In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Georgia Lee Williams Teel, 94

Georgia Lee Williams Teel, 1927-2022
IMB Photo

Georgia Lee Williams Teel, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Ecuador, Argentina, Dominican Republic and Canada, died March 16, 2022. She was 94.

Teel was born on Oct. 30, 1927, in Fort Worth, Texas. According to her family, she began her missionary journey as a teenager when she spent her high school and college summers leