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Twila Whitten (Tulia)

April 30, 1941 — October 30, 2021

Twila Whitten (Tulia)

Tulia, Texas—Twila Joyce Whitten was born April 30, 1941, in Lubbock to Estle and Christine Haught. I went to school in Smyer and Shallowater and later moved to Tulia in the 4th grade. I grew up on a farm with my younger brother Gary Don Haught. I learned to chop cotton, pick cotton, drive a John Deere tractor, wring the head of a chicken off, and set irrigation tubes out of a ditch. We did not have indoor plumbing and got our water from the windmill.  I didn’t have a phone until after graduation from high school and moved to Lubbock to go to beauty school. I got my license in 1959. I married my high school sweetheart, Billy Whitten on January 1, 1960, and moved to Denver, Colorado where Billy went to a tv electrician school. I got my Colorado hairdresser’s license and worked in Denver. Billy joined the Air Force, and we were transferred to Salina, Kansas, I got my 3rd state hairdresser’s license, and our first angel Tad was born in Salina. Later we were transferred to Lompoc, California and I got my 4th state license. After completing 4 years in the Air Force, we moved back home to Tulia and Billy took over his dad’s plumbing business. I wanted to be a coach, so I started college at WTSU and worked at Joyce’s Beauty Shop here in Tulia. We had our second angel, Toy, was born in Plainview. I continued to work and go to college and with Billy’s and our parents' help, I graduated in 1969 and started coaching at Tulia Jr. High. I loved coaching and teaching in Jr. High, later I took the Varsity position. We had lots of success on the basketball court and track. In 1980 our Cross-Country team won state. The girls thought I was pretty tough when I took them out to the golf course in our station wagon and made them run the hills. I also taught driver’s education, which was fun but a little scary. Later I taught 8th grade science, and this was very enjoyable to teach boys and girls. I loved working with teenagers and watching my own children play ball. I started Little Dribblers in Tulia and worked at basketball camps in Levelland. 

I love running into students that say, “do you remember me?” and I say after 50 years, “are you kidding?”. Most of the time I do remember and most of the time it was a good memory that I have. I also remember the time you ran over a dog in our drivers ed class, and I remember the time I found you hiding in the girl's restroom because it was too cold to run in the track meet finals even though you had the fastest time in the prelims. Yes, lots of good memories. 

After coaching and teaching for 25 years we were blessed with our first grandchild. He was born visually impaired, and God called me and said teach Rowdy. I continued to teach science and started to work on my VI certification and after summers and weekends I finished. Learning braille was the hardest thing I have ever done. This was another golden bridge to cross. 

Billy and I loved to travel.  We traveled to many countries in Europe and Asia, including New Zealand and Australia.  We went on many cruises. China was my favorite trip. We went to 47 of the United States. We loved to follow our grandkids around and watch them play ball, and of course, did a little private coaching. We took our kids and grandkids on our 50th anniversary to the Caribbean, this was a great trip. 

In 2018 I lost my sweetheart of almost 59 wonderful years. In 2019 I received my 50-year pin for teaching in Tulia ISD but didn’t stop teaching visually impaired students part time. I help Rowdy in his coffee shop and continue to teach and work in the yard. 

My family is the joy of my life. Our son, Tad Whitten and wife Beth, Shelby and Gracie live in Liberty Hill.  Our daughter, Toy and husband Rank Cogdell, Rowdy and his wife Taylor and Riley live near Silverton. My brother Gary Don Haught lives in Tulia. I am writing this on one of the days I had to stay in the house during the Corona Virus, April 9, 2020, because it was too cold to work in the yard. I don’t sit well and prefer to be out doing something. Work keeps me going. Praise God for my family and good health. I pray every day for vision for Rowdy and that I will use my good health and energy to help others. 

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 pm Saturday, November 6, 2021, in the First United Methodist Church with Pastor Sam Espinoza officiating. No burial will follow as she has given her body to the Texas Tech Willed Body Program for research. 

Visitation will be held on Saturday, November 6, 2021, from 10:00 to 11:45 AM at the funeral home. 

Arrangements are under the care of Kornerstone Funeral Directors of Tulia. 

Memorials may be made to The Seeing Eye, (to benefit seeing eye dogs). 

Online condolences may be made at

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Past Services


Saturday, November 6, 2021

10:00 - 11:45 am (Central time)

Kornerstone Funeral Directors-Tulia

201 West Broadway Avenue, Tulia, TX 79088

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Funeral Service

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

First United Methodist Church-Tulia

110 North Briscoe Avenue, Tulia, TX 79088

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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