Barbara Janet Parks Houston was born to Graydon Bernard Parks and Elsie Bankhead Parks on Dec. 18, 1930, in Millsap, Texas. She passed from this life on May 29, 2014, in Hobbs, New Mexico.
Barbara attended school in Millsap and graduated from Millsap High School in 1947. She attended the University of North Texas, earning a B.A. in English in 1951 and a Masters in English in 1962. Barbara began her teaching career in Millsap. She also taught in Abilene, Mineral Wells and Ponder before moving to Hobbs in 1957.
On Aug. 25, 1956, Barbara married Frank Norman Houston, III at First Methodist Church in Millsap. They moved to Hobbs, New Mexico in 1957. Two children were born of this union: Leslie Houston Hill, of Hobbs, and John Houston, of Millsap.
Barbara began teaching at Hobbs High School in August 1957. She taught both English and Spanish her first year and English only thereafter. In 1969, she was named the first department chairman of the English department and served in that capacity until 1978 when she became the first female assistant principal at Hobbs High. In January 1988 she became the principal at Highland Junior High School until her retirement in 1990. Following her retirement from the Hobbs schools, she made the Hobbs High School class schedule for 1991 and taught English Literature at University of the Southwest. The AP curriculum that is currently used by the Hobbs High School English Department is based upon the Honors English curriculum that she created in the 1960s.
Barbara was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma and the Women’s Civic Club. After retirement Barbara and Frank traveled extensively with primary focus on Europe and Great Britain.
She is survived by her husband of 57 years; her daughter, Leslie Hill and husband, Donnie Hill, of Hobbs, New Mexico; and her son, John Houston, of Millsap. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Mark Hill, of Lubbock, Lauren Hill, of Hobbs, Hannah Hill, of Hobbs, Donnie Hill, Jr., of Hobbs, Sherry Hill Goodwin and husband, Brian, of Hobbs, Amy Hill, of Hobbs, and Richard Hill and wife, Brooke, of Midland, as well as eight great-grandchildren.
Barbara was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, G.B. Parks, of Millsap.
Family visitation was held Monday, June 2, 2014, at Chapel of Hope Funeral Home. Funeral services were held Tuesday, June 3, 2014, at First Presbyterian Church with Dr. Gary Dill presiding. Graveside services will be held 11 a.m. Friday, June 6, 2014, at Millsap Cemetery, Millsap, Texas. Arrangements are under the direction of Chapel of Hope Funeral Home, Hobbs, New Mexico. www.chapelofhopefunerals.com.