Athens Review, Athens, Texas

December 23, 2013

In memory of De

Local man remembers is wife with Christmas Tree

Kathi Nailling
The Athens Review

LOG CABIN — The holiday season is a time to reflect on lost love, new love and those no longer with us.

Whether it is your first year without someone you loved or many years have passed since your loss, this time of year can still be difficult.

Ken Autry, 75,  of Log Cabin knows only too well how hard Christmas can be after loosing the love of your life. Ken's precious wife of 55 years DeVurle 'De', 69,  passed away on September 12, 2012. Ken said “I miss her every day.”

Ken said he met De  when she was 13-years old. They got married in Oklahoma when she was 15 and he was 18 years old. “She treated me like I was her king,” Ken said. “Anything I wanted, she wanted too.” “If I wanted to go fishing or hunting, she was always ready,” he said.

Ken found a way to honor his wife. On their property in Log Cabin, where Ken and De spent the last 10 years of her life, there is a 45 foot tree. Ken said De always wanted to decorate the tree for Christmas, but something always came up. Time ran out and the couple never got the chance to decorate the tree.

Ken said “I cremated De, so there is no where to go visit or talk to De, so I use the tree she loved so much, as a symbol to remind me every day of the wonderful life I shared with De.” In De's honor Ken decorated the tree this year for Christmas.

Ken wasn't sure how he was going to be able to put lights and decorations on the tall tree. He said I called a local tree trimmer, told him my story and he offered to help. “I could not have done it without his help,” said Ken. First he had to rent a cherry-picker to get the lights high enough on the tree. Ken said he figures there are somewhere in the vicinity of 5000 lights on the tree. A sign at the bottom of the tree says “De's Christmas Tree.”

Ken  said he plans on lighting the tree every year in memory of the years he spent with De. Ken reminisces about his life with De daily.  “De loved her family and is missed dearly by all her knew her.” he said. Each year he plans on adding more lights and decorations to the tree in memory of his wonderful De.

There is a famous  Irish quote that says  “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.” Ken may no longer have his wife De, but he will always have the memories of their life together and a 45 foot tree to remind him.