Anita Mae Lazenby Westmoreland passed away unexpectedly on September 29, 2021.
She was born on July 30, 1943, in Grenada, Mississippi, the only child of Reverend Claude and Winnie Henson Lazenby.
She grew up in Courtland, Mississippi, graduated from Batesville High School, and was a proud alumna of Blue Mountain College, where she majored in Bible and keyboard/organ studies.
An accomplished pianist, she began playing in churches at age 8 and continued faithfully for five decades in church services, choir rehearsals, weddings, funerals, and for Aledo bands’ solo/ensemble contests.
She moved to Fort Worth in 1968 to attend Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where she graduated with a Masters of Religious Education.
A few months before graduation, she met Malcolm Jan Westmoreland on a blind date. They married in 1971 and this year celebrated 50 years of marriage and living on the family farm in Wheatland.
Her career path took her through the music/youth ministry of Southcliff Baptist Church, the admissions counselor halls of SWBTS, the donor relations halls of TCU Brite Divinity School, the Chaplain’s Office of Texas Wesleyan University, and finally through the halls of hospitals as a Chaplain.
She was great-hearted for ordination as a woman minister through the Alliance of Baptists.
Most recently a member of Broadway Baptist Church, she was also a longtime member at Western Hills Baptist Church, University Baptist Church, and Wheatland Baptist Church.
She was an extremely active and involved high school band parent for her own daughters, which would only be shadowed by an even more intense involvement as a band grandparent for all three of her grandchildren.
An unabashedly avid promoter of music and the arts, she would encourage any memorial gifts on her behalf be directed toward the Broadway Baptist Church Music Ministry at broadwaybc.org or Aledo Band Boosters at aledobandboosters.org.
She considered herself a “Steel Magnolia,” and growing up in segregated Mississippi had a profound and everlasting effect on her and would play a pivotal role in her life, as her unconditional love was unequivocal and indescribable.
She championed the afflicted, addicted, disadvantaged, downtrodden, physically/mentally challenged, homeless, hopeless, hungry, injured, lonely, outcast, poor, sick, underdog, vulnerable, victim, weak, misfit, those who march to the beat of their own drum, and anyone who lives, loves or colors outside the box.
She is survived by her husband, Malcolm Jan Westmoreland; daughter Missy Hargett and husband Kirk; daughter Katherine Novak and husband Kevin; grandchildren Noah, Leah, and Thomas; and longtime pet donkey Selene.
A service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, October 11, at Broadway Baptist Church, 305 W Broadway Avenue in Fort Worth.
The Community News
October 8, 2021