Velda Garlene Parris, 90, of Fort Worth passed away Monday December 20, 2021 after living in a nursing home for nearly 13 years.
She was survived by her adopted daughter Teresa “Tammy” Holder, grandchildren Melody Shelly, Braison Shelly and Shawnda Hughes. Her “Texas son” Don Nabb and wife Donna.
Preceded in death by her parents Velda M Tindall Smith and Louis Tindall. Daughters Vickie Marshall and Cherry Marshall. Adopted daughter Debbie Adams and husband Ted Parris.
Garlene comes from an old Fort Worth family of renowned trick ropers and riders, The Tindalls, and began learning the trade when she was about 3. Her last performance was at the Stock Show Rodeo in 1944. She and her cousin Gloria Tindall Wetzel were known as the “Tindall Sisters” where Garlene’s specialty was trick roping, riding, and racing with her educated pony “Sunray”. In 1936 at the age of 5, Garlene was named World Championship Cowgirl. She holds that title to this day. The Tindall Sisters along with Louis and Velda performed at rodeos all over including Boston, Cheyenne, Salt Lake City and Chicago. Garlene’s riding career was cut short by two horrible diseases, polio at the age of 11 and TB at the age of 12.
She married in her 20’s had two girls, Vickie and Cherry, which were taken from her by the hands of their own father. Although this tragedy left her heartbroken Garlene never gave up. She later remarried Ted Parris, fostered too many children to count, adopted two girls and raise two of her 3 grandchildren. She owned and operated two pet shops and for many years she ran the Ben Johnson Foundation and worked as a PR director for Don Ross Nabb Productions. Don was proud to have her as his “Best Man” at his wedding in 2005. Throughout her the years Garlene was always busy working on a project or charity event. Along with the artist, she was responsible for gathering many of the cowboy hats for the Hat Display in the Fort Worth Convention Center which is still hanging there today. In 2003 she was presented her mother’s award at the Cowgirl Hall of Fame and in 2005 she proudly accepted another award for her mother at the Cowboy Hall of Fame. In 2008 Garlene was inducted into the Texas Trail of Fame with a Star featured on the streets in front of the North Side Coliseum in Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District. Not long after her induction in 2008 Garlene broke some bones in her back and was hospitalized. She never returned home. Although she remained in a nursing home until her last days, Garlene remained an entertainer. Laying in her bed she would entertain anyone who would listen by telling of her many adventures of her life.
To say the least Garlene wore many hats! She was a true classic cowgirl from the golden age of Rodeo, she never gave up, and was always ready to face life’s challenges. No matter what happened, she got out of bed put on her boots and faced it head on. She remained upbeat, always very pleasant and fun to be around and had the biggest heart and love for people ever known. Never ever a dull moment, every day was an adventure in the life of Velda Garlene Parris.
There will be a tribute to her life by having her last performance as The World Champion Trick Rider at the North Side Coliseum, Fort Worth Texas. Tuesday December 28, 2021, 11:30am to 1:00pm. Open to the public.
Visitation Tuesday, December 28, 2021, 5pm to 8pm
Alpine Funeral Home
2300 N Sylvania Ave, Fort Worth, Tx 76111
Graveside Wednesday December 29, 2021, at 1:00 pm.
At Gum Springs Cemetery in Longview Texas.