In the early hours of July 23, 2016, Norma Lynne (Jenkins) Gammage, flew home with her beloved husband, Manny Gammage, who went to Jesus 20 years earlier.
Norma was born in a small cabin in Madison County, Madisonville, Texas, to Joel Leon and Mildred Mahdeen (Nolen) Jenkins, on December 22, 1938, the second of three children. She was a very shy child, who preferred staying home with family as much as possible. At her father’s urging, she would sing with him, but didn’t like being in front of too many people.
Norma was also preceded in death by her mother and father. She is survived by her sister, N. Leown Byers (husband, Robert), brother Joel L. Jenkins, Jr. (wife, Maxine), her son, M. G. “Tex” Gammage (wife, Mary C.), daughters, Phyllis L. Gammage and Joella M. Torres (husband, David A.), 10 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren.
Norma was welcomed into the family business in 1970, because of her artful sewing skills, which she practiced for over 45 years, before retiring last November due to failing eyesight. She was the epitome of, “the woman behind the man”, as Manny became the public face of Texas Hatters for the next 25 years, while she worked tirelessly to turn out the sewing and sometimes leatherwork for the hats he made. Together, they hatted tens of thousands of people, from all walks of life, over the course of their careers. They became famous in their own right, by hatting noted people, such as: Jerry Jeff Walker, Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Ronnie and Donnie VanZant, Hank Williams, Jr., Burt Reynolds, princesses, princes, kings, presidents, politicians on both sides of the isle and many more regular people.
If you are ever in our neighborhood, come on by. I would love to show you around the store that has been in my family for many years. Let us design the right hat for you.