Remembering Baylor Bookstore icon Ms. Barbara Hull

Barbara Hull worked at the Baylor Bookstore for 40 years, helping students and greeting alumni. Courtesy art from Cassie Findley

Meredith Pratt | Staff Writer

Longtime Baylor Bookstore employee Barbara Hull, 83, died on Monday. A familiar face to many, she worked at the bookstore for 40 years.

Various social media sites were filled with former bookstore employees and Baylor fans offering their condolences.

The Baylor Bookstore Facebook page posted: “It is with a heavy heart that we let you know our most beloved Bookstore family member, Mrs. Barbara Hull, passed away this morning. Barbara’s been with the Baylor Bookstore for 40 years and has touched so many Bears’ lives along the way. Her favorite time of year was Football game days when all of the Alumni would return to come pay her a special visit, reminiscing of years past and now introducing her to their families. She was our ultimate Mama Bear, always sharing her love for God and family. We will miss you dearly and are all better people for having you in our lives.”

The post received over 60 comments from those sharing memories they had of Hull.

On Twitter, Doug Fertsch, senior director of the Baylor Sports Network, tweeted he had a “heavy heart” about the passing of Hull. Fertsch said he first met Hull at the Baylor Bookstore in Floyd Casey Stadium. Hull later accompanied Fertsch on the road for athletic events.

“[Barbara] always had a smile on her face,” Fertsch said. “It was always about you, not about her. That was a quality that she had more-so than many people … that it wasn’t about her, it was about you, and it was about Baylor, and about flinging our green and gold afar and bringing a little bit of the Baylor campus to these events.”

John Durham, pastor of Highland Baptist Church, had also known Hull for many years. Durham said that Hull had been a member of Highland since 1973 and that her 47 years at the church had left an impact on many.

“She has been known around this city, around Highland and around Baylor as a spirited, determined, Christ-honoring, fun lady. She worked at the Baylor Bookstore
when I was a Baylor student,” Durham said. “She will be missed, but her legacy of kindness and Godliness will live on.”

Waco junior Jasmine Hull, granddaughter of Barbara, who is now in Dallas for nursing school, said that Baylor, family and faith were everything to her grandmother.

Hull said that if she had to sum up her grandmother in two phrases, they would be “love Jesus” and “Sic ‘Em Bears.”

“Granny, also known as Ms. Barbara, was the biggest Baylor fan to ever live, and that’s an understatement,” Hull said. “She hated little to nothing, but you’d be sure to hear some remarks if you were for anyone but the Bears or wore ‘that ugly burnt orange color.’”

Like Fertsch, Hull said that her grandmother was someone filled with compassion.

“The thing I think not only the people who call her ‘Granny’ will miss, but everyone, no matter what you called her, was how much she truly cared about what was going on in your life,” Hull said. “For me, she never failed to call me, or leave a voicemail if I didn’t answer, after every test I took, to see how it went, or to ask me what I thought about ‘them bears’ after every football game last year.”

Hull said she will always have fond memories of her grandmother working at the Baylor Bookstore.

“To me, the Baylor Bookstore didn’t actually mean books or Baylor gear. It meant my Granny,” Hull said. “Regardless of the fact that it took everyone five or six minutes to find the woman you couldn’t see over the clothing racks, she always greeted with the biggest smile, hug and ‘How are you?’”

“Honestly, I didn’t know my Granny was on her 40th year at the Bookstore, but I think it only speaks to the fact that she truly loved what she did,” Hull said. “Anytime I was in there, I was being introduced to one of her new student friends she worked with or reintroduced for the third time to someone I’ve met every time I am there. She truly adored everyone she worked with and I can imagine it was the same for everyone who worked with her.”

Hull said that the little things about her grandmother will always stick with her.

“She loved to go to church every Sunday, the nail salon every couple of weeks and being with her family every chance she could get,” Hull said.

“It is an understatement to say that she will be missed. She left the biggest mark on everyone’s heart that she touched and truly made anyone and everyone feel loved and cared for,” Hull said. “As hard as it is to not have her here anymore, I know she is flinging her green and gold afar and sending all the love and Sic ‘Em’s from Heaven.”

Barbara Hull’s celebration of life will be held at Lake Shore Funeral Home at 10 a.m. on Sept. 14. The service will also be livestreamed.