GARWOOD, MERLE HAFFLER (1933 ~ 2018). The following is an obituary for Merle Garwood, spouse of Supreme Court Justice William Garwood. The obituary was provided by Weed, Corley, Fish Funeral Home of Austin.
Merle Castlyn Haffler Garwood, 84, of Austin, Texas died peacefully on Saturday, March 3, 2018. The daughter of Whayne Wilson Haffler and Lillian Dewey Flanery Haffler, Merle was born on June 23rd, 1933 in Lexington, Kentucky.
Merle attended the University High School in Lexington with her older sister, Joan, and younger brother, Whayne. Though her beloved father passed away when Merle was only 15, they were a close and happy family. She graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1954 where she was a Kappa Kappa Gamma.
In 1954 Merle met William L. Garwood of Houston, Texas who was attending summer law classes at the University of Kentucky. On August 12, 1955 they were married. Theirs was a loving and devoted marriage of 56 years.
Leaving Kentucky could not have been easy since Merle's family roots run deep in Kentucky and Appalachian history. Merle was proud of her DAR heritage and rich family history that included a Colonel who served under George Washington at the Battle of Yorktown and grandmother Mary Elliott Flanery, who in 1921 was the first woman elected to the Kentucky legislature and first woman to hold elective office south of the Mason Dixon Line.
After living for a few years in Arlington, Virginia where her husband served in the Judge Advocate General Corps in the Pentagon they moved to Austin, Texas. Merle and Will remained in Austin for the rest of their lives and their children and grandchildren were born there.
While her husband embarked on a distinguished legal and judicial career Merle was a devoted wife and mother who supported him every step along the way. She kept the home fires burning for three generations of her family; never failing to follow with a keen interest all the activity and comings and goings of her family down to the smallest great grandchild.
Children gave Merle great pleasure. Patient and playful, she would spend hours immersed in legos, Lincoln logs, crayons and art projects with her grandchildren and then great grandchildren.
Merle had a gentle and modest demeanor, with a gracious Southern charm and manner sown deep in her Kentucky roots. And Merle could make us all laugh. A little shy, her humor was all the more disarming - a saucy comment, a forgotten old ditty or funny facial expression popping out when you least expected.
A loving traditional homemaker and cook, she greeted everyone with an enthusiastic offering of food and refreshment. She knew Will's favorite dishes, and never failed to have a warm and nutritious dinner on the table every evening when he came home whether the hour was early or late.
Merle was preceded in death by her parents and by her husband Judge William L. Garwood. She is survived by her son William L. Garwood Jr. and his wife Debbie of Houston; her daughter Mary Garwood Yancy and her husband Howard Yancy of Austin; grandchildren Will Garwood, III, and his daughter Lila; Laura Garwood and her children Irby and Lily; Max Yancy; Elliott Yancy; Meghan Yancy; and Cameron Yancy; sister Joan Haffler Harris; brother Whayne Harvey Haffler and his wife Sandy Hall Haffler. She is also survived by nieces Leigh Harris Hay and Meghan Harris Zeisser.
Funeral services and interment will commence at 2:00 P.M. at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin on Friday March 9, 2018.
In lieu of flowers, and for those desiring, the family gratefully requests that contributions be made to Hospice Austin or a charity of your choice.