Beverly Jane Lampkin passed peacefully from this world into the Gates of Heaven on Sunday, February 5th, 2023. Holding her hand, as he has for the last 69 years, was her husband Al, along with her daughter and son-in-law. Beverly was born on November 22, 1937 in Dallas, Texas to Monta Vee and Rex Wright. She spent most of her young life in Dallas until she met a handsome, young TCU basketball player named Albert “Sonny” Lampkin and their love story began. They were married on June 2nd, 1954 in Durant, Oklahoma at the Justice of the Peace and they “honeymooned” at the “Dun Wandering” motel. Al was in his junior year at TCU and they lived in a small garage apartment and “survived,” in part, thanks to the food from the athletic cafeteria that Al was able to sneak back to their apartment.
Once Al graduated from TCU, he joined the Army and thus began a 20 year adventure that took the young couple around the country and world, spending time at Fort Eustis, Virginia, Gary Air Force Base in San Marcos, Texas, Fort Rucker, Alabama, Fort Hood, Texas, Fort Wolters, Texas, a three year tour in Germany, and a two year tour in Tehran, Iran. While stationed overseas, and now with three young children in tow, the family was able to visit Norway, Sweden, Holland, Gibraltar, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the French Riviera. Perhaps the most difficult time for Bev was when Al served two, one-year tours in Vietnam, but she was an Army wife through and through and took care of the children and a busy household while living in constant fear for her husband. Al’s final tour of duty took the family to Schofield Barracks, Oahu, Hawaii where Bev’s love of the ocean began. Those years were the best of the best. After Al’s retirement from the Army, the family established a home base back in Mineral Wells, Texas in 1976 and had many fun, busy years enjoying civilian life.
Beverly’s life changed in an instant when she suffered a massive stroke on August 3rd, 1991. The family was told by multiple doctors that this was a “catastrophic” stroke and she probably would not survive, and if she did, she would most likely be in a vegetative state for the remainder of her life. Her survival and the subsequent full life she was able to live after this prognosis was a testament to the amazing strength and determination of Beverly. After nearly a year of rehabilitation, she was finally able to return home and her incredible story of perseverance continued for many years. The stroke affected her entire right side as well as her speech but she made it her mission to not only LIVE, but live a full and productive life. Through rehabilitation, Bev learned how to walk again and was very proud of the fact that for years she was able to walk unassisted. She also taught herself how to do EVERYTHING with her left hand as well as regaining some of her ability to speak. It became clear that Bev was NOT going to stay home and spend the rest of her life in her chair. She wanted to learn how to drive again and since her entire right side was paralyzed, Al had her car outfitted with a left-foot accelerator and a knob on the steering wheel that made it easier for her to steer. After months of hard work on her part, Bev was given the all clear to drive on her own, which gave her a much-needed break from over-concerned family members. Before her stroke, she had been employed at MWISD as a permanent substitute and spent many years working mainly at the high school where she was loved by students and staff alike. Once she began driving again, she returned to the classroom, but this time at Lamar Elementary School where she was able to read to and listen to the children read to her. Although her speech was still greatly affected from the stroke, she had no problem reading to the kids and they came to love Mrs. Lampkin. Over the years she continued to drive herself to her favorite stores and thoroughly enjoyed her shopping sprees and spending time with her lifelong friends. Their luncheons at Pulidos were often the highlight of Bev’s week. She also participated in water aerobics at the city pool and was influential in getting a handicapped device added to the pool which made it easier for disabled people to get in and out of the water. She was able to dance with her husband at their 40th wedding anniversary party at Edelweiss in Fort Worth as well as share many other happy celebrations with friends and family. Over the years after her stroke, she and Al traveled to Cancun, drove to Lake Charles, Louisiana, Biloxi, Mississippi, made many trips to the Louisiana casinos, and even drove all the way to Lansing, Michigan to visit one of Bev’s first, and best, “Army wife” friends. Summers meant family vacations at Port Aransas and those times were so very special to her. She also attended many of her grandchildren’s basketball, baseball, and volleyball games over the years…all after being told she would not “live.” She proved everyone wrong! After breaking her hip in 2006, Beverly endured many years of surgeries and setbacks including 2 hip replacements, carpel tunnel surgery on her “good” arm, lengthening and severing of tendons in her “stroke leg” and a double heart valve replacement, but she NEVER quit or complained. She eventually needed a motorized scooter to allow her to continue her very busy life and she did not slow down for many years. In 2019, a series of medical issues caused her to be admitted to Palo Pinto Nursing Center where she remained until February 5th of 2023. Al joined her at the home in 2020 and they lived as they always had…together. Her smile could light up a room and her beauty never faded. Those who knew her will always remember her favorite phrase of “Oh my goodness” and the love she gave unconditionally to family and friends. She will be forever missed.
Survivors include Al, her husband of almost 69 years, her daughter Laurie and son-in-law Jay, daughters-in-law Era Norris and Melissa Tierney Lampkin, grandchildren Zac Lampkin and wife Fernanda, Zander Lampkin, Caitlin Benge and husband Ryan, Emily Cannon and husband Brazos, Gavin Lampkin; great-grandchildren Leila and Corban Benge, Marie, Ella and Hannah Cannon, Jordan Lampkin, and Zaia Lampkin.
Beverly was preceded in death by her parents and two sons David and Steve Lampkin.
As per her wishes, Bev’s remains will be returned to the ocean where she spent the happiest times of her life.
This verse was Beverly’s favorite and very fitting for the life she led. She is now whole and enjoying the glory that she so deserves.
“I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”