Alberta Evelyn Porterfield Terry was born on the Porterfield family farm near Waxahachie, TX, to Ike and Alice Talley Porterfield on September 17, 1922. The family moved to Farley Street in Waxahachie in 1929. After graduating from Waxahachie High School 1940. Alberta studied home economics at Trinity University in Waxahachie, and at the University of Texas — Arlington. She married Ennis, TX, native L. C. Terry, Jr. February, 1942. Alberta, a fourth generation Waxahachie native, passed away January 12, 2017.
The newlyweds dedicated the first years of their marriage to serving their country during World War II: Alberta worked at the Farm Security Administration in Dallas coding I.B.M. Hollerith punch cards. Yeoman, L. C. worked in the office of the captain aboard the aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Saratoga in the South Pacific. In December 1944, Alberta and infant daughter Sandra joined L. C. in Bremerton, WA, where they lived until the end of the war. After the war the Terrys returned to Waxahachie where they were active in the community. Son Phillip was born before they moved to Waco in 1955.
Unlike many women in her generation, Alberta went to work, first in fine furniture retail, then as a proofreader at the Baylor Press, and as reserve librarian at Baylor Carroll Library. In 1970 the Terrys moved to Dallas, and Alberta became a budget analyst at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School where she managed the school’s research grants and helped prepare the school’s budget for the state legislature. When she retired from the medical school in 1987, she was honored by the administrators and physicians for her 16 years of exemplary service.
Loving, wise, gracious, witty, stylish and loyal, Alberta was a role model and counselor to family and friends. She was a voracious reader, church and community volunteer and world class seamstress. If she sewed a garment, it could be worn inside out with pride. “Anything worth doing is worth doing well.”
Family survivors include daughter, Sandra Terry Tompkins Dixson and husband Wayne. Phillip Wayne Terry and wife Mary Gilliland. Granddaughter, Terry Tompkins Haynes. Grandson William Christopher Tompkins, and Kitty Porterfield, widow of Alberta’s beloved brother Jovan Porterfield. Other dear relatives too numerous to mention.
The family would like to thank all the personal and professional caregivers who enabled her to live an independent lifestyle until the end of her life. They especially acknowledge Dr. James Atkins of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, whom Alberta met in 1978 and for whom she worked, who oversaw the five pacemakers that, in sequence, helped her sustain the last forty years of her life.
Alberta’s remains will be interred beside those of her beloved husband L. C. Terry, Jr., at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery. A private celebration of her life will be held at a family reunion.
Gifts in her memory may be sent to The Scholarship Fund of Alexandria, 3330 King Street, Alexandria, VA, 22302, founded by the Porterfield family, which supports high school graduates going to college; Habitat for Humanity International, 121 Habitat Street, Americus, GA 31709-3498; your local public television station; or an animal rescue organization or charity of your choice.