On January 2nd, 2024, Anna Mae Lancaster got her wings and passed away peacefully at Hillcrest Nursing Home. She was 79 years old. She was the second child born in Wheeler, Texas, to Eugene and Mary Marie Gudgel on February 12, 1944. She grew up in a very loving home with her older sister Jeanie and younger sister Mary Helen, along with brothers Gerald and Ron. As a young child, her family moved to the tiny town of Mobeetie, Texas. She followed her big sister everywhere, even to school before she was old enough to go. They would play around the cotton fields while Gene and Marie would hoe and pick cotton. As the sisters got older, they too would help in the fields to make money for school clothes. Her younger sister Mary Helen was close enough in age that she was able to play basketball with Anna Mae. Her job on the court was to rebound and feed the ball to Anna Mae for her wicked hook shot that she was known for all over the Texas Panhandle. Her dad had spent hours working with her on it, and she scored over 60 points in multiple games.
After high school, she attended West Texas State University in Canyon, Texas, and then married her high school sweetheart Garland Lancaster on August 28, 1965. Garland and Anna Mae moved around a bit and in 1969, their first-born son Garland Scott was born in El Paso, Texas. A few years later their daughter Shelly Renee was born while living in Havre, Montana.
In December of 1977, Garland got a job with John E. Jacobson, Inc. and the family moved to Wray, Colorado. While in Wray, Anna Mae worked a few different jobs before settling as the bookkeeper at the John Deere dealership. If you ever owned a bag phone or original cellphone, you probably went to see her as she was the first in Wray to sell phones for Viaero at John Deere.
She taught herself how to play golf by reading books in her 40s. She developed a fierce love of the game and enjoyed playing in tournaments in the area, even winning the club championship a few times. Reading was another passion of hers. She loved her ladies of Wray Wreaders and loved bringing a butter rum cake when she could. She also always loved yardwork. Gardening and flowers each spring provided her joy. She didn’t miss many events; she especially loved all sports of her children when they were in school and later didn’t miss the activities and accomplishments of her grandchildren Maisy and Tell. She was fiercely protective of her loved ones and will be so missed by them.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Eugene and Marie Gudgel, and her brother Ronald Wayne. She is survived by her husband Garland, her son Scott Lancaster, daughter Shelly and her husband Brandt, along with two grandchildren Maisy and Tell Wade, all of Wray, sisters Jeanie Binnion and family of Midland, Texas, Mary Helen and family of Weimar, Texas, as well as her brother Gerald Gudgel and family of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She will be deeply missed by all.
Cremation was requested with a Memorial Service being held on Thursday, January 11, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. at the Wray United Methodist Church in Wray, Colorado with Pastor Ben Wentworth and Pastor Lisa Nordan officiating.
Memorials may be made to the Friends of the Library, Wray Community District Hospital or Hillcrest Care Center.
Schmidt-Jones Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements.