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Sister recalls how 2004 snow made sibling's final Christmas special

By JR Ortega
Dec. 24, 2012 at 6:24 a.m.
Updated Dec. 25, 2012 at 6:25 a.m.

Beverly Ann Lorke Wimberly talks about her sister Delores Lorke who died of cancer in 2005. They always wanted to see snow and on Christmas Day 2004, they were finally able to see it. She died about a month later.

YOAKUM - Growing up, Delores Lorke had always wanted a white Christmas, but living in Yoakum, she realized that would likely never become reality.

Enter Christmas 2004 - Lorke, 49 at the time, finally got her white Christmas. And then, the cancer took over and she died a month later.

The snow was enough to leave Lorke's surviving family with happy memories of the time Lorke's childhood dream came true.

"It's always a good feeling to know something as simple as a snowfall, she was able to experience before she passed away," Lorke's older sister, Beverly Lorke Wimberly, said.

Wimberly still lives in Yoakum, where she, Lorke and their other sister and brother grew up.

Lorke was 39 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She fought hard for 10 years, living in Victoria on her own and working with DeTar Healthcare Systems as a switchboard operator.

Lorke never married or had children but held her family very close to her heart, Wimberly said.

Lorke often spent time with Wimberly's kids. Today, the family has grown even more, something Lorke would have loved, her sister said.

"She loved those kiddos," Wimberly said.

Lorke's cancer went into remission but eventually came back, attacking her lungs and brain. At that time, she made the decision to move in with a sister in Yoakum - back to the property they all grew up on.

Wimberly recalls the times as kids, they would talk about wanting snow.

Even as adults, the idea of a white Christmas brought the child out in them.

"What kid doesn't want snow," Wimberly said, smiling. "Of course, except for the kids who always have it."

By Christmas 2004, the holiday spirit was in the air, and Lorke was sicker than ever, but she stayed strong.

"She knew her time was limited," Wimberly said. "She had said she thought it was her last Christmas."

It was. On Jan. 31, 2005, Lorke died, Wimberly said, happy to have seen snow.

Christmases have become easier, and the entire family still celebrates because Lorke would have wanted it that way, Wimberly said.

"We just miss her," she said. "You always wish you had more time. So make the most of the time you have."

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