Georgia Lee Williams Teel, known by friends and family as Georgie, passed peacefully in her sleep on March 16, five weeks to the day after her husband’s death.
Georgie was born in Fort Worth on October 30, 1927. She began her missionary journey as a teen-ager when she would spend her high school and college summers leading Bible studies at mining towns in New Mexico. After graduating from Sunset High School in Dallas, she attended Hardin-Simmons University, where she pursued her passions of nursing, missions and the violin.
It was at HSU that she also met James Oscar Teel, Jr., who was drawn to her beauty and her tales of adventure. They were married on January 21, 1949 in Abilene.
After graduating from HSU, Georgie and James attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. Aside from her studies, Georgie served as a pastor’s wife and homemaker. By the time they were appointed missionaries in 1956 to the (now called) International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, they had a growing family.
Georgie and James served a total of 27 Years as missionaries in Ecuador, Argentina, the Dominican Republic and Canada. In Argentina, where the Teels served 16 years, Georgie volunteered her nursing skills at the British Hospital and at a public hospital specializing in burns. She was a pastor’s wife, taught Sunday School, and played the pump organ at church services. She was the unofficial nurse of the mission family. She also served with the local chapter of the Red Cross, spending nights away from home to help in disaster situations.
Between terms of service as missionaries, Georgie returned to school at Belmont College in Nashville in 1976 and received her Registered Nurse certificate. Subsequently, she worked at the Baptist Hospital in Nashville and for the Tennessee Department of Correction at a men’s prison facility in Nashville.
When they moved to Abilene in 1979, Georgie worked as a school nurse with the Abilene Independent School District. She played violin at the Abilene Philharmonic. She continued to pursue her missionary instincts in trips to remote regions of Ecuador to serve as a medical volunteer.
Georgie will be remembered for her determination and sacrifice, and for her love of storytelling. She is preceded in death by her parents, Effie Henrietta Williams and George Wilbur Williams, a daughter, Shirley Ann, who passed away in 1958, and by her husband James O. Teel, Jr., recently deceased.
She is survived by four children, Linda Sue Farell (Dan), Judy Kay Simon (Jerry), Pamela Jean Teel, and James DeWitt Teel, seven grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
Memorials may be made to the Baptist Spanish Publishing House of El Paso, Texas, or to the Lottie Moon Offering of the International Mission Board.