Ardelle Forte’ Traylor
December 9, 1932 – September 8, 2020
Ardelle Forte’ Traylor—beloved mother, teacher, and grandmother—was born December 9, 1932, and transitioned into eternity September 8, 2020. The fifth child of Walter E. Forte’ and Hattie Mae Forte’, she was blessed with the love of eight siblings. From early childhood her roots were firmly planted in the Christian faith when she was baptized at Antioch Baptist Church, New Boston, Texas. Her spiritual upbringing in the church molded Mrs. Traylor’s strong inner core—her unrelenting desire to help everyone, to guide and support children of all ages, and to be a surrogate mother to anyone who needed her.
With such spiritual grounding it was no surprise that she would become a teacher and a musician. Her mother said that she so often observed her daughter playing an “imaginary piano” on the kitchen countertop that she saved enough money to buy her a piano. At the tender age of 16, she graduated from Central High School, New Boston, Texas. Mrs. Traylor enrolled in Bishop College, Marshall, Texas, where she majored in education and music. She later transferred to Wiley College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music in 1954. She received a Master’s Degree in music education from New Mexico Highlands University, Las Vegas, New Mexico in 1960.
Mrs. Traylor began her teaching career at Joseph J. Rhoads High School (now Daingerfield Junior High School) in 1955. And for the next 40 years she selflessly dedicated her time and talents to teaching, nurturing, and supporting children from elementary through middle school in the Daingerfield Independent School District.
Some of her students remember her as their favorite English, math, or social studies teacher who pushed them to excel. Many remember her as a creative music teacher who helped them understand the connection between music and spirituality through piano and song. Still others remember her as a patient, kind, caring friend who listened when they were troubled or fed them when they were hungry.
Shortly after she arrived at Joseph J. Rhoads in 1955, she met the love of her life, a retired Naval Officer, Mr. Charles D. Traylor. They married April 14, 1957, at the Chapel of the Pines, Lone Star, Texas. They made a commitment to follow the greatest commandment of all: “Love one another as I have loved you.” Their marriage was a beautiful courtship that never ended. Mr. Traylor preceded her in death on December 23, 2006. Their two children, Kalimah “Patti” and Charles Dennis II, were her pride and joy—a joy surpassed only by the arrival of her grandchildren and great grands, who called her “Mama Delle”, a moniker begun earlier by her nieces and nephews.
Mrs. Traylor was a member of New Hope Baptist Church, Daingerfield, Texas, where she served as a deaconess, pianist, and choir director until she moved to Houston, Texas, to live with her son and daughter-in-law.
A member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Mrs. Traylor participated in service organizations in Daingerfield and the surrounding communities. She was active in the garden club, the Pineywoods Civitan Club (now Pineywoods Civic Club), and other organizations.
Mrs. Traylor leaves a legacy of love and kindness. She worked tirelessly caring for family, friends, and anyone she met in need of spiritual support. She was, as described by poet Maya Angelou, “a phenomenal woman.” She leaves to celebrate her life daughter Kalimah “Patti” Goree (James) of Shreveport, Louisiana, and son Rev. Charles D. Traylor II (Laranda) of Houston, Texas; grandchildren Asia Jones (DaJuan), Khadijah Johnson (Daron), Anjail Abdullah, Ashanti Abdullah, Alexis Blaise (Shamaal), LaRochelle Traylor, Charles D. “Traye” Traylor III; great-grandchildren Tyssen Jones, Cameron Jones, Stefan St. Ange, and Jasmine Blaise all of Houston, Texas. She leaves to cherish her memory, brothers M.H. Forte’ of Los Angeles, California, James Forte’ (Jobie) of Los Angeles, California, Louis Forte’ (Valerie) of Gilmer, Texas, and in-laws Tommye McFarland, Jean Traylor Henson, Melvin D. Traylor (Jeffie), Edythe Traylor Crump (John), and Curtis H. Traylor (Glenda). She was preceded in death by siblings Rev. W.E. Forte’ Jr., Vern Forte’, L.P. Forte’, Annie Mae Forte’, and Esterline Henderson. Mrs. Traylor will be long remembered by a host of relatives, former students, and countless friends.
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