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1933 Willie 2023

Willie Robert Hobbs

August 3, 1933 — January 12, 2023

Waco, Texas

On Thursday, January 12, 2023, Willie Robert Hobbs, loving husband, and father of two, passed away peacefully at age 89. Loved ones and close friends surrounded him.

Willie was born in Mexia, Texas, to Willie Robert Hobbs Sr. and Gertrude Briscoe Hobbs on August 3, 1933. In 1945, his family moved to Fort Worth, TX, where he grew up. His never-ending quest for knowledge guided him to Prairie View A&M University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Arts. Willie’s studious nature proved to be a blessing for more than academics. He met Barbara, the love of his life, during a study session at the library. Destiny spoke, and on June 16, 1956, they embarked on their glorious 66-year journey as husband and wife.

Helping others was the driving force that governed Willie’s career. It began at the Texas State School for the Blind, Deaf, and Orphans in Austin, Texas, and continued to the Gatesville State School for Boys. Work eventually led him to Waco, TX, where he served with the Waco ISD, the Office of Economic Opportunities Advancement Corporation, and in April of 1970, the McLennan Community College, where he retired as Director of Admissions after more than 25 years of service, in March of 1995.

Willie was part of the Waco delegation of 12, an advocacy group formed on behalf of American POWs, and supported by the US State Department, that visited Paris during the Paris Peace Talks for negotiations with officials in North Vietnam in April 1971. They presented 40,825 letters and petition signatures to persuade them to better the prison camp conditions and improve the treatment of American POWs. A Freedom Fountain stands in downtown Waco to memorialize the inspiration of their efforts.

Willie served on a vast array of boards in the city of Waco. His legacy of service included the Heart of Texas Housing Finance Board, two years on the Hillcrest Hospital Trustee Board of Directors, and the Freeman Center Board. He also served with the YMCA, Red Cross, and United Way. Willie was a devoted 51-year member of the Lion’s Club and was voted 2022 Lion of the Year. His brilliant light will continue to lead and inspire the many hearts it touched.

In 1995 Willie and Barbara retired to enjoy their true passion, travel. Over the next 28 years, their cup for adventure was filled to the brim as they trekked across a multitude of countries on five continents. They embraced every mode of travel, but none spoke louder than the call of the sea. Especially on a cruise through the Caribbean.

Willie was preceded in death by his daughter Glenda Reynolds, and siblings, Charles, John, Ada Hart and Ester Ringer. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; his daughter, Gayl; his son-in-law, Terence Reynolds; his sisters Gloria Brown, Cornelia Wells, Helen Hawthorne, brothers Lacy and Ervin, and his huge family.

A private service for the family will be held on Saturday. A memorial service will be held on February 4, 2023, at Lake Shore Baptist Church in Waco at 1pm.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Willie Hobbs Memorial Scholarship at the McLennan Community College Foundation, 1400 College Drive, Waco, TX 76708, or online at http://bit.ly/MCCFND21 .

Registry for Willie Hobbs

Service Schedule

Past Services

Private Family Service

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

Grace Gardens Funeral Home Chapel

8220 Woodway Drive, Woodway, TX 76712

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Memorial Service

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

Lake Shore Baptist Church, Waco

5801 Bishop Drive, Waco, TX 76710

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