May 20, 2020 346 PM
Mrs. Vernelle Stiles Pirtle, aged 98, born in Post, Texas, June 14, 1921, passed away peacefully, surrounded by daughters and family. She talked and smiled almost until her final breath. Vernelle was the matriarch of five generations, and on her final morning she “Facetimed” with Klay West, her year-and-a-half old great-great grandson. She is preceded in death by her husband of 47 years Pete Pirtle, her 98-year-old mother, Clara Stiles, her sister Clara Cotton, her brother RL Stiles, her aunts, Lena Yockstick, 98 and Melva Mayes, 96. We loved all the names her grandchildren and great-grandchildren gave to her: Tootie’s Mama, Batchu, Grandmother, Pete Grandmother, Auntie Vernelle and most famous of all, Gigi.
Vernelle got no greater joy than the home “invasion” of visiting out-of-town family members. Home-cooked meals always finished with Vernelle’s homemade ice cream and sitting on the porch. She was the oldest member of the First Baptist Church of Marfa and a member of the community for 88 years. Vernelle left behind over forty descendants.
Her children, Patrica Helm and late husband Don; Roy Lee Pirtle; Carleen Navartte and husband Raymond, her grandchildren, Martha Wood Finger husband Richard; Becky Wood Ehrlich and husband Bubba; Christopher Pirtle; Bryan Navarette and wife Alica; Leanne Rodriguez husband Gabe; Jason and wife Chelsea and Nathan Pirtle, her great grandchildren, Quentin Baxter; Kandace Ehrlich West and Husband JT; Kelsey Ehrlich Carthel and Husband Colton; Taylor Villarreal; Ashely Villareal; Peter (Pete Pete) Navarette; Romey Navarette; Riley Navarrette; Arianna Finger; Ava Finger and Anabelle Finger, her great great grandchild, Klay West, her niece /daughter; Vickie Blackwell and husband Robert and Susan Rogers, her great niece, Lisa Kay Swofford and husband Jason, her great great niece, Adalyn Rogers, her great nephew, Justin Rogers and wife Candice, and her great great nephews, Mason Swofford and Landon Swofford.
Services will take place at the Marfa Cemetery on Thursday, May 21 at 10 a.m., officiated by Joni Powers, daughter of Pat and Don Helm. Reception to follow at El Paisano Hotel.
Donations can be made to the First Baptist Church at 502 N. Austin, Marfa, Texas, 79843.