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Julia Elice Hobbs Sailor, 88, of Amarillo, peacefully left this earth on November 11, 2020, after a good life.
Memorial services will be scheduled when conditions are safe again. Arrangements are by Carmichael-Whatley Funeral Directors.
Elice was born in Troup, Texas, on November 1, 1932, to loving parents Lena Pearl Sullivan Hobbs and Vernon Logan Hobbs. At age 1, she moved with her parents and big brother Kennett to Pampa, where her dad came to own an oilfield supply company.
She was baptized on December 13, 1942, at the First Baptist Church of Pampa. Elice writes of that event, “I can still remember the warmth that surrounded me the night I declared that I wanted Jesus to be my Savior. It was the warmth of God’s love and acceptance.”
A good student, Elice graduated a year early from Pampa High School. She studied at Baylor University and Texas Tech University before marrying R. J. Sailor, Jr. on April 4, 1953 – 15 years after first meeting him in Mrs. Ellis’s private kindergarten.
For 60 years, the Sailors lived and farmed south of White Deer. They joined the First United Methodist Church in White Deer on July 22, 1956. This led to a long and happy fellowship, where they served the church in many ways from teaching Sunday School to mowing the lawn. Elice wrote, “Through the years, we knew so many wonderful, caring people in our church. They guided us, inspired us, prayed for us – and most of all – loved us.”
They were the original “Green Acres” couple. He was a farmer at heart, and she was a real city girl. But she learned to drive a truck in wheat harvest, and he delighted in traveling to every big city Elice wanted to visit. Her truck driving days mostly ended when her truck set a wheat field on fire. She was not injured, but thereafter, limited her contribution to the farm as the bookkeeper.
Elice was a devoted mother to daughters Laura and Mary and instilled in them a love for reading and learning. She was committed to education and was a member of P.E.O. Chapter CS in Pampa, the Twentieth Century Cotillion Study Club of Pampa and the Venado Blanco Study Club of White Deer. An avid reader, she served on the Carson County board that built the Panhandle Library and solicited the county to donate land for the White Deer Library.
Following R.J.’s death in 2016, Elice permanently moved to their second home in Amarillo in 2017. Although her health was declining, she remained interested and involved in her extended family’s affairs until the end. The family extends deep gratitude to the True Blessings caregivers, who faithfully cared for Elice during the past months.
Elice was preceded in death by her husband R.J. Sailor, Jr., her parents Vernon Logan and Lena Pearl Hobbs, and her brother George Kennett Hobbs. She is survived by two daughters, Laura Reyher and husband Rick of Canyon, and Mary Coyne and husband Michael of Amarillo, and five grandchildren, Grant Reyher, Melissa Reyher White and husband Andrew, Alexander Coyne and wife Lacey, Bret Reyher and wife Alexandra, and Julianne Coyne Guy and husband Daniel, granddaughter-in-law Sabrina Reyher, and four great-grandsons.
The family requests that memorial donations be made to the causes that meant so much to Elice, including First United Methodist Church, 101 W. 8th St., White Deer, TX 79097; Opportunity School (early childhood education), 1013 S. Van Buren, Amarillo, TX 79101; the White Deer Library, 200 4th St., White Deer, TX 79097; and Opportunity Plan (scholarships), 504 24th Street, Canyon, TX 79015.
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