Marcella DePriest
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Marcella DePriest
  • March 26, 1925 - January 3, 2018
  • Abilene, Texas

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Marcella DePriest was born March 26, 1925 in Roseland, Arkansas to Martha Edna Thomas and Harry Martin Hulsman. Marcella passed away peacefully at Hendrick Hospice Care Center on Wednesday, January 3, 2018. There will be a memorial service celebrating the life of Marcella DePriest on Saturday, January 6, 2018 at 1pm at Elliott-Hamil Funeral Home, 5701 Hwy 277 South, Abilene.
Marcella grew up on a cotton farm in Missouri with three sisters and five younger brothers. Marcella was "daddy's boy"- she picked cotton, fixed meals, milked cows, drove the truck, and assisted her father with all of the farm chores. Following high school, Marcella was given an opportunity to attend college by Mr. Wimp, her high school science teacher. He arranged for her to live with Dr. Hewitt's family at Arkansas State University as the family cook, house keeper, and baby sitter in exchange for tuition and books. Marcella was the first in her family to graduate from college, majoring in education. During WWII, she was "pen pals" with Charles DePriest. Upon his return home, they began dating. Charles soon determined the only way to marry Marcella would be to attend college on the GI bill. Early in their marriage, Marcella's mother sent her 14 year old brother to live with them when Jerry was a young child. Following service in Vietnam, her brother Cliff had a distinguished career with Bell Helicopter.
Marcella had an outstanding 40 year teaching career. She taught every grade level and many subjects in rural schools in Missouri, Arkansas and Texas. Her favorite subjects were in the sciences, especially chemistry and biology. In the summers, she helped her husband Charles build houses - including painting, cabinet work, tile, carpet, sheet rock, and roofing. Following her retirement, Marcella and Charles enjoyed attending horse shows with their Tennessee Walking Horses and road trips to visit family. In 1998 they moved to Abilene to be near Jerry, Jody, and grandson Frank. A few years later, Charles was diagnosed with cancer and passed away. Marcella enjoyed living near her son, watching her grandson Frank grow up, and her Sunday morning visits with Jerry. Four years ago, the family decided to move Marcella's sister, Alma, to live with her in Abilene. At that time Marcella was her primary caregiver for 2 years until Alma moved to Wisteria Place.
Marcella's pride and joy was her son Jerry. They had the sweetest mother/son relationship ever! Marcella devoted her life to helping others, working hard, and being dependent on no one. She earned her own money, made her own clothes, cleaned her own house, cooked all her meals, and did not want to be a burden to anyone. She enjoyed reading, gardening, and feeding the birds. Marcella was an inspiration to family members, friends, and students.
Over the last year, Marcella's health declined requiring progressive assistance. We would especially like to thank Carol Lowe of Visiting Angels, Kinder Hearts Home Health, Kindred at Home Health Care, Barbara Lampert and all employees of Wisteria, Dr. Brian Ganesh, and Hendrick Hospice, for their compassionate care.
Survivors include her son Jerry Depriest and wife Jody, grandson Frank DePriest and wife Alex of Louisville Ky, brother Cliff Hulsman and wife Dolores of Fort Worth TX., brother Howard "Leon" Hulsman and wife Debbie of Livingston TX., niece Krista Cheree Hulsman of Fort Worth TX., nieces: Donna Tubbs and husband Michael Nacogdoches TX, and Christy Hulsman of Lufkin, TX., Pam Hulsman, Karen Hulsman, and Edward Ann Hulsman all of Memphis, TN., and nephew Clifford Lloyd Trittipo of El Cajon, CA. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Charles DePriest, sisters: Alma Cartwright, Mildred Loftus and Muriel Blalock, brothers: John Hulsman, Harry "Sonny" Hulsman and Louie Hulsman; nieces Barbara Castaneda and Kathy Eldridge; and nephew Steve Gilstrap.
In memory of Marcella, donations may be made to Abilene Education Foundation at aaeeff.org or Hendrick Hospice Care Center at Hendrickhospice.org.