Pearl Ellen Preston Snyder, 93, of Garland, Texas died peacefully after a long decline on 05-31-2022. Pearl was born on December 13, 1928 on a farm in Young County alongside the Brazos River, just outside of Graham, Texas. She was the oldest of six children born to Alvie Miles Preston and Ruby Barnett Preston. Pearl grew up on the family farm in Jack County until she and her siblings were moved to the Boles Home orphanage after their mother died from complications during child birth in the summer of 1942.
After graduating high school at Boles Home, Pearl attended Abilene Christian College where she met and married Bill R. Strain. Together they had four children: Mike, Mark, Lisa & Jimmy.
As a mother, Pearl brought up her children with the philosophy, “less television, more reading” and never tolerated childhood complaints of boredom as the world was so full of wondrous, interesting things. She always encouraged creativity, and imaginative thinking.
As a proud grandmother to six granddaughters, time with “GG” could mean carefree days camping in the trailer at a State Park, working on a sewing or gardening project, or playing beauty parlor make-over, using GG as the make-over guinea pig. Whatever the activity, the girls were sure to be well fed. Hearty stews, endless bowls of her potato soup and Texas sheet cake were among GG’s staples. In time, great-grandchildren came into the picture and they too proved to be a source of great pride and joy to Pearl in her later years.
Pearl’s professional life included years working as an Administrative Assistant at the Texas Department of Human Resources. Pearl flourished as a workplace professional and made life-long friends along the way that she cherished her entire life.
In 1975, Pearl married Charles W. Snyder. Together they traveled, boated, fished, camped in their trailer, and spent many fond evenings’ playing cards with her Snyder brother and sister-in-laws. Pearl could play a mean hand of Rummy and often a libation such as Kaluah and milk was part of the evening festivities.
Pearl relished hosting easy family get-togethers and was an extremely accomplished home maker. Upon entering her house, one was often greeted by a much loved cat or parakeet. The aroma of a big pot of beans simmering on the stove frequently permeated the air. By melding her cooking, gardening and decorating talents, Pearl’s house was always a welcoming, comfortable inviting place, the epitome of “home”.
Pearl was a collector of all-things-interesting, whether it be art, seashells, old bottles, or antiques. She derived great pleasure perusing a well-done garage or estate sale looking for new “treasure”. She could also throw a well-done garage sale, and frequently did so. She, along with her Snyder sister-in-laws, made up a true A-team in this regard, organized in every detail from the merchandise set-up to the morning breakfast taquito tradition.
Fishing was also a favorite hobby of Pearl. Adorned with a signature large hat and ample sunscreen, Pearl happily baited her own hook and unhooked her own catch with ease. A fresh seafood feast, as only she could prepare, was always soon to follow a successful outing on the boat.
Pearl enjoyed writing poetry and sewing. She used her impressive sewing abilities to create works of art with fabric. Pearl especially loved bringing vintage, damaged quilts back to life by repurposing them in unique ways. Pearl created a variety of vintage fabric crafts that she sold at Codi’s Crafts & Collectables for many years, as well as at a variety of local craft shows. Her very favorite show by far was the yearly Christmas show on the square in Goliad, Texas where Pearl and her creations enjoyed a rockstar following of admirers.
Pearl resided in Corpus Christi, Texas for over fifty years but lived out the last four and a half years of her life at home in Garland, Texas.
Pearl was preceded in death by her husband, Charles W. Snyder, parents, Miles and Ruby Preston and 5 siblings, brothers, Emmett, Joe Lonnie, Maurice and Wayne Preston, and sister Eutie Reece
She is survived by three sons, Michael Strain (Sylvia); Mark Strain; James Strain; and a daughter, Lisa Sheppard (Daniel). She leaves six granddaughters, Rachel Graham (Scott), Sandra Hicks; Ashley Strain; Sarah Strain, Hailey Strain (Eric Locklear); and Allison Voelker (Robert); as well as ten great grandchildren and her sister-in-law Jane Snyder.
The family would like to acknowledge Faith Presbyterian Hospice and the exceptional care, and support they provided Pearl which include the beautiful gift of music therapy. We would also like to give special thanks to Pearl’s friend, Sarah Blythe, who spent many hours by her side providing friendship, support and respite during her last years.
Pearl will be laid to rest on Monday, June 13th at Seaside Memorial Park in Corpus Christi, Texas. Services will be held at 11am at the Reid Chapel (located within Seaside Memorial Park) followed by graveside. A celebration of life to remember Pearl will be scheduled in the weeks to come.
The family suggests that memorial contributions in memory of Pearl be made to Boles Children’s Home via Arms of Hope.
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