Ranger Exes Memorial - RHS Class of 1962

Carol Montgomery CAROL MONTGOMERY LANIER, 50, was born in Nixon, Gonzales County, TX, May 12, 1944, and eleven minutes before her identical twin sister, Emma Lou. In 1955 the family moved to the Bullock Community, north of Ranger, TX and the twins started fifth grade at Hodges Oak Park School. They were the second and third of five children born to Homer Clayton Montgomery, Sr. and Esther Lavina Montgomery, nee Hamilton. Carol Sue and I (now Emma Lou Mayers) started beginning band in grade school, eventually settling on the French horn as our preferred instrument. Carol was very talented with the French horn throughout Junior High and High School, usually maintaining first or second chair. She won several medals and awards in band, topping them off with a place in the All State Band during her junior year. We twins sang from almost the time we could talk; singing in churches, at banquets and other special occasions, and at school functions. One of the fun things that we could do well together was we could start on the same song at exactly the same instant without saying a word to each other about which song we were going to sing. This is something that is usually common to twins. It was as if we could read each other’s mind. Carol taught herself to play the piano and, after her marriage, she played for her church and sang specials. Her musical talents helped her over many hard times and brought her a lot of peace during her lifetime. She acquired a beautiful old pump organ from a church in Eastland. I can still see her now, pumping her feet furiously, her hands flying across the keys with her head thrown back and eyes closed singing “Whispering Hope”. On July 14, 1961 Carol married Billy Gene Hallmark of Eastland. From this union, four children were born: Clifford Gene, Mary Sue, Larry Dean, and Billy Joe. Bill and Carol started in the florist business and owned shops in Eastland and Cisco, Texas. They later moved to Fort Worth, Texas where Carol became a noted floral designer around the Metroplex. In 1980 Carol married Wayne Lanier and moved to Amarillo, Texas. While there she worked at a wholesale florist company and eventually had an opportunity to buy a small shop in Perryton, Texas. Carol and Wayne moved to Balco, Oklahoma, a small farming community about 25 miles north of Perryton, in the Oklahoma panhandle. At night from her front porch, one could see the lights of Liberty, Kansas. Eventually she learned to drive an eighteen-wheeler, sold her flower shop, and went on the road with her husband. Carol passed away of colon cancer on October 15, 1994, in Amarillo, Texas. Because she had no permanent home, I was fortunate to be able to rent a small apartment and moved her in with me during her final months. We were never able to live close to each other during our adult years, but we were together for the last few months of her life. It was both the worst and the best of times, with lots of tears and lots of laughter. She used to introduce me to her friends as her “womb mate”. Carol will always be dearly loved and sorely missed. She was strong in her faith and brave in her fight. She left a large hole in her family’s life…certainly my life…but her humor, gentleness, and brave heart will always be with us. Carol is also survived by her mother, Esther and sister Peggy, both of Gilmer, Texas; her brother, Homer Clayton (RHS-1960) of Lake Kiowa, Texas; and sister, Charlene, of Grand Prairie, Texas. Carol was interred in a small family cemetery one mile east and one mile north of the cross roads which makes up the community of Balco, OK, on the windswept prairie of the Oklahoma Panhandle. She loved the country life and she loved the people in the Balco community. Although it may seem to be a long way from the rest of her family, she put her roots in Balco, sending her kids to school there and otherwise becoming a part of the gentle people found on the Oklahoma Panhandle Prairie. Submitted by Emma Lou (Montgomery) Mayers (RHS-1962)