Laurel Stinnett Emmett – October 2, 2011

Laurel Stinnett Emmett, 82, of Amarillo, died Sunday, October 2, 2011.
The funeral service will be on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. in St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church with the Rev. Jo Roberts Mann officiating.  A short reception will follow at the church parish hall, with the burial at Llano Cemetery following thereafter.  Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.
Born Nov. 10, 1928, Laurel was the eldest child of Peggy Masterson Stinnett and Beaumont Stinnett.  Laurel was born of Panhandle pioneer stock.  Her mother’s ranching family, the Mastersons, moved to the Panhandle in the 1880’s and to Amarillo in 1910.  Her father’s family, the Stinnetts, moved from Fort Worth to Amarillo in 1904.  The town of Stinnett was named for her grandfather, Albert Sidney Stinnett.
Laurel grew up in a close and loving family with her parents, her sister, Sidney and later, with her much younger brother, Ben.
She attended Margaret Wills Elementary, Central Junior High and graduated from Amarillo High School in 1947.  Following high school, she attended Gulf Park College in Long Beach, Mississippi.  The friendships she made in school remained a constant source of pleasure to her throughout her life; in fact she continued to meet monthly and on birthdays for lunch with a close group of women whose friendships went back to her high school days and earlier.
In 1950, Laurel married Walter Wayne Dammier, with whom she had her two children, Wayne S. and Victoria.
In 1975, she married Walter Charles Emmett, after they had become acquainted at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.  It was “Emmett’s” great pleasure in life to shower his wife with kindness.  They were married for 26 happy years.
Laurel was a hometown girl.  She grew up in Amarillo, lived in the city her entire life and was a part of many organizations which enriched her life and which she, in turn, enriched with her membership.
She was a life-long and devoted member of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, having been baptized at that parish as an infant.  As an adult she was, for many years, a member of both the Altar Guild and the Flower Guild.
Laurel was a sustaining member of the Junior League of Amarillo, a member of the Woman’s Club, the Amarillo Art Alliance and a member and past president of the Amarillo Symphony Guild.  She was a supporting member of the Amarillo Museum of Art, the Amarillo Opera, the Amarillo Symphony and the Amarillo Area Foundation.
Laurel had an abiding interest in the arts and of their promotion and growth in Amarillo, the Panhandle, and the state.  Governor Dolph Briscoe appointed her to the Texas Commission on the Arts in the 1970’s.  She was a founding member and first president of the Art Force in 1985.  She took special pleasure in watching the Art Force grow and become a continuing source of support for students pursuing studies in the Arts and Humanities at Amarillo College.
The world was a kinder and gentler place with Laurel in it.  Her positive outlook and appreciation of those around her could be inspiring.  As one family member said of her, “You felt better about yourself when you were with her because you knew she felt good about you.”
Laurel loved to be with her friends and to enjoy people.  If it was possible, she never missed a party.
Family was a dominant factor in Laure’s life.  She, her sister Sidney and her mother Peggy, who passed away in 2007 at age 100, were a strong three-some for many years.  She was a loving and devoted mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and aunt to her nephews and their families.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, her husband, Walter Emmett, in 2002, and her son, Wayne Stinnett Dammier, in 2008.
A daughter, a daughter-in-law, five grandchildren, her sister and brother-in-law, four nephews and their families survive her.  These include her daughter, Victoria Haile and her partner Frank Vargo of Scottsdale, AZ.  Victoria’s three children are Megen Blackburn, Benjamin Walter Masterson Blackburn and Ashley Haile.  Also her daughter-in-law, Mary Kay Dammier, whose two children are Laurel Catherine and Jordan Wayne; her sister, Sidney Boyce and husband John, Jr. and their four sons, John K. Boyce III, Beaumont Stinnett Boyce, Peter Masterson Boyce and William Curtis Boyce and their wives, and 9 great-nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to the Art Force in care of Amarillo College Foundation, P.O. Box 447, Amarillo, TX 79105-9973; or to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 1601 S. Georgia St., Amarillo, TX 79102.
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