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Lela's Story

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Lela Estelle Dixon Corder of Larue, TX, passed away on May 31, 2016, at the age of 93. She was born in 1923 south of Larue to Stanley and May Thrasher Dixon, the second of five children. She attended school at New York Public School and graduated from LaPoynor High School in 1941. On August 29, 1942, she married Sgt. Claude A. Corder, also of Henderson County, in Reno, NV. As a military wife, she lived in Sacramento, CA, Fort Worth, Puerto Rico, Mobile, AL, Midwest City, OK, and Abilene, TX, and after her husband's retirement from the Air Force, in Oklahoma City, Dallas, Athens, and finally Larue.
In addition to being the busy mother of three children, Sandra, Stephen, and Janice, she was active in church work, most notably as a Sunday School teacher of three and four year olds. In addition, she did teacher workshops for Sunday School teachers in Texas and Oklahoma, including several workshops at Abilene Christian College. Returning to Henderson County, she became active in the Henderson County Historical Commission, serving as the chairperson for four years; the Henderson County Historical Society was formed during her first month as chairperson for the purpose of purchasing the Faulk-Gauntt store, which is now the Henderson County Historical Museum. During her tenure as chairperson, the first book on the families of Henderson county was published, and she and her husband made records of several cemeteries, sharing that information with the commission and society. She became an expert on the research and documentation required for the placement of Texas historical markers and is therefore responsible for a number of markers being placed in the county; she was most proud of the markers at the Henderson County Courthouse, the New York Store for Davis Reynolds, the New York Baptist Church, and the New York Cemetery. She did the research and wrote the history of the Bush Wofford house, which was moved to Athens, restored, and made a feature of the Arboretum, where it is used for weddings and other celebrations; it also has a historical marker. Acknowledged as an authority on county history, she became the resource for many researchers and for years wrote the "Yesteryears" column for the Athens Review. In addition, she did research on the genealogy of the Corder family, becoming the national authority and resource for other Corder genealogists. She also served on the Virginia Hill Water Board for 33 years.
She is pre-deceased by her husband Claude, her parents, brother J. R., sister Thelma Dixon Harvey, and grandson Michael Simpson. Survivors include Sandra Corder Stephenson and husband Lee, Stephen Corder, Janice Simpson Corder; grandchildren Christopher Corder and wife Paige, David Simpson and wife Patti, Elizabeth Barnhill Hagan and husband James, Alison Barnhill; great-granddaughter Molly Corder; brother H. L. Dixon, sister Edith Yvonne Welch and husband H. G.; and nephews and nieces.
Visitation will be at Carroll-Lehr in Athens from 4 to 6 P.M. on Saturday, June 4 and the funeral service will be at LaPoynor Church of Christ at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 5 with Steve Handley officiating, with burial following at Myrtle Springs Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Sister Patricia Orphanage in India, c/o LaPoynor Church of Christ, P O Box 61, LaRue, TX 75770.
Published on June 2, 2016
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