NORMAN — Dorma “DeDe” Lee Williams Carter Shaw passed away Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013.
DeDe was born Aug. 8, 1925, near Hollis to George Andrew “Dick” Williams and Annie Ola Husband Williams. She had two older siblings, Velma and Marvin and two younger siblings, Andrew and Darrell.
DeDe grew up on a farm in rural Harmon County during the Great Depression. Financial hardships during her formative years molded her views of government and its role in caring for those in need. DeDe’s red hair and fair skin made working on the farm challenging.
As a child, DeDe and her siblings rode two horses to school. After graduating valedictorian of her Lacasa High School class in 1942, she attended business school in Oklahoma City. Her father, a longtime school board member, did not believe women should attend college. DeDe was passionate about learning throughout her life and was enriched by her desire to continuously grow intellectually.
Following school, DeDe worked at a local bank in Hollis, where she met and married Doyle Carter. DeDe’s reserved personality was complimented by Doyle’s light-hearted ability to build relationships. They had three children: Kent, Carol and Bob.
DeDe later worked alongside Doyle in their grocery store in Hollis until Doyle returned to banking in Plainview, Texas. His career led them to Norman, where their three children graduated from Norman High School and the University of Oklahoma. DeDe was the administrative assistant to the vice president of continuing education at the university, where she helped start the Women’s Program. In 1978, Doyle died unexpectedly from health complications.
In 1982, DeDe married Joe Shaw and relocated to Richardson, Texas. Through Joe, DeDe had two stepdaughters, Grethen and Michelle. DeDe enjoyed Joe’s art hobby and his creative thinking. Joe was diagnosed with cancer, and DeDe cared for him prior to his death in 1995. DeDe then moved to Edmond to assist with Bob’s children after the untimely death of Bob’s first wife. DeDe enjoyed living and working in Edmond before she moved to the Rivermont Retirement Center in Norman in 2011.
Each place DeDe lived brought her new friends and the opportunity to broaden her insatiable pursuit for knowledge. A life-long Democrat, DeDe enjoyed political conversations and debates with her children and grandchildren and continually encouraged her family to stay updated on American politics. DeDe was an avid reader and always had a book, magazine, newspaper or online article to recommend.
She was particular about her appearance and always looked polished, no matter the time of day. She was the consummate lady and enjoyed things “in order.” DeDe was gracious, knowledgeable, disciplined and compassionate, which made her a great friend, an encouraging mother and a life-changing mentor to her grandchildren.
DeDe was preceded in death by her parents, siblings, two husbands and many friends.
Although she had a number of struggles in life, DeDe knew God was always with her. Her legacy will continue through Kent and Kelcie Carter of Norman, Carol and Scott Stegner of Wichita Falls and Bob and Janie Carter of Edmond; her 11 grandchildren; and her three great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be 1 p.m. Thursday at Alameda Church of Christ in Norman.
In accord with DeDe’s consummate interest in learning, her body was donated to medical science.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Neuromuscular Center, 4221 S. Western, Suite 5010, Oklahoma City, OK 73109.
Norman Transcript, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013