Freda Mae Wilson Lambert of Commerce, Texas, aged 85, passed away at home on May 29, 2018, surrounded by family. She was born January 5, 1933, in Sweetwater, Oklahoma. In addition to her parents, A. D. and Ruby Goodwin Wilson, Freda was born into an extremely close-knit family which included grandparents and great-grandparents, aunts and uncles, great-aunts and great-uncles, numerous cousins, and eventually, five younger siblings—Bill, Jay, Una, Darrell, and Trudy. A visitation will take place on Thursday, May 31, 2018 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Commerce Funeral Home. The funeral services will be Friday, June 1, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at the Church of Christ in Commerce, with David Gibson officiating. Interment will follow at Brigham Cemetery in Campbell, TX.
In 1942, the Wilsons moved to Beaver County in the Oklahoma panhandle where they raised wheat and cattle on their family farm. After attending several one-room, rural schoolhouses, the Wilson kids transferred to the nearby community of Follett, just across the Texas state line. Freda graduated from Follett High in 1951 and, after working for a brief period at City Drug, moved to Amarillo, Texas, to seek her fortune in the big city. There, she attended Draughon’s Business College and, upon graduating, was employed as a lab technician by the Continental Carbon Co.
In December 1955, while Christmas shopping, Freda met a young math professor named Howard “Chub” Lambert in a chance encounter at the Double Dip Drive-In. The couple married the following August and would spend the next 62 years together; no pair was ever better matched. They had two children, Kim, born in 1957, and Kirby, in 1959. When Chub completed his PhD at Texas Tech in Lubbock in 1968, the Lamberts relocated permanently to Commerce where Chub joined the math faculty at East Texas State University (now Texas A&M–Commerce).
Throughout her married life, Freda’s first priority was taking care of her family. She was the quintessential caregiver, not only to her own husband and children, but to anyone who needed a little mothering or a good, home-cooked meal. This was especially true of her church family at the Commerce Church of Christ where she was a pillar of the congregation. She devoted countless hours to teaching Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and Ladies Bible Class; keeping the nursery; singing for funerals; cooking for potlucks and college kids; visiting the sick and home-bound; being a friend to anyone in need; or just doing whatever needed to be done.
In her early years in Commerce, Freda was involved in University Dames. Later, she worked for several years as a dental assistant for Dr. G. M. “Mach” Machen. It was a job that she truly enjoyed but she gave it up readily to help take care of granddaughters Rachel and Ragan, whom she idolized, and vice versa.
Freda was an active member of, and office holder in, PEO. She loved reading and walking; excelled at playing cards of any kind, especially bridge; and was known to spend a little bit of time talking on the phone. She was a celebrated cook and enthusiastic member of “Grub Club.” She also volunteered at, and was an avid supporter of, the Northeast Texas Children’s Museum.
Throughout their married life the Lamberts loved camping, and after Chub retired in 1995 they embraced RV travel with new vigor. They eventually toured all fifty states (leaving the camper at home when they went to Hawaii) and much of Canada. They also traveled to the Caribbean, Mexico, and the British Isles. Hawaii and Nova Scotia were particular favorites, and for many years summer ventures included a long layover in Montana.
She is survived by her husband Howard of Commerce; daughter Kim Lambert and her husband Joel Gibson of Sherman, TX; son Kirby Lambert and his wife Becca Kohl of Helena, MT; granddaughter Rachel Stanton and her husband Alistair of Leesburg, VA; granddaughter Ragan Hurt and her husband Myers of Frisco, TX; brother Bill Wilson of Blackwell, OK; brother Jay Wilson and his wife Sharon of Dalhart, TX; sister Una Babitzke of Follett, TX; sister Trudy Gillespie and her husband Jim of Dumas, TX; sister-in-law Sue Lambert of Tyler, TX; uncles P. O. and John Goodwin of Dimmitt, TX; aunt Flo Ardrey of Mannford, OK; uncle Gene Goodwin and his wife Leah of Abilene, TX; numerous nieces and nephews and great- and great-great nieces and nephews; many cousins; and friends too numerous to count. Freda will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her. Freda was preceded in death by her parents, A. D. and Ruby Wilson of Follett, TX; brother Darrell Wilson of Blackwell, OK; brother-in-law Paulie Babitzke of Follett, TX; sister-in-law Dot Wilson of Blackwell, OK; and nephew Quinn Wilson of Amarillo, TX.
Freda will be remembered by many in Commerce for personal deliveries of homemade bread and her signature soup. In lieu of flowers the family requests that you share a meal with someone who is hungry, perform an act of kindness for a stranger, or befriend someone who is lonely.