The long goodbye has finally ended for our Mom, Tula Shook, who passed away peacefully on Wednesday, June 7th, with her daughters by her side. She was born Tula Augusta Hickman on June 19th, 1929, to William and Lucy Hickman in the front room of their home in Kingsbury, Texas. She attended Kingsbury High School, and on a dare, wrote to her best friend’s uncle, Leon Shook, who was a sailor on the U.S.S. Colorado during World War II. They soon met, fell in love, and eloped to Gonzales, Texas. They were married for 70 years and set a wonderful example of what love and devotion should be. Tula was an accomplished pianist for the First Baptist Church in Bruni, Texas while Leon led the singing. They often sang duets, and were an important part of the church for the 17 years they lived in Bruni. After Leon was transferred to Corpus Christi in 1961, Tula was a stay at home Mom until 1965 when she was hired to run the snack bar at Tuloso-Midway High School. She was well liked for her smile and sense of humor and became a surrogate mom to many students. She was soon promoted to lead the food service department for the entire school district and stayed in that role for 9 years. The good meals are still talked about by many people who remember the smell of the hot rolls wafting through the school. Upon retirement Tula and Leon had a great time travelling to national parks, World War II reunions, and spending time at their farmhouse where Mom was born. Upon Leon’s death in 2015, Tula lived out the rest of her life with her daughter, Cissy, and son-in-law, Sid Smith. She became a favorite of all the friends who visited and was an active participant of the Women’s Evening Circle group of Parkway Presbyterian Church. She loved sitting on the back porch watching the birds and visiting with one of her favorite people, Martha Landa, her devoted caregiver for over four years.
She is survived by her four children, Les Shook (Terri), Wes Shook (Laurie), Cissy Shook Smith (Sid) and Lonnie Shook Shell (David). She was a wonderful grandmother to Les Shook II (Dani), Riki Graves (Chris), Jennifer Esparza (Miquel), and Brad Schafer (Katie). She was blessed with eight great-grandchildren, Jakob, Zarrin, and Logan Shook, Benjamin and Juliana Graves, and Abigail, Hannah, and Michael Esparza. She also loved her bonus grandchildren, Lauren and Lindsey Smith, Ebby and Olivia Graves, and Bridger Aguilar. She was proceeded in death by her parents, Lucy and William Hickman, her sister, Ila Margaret Cathy, and nephew, James Cathy.
Our Mom was smart, funny, kind, spunky and full of life. If you met her, you remembered her, and she always told you the way it was. She will be dearly missed, but we know that she is finally reunited with Dad and we are left to cherish the memories of her amazing life and legacy.
A celebration of life will be held at Annaville Baptist Church on Saturday, July 29th at 2 pm. . In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Annaville Baptist Church, 4025 Violet Road, Corpus Christi, Texas, 78410.