CAROL MONTGOMERY LANIER, 50, was born in Nixon,
Gonzales County, TX, May 12, 1944, and eleven minutes
before her identical twin sister, Emma Lou. In 1955 the
family moved to the Bullock Community, north of Ranger,
TX and the twins started fifth grade at Hodges Oak Park
School. They were the second and third of five children
born to Homer Clayton Montgomery, Sr. and Esther Lavina
Montgomery, nee Hamilton.
Carol Sue and I (now Emma Lou Mayers) started beginning
band in grade school, eventually settling on the French
horn as our preferred instrument. Carol was very talented
with the French horn throughout Junior High and High School,
usually maintaining first or second chair. She won several
medals and awards in band, topping them off with a place in
the All State Band during her junior year. We twins sang
from almost the time we could talk; singing in churches,
at banquets and other special occasions, and at school
functions. One of the fun things that we could do well
together was we could start on the same song at exactly
the same instant without saying a word to each other about
which song we were going to sing. This is something that
is usually common to twins. It was as if we could read
each other’s mind. Carol taught herself to play the piano
and, after her marriage, she played for her church and sang
specials. Her musical talents helped her over many hard
times and brought her a lot of peace during her lifetime.
She acquired a beautiful old pump organ from a church in
Eastland. I can still see her now, pumping her feet
furiously, her hands flying across the keys with her head
thrown back and eyes closed singing “Whispering Hope”.
On July 14, 1961 Carol married Billy Gene Hallmark of
Eastland. From this union, four children were born:
Clifford Gene, Mary Sue, Larry Dean, and Billy Joe.
Bill and Carol started in the florist business and owned
shops in Eastland and Cisco, Texas. They later moved
to Fort Worth, Texas where Carol became a noted floral
designer around the Metroplex.
In 1980 Carol married Wayne Lanier and moved to Amarillo,
Texas. While there she worked at a wholesale florist
company and eventually had an opportunity to buy a small
shop in Perryton, Texas. Carol and Wayne moved to Balco,
Oklahoma, a small farming community about 25 miles north
of Perryton, in the Oklahoma panhandle. At night from her
front porch, one could see the lights of Liberty, Kansas.
Eventually she learned to drive an eighteen-wheeler, sold
her flower shop, and went on the road with her husband.
Carol passed away of colon cancer on Oct. 15, 1994, in
Amarillo, TX. Because she had no permanent home, I was
fortunate to be able to rent a small apartment and moved
her in with me during her final months. We were never
able to live close to each other during our adult years,
but we were together for the last few months of her life.
It was both the worst and the best of times, with lots of
tears and lots of laughter. She used to introduce me to
her friends as her “womb mate”.
Carol will always be dearly loved and sorely missed. She
was strong in her faith and brave in her fight. She left
a large hole in her family’s life…certainly my life…but
her humor, gentleness, and brave heart will always be
Carol is also survived by her mother, Esther and sister
Peggy, both of Gilmer, TX; her brother, Homer Clayton
Montgomery (RHS-1960) of Lake Kiowa, Texas; and sister,
Charlene Montgomery Hart (RHS-1965), of Grand Prairie,
TX and Emma Montgomery Mayers (RHS-1962).
Carol was interred in a small family cemetery one mile
east and one mile north of the cross roads which makes
up the community of Balco, OK, on the windswept prairie
of the Oklahoma Panhandle. She loved the country life
and she loved the people in the Balco community.
Although it may seem to be a long way from the rest of
her family, she put her roots in Balco, sending her kids
to school there and otherwise becoming a part of the
gentle people found on the Oklahoma Panhandle Prairie.
Submitted by Emma Lou (Montgomery) Mayers (RHS-1962)