Ethel Mae Burrell
Ethel Mae Burrell
  • September 26, 1924 - March 25, 2017
  • Granbury, Texas

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Ethel Burrell, best known as “Teddy” among family and the many friends who loved her, died Saturday, March 25, in Denver with her daughter by her side. She was 92.

She was born Ethel Mae Bills in south Dallas on Sept. 26, 1924, one of five siblings who was raised by their mother Nettie Bills. Not long after graduating high school during World War II, Teddy met a young Army pilot, William “Bill” Burrell, and a whirlwind romance led to a near 50-year marriage and two children, Marsha Lynn and William Edward Jr.

After the war, Bill would become a pilot for Trans World Airlines – a job that led to the family from Kansas City to California to Massachusetts. Eventually, Teddy and Bill moved to south Florida, not long before Bill retired. By the late 1970s, the couple returned to Texas, and in 1982, they built a home near Granbury, Texas, nestled within a development surrounded by a pecan orchard. It would be their home for the remainder of their lives.

During their time in Texas, Teddy and Bill traveled across the country on long trips in their recreational vehicle, spending lots of time in Colorado and Washington, among other places.

In Granbury, Teddy was known for wearing “big hats,” and she loved the compliments they would get her. Those hats – a mainstay at church service and with the Red Hat Society – perfectly matched her colorful outfits and tasteful selection of jewelry (usually silver). She was the most charming of personalities at cocktail parties and loved dancing.

And she was never shy to talk to a stranger and unflinching when talk turned to politics.

Teddy worked hard to take care of her family and home. She took great pride in maintaining clean, tastefully decorated homes. She almost always prepared dinner and her desserts – especially her black Russian cake – were always in demand.

She was a “do it all kind of gal,” her granddaughter, Bliss Fager, says.

Teddy was remarkably poised and strong — when caring for her elderly mother who was suffering dementia, or supporting her husband who suffered numerous health problems in his later years.

For Teddy, it was always “family first.” And that will be her legacy – a grateful family who loves her … and always will.

Teddy is survived by her children, William Edward Burrell and Marsha Stone; daughter-in-law, Lynn Burrell; sister-in-law, Vivian Bills; grand-children, Todd Stone, Blake Burrell and Bliss Burrell-Fager; great grand-children, Logan Burrell, Corinne Burrell, Ella Fager, Adelyn Fager, Zane Stone and Dalton Stone.