Chapter 14 Graduating to Wise County, Texas as a Senior Citizen
Though my work at Highland Park Presbyterian Church concluded November 1, 2004, the preparation for those advancing years had us identifying and purchasing a home on 10 acres in Aurora, Wise County, Texas, in December 1999, about some 50 miles northwest of Dallas. For a couple of those years, we maintained an apartment in Dallas, having two residents. The last couple of years were entirely residing in Wise County, commuting some 100 miles daily round trip, a practice that was my delight finally to conclude!
We already had connected in 1998 with the Eagle Mountain International Church, a non-denominational congregation situated on Eagle Mountain Lake in north Fort Worth. It was about 8 miles from our new home. Suzanne joined it in 1998, and my membership delayed through the completion of my professional tenure at Highland Park Presbyterian Church in 2004.
This was the shifting of an ever-more broadening venue in life for us, serving not only in our home church, but in our community. Activities included political service, genealogical organizations service, the pursuit in studying history and serving in community organizations.
We bought the 10 acers for our Aurora residence from Joseph (Joe) D. & Karen Meadows Warkentine, born in 1947 and 1954. They owned 20 acers, and had divided it, constructing a residence on the southern 10 acers that we purchased. They lived in their home a few more years, but then sold it in 2012 to William Wayne and Kristi Renee Conn Huckabee, who had four daughters. The Warkentine’s relocated to Greeley, Colorado, from where they had originally come. The Huckabee’s sold their 10 acers in 2014 to a man who renovated it and sold it in 2015 to Jacob Lee (Jake) and Lindsey Michel Bruton, who had a toddler son and gave issue to another son by 2016.
This is how our home originally was configured, without the veranda on the parking lot side of the house.
This is how the home appeared after the veranda (party barn) was added on the parking lot side.
Here’s a look inside the veranda where it could be cleared out for social use.
The immediate area around which our new home was situated was a part of a larger section of land bought out here about 1962 for Mr. Beverly Eugene (Gene) Derting and his wife, Helen Burns Derting. They had four sons, Stephen (Steve), Brian, Curtis and Kevin, ages 2 to 15. Their parcel of land was about 150 acers. Over the years, Gene sold portions of the land. The initial purchaser was Mr. Earnest Calvin Smith, in 1968. Calvin was in the construction business, so he built his own house. Later he constructed a house for his Father-in-law and wife at 802 Derting Road East, directly across the street from where our present day home is located. Robert and GayLynn Bodkin reside there currently.
Calvin constructed the home next to them at 806 Derting Road East, also across the street from our home. Our lot is some 300+ feet wide along the street. It was for Calvin’s daughter, who now lives in Colorado. Subsequently, his son Clayt Weston Smith and his wife, Terese Fern Ralls resided there. They divorced, with Terese and their two sons, John and Cooper, continuing to reside there. Clayt moved to their land behind that home, which is an RV Trailer Park fronting on Clayt Drive (named after him).
Three of the four Derting sons still resided in this neighborhood. The eldest, Steven (Steve) and his wife, Janet, are at 513 Derting Road. Curtis is at 505 Derting Road, and Brian is at 311 Derting Road. Kevin and his wife, Melissa, live in Leander, Texas.