WORD, BOBBYE LOUISE WARREN (1929 ~ 2021). The following is an obituary for Bobbye Louise Warren Word, spouse of former Texas State Sentator J.P. Word. The obituary was published in the September 3, 2021 edition of the Austin American Statesman.
Bobbye Louise Warren Word
Bobbye Louise Warren Word, 91, passed away peacefully on August 24, 2021 in Austin, Texas. She is survived by her family – her sons Charles Burtis "Rusty" Word and James Powell Word, Jr. and his partner Lisa Sanford, daughter Amy Word Michalowski and husband Todd, granddaughter Sydney Tyler Word, all of Austin, and her sister Delores Warren Peterson of Minnesota. She was preceded in death by her husband, the Honorable J. P. Word, and her daughter-in-law, Karen Avery Word, as well as her parents, Tab and Alice Warren, her sister Inez Warren Rice, and her brother Ruben Warren.
Bobbye was born on November 24, 1929, in San Angelo, Texas. She was the third child of Tab and Alice, following Inez and then Ruben, and preceding Delores several years later. The family moved around a lot for Tab's work, but soon moved back to Meridian, Texas, where they remained through her high school years. It was there that she met J.P. Word, her brother's best friend. She always gave him an extra cherry on the sundaes she made, working at the local pharmacy's soda fountain. She played basketball and was a cheerleader while J.P was captain of the football team. After high school, she attended beauty school in Fort Worth while J.P. was a student at Tarleton State University, later serving in Korea with the U.S. Army. The two were married upon his return, on April 11, 1953. Soon after, J.P. began law school at Baylor University and Bobbye opened a beauty shop in their home, working to put him through law school. She continued working until two weeks before delivering Rusty and then Jim.
Their lives in Meridian started to take a different turn, as J.P. was elected County Judge right out of law school. A few years passed and he ran for Texas Senate. They were 32 years old. She worked tirelessly going from city to city handing out pamphlets and campaign materials, with old cars overheating and carloads of Cub Scouts, doing much of the legwork.
As a Senator's wife, Bobbye made many sacrifices raising three small children, while J.P. was often off campaigning long hours or working at the Capitol. She was an amazing cook, second only to her own mother. She took great pride in her home and family – that's what mattered most to her. She was a wonderful wife and mother who always went above and beyond.
A bricklayer's daughter from Depression-era Bosque County, Bobbye came from meager beginnings, but lived a long and full life beyond her wildest expectations, including dining with President Johnson and the First Lady on several occasions at their ranch when J.P. was their State Senator. She was the life of the party wherever she went and was known for her beauty, spunk and wicked sense of humor. She loved people and had no trouble conversing with a President or a store clerk. She was always interested to hear people talk about their lives. She was equal parts playful and direct; and she didn't mince words. Her diminutive physical build disguised her no-nonsense, hard-as-nails approach to living. She was an active member of the Senate Ladies Club, and a volunteer with the American Cancer Society and March of Dimes. She was a Texas original, but first and foremost she was a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend; and these are the roles that mattered to her most.
Graveside services are scheduled for Wednesday, September 8, at 10:30 a.m. at the Texas State Cemetery.