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Sarah Bybee

Obituary for Sarah Bybee

October 29, 2017 - December 24, 2017
Austin, Texas


Sally Bybee died in her sleep around 4:30 a.m. in her apartment in the Arbour nursing wing at Westminster Manor in Austin, Texas, on the 24th of December 2017. She had recently enjoyed celebrating her 100th birthday with two dozen family members. Funeral service was at the Lakeway Church at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, January 20, 2018, followed by burial at the Forest Oaks Memorial Park.

Sally was born at the Allen Memorial Hospital in Bonham, Texas, at 11:30 a.m. on the 29th of October 1917 to Richard Travis "R.T." Lipscomb (a lawyer, born 1884 – died 1947) and Leonora Gale "Nora" Lipscomb (a housewife and Baptist church singer and Sunday school teacher, born 1891 – died 1986) both of whom had also been born in Bonham. Her baby book says she was born at 10 pounds and got her first tooth and started speaking and sitting up alone at 7 months. She started walking at 11 months. She was followed by siblings Elizabeth Gale Lipscomb "Tid" Turner (born 1919) and Richard Travis "Rick" Lipscomb, Jr. (born 1925 – died 1988). Growing up, Sally had fond memories of going to their Ector, TX, farm where they raised sheep. A favorite memento was a white blanket woven with blue flowers and green leaves professionally made from their wool. She also remembered family drives in the Model T and later cars to Dallas for shopping, entertainment, and to see the family flour mill. The state of the roads often required changing tires in the mud. Their house was two stories on an entire block at 400 East 9th Street which was replaced by six newer houses after Nora moved out. This was the site of many remembered parties including junior and senior prom.

She attended Bonham public schools and graduated from Bonham High in 1935. She entered The University of Texas in Austin majoring in math and pledged the Delta Delta Delta sorority. She was later elected into Orange Jackets, Mortar Board, and the Phi Beta Kappa honorary society. Throughout school she was active in student politics (including secretary of the Students' Association) and made many friends, many of whom later moved on to state and national politics. There she met her husband to be Halbert Homer "Hal" Bybee who was also a native Texan, majoring in geology, and a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity. Sally graduated in 1939 and married Hal on December 23, 1940, just missing the longest wedding night of the year in deference to other friends. While waiting for Hal to graduate, Sally worked for the university administration.

When Hal graduated in 1941 he got a job with the Carter Oil Company as a field geologist and they started a tour of the Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky oil fields. There they survived war rationing and snowy winters. They had a son, Hal, Jr., in 1942, and a daughter, Ann Marie (born 1945 – died 2013) both in Evansville, Indiana. In 1947, Hal got a job with the Continental Oil Company and they moved to Fort Worth, Texas. This started a tour of the west Texas oil fields with stops in Abilene, Wichita Falls, Midland, and Houston. Along the way the family converted from Baptist to Presbyterian. In Wichita Falls, they designed and built their first new house, using Indiana Limestone from his mother's family's quarry and mill. Sally was active with the several geological wives' organizations and started teaching math at Midland High School. She specialized in special remedial and special advanced classes. When they moved to Houston in the middle 1950s, Sally taught at Spring Branch High School for a few years and finished at Memorial High School, also in the Spring Branch district. In Hal's later career he managed Gulf of Mexico offshore and North Slope Alaska oil fields. They had one short assignment where they lived in Georgetown, Guiana, and he consulted with the local government under a temporary title of Conoco vice president. She enjoyed this life in a foreign country.

As Hal neared retirement, they bought a lot on the 12th fairway at Lakeway at Lake Travis, 20 miles west of Austin. They spent many happy weekends clearing the lot of rocks and red cedar trees. They designed a home for retirement, had it built, and moved in in 1983. They made two trips to China and the Far East where Hal did geological consulting through People to People. He came down with a rare blood disorder and died November 14, 1984. His funeral was at the Lakeway Church and he was buried in the Forest Oaks Memorial Park south of Lakeway with the plot next to him reserved for Sally.

Over the following 20 years, Sally kept up the house, visited grandchildren, and took about one ocean cruise per year. Most were for sightseeing but one with her sister was to view a total eclipse of the sun. She also enjoyed having the grandchildren come visit at Christmas. Hal, Jr. married Karen Elisabeth Kummer and had one daughter Alice Marie. Ann married Walter Preston Tyree, III and had two sons, Walter Preston, IV, and John Edward. Sally also enjoyed six nieces and nephews on the Lipscomb side of the family and their various children. Tid and Buster Turner had Susie, Sally, and Jane. Rick and Phil had Mark, Jan, and Linda. When Sally's mother was no longer able to live by herself, she moved to a nursing home in north Texas and then to one in Austin, where she died in 1986. As great grandchildren came along, Sally enjoyed visiting them and having them come visit her. Walter Preston, IV and Nina had Carter, Isabel, and Caroline. John and Brigitte had Abigail, Owen, and Benjamin. Alice and Arvi Raquel-Santos had Zoe.

Sally also enjoyed relatives from Hal's side of the family. When Hal's mother's family closed down their Indiana limestone mill and quarry in Bloomington, Indiana, Hal's youngest brother, Wilbur (four sons), lead the other siblings (Hal, Bob (three daughters), and Martha (a daughter and two sons)) to purchase another limestone fabrication mill, now named the Bybee Stone Company in Ellettsville, Indiana. When Hal died, Sally took over his seat on the board of directors before passing it down to Hal, Jr. She had the Bybee Stone Company fabricate a Celtic cross and some benches that she designed and gave to the Lakeway Church in memory of Hal for their memorial garden.

Around 2000 it began to be harder and harder to travel the dark, windy, hilly, 20 miles of highway 2222 coming home from parties in Austin. Sally put her name on the waiting list and after a few years moved into town to Westminster Manor in 2004. At Westminster she enjoyed spending time with her many friends from university days along with the fine chefs and the busses for trips to the symphony and the opera.

In 2012 Sally moved into the Arbour nursing wing at Westminster. There she continued to enjoy participating with others in bingo, dominos, sing-alongs, chair exercise classes, meals, and other celebrations. On her own she would work Sudoku, crossword, and jigsaw puzzles. It was a highlight when members of the family visited, especially for her birthday parties. Many family members came to her 100th birthday party the end of October. She recently commented that she had been surprised to see students she had taught in high school start moving in to the nursing wing. She befriended many on the nursing wing staff and will be missed by friends and family alike. We are all grateful for her long life and positive contributions to people and society.

Memorials may be made to the Lakeway Church, 2203 Lakeway Blvd, Lakeway, TX 78734.

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  • Memorials may be made to the Lakeway Church, 2203 Lakeway Blvd, Lakeway, TX 78734.

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Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home Lake Travis

411 Ranch Rd. 620 S.
Lakeway, TX 78734
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