Joann Magruder of Odessa, Texas died April 28th, after a long struggle with Alzheimer's Disease.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. at the First Christian Church in Odessa at 601 North Lee, on Tuesday, May 1st, with a graveside service to follow at Sunset Garden. Memorials may be sent to the James L. West Special Care Center, 1111 Summit Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas, 76102.
Joann was born on September 21, 1933 in Midland to Ewell McKnight and Lucille White McKnight, fifth generation cattle ranchers, and spent her youngest years, along with her brother Robert, on the Gist Ranch, north of Odessa. The family eventually moved into town, and Joann graduated from Odessa High School in 1950.
Joann attended Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, where she met and later married Hal Lambert. After service in the United States Air Force, Joann and Hal settled in Odessa where they raised four children: Hal Blake, Jr., the twins, Louis and Lyndon, and, finally, a baby girl, Elizabeth. Joann joined the Lutheran Church and became a substitute teacher at Redeemer Lutheran, as well as being active in the Altar Guild and Vacation Bible School. Her faith was central to her life and carried her through the years, through joy and through grief (including the heartbreaking loss of two of her boys, Lyndon in 1999, and Blake, in 2000).
Joann had an eye for color and for design, and had a great appreciation for the fine arts and a love of music. She was instrumental in the creation of and fundraising for the Art Institute of the Permian Basin (now the Ellen Noel Museum of Art) and was honored by the Odessa Heritage Society as Outstanding Odessan in the Arts. Joann served on the board of directors of American State Bank of Odessa and on the board of the Odessa/Midland Symphony. She was an active member of the Odessa Junior Service League, and served as its President. She also served as President of Fiesta del Arte, the Ellen Noel Museum and the Crystal Ball Foundation. The McKnight family (with the Houston Endowment) donated land in northeast Odessa to the University of Texas system, the site upon which U.T. Permian Basin was built, and Joann proudly served on UTPB's Board of Development.
Joann married Edwin Magruder of Midland late in life, after meeting and dancing on a cruise ship. They lived many good years together before her illness advanced.
Joann exhibited humor, grace and affection during her struggle with Alzheimer's Disease. She lived each day with optimism and love. Joann's family wishes to thank the many people who contributed to her care throughout this long and valiant battle, including caregiver Linda McClaskey. We also would like to express our deepest gratitude to Dr. Janice Knebl and the fine and loving staff of the James L. West Special Care Center in Fort Worth.
Survivors include: Son, Louis Lambert of Fort Worth, daughter, Elizabeth Lambert of Austin; husband Edwin Magruder of Midland; nieces and nephews, Bobby McKnight of Fort Davis, Marci Stocker of Fort Worth, Cathy McKnight of Dallas, Sue Ivey of Abilene, John McKnight of Fort Worth, Becca Stupfel of Fort Worth and Debbie Milburn of Colorado; and, grandchildren Amanda Lambert and Andrew Lambert of Odessa.
If someone can be of a place, Joann was of West Texas. More than anyone, she loved its sunsets, dark nights and star-filled skies, in which she felt the presence of God. Joann leaves an everlasting legacy of beauty, generosity, humor, curiosity and unconditional love. We will miss her so much.