Retha was born February 8, 1944, to J.D. and Velma Marr Norton in Clovis, NM. She was the youngest of 4 children. She attended grade school in Plemons, TX, and senior high in Stinnett, TX. She was involved in sports, playing both volleyball and basketball on the Lady Rattler’s teams. Retha was also the head cheerleader during football season.
Retha married in 1963 and had two children, Brad in 1967 and Kara in 1970. She led them both to the Lord while attending Monterey Baptist Church in Lubbock, TX. She built a strong reputation in the business community, working in the insurance industry. She modeled a strong work ethic, providing for her children as a single mother for many years. Her strong faith in the Lord helped her persevere before she and Bill found each other after loss. Their longtime friendship blossomed, and they soon discovered they couldn’t live without each other. Bill proposed in late 1989 at Silver Falls and then they married on January 19, 1990, in Lubbock, TX, and blended their two families into one. They both loved their children and their grandchildren, and you could see it on their faces and hear it in their voices. They spent the last 33 years together working, then retiring and traveling.
Retha was always involved in her church, and many times she and Bill would teach in the preschool area, sharing their faith and planting seeds within some of the youngest souls. She loved playing the piano to get away from her troubles and would sometimes step in and play at church if the need was there. She and Bill took wonderful care of her mother Velma until her passing in 1999. Retha had a strong love for animals; she and Bill had many pets together through the years. Retha enjoyed the music of Johnny Cash, John Denver, The Bill Gaither Trio, and the gospel music of Alan Jackson. She had a passion for the outdoors and fishing. Retha spent many summer trips with her family in Colorado. Some of her favorite places were Beaver Lake and Platoro, Colorado, and the surrounding areas. There was always time for a card game with family and friends, which led to fun-loving trash-talking and bragging rights. Bill was dedicated to caring for Retha over the last few years with around-the-clock care. They were able to take a trek back to Silver Falls where Bill had proposed so many years ago. Retha’s smile and spirit will be missed, but her family and friends have the assurance that they will see her again one day in heaven. Bill and Retha want to thank the nurses, Sarah and Alisha for their professional service.
Retha is survived by her husband, Bill Williams; children, Brad (Meredith) Jones, Kara (Howard) Schwope, Tamara (Tony) Hamby; siblings, Kenneth (Stephanie) Norton, Glenna Turner, Jimmy (Sue) Norton; 12 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by her parents, J.D. and Velma Norton; son, Damian Williams.
Retha passed away on Friday, February 10, 2023.
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