In Memoriam: Bennie Lou Weaver
Long-Time ABF Member Passes at 88
ABF member Bennie Lou Weaver passed away May 16, 2011, at home in Lynn Grove, Texas, with Binford Weaver, her husband of 52 years and nine months, by her side. Weaver was a strong supporter of the ABF since joining the organization in 1979.
Bennie Lou Franks Weaver was born January 9, 1923, to Dovey Lucille Barnett Franks and Robert Ingram Franks in Del Rio, Texas.
Bennie Lou spent her early years ranching in West Texas, losing her father, Bob, to an auto accident in 1930. Bennie Lou and Dovey persevered, ranching a 26 section place between Fort Stockton and Iraan until moving to another large ranch outside McCamey, where Bennie Lou graduated as salutatorian of the 1941 class. Bennie Lou entered Baylor University on a scholarship in the fall of 1941, taking a leave of absence during the first years of World War II to help her mother on the ranch. Bennie Lou returned to Baylor and graduated in 1946, majoring in English with a minor in Music. After graduation, she married Phillip Renstrom, moved to California and taught high school in the San Francisco Bay area, and later at Kearney, Nebraska. Her first marriage ended in divorce, and she returned to Waco, Texas, teaching English while earning her Master's degree in guidance and counseling at Baylor.
Bennie Lou remained close to her former roommate at Baylor, Reba Lou Weaver Campbell, and Reba's family, especially Reba's brother, Binford. Bennie Lou and Binford were married on August 9, 1958, and afterward she made a loving home in Lynn Grove.
Bennie Lou served as a guidance counselor and teacher at Navasota High School in the late 1960s and early 1970s, where she joyfully influenced the development and success of many young people. Bennie was also a certified Red Cross swimming and lifeguard instructor, and for many years shared responsibilities for the summer swimming program at the Navasota pool with her good friends, Jackie Baker, Carol Coleman, Anne Largent, Diane Moore and others.
She supported her husband as an active member and leader of the ABF, attending every meeting of the ABF from 1969 until 2009. She was active in the Navasota Music Study club and the Navasota Garden club, serving as president of each, and an avid bridge player. Bennie Lou was a founding member of the Grimes County Republican Party and an early supporter of George H. W. Bush in his campaigns for Congress and the Senate in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Bennie Lou grew up in the Baptist Church, became a member of the Lynn Grove Methodist Church after marriage, and subsequently, the First Presbyterian Church in Navasota, where she remained a faithful attendee until failing health intervened.
Bennie Lou was preceded in death by her father, Robert (August 30, 1930); her mother, Dovey (March 28, 1972); her adopted sister, Barbara Robinson, and Bennie Lou's beloved son, Robert Roy Weaver (January 15, 1995). She is survived by her husband, Binford, of Lynn Grove, a son, Daniel Binford Weaver and daughter-in-law, Laura Gregory Weaver, and three grandsons, Travis Binford Weaver, Dylan Gregory Weaver and Stone Barnett Weaver, all of Austin, Texas.
Bennie Lou never met a stranger, regardless of origin; could find a fellow Texan in the dark on a new moon anywhere she roamed, but folks from west of the Nueces were her favorites; she was always quick with a smile but ready to speak her mind. Bennie Lou was a master of Southwestern cooking and a lover of classical, big band and jazz music; a fierce protector of right over might, and compassionate to those in need. Mostly, she was one of a kind.
posted May 2011