Elba Ruth Vassar
August 12, 1930  -  March 20, 2018

Elba Ruth Vassar

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Funeral Service
Minton Memorial Chapel
314 S. Hedgecoke
Borger, TX  79007
Monday, March 26, 2018
11:00 am
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Westlawn Memorial ParkH
8745 Hwy 136 - 6 Miles West of Borger
Borger, TX  79007
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Elba Ruth Vassar, 87 of Canyon went to be with her Lord and Savior Monday, March 20th in Canyon. Funeral services will be 11:00 am Monday, March 26th at Minton Memorial Chapel. Burial will be in Westlawn Memorial Park under the direction of Minton Chatwell Funeral Directors of Borger.
Elba Ruth Simpson Vassar was born August 12, 1930 in Yale, Oklahoma, the eldest child of 5 born to Howard Simpson and Ruth Haskell Simpson. She also had two older half-siblings. Elba married E.W. “Runt” Vassar on July 28, 1951 and moved to Borger, Texas. She was always quick to tell you that she was a Vassar girl and a Yale Graduate! While living in Borger, she attended West Texas A&M University in Canyon Texas where she obtained a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. She taught Junior English, Speech and Drama at Phillips High School in Phillips Texas for many years.
She was preceded in death by her husband, E.W. “Runt” Vassar. She was also preceded in death by her father and mother and by her brothers Orville Simpson and Frank Simpson, and two sisters Sharon Simpson and Marie Simpson Lydon. She is survived by two daughters, Debbie Young, and husband George of Utah, and Clesta Collins, and husband Roger of Borger. She had 10 grandchildren, Leighann Shelton and Whitney Shelton (Shakeitha) of Utah, Valerie Hart (Jeff), and Zach Collins (Tiffany) of Borger, Adam Young (Maria) and Joseph Young (Briana) of Colorado, and Amanda Davis (Jack), Jacob Young (Michelle), Aaron Young and Jeanette Young of Utah. She has 23 great grandchildren, including the newest member of the family born on the same day she passed away. She is also survived by her Brother Bud Simpson, and wife Fay, her sisters Billie Jo Olive and NellAnna Lehman, and two sister-in laws, Rita Simpson and Lou McCoy, and husband George.
Elba is remembered by all as a loving person who loved life and had a smile and an encouraging word for anyone she met. She was gentle as a lamb, but had a back bone of steel and wasn’t afraid to tackle any project. She was wise, confident, and a forward thinker. She was an amazing cook. She was a very talented seamstress. She did a lot of freelance creative writing, and loved photography. She enjoyed traveling and used this passion as she did her Master’s thesis on outdoor theaters. She and her husband traveled to several venues to capture the essence of information to complete her studies. She had a special giftedness of being able to bring things to life through her abilities to write. If you knew her very well you were more than likely a character in one of her stories. She made everyone feel like they were her very favorite person on the planet. The last big writing project she did before Alzheimer’s began to rob her of her favorite joys in life, was write a family cook book with all our favorite recipes in it. What made this recipe book even more special is at the first of every section she wrote a story about each of us cooking with her. Each grandchild at some point commented “I could tell by my story that I was her favorite!”
May her giftedness live on in each of us.


Sign Guestbook
  1. Carla Flanagin
    Borger, TX

    May our dear Lord and Savior give you peace and healing.

  2. Judy Allen
    Fritch, TX

    Clesta and Vassar family, our prayers, thoughts and hearts are with you all in the loss of this precious lady. She was a remarkable educator who touched many lives. I feel blessed to have known her and to have had her for a teacher. May God bless you all and sustain you with comfort and peace and may the beautiful memories you made with your precious Mother be a comfort to you always. With love.

  3. JB and Mary Jane McDougle
    Borger, TX

    Clesta, Roger and Family. We are so sorry for your loss. Our prayers are for peace and comfort for your broken heart. I am so thankful for all the time you got to spend with your precious Mother. These are memories that you will cherish In the coming days, months and years. Love you

  4. Linda & Randall Robinson
    Borger, TX

    Deb&Clesta.... Such a great loss for you both to suffer.. Your Mother was a wonderful role model for you both..she touched many lives in her lifetime, and always with a smile. I pray God wraps his loving arms around you and your families at this time and in the days to come. What a sweet reunion in Heaven right now🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻We Love you Linda & Randall

  5. Chris Purcell
    Borger, TX

    Thank you so much Mrs. Vassar. I loved your classes in both English and Speech/Drama. You were a very good teacher and I appreciate you being such a good teacher.

