Robert Glendon “Tex” Hemphill
May 22, 1918 ~ April 8, 2014
After a long struggle with COPD, Robert G. “Tex” Hemphill, 95, passed away at Confluence Hospital on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, with his son by his side. He was the first child of six and was born on May 22, 1918, in Lohn, TX, to Robbie and Josephine Hemphill. He now finds everlasting peace with the Lord and his beloved wife of over 62 years, Freda, who passed in 2008. He was also preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Joe; and two sisters, Mary and Blanche. He grew up in Texas on a family farm, where he was known as “Glen.” In the Army, his comrades called him “Tex,” which became his nickname of choice for the rest of his life. Since his father was ill, he often spoke of “growing up fast” in order to help support the family by doing a man’s full-day of work, plowing with mules before going to school each day. This caused him to stay behind a year in school; yet, he graduated salutatorian with his sister, Blanche, who was valedictorian. In his youth, he loved riding horses and told stories about how he and his uncle would race up and down steep hills, like the suicide race in Omak. He praised his mother for keeping his family well-fed during the Depression with her garden, chickens, and farm animals, and how she sold eggs for flour, sugar and gasoline. He loved music and playing the guitar and sang on the radio in Brady, TX, before WWII. In 1943, he enlisted in the Army and re-enlisted in 1945, serving in both theaters of war in the Pacific. He came close to traveling completely around the world by ship - once across the Atlantic and once across the Pacific. He was honorably discharged with the Victory Medal in 1946. On October 5, 1946, he married Freda in Vancouver, BC, and they moved to Wenatchee. His first job out of the Army was with the Washington State Highway Department. He went on to work as a mechanic for Ford Garage, Sadler & Sons, and Columbia Tractor. Later, he was “master mechanic” of heavy equipment for Goodfellow Bros. Inc. and worked on many jobs in the Northwest and Hawaii. He also worked for Selland Construction and Knutson Construction. He and Freda loved the construction life, traveling for over 20 years from job to job, meeting new people, and seeing new country. It was quite an adventure for them, and he would always say, “I’ve had a GOOD life - an interesting life, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.” He and Freda returned to Wenatchee in 1980, and retired on property at Lake Entiat. He was a good marksman and loved the outdoors, camping, hunting, and fishing. Some of his fondest memories were camping at Lake Wenatchee, fishing at Fish Lake, attending family reunions at Holter Dam in Montana, meeting friends and family in Reno, and traveling back to Texas to see his family.
He leaves to cherish his memory: two sisters in Texas, Blake and Geneva; his son, Ed “Darrell” (Glenda) of Texas; his daughter, Sherry of Wenatchee; three grandchildren, Donna Shurley and Tracie Komm, both of Texas, and Shane Griffiths of Seattle; loving nephews and nieces, four step-grandchildren and several great- and great-great-grandchildren of Texas; and his special Wenatchee friends: Jim and Sina, and Marcia and Patti from RiverWest.
Additional thanks to the staff at RiverWest Senior Living (his last home); the Confluence Hospital medical team, who treated him so well; and most importantly, our heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Jeffery Clarke and his nurse, Kay, for many years of wonderful care and compassion for both our parents.
Funeral Services will be held at Telford’s Chapel of the Valley Saturday, April 12, 2014, at 9:30 a.m. Concluding Services and Interment will follow at the Wenatchee Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday, April 11, 2014, from 10:0 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Those who wish may make memorials to the COPD Foundation (copdfoundation.org) or Alzheimer’s Research. Following Interment, please join the family for a reception potluck at RiverWest Senior Living, 900 N. Western. Arrangements are by Telford’s Chapel of the Valley, East Wenatchee.