A memorial service celebrating Loretta Lee Holbrook, 88 of Tyler, will be held on Friday, October 4, 2019 at 10:00 AM at Marvin United Methodist Church Chapel with Reverend Gerry Giles officiating. The family will receive friends on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM at Jackson's Burks Walker Tippit Funeral Home in Tyler.
Loretta crossed over into eternity on Sunday, September 29, 2019 on her 88th birthday.
She was born on Tuesday, September 29, 1931 to Efton and Ima Lee Heath in Alto, Texas. Growing up a country girl after the Great Depression, life was difficult for Loretta and she was taught the value of education from a young age. She received her early schooling in Alto and was voted All School Favorite Girl, starred in her Senior play and graduated as Valedictorian of her Senior class at age 16, two years ahead of schedule. After graduation from Central High, Loretta attended Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches where she earned her Bachelors and Masters degrees in English and Literature. While attending SFA, she served as Editor and Chief of the yearbook committee, served as Secretary to the Dean of the School of English and was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma. Between her degrees, Loretta began her first teaching job in Nacogdoches and quickly made new friends that stayed in touch with her throughout her life. When her college roommate asked Loretta to serve as a Bridesmaid in her wedding, she was introduced to the vocalist, Charles Holbrook. Six months later, Charles and Loretta were married on February 28, 1954 at the First Methodist Church in Nacogdoches, where Charles was on staff at the time. After moving to Tyler in 1961, Loretta began her long career at Tyler Junior College, which lasted over 30 years. She cherished her long and fulfilling career there, and still stayed in touch with her English buddies.
Loretta's greatest passions were her family, career, and growing orchids. Her love of history and family prompted her to travel to England three times to search for her ancestral heritage, which became a passion of hers in later years. Loretta had been a member of Marvin United Methodist Church for 59 years and was a member of the Chapel Class.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, Charles Holbrook, and her only brother, Harold D. Heath.
She is survived by her only child, Linda Armstrong of Richardson, Texas; grandchildren, Anna and Charles Armstrong of Richardson; cousins, Dorothy Satterwhite of Tyler and Paul Emerson of Spring, TX and several nieces and nephews. Especially dear to her, niece, Janet Amiri and her husband, Ali; Clay Armstrong of Richardson, the father of her grandchildren; members of her Sunday School class and fellow surviving colleagues from Tyler Junior College. A special thanks to Suzie Oden, a faithful visitor.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Marvin United Methodist Church, Tyler Junior College or to the Orchid Society of East Texas. To view online, please go to www.burkswalkertippit.com.