  6. Jackie Cox
    Amarillo, TX

    So very sorry for your loss!! My prayers go out to the family for comfort and strength!
    RIP Elba Ruth Vassar

  7. jevan castleberry
    borger, TX

    I'm so sorry for your loss she was a great lady me my little cousin and our pastor would go up to caprock nursing home and visit with her she always made us smile and was a wonderful lady she will be missed

  8. Lanny and Dawn
    St. George, UT

    Elba made such an impact in so many lives. We were all blessed to have her in our lives. Our thoughts and prayers are extended to the entire family.

  9. Donna Drake
    Lindale, TX

    Cleats and Debbie,Sorry to hear about your Motther. May she Rest In Peace. Praying for all the family

  10. Brad and Carla Sable
    Borger, TX

    Clesta and family, You are in our thoughts and prayers for your loss of your sweet mother. May you rejoice through the tears, in knowing that she is at peace and reunited again with your dad. Your mother was one of Brad's favorite teachers at Phillips High School. He has fond memories of writing messages on the chalkboard in Mrs. Vassar's classroom for her to read, only to find a clever rebuttal the next day. It was a pleasure for me to have met your mom and hear all your heart warming stories of your journey with her through life. She was a beautiful lady, inside and out, who leaves behind a loving legacy that will live forever in the hearts of all the people who loved her. May God comfort you with precious memories and give you peace.

  11. Sandie Walser
    Forney, TX

    I’m so sorry for your loss, but glad her battle with Alzheimer’s is over.
    So many memories of her. I was part of her first junior class at Phillips. We were always pushing her boundaries and testing her. I’m glad she continued teaching. I remember learning about Mark Twain from her.
    Blessings on you and your family. Sandie Bearden Walser

  12. Judy Stark
    Amarillo, TX

    Debbie & Clesta

    I only met and visited with your Mother a couple of times over the tenure of our long and cherished friendships. What fun times we have shared. Lots of laughter.
    I know that you are a product of your parents. No doubt the smiles you shared on facebook were the mirror or her soul. We, the living, are the ones who suffer and long for just one more day but we also know she closed her eyes here to rest but stepped into the arms of God. Know that the years of laughter and smiles are even more profound now while she is reunited with your Dad and Cowboy and she will wait in the beauty of Heaven for you to join her.

    I send you both my love and wishes for the Peace of God to hold you close and comfort you and your families.


  13. Melinda (Kuhrt) Lynch
    Fountain Valley, CA

    I'm so sorry for your loss. Mrs. Vassar was such a wonderful person! Always a smile and encouraging word! Prayers and love for all the family!

  14. Rick Harbison
    Fritch, TX

    may God comfort you in your loss ...

  15. Neil’s and Anita Noland
    Grove, OK

    We are thinking of you and your family at this time and sending love and prayers. God bless you.

  16. Carolyn Wilkinson
    Fritch, TX

    So sorry for your loss. What a great and loving person. She will be miss.

  17. Elvadell Parkhurst Butler
    Collinsville, OK

    My heart,thoughts and prayers are with the family!

  18. Bettye Stevens
    Borger, TX

    I am so sorry for your loss--- I never met Elba, but by hearing all the stories from you Debbie, she was an amazing lady!

    I'm sure she is rejoicing in Heaven -- may GOD bless the family with peace during this time of such great loss.

  19. Rodney Wallen
    Tulsa, OK

    I have nothing but fond memories of her!

  20. Penny Davis Glover
    Amarillo, TX

    Debbie & Celesta,

    Your Mom has left a legacy of wonderful memories in the hearts of many students. She was truly one of my favorites. Thoughts of her make my heart happy. She was always gracious, kind and loving! You two girls are rich because of her - she has left her mark on you both. My memories of you are also sweet, her love shines great through you both. Lots of love and prayers to you as you grieve! Heaven gained a wonderful angel, thank God you will see her again!

    Penny Davis Glover

  21. Gary and Jana Ford
    Yukon, OK

    Debbie and Clesta, my heart belongs to you from my earliest memories our families lived life together. Elba was the dearest woman to my soul, helping me to grow and calling me by Jannie, only she used that name I love so dear.

