with her and afterwards we would enjoy Sunday brunch at Furr’s Cafeteria in San Marcos.
Grandma made the best chocolate pie in the world, no room for debate here. I can’t put into words the anticipation we all felt while waiting for her chocolate pie after Christmas dinner every year. Watching her make it with such ease and confidence absolutely amazed me. Even though I have crafted her recipe into our yearly holiday feast, it has never had the same “Grandma” flare.
Grandma was an established member of the Delhi Baptist Church for many years. She loved to read the Bible, loved speaking the word of God and never wavered in her devout faith. Grandma loved her home and small town life. She often attended class reunions and homecoming events at the Delhi Community Center, where she loved to catch up with former classmates, old friends and distant relatives.
There was never a dull moment growing up with Grandma. She loved spending time with us, even if it was just gathering for casual conversation. She just loved being close to her family. She was definitely a force of nature to be reckoned with. She loved hard but wouldn’t hesitate to put you in your place if you overstepped. She was tenacious but knew her limits, she was stubbornly independent but knew compromise on her terms, she often spoke with great candor as she felt honesty was always the best policy.
Grandma is survived by her only son Arthur Black (Michelle), two granddaughters Heather and Rebecca Black, great-grandchildren – Dustin, Andie, and Orrin, and one great great granddaughter Isabella Grace.
The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to the nursing staff at San Marcos Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for providing comfort and care in her final days.
As I close up this condensed version of my Grandmother’s life, I hope that my choice of words offers a small glimpse into what a truly special woman she was. I hope Heaven knows what they have because I surely do. I miss you so. – Love, your granddaughter, Heather
Funeral services were held on Monday, October 23, 2023 at McCurdy Funeral Home. Burial followed at Delhi Cemetery.