Vicki Lea Carden was born April 30, 1945, in Ft. Worth. She died at 9:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, at the age of 67. She attended public school in Ft. Worth, and graduated from Paschal High School in 1963. She was a lifelong member of the Baptist Church.
As a youngster Vicki and her family attended Evans Avenue Baptist Church, and she dearly loved her friends from the years they spent in activities and growing up together in a church where youth activities were abundant. In addition to her being Choir Master/Organist/Pianist for the Forest Hills Presbyterian Church for 25 years, she also was a member of University Baptist Church.
Vicki attended both Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, OK, and then graduated from Texas Wesleyan University in Ft. Worth where she majored in music education with a concentration in piano.
She was also a conductor, composer and singer. Blessed with perfect pitch, Vicki loved performing on piano for many people in a wide variety of venues. One very special occasion for her was when she played for a reception here in the DFW area for President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan. She always entertained with songs people in the audience requested while she talked, laughed and told jokes. She had an amazing gift – one that will not soon be forgotten.
Vicki served as a secondary choir director and elementary music specialist in her more than 25 years of public education. Her last assignment was at Morton Elementary School in Arlington, but she spoke most frequently and fondly of her tenure as choir director at the high school in Mineral Wells. She had many stories to tell of the special times associated with the students and families there.
Many of her Facebook friends were former students who have grown up, had children of their own, and wanted to establish an adult relationship with her since she was one of their favorite teachers. She absolutely loved sharing stories with them, hearing about their families and adult lives, and renewing their bonds after so many years.
Vicki also served as the executive director of the Miss Arlington pageant for a number of years. She loved the beauty of the pageants and loved working with the young women who were selected to represent Arlington in the Miss Texas/Miss America pageant circle each year. Each Miss Arlington lived with Vicki from the time they were selected as Miss Arlington until they competed for the Miss Texas crown.
Due to her dedicated and extensive service to the Miss Texas pageant, in 1999 Vicki was inducted into the prestigious Miss Texas Scholarship Hall of Honor – the highest honor awarded by the Miss Texas organization.
The Vicki Lea Carden Memorial Scholarship has been established to honor Vicki as one of the founders of the Miss Teen Arlington pageant, a member of the Miss Arlington board of directors, and longtime executive director and franchise owner of the Miss Arlington pageant. The scholarship will be presented annually to the teen selected as Miss Arlington. If you would like to contribute to the scholarship in Vicki’s memory, a form will be available at the memorial service or online by contacting KPrachar@aol.com.
Vicki was preceded to heaven by her father, Earl S. Carden, in 1983. Her brother, Tony “Little Bear” Gonzales-Carden, died in Feb. 2012. She is survived by her 99-year-old mother, Juanita Jenkins Carden, and a host of treasured friends and “chosen family.”
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, at the Shannon-Rose Hill Funeral Chapel, 7301 East Lancaster, Ft. Worth, Texas, followed by a reception and interment in the adjacent Rose Hill Cemetery. Vicki’s friends are welcome to join us for the celebration of a beautiful Christian life so well lived and loved.