Glenda Lee Sappington
October 28, 1927 to April 6, 2018
Glenda Lee “Sunny” Sappington was born in Ottawa, Kansas, on October 28, 1927 to Raymon Marcellus and Mary Lenore Johnson. When she was four years old her parents moved to Okmulgee, Oklahoma, and established their home where they lived for 62 years. As the oldest child she loved to do things with her father like a son would and people started calling her “Sonny.” As she grew up her nickname became “Sunny” which reflected her optimistic attitude toward life. Sunny went through her school years in Okmulgee and her first job was in high school where she typed on Saturdays for Okmulgee Mortgage Company. After graduation in 1945 she attended Oklahoma Baptist University where she was freshman queen 1945-1946. Sunny moved on to Oklahoma A & M College (now Oklahoma State University) where she was a member of Alpha Delta Pi and other campus groups and graduated with a degree in Home Economics.
Her first job out of college was in the Continental Oil Company tax department - she remembered that the first check she wrote had so many zeros that she was sure that she’d made a mistake. While at A & M she met Army veteran Bob J. Sappington who was studying business on the GI Bill. They began their journey together when they were married in Okmulgee on March 5, 1950. He went to work for Continental Oil Company and three years later they moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he began to work for Shell Oil Company. With Shell the couple moved to New York City, where they lived for several years and where they would return many times. At that point is seemed like every town they “hit” brought another new baby.
In 1959 they moved to Houston, Texas, where she was a teacher at the Lighthouse for the Blind. One of the highlights of that experience was the opportunity to meet with her U.S. representative, the future 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush. One of her favorite activities was collecting sea shells with her friends and sister Raynell. She was a member of the Houston Conchology Society for 20 years and the Houston Museum of Natural Science has a plaque honoring them for all the shells that they donated. Rather than taking early retirement the couple chose to move to Jubail, Saudi Arabia, in 1984. While in Saudi Arabia they enjoyed the life of expatriates and become international travelers who visited Australia, Pakistan, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, and a total of 60 different countries. During this time they developed a close association with Hong Kong which they would eventually visit 10 times. Their favorite trip was in 1994 when they took their daughters Lynda and Marianne and daughter-in-law Caroline, for the opportunity to experience Chinese culture and shopping.
In 1988 Bob and Sunny retired and moved to San Marcos, Texas, where they lived happily for 25 years. Sunny always had a “green thumb” and was active in the Spring Lake Garden Club where she was president in 1991-1992. Her favorite flowers were gerbera daisies, begonias, and anything in the salvia family. During their time in San Marcos they enjoyed a close association with the Fine Arts Department at Texas State University where Bob volunteered as their Travel Director for many years. The couple continued their travels around the world as Bob arranged trips for the Friends of Texas State University to Turkey, Greece, Egypt, Morocco, Italy, and many other destinations. They designed their house in San Marcos to showcase their treasures from the many countries they visited.
In 2013 Bob and Sunny again retired to independent living at The Pinnacle in New Braunfels, Texas. The following year Bob celebrated his 90th birthday and in 2015 they celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. Shortly thereafter Bob died from an accidental fall on March 28, 2015.
Sunny was preceded in death by her parents, Ray and Lenore Johnson, and her sister Raynell Nay and her husband Jim Nay. Sunny lived a long and interesting life and said “she went from the oil patch to the university” before moving on to marriage, her children, many friends, and international travel. Sunny always enjoyed making the world a little better through service, teaching, gardening, and her water colors which she generously gave to her friends and relatives. She began each day with a scripture and her Christian faith sustained her throughout her entire life.
Sunny is survived by her son Robert Lee Sappington and his wife Caroline in Moscow, ID; her daughter Lynda Carol and her husband John Parten at Canyon Lake, TX; and, her daughter Marianne Hambrick of Round Top, TX. She and Bob were especially proud of their eight grandchildren, all of whom graduated from universities. Their grandchildren include Ericha Sappington, Christopher Sappington and his wife Emma, David Sappington, Matthew Parten, Lindsay Parten, Emily Parten and her husband Chris Dudley, Wesley Hambrick, and Walker Hambrick. She was excited to meet her first great grandson, Carson Wade Dudley who was born three weeks ago. Sunny passed peacefully of age-related causes on April 6, 2018.
Her family will receive friends at Thomason Funeral Home in San Marcos on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 from 4:00 P.M. through 7:00 P.M. A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church in San Marcos on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. Donations in her honor may be made to her church at 410 West Hutchison Street, San Marcos, Texas 78666. For more information visit www.thomasonfuneralhome.com. (512) 396-2300.