  22. Brenda Cates
    Amarillo, TX

    Clesta and Debbie
    A daughters love for her Mom is undeniable. She gave you both an unconditional love that you will hold in your heart forever. May God wrap you in his blessed arms and bring you two together during this difficult time. ❤️🙏

  23. Jason young
    Sulphur, OK

    My heart hurts at the loss aunt Eba . I now she is proud of the great women her daughter have became and is in heaven dancing with uncle runt . we will met again when we all called home.

  24. Yvonne Garcia Payne
    Borger, TX

    To Debbie and Clesta, I just want to share this with you!

    Life Is Like A Journey On A Train
    Posted on June 5, 2014 by Mark Anthony
    Life is like a journey on a train… with its stations… with changes of routes… and with accidents!

    At birth we boarded the train and met our parents, and we believe they will always travel on our side.

    However, at some station our parents will step down from the train, leaving us on this journey alone.

    As time goes by, other people will board the train; and they will be significant i.e. our siblings, friends, children, and even the love of our life. Many will step down and leave a permanent vacuum. Others will go so unnoticed that we don’t realize that they vacated their seats!

    This train ride will be full of joy, sorrow, fantasy, expectations, hellos, goodbyes, and farewells.

    Success consists of having a good relationship with all the passengers…requiring that we give the best of ourselves.

    The mystery to everyone is:

    We do not know at which station we ourselves will step down.

    So, we must live in the best way – love, forgive, and offer the best of who we are.

    It is important to do this because when the time comes for us to step down and leave our seat empty —
    we should leave behind beautiful memories for those who will continue to travel on the train of life.

    I wish you a joyful journey for the coming year on the train of life. Reap success and give lots of love.

    More importantly, thank God for the journey!

    Lastly, I thank you for being one of the passengers on my train!

    A good friend sent this to me and I wanted to share it with all of you for we truly are passengers on the train of life

    Many Blessings,

  25. Karen Bartel Bradshae
    Marrero, LA

    Miss Vassar was an inspiration to me. As a result of her teaching, I became a successful songwriter. and I will never forget her classes , she pushed me to be the best!!! I competed in prose reading and I remember Miss Vassar working with me after school and believing that I could do it.. I have 4 favorite teachers from Philips High School..Miss Vassar is in the top... I honestly believe my success in writing lyrics comes from her outstanding teaching. Thank you Miss Vassar!! I will never forget you...my next song will be dedicated to you..

    Karen Bradshaw

  26. Verna Leaverton
    Lake Jackson, TX

    I am sorry I never met your mother but I felt I knew her through you. I loved the story about her favorite seafood restaurant. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

  27. Doug Nicoson
    Borger, TX

    May god comfort all.

  28. Cathy Kilkuskie Pruiett
    Amarillo, TX

    Thanks to Mrs. Vassar’s speech class for helping me overcome my shyness in high school. We were given the task of writing our own epitaph and then reading it to our peers. I spoke about my life as the first woman Pope (aka Pope Catherine). I don’t recall the details but the class loved it and laughed heartily with me. Suddenly I lost all bashfulness and it never returned. Mrs. Vassar had a way of bringing out the best in her students thru her big heart and encouraging words. For this, I have remained forever grateful. Prayers and hugs for her family.

  29. Cathy Coleman
    Canyon, TX

    Clesta and Family,

    I am so sorry for your loss. Please know you’re in my thought and prayers!

  30. Sandra Schroeder Sargent
    Southlake, TX

    Mrs. Vassar,
    Thank you for your talents and gifts you shared, always with your wonderful smile. My prayers for the Vassar family as they process your loss and remember the good times.

  31. Stacy Mitchell
    Borger, TX

    Debbie and Clesta.....
    My thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this very difficult time.

  32. David Sly
    Fritch, TX

    I was so sorry to hear of the passing of your Mom. She was a really sweet lady, may God Bless you all and your may your Mom rest in peace. Mary Sly

  33. Lisa Gillispie
    Borger, TX

    Dear Clesta and family,

    As I left you in prayers, I think of the journey you have made. I pray for comfort and I pray that you can find peace in your mother's restored body, rejoicing in heaven.

    God Bless


  34. Mary Lou Lozier
    Fritch, TX

    Thoughts and prayers
    Mary Lou Lozier

  35. Autry & Joyce Coile
    , TX

  36. Debra Zigmond
    Fritch, TX

    Praying for you and your family. I love y'all and hope it brings peace knowing she is with our Heavenly Father.

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