Tula's Story

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Modest, kind, hilarious, an inveterate thank-you note writer and a Cowboys fan through and through, Tula was born in Corsicana on Jan. 7, 1924. Tula died peacefully Wednesday, May 10, 2017 in Houston. The fourth child of James and Mary Johnapelus of Sparta, Greece, Tula came into this world singing and dancing and left the same way. Tula was always the life of the party. She took pure delight in her family, the Cowboys and any event that involved a song. Tula knew the words to every Cole Porter song and a fair number of Texas camp songs and she would happily serenade you at the drop of a hat. All she needed to make her life complete was for you to join the fun.
As a young woman, Tula moved to the big city looking for a job. She swore she didn't know they were a football team when she applied for a job with the Dallas Cowboys, but Tex Schramm, Coach Landry and the "Boys" soon became her second family. Tula worked for the Cowboys in the glory days from 1961 to 1989 and after her retirement she remained a vocal and enthusiastic supporter.
In May of 2011, Tula moved to Houston and proceeded to charm the residents of the biggest city in Texas. She created a third family of devoted friends at The Hallmark, where she was the belle of the ball.
Tula is preceded in death by her brother Tom and Sisters Angelina, Vina and Stella.
She is survived by her nieces and nephews, Mike Dorsey and wife Norma; Tommy Dorsey, wife Sylvia and children Elizabeth, Thomas and Wayo; Ellen Dorsey, husband Jim Susman and children Elizabeth and Emily; Lane Rutledge, husband Steve and children John and Cayce; Jane Munoz, husband James and children Justin, Andrew, Joseph and Dylan and seven great-great nieces and nephews all of whom will miss her infectious laugh, mischievous twinkle and her ability to listen with true interest and deep compassion to whatever they had to share.
The family would like to thank Tula's beloved "angels" at The Hallmark and the wonderful caregivers at Hospice Houston.
Graveside Services will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 13, 2017 the Oakwood Cemetery in Corsicana.
A Memorial will be held at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, May 18, 2017 at The Hallmark in Houston.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Tula's memory to St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas
An online guest book is available at www.corleyfuneralhome.com and selecting the Tula Johnapelus obituary.
Published on May 11, 2017
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