Ida Belle was born on July 2, 1921, in Munday, Texas, the only child of Walt & Ruby Sherrod. She was a good student and enjoyed sports and playing catcher for the softball team. Her father would not allow her to wear slacks, as it was “unladylike”, so her granddad bought her a pair for her softball games, but she always changed back into her dress before going home. Upon graduation, she became the city librarian and the district youth director for the Methodist Church.
Two years later, she was a recipient of a 4 year Merritt Scholarship to McMurry College in Abilene. While in college, she was an active member of the Chanters, The Student Council of Religious Activities, Boyce Hall Club, Alpha Theta Nu, The Volunteer Mission Band, The Press Club, and the Methodist Church.
While singing in the church choir, she saw a good-looking young man sitting in the back row of the sanctuary. Later, they began to date and she married that young minister, OA McBrayer, the love of her life, on August 29, 1943. This was during the war and times were tough, but their love for each other and for God sustained them as they embarked on the career of a minister’s family. There were two daughters born to them, Linda Kay and Cynthia Ann.
As do all United Methodist ministers, they moved frequently, contributing to each new congregation and community. They served Anson, Wylie, Wolfforth, Wheeler, Paducah, Borger, Amarillo, Midland, Lubbock, Big Spring and Fort Stockton.
Ida Belle was a wonderful minister’s wife. She faithfully attended church functions, sang in the choir, taught and attended Sunday school classes, Women’s Society of Christian Service and tirelessly served on committees. If OA’s sermons were too long, she tapped her watch; after all, everyone wanted to watch the Cowboys play at noon. During Sunday lunch, she critiqued OA’s sermons. There were times when he would have preferred her not to have been so helpful.
She loved reading and history and was a member of community study groups. She and OA directed Methodist youth camps for many years. They furnished meals and beds to persons who needed assistance. While in Lubbock, she organized and directed a childcare. She loved to cook and hosted many luncheons. Ida Belle enjoyed needlework and made countless items for family and friends.
Upon retirement, they moved to Palo Pinto Lake.
She has six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
A visitation will be held Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at Sunset Memorial Funeral Home from 1-5 p.m. Following the burial in Munday, Texas at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 27, 2011, a celebration of the life of Ida Belle McBrayer will be held at the Methodist Church in Gordon at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, October 28, 2011 with Reverend Bob Ford officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts be given to the OA McBrayer Endowment Fund #0228 at Texas Methodist Foundation, 11709 Boulder Lane, Suite 100, Austin, Texas 78726-1808. This fund was established to give scholarships to Native American ministerial students.