Vera “Tootsie” Wilson

Published 3:52 pm Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Vera “Tootsie” Wilson, 99, of Abilene, Texas and former resident of Port Arthur Texas, passed away on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at Stonebridge Senior Care Center in Austin, Texas.

Tootsie was born on July 16, 1917 in Medina, Texas; she was the third child of Aimee and Louis Otto Bauerlein.  She grew up on the Bauerlein family ranch. She is preceded in death by her siblings; sisters, Willie Leora aka Aunt Wo-Wo Bauerlein Ewing, Gladys Bauerlein Chalmers, Melba Faye aka Faye Baby Bauerlein McCuistion and brother, Elvin Burks Bauerlein.

She is also preceded in death by nieces, Peggy Joyce Chalmers, Joanne McFarland; nephews, Robert Wayne McCuistion, Charles Gary McCuistion, Kenny Wayne McFarland and Dr. Donald Chalmers.

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Tootsie attended school in Medina, Texas and was a member of the high school basketball team.  She moved from Medina to Port Arthur in 1937.  She was a lifelong member of First Baptist Church of Port Arthur and that is where she met the love of her life, William Nathan “Boots” Wilson.  Tootsie and Boots were married on September 4, 1938.  They had one son, William Glenn Wilson, born in Fort Worth, Texas and died on January 15, 2014.

Tootsie was a GREAT cook; her Sock-It-To-Me cake was a work of art and she made the BEST fried chicken. She worked full time in sales at Greenlawn Memorial Park.  I recall “The Bauerlein Girls” saying that Gladys could sell someone a house, Leora could decorate the house and Tootsie could sell them their final resting place!

The relationship between the four Bauerlein sisters was quite special and a relationship that we could all wish for.  They loved, lived and rejoiced life to the fullest.  Sisters are different flowers from the same garden and what a garden it was! The Bauerlein Girls were the original “Steel Magnolias”, all very strong-willed, southern women.

Tootsie is survived by her daughter in law, Lilia Wilson; her grandson, Walter Wilson; her granddaughter, Sophia Wilson; nephew, Bo McFarland and his daughter, Johanna McFarland Stout and her husband, Michael Stout; nephew, Gene Williams and his wife Genie and their children, Marilyn Williams and Randall Williams and great nephew, Paxton Eugene McCluskey; niece, Jan McCuistion Reedy and her husband Karl Reedy and their children, Danielle Reedy Raine and her husband Travis Raine and Jordan Reedy Waak and her husband, Aaron Waak.

Tootsie is also survived by her nieces, Bonnie Chalmers, Dee McCuistion Heffernan; her great nieces, Harper Jordan Raine, Diana Chalmers Maust, Cristi McCuistion Alexander; her great nephews, Caden Andrew Raine, Robert Uher, and Bailey Lane Alexander.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday, May 6, 2017 at 1:00 PM at Clayton Thompson Funeral Home in Groves, with a visitation from 12:30 PM until service time.  Officiating will be Rev. Jeff Bell. Burial will follow at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Groves, Texas.