Cecilia Frances Wingate, 62, Orange
Last updated 3/20/2023 at 2:58pm
Cecilia Frances Wingate, a long-time resident of Orange, Texas, passed away suddenly at her home on Wednesday, March 15, 2023. She was doing one of the things she loved most: planting Springtime flowers along her house when she suffered a heart attack.
Family, friends and the community are invited to attend a visitation for Cecilia at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange on Saturday, April 1, 2023 at 12:00 noon followed by the memorial service at 1:00 p.m. Committal details will be provided at a later time.
"Celie," to her family and friends, was born as the 10th of 18 children on May 17, 1960 to Cecil Francis Wingate (her namesake) and Dorothea June Woodside Wingate in Orange where she grew up and spent the earlier and later years of her life.
She was baptized at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and attended school at St. Mary’s elementary and junior high school. She attended high school at Lutcher Stark High School.
As the middle child of such a large family, with such a large gap in ages, Cecilia developed strong and close relationships with her older and younger siblings. She treasured those relationships for all of her life.
Cecilia never had children of her own. It was the roles of daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, godmother, and friend that became the primary sources of her happiness and fulfillment. She especially took much delight in being "Aunt Celie" to her more than 50 nieces and nephews.
She would greet them with a big smile and call out in her gravelly voice, “HEYYYY, HEYYY, HEYYY!!" She would throw her arms upward, run to embrace and hug her nieces and nephews, leaving them with wet kisses.
Cecilia relished being around her family and would look forward to the Orange Lions club Carnival each Fall. She would bring her young nieces and nephews to play Bingo, go on the rides with them, and have soft drinks and snow cones. She made wonderful memories for them. She would later whisper to each of them separately, "you are my favorite." For so many of them, she was their favorite.
Cecilia had a mercurial temperament. She was rarely middle-of-the-road. Her highs were high, and her lows were low, often both involving emotion and tears. But that was because she cared, and was passionate in her views and in dealing with people.
Even in her lows, Cecilia had the special ability to look outside of herself, and to observe the goings on with people around her. She made the effort to compliment people, and to express her sincere happiness in the happiness of others.
She was not indifferent. Everyone in the family knew that, if ever caught in a dust up, we would want Cecilia there on our side. Of course, there was always the risk of friendly fire from Cecilia. But the people in her life had no doubt about the love that she had for us.
Her family is deeply saddened and stunned at her sudden passing. She was one of a kind. She loved her family, her friends and her hometown. Our lives will not be the same without her in it. Cecilia was deeply loved and will be sorely missed. To all of us, she mattered.
Cecilia was preceded in death by her father, Cecil Francis Wingate; her mother, Dorothea June Woodside Wingate; her brothers, Quentin Mitchell Wingate, Phillip Vaughn Wingate, and Clayton Douglas Wingate; and her nieces, Julianna Marie Wingate and Sarah Wingate.
She is survived by her siblings: Natalie Carole West and husband Doyle West; Andrew Carl Wingate and wife Sheila Marie Wingate; Susan Kimble Wingate and husband Larry Swiderski; Alfred Christopher Wingate and wife Deborah Wingate; Victoria Marie Wingate; Linda Gail Wingate; Matthew Claude Wingate; Mary Anne Wingate and partner Joseph Adrion; Julie Agatha Trapp and husband Chris Trapp; sister-in-law Marcia Yenik Wingate; Barbara Kent Holland and husband Shanawn Kristian Holland; Peter McClain Wingate and wife Joy Anne Marshall Wingate; sister-in-law Natalie “Hong” Vo Wingate; Ethan Alexander Wingate and wife Carrie Lynn Porter Wingate; Spencer Martin Wingate and wife Jennifer Ellen Adams Wingate; and Olivia Carrie Wingate and husband Walter Leroy Johnson, Jr.
Cecilia is also survived by countless nieces, nephews and other relatives on both sides of her parents’ families.
She was very proud to be a Wingate and a Woodside.