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Nancy Yvonne (Tate) Masters Zimmerman
June 28, 1940 ~ January 7, 2024 (age 83) 83 Years Old
Nancy Yvonne Tate Masters Zimmerman died January 7, 2024, in Amarillo, TX, where she had lived since 1963.
She was born June 28, 1940, in Phillips, Texas. Nancy was the second child of Orphus O'Dell and Virginia Tate. She had three brothers and is survived by her two younger brothers, Harry Tate and spouse Shirley of Midland and Orphus Tate Jr. of Austin, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
The Tate family lived in Phillips, Texas, for a few years before moving to a farm near McLean, Texas. The family attended The Heald Methodist Church east of McLean, which laid the foundation for her lifelong Christian walk. She had a deep relationship with God and passionately served others.
Nancy graduated from McLean High School in 1958 and attended Texas Tech University, where she met and married Wesley Masters.
Nancy loved to share "Country Supper" with her family and friends, cooking up big batches of chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, fried okra, black-eyed peas, corn on the cob, cornbread with molasses, and big slices of salted tomatoes, all finished with a bowl of homemade ice cream and her famous hot fudge sauce. Nobody ever declined the Country Supper. Some of our favorite memories with Nancy are early summer mornings together at the Farmers Market and late evenings around her dining table.
Nancy loved gardening and was a Master Gardener. She dearly loved the Amarillo Botanical Gardens and volunteered frequently. She took great delight in sharing the gardens and hidden treasures with family and friends.
She enjoyed hunting frogs with her nieces and nephews and later her grandkids. She entertained us with Puddle Duck stories even though we never knew what a Puddle Duck was. She loved playing with her grandkids and taking them to the farm to look at the deer and turkeys. She spent countless days teaching her grandchildren to garden and till the soil. She didn't let them quit early or cut corners.
Nancy earned her private pilot's license in 1978 and enjoyed flying her Cessna 172 in support of The American Heart Association, Texas Tech Health Science Center, and other causes dear to her. Nancy served on numerous Boards and Committees at the local and national levels. She was a member of Saint Stephen United Methodist Church.
Nancy is survived by her children Toni and Wes Knapp of Amarillo — their children, Brad Knapp and spouse Megan of New Orleans, Tom Knapp and spouse Cassidy of Amarillo, Rachel Knapp of Amarillo, Mark Everett Knapp and spouse Lauren of New Orleans, EmElise Knapp of Pittsburgh, PA and Barrett Knapp of Amarillo, Wes and Karla Masters of San Angelo — their children Will Masters and spouse Emily of Amarillo, Ben Masters and spouse Katie of Austin, Jessica Ray and spouse Austin of Brooklyn, NY and Luke Masters and spouse Courtney of Bunnlevel, NC, Elise and Steve Rhodes of Amarillo — their children Tate Rhodes and partner Michelle Morazán of Wylie, Hannah Rhodes and partner Steven Loredo of San Antonio and Jed Rhodes of Austin.
MeMaw loved her family and frequently FaceTimed with her 12 great-grandkids. Miller Knapp, Hattie Knapp, Smith Knapp, Georgia Knapp, Arthur Knapp, Louis Knapp, Charlie Masters, AnnaBelle Masters, Birdie Masters, Davis Masters, Rory Ray and Liliana Rhodes.
Nancy married John Lord Zimmerman in 2000, and with that marriage came a bonus family — John W. Zimmerman (deceased), wife Molly, Terry Zimmerman, and wife Barbara, and Sherry Brewer and her husband Larry — all of Amarillo. Eleven grandkids, 17 great-grandkids, and two great-great-grandkids. Nancy and John shared ten musical years before his passing in 2010.
Some of our favorite memories include Puddle Duck stories, her unique way of kissing on the cheek, and dumpster diving in the alley. She was a master joketeller and nailed the punch line every time. Traveling with Nancy was always an experience as she insisted on taking back roads and stopping anywhere that looked interesting. She was an expert Farmers Market shopper and enjoyed taking anyone who woke up early enough to go. She was the perfect person to sit on the porch, just drinking a glass of iced tea and working through a bucket of peas to peel.
Nancy was a breast cancer survivor, having been diagnosed at 42 years of age following a routine mammogram. She went on to have reconstructive surgery, which failed and caused significant health issues. These experiences gave Nancy the desire to donate her body to Texas Tech for medical research.
Note from Nancy's kids — We could not have hand-chosen a better mother. She was wonderful and poured her life into her family. We are eternally grateful to be her kids. She was a true matriarch, guiding our family and offering wisdom, comfort, and security throughout her life. We are made of her. What a beautiful, strong garden of love and light she has grown.
Mother did not want to have a formal funeral service, and we are honoring her wishes. The family plans to have a private memorial and burial of the ashes near the family farm at McLean later this Spring. We would love to hear your stories and memories with our mother. Please share them with us.
In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to two organizations that she supported: Fin & Fur LLC – for the furtherance of Texas wildlife documentaries and to fund school programs for the awareness of conservation of the great State of Texas https://www.finandfurfilms.com/ or The Educational Department of The Amarillo Botanical Gardens, 1400 Streit Drive, Amarillo, TX 79106
Special thanks to her caregivers, who hold a special place in our hearts.
MeMaw, we will see you in the Spring with the flowers that bloom, in the stories we share in the West Texas sky.
You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family