Dallas lost a legend Tuesday night — Ebby Halliday. Her life was one that covered not just 104 years of living, but established standards for others to follow both personally and professionally.
It was easy to lose count of all her accomplishments and accolades, like the Horatio Alger in 2005. There were just too many of them, just as there were countless men, women and children who benefited from her example, her generosity, her wisdom and her smile.
And like the finest of vintage wines, she only became finer and finer with age. But there were those who didn’t know if that would happen. With the death of her beloved husband Maurice Acers in 1993, some worried that the twinkle in Ebby’s eye would dim and her zest for life would wane. But no! Far from it. Ebby being Ebby, she carried on inspired by Maurice’s memory, creating a legacy that will continue for generations to come.
There will be articles written about her childhood in Kansas, her moving to Dallas, her selling hats and her eventually moving into something called residential real estate. But the real gems will be the stories that people who encountered Ebby will relate. Like the time that Ebby attended a reception for a newlywed couple. She called over the strolling guitarist and asked him to play “Hawaiian Love Song.” As he played and the guests stood spellbound, her eyes glistened with tears. That had been the song that she and Maurice had shared.
Perhaps it is best if instead of thinking of Dallas’ loss, one thinks of Ebby now smiling as she plays “Happy Days Are Here Again” on her ukulele to the delight of Maurice. With all those harps up above, heaven could use a great ukulele and another angel with a twinkle in her eye.