Mattie Lou Bragg Derryberry, 83, passed away August 26, 2023, at the Clifton Lutheran Sunset Home. Mattie, the second of five children, was born in Grapevine, TX, to Wade and Gertrude Forgey Bragg. She showed her commitment to family, her value of hard work, and her independence early when, at the age of 11, while working in the field with her cotton-farming family, she saw that the wagon load was ready for the gin, and took it upon herself to drive the tractor and loaded trailer to the Grapevine Cotton Gin. When asked why she thought she should do such a thing, Mattie’s response was that she was tall enough to reach the pedals.
She graduated from Grapevine High School in 1958 and was honored with the citizenship award. She also played Aunt Eller in the Senior Class production of Oklahoma! Mattie took two jobs upon graduation from high school, as apartment manager of The Timbers in Dallas, which included on-site accommodation, and as receptionist at Hudiburg Chevrolet, which provided a discount on her turquoise and cream Bel Air. Mr. Hudiburg told Mattie that she was too young to buy the four-door “old lady” car, but Mattie wanted four doors so that she could easily take her dear “Mama”, who did not drive, to buy groceries. By sharing her apartment and car, Mattie helped her sisters attend college.
She married B. Ted Derryberry of Roby, TX, on December 21, 1963. They had met in August of that year, through the Tip Tops of Texas, a Dallas social club for men over 6’ tall and women over 5’10”. Ted and Mattie were deeply committed partners in marriage and business until Ted’s death in 1999.
After time in Atlanta and Dallas, the now family of four moved to Bosque County in July, 1975. Mattie always referred to her home as “Bosque County” and was deeply engaged in civic life in both Meridian and Clifton, through various organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, the Bosque Arts Center, the National Championship Barbeque Cookoff, the First United Methodist Church, and others. While her husband was often more visible in civic life, Mattie worked tirelessly behind the scenes, performing all manner of secretarial, financial, and administrative duties.
Mattie was Bookkeeper, Office Manager, Secretary, and Treasurer of Rafter D Builders Supply, Inc., in Meridian. She and her husband purchased Davis Building & Supply from Ted’s uncle, Garland Davis and Garland’s wife, Mary. The name was changed to Rafter D in 1979 when the business was expanded and moved to new facilities on Hwy 22 at Hwy 6. Rafter D was also the cattle brand for the family’s registered Texas Longhorn cattle.
Mattie loved her family, her home outside Meridian that was designed and built by her husband, her garden of flowers and vegetables, collecting hand-made pottery as a souvenir of her travels, and dark chocolate.
Mattie is predeceased by her husband, Ted, and by her sister and beloved friend, Jodie (Mrs. Harold) Reasoner. She is survived by her children, Ted (Mrs. Lynn) Derryberry of Marietta, GA, and Angelyn (Mrs. Richard Milla) Zephyr of Fort Worth; and by siblings Margaret (Mrs. Clarence) Gilmore of Plano, Ms. Kay Austin of Graham, and Wade (Mrs. Kim) Bragg, Jr., of Graham. She is also survived by her grandchildren Erin (Mrs. Taylor) Bietila of Port Washington, WI; John (Mrs. Aubrey) Derryberry of Maryville, TN; and Reagan (Mrs. Aaron) Jones of Marietta, GA. She has one great-grandchild, Emi, the daughter of John and Aubrey.
Mattie’s ashes will be buried next to Ted in the Meridian Cemetery in a private graveside service for immediate family. In lieu of flowers, the family is honored by memorial contributions to the Bosque Arts Center, https://www.bosqueartscenter.org/donate.aspx, or PO Box 373, Clifton, TX 76634.
Arrangements were entrusted to Lawson Funeral Home, Meridian, Texas 254-435-2792.