Ike Van Zandt- Life Story
I was born August 25,1956 in Stamford, Tx. I was born to Katherine Ervine and Lonnie Van Zandt and named Ike Van Zandt. Yes, as my mama always said, “it’s just dry Ike, or plain Ike nothing else.” I was the seventh child born to my mama Katherine and the ninth born to my daddy Lonnie. They were both previously married, widowed and then had three more children together totaling fifteen (15).
I lived all my life in Hamlin, Texas. I started school in first grade at Oscar DePriest School and then on to continue my formal education and graduation at Hamlin High School in 1974. I had a beautiful daughter named Kathryn LaShay when I was but a teenager. Didn’t know a thing about taking care of a child but I loved her. A few years later I fell in love with Gina Marshall, and as they say the rest is history. We had two beautiful girls, Regina, and Vivian. Ever since I was known as Ike and his girls. My mama and daddy went home to be with the Lord before me. I was six years old when my daddy passed, but I had my mama still with me until I was fifty-five years old. She lived to the ripe old age of ninety (90). I can’t say for sure because I’m gone but I believe so you can bet I’m enjoying a big old reunion right about now. I was also preceded in death by my siblings from my mama, Norma Jean, Joe Samuel, Sr., and Arthur Alonzo. Siblings from my daddy were Benjamin, Mary, James, Fay, Jeffrey, Edward, and Eugene.
I leave to cherish my memories my wife, Gina Van Zandt, three daughters, Katheron McGee-Williams (Kevin) of Hamlin, Regina Van Zandt-Carter (Billy) of Stamford, and Vivian Van Zandt of Dallas. Ten grandchildren including my special four-legged fur grand dog. Devin, Jevon and Trevion Williams of Abilene, Jayllian McGee of UNT-Denton, Jonathon (Rocket) McGee and Ty Marshall of Hamlin, Devon Van Zandt, Camden Carter and Skylar Carter of Stamford, and Lady Bird Eleanor Van Zandt of Dallas. Four siblings, Mary Ellis of Plainview, John Ervine (Jackie) of Ft Worth, Alice Ervine of Mansfield, and James Ervine (Renea) of Abilene. And a special niece Barbara Brown who has been like a sister since she came to live with us when she was 16 and I was 18.
I have a host of nieces, nephews, extended family and friends too many to name. I loved them all and they loved me.
I joined the U. S. Marine Corp Reserves after high school for a short time and returned to Hamlin. Later, I drove trucks across the continental United States. I was good at it, and I enjoyed it. I learned to navigate through any city and was able to tell you random facts about it like the back of my hand. I regularly brought souvenirs and gifts home to my family and enjoyed this job for over a decade. I then worked for Pied Piper Mills until I was no longer able to do so. In retirement, I loved watching western movies, or “shoot ‘em ups” as I called them. I also loved reading western books, watching the Cowboys, and any other sporting events on TV, and spouting off trivia. Most of all, I loved watching my grandkids at their events and spending time with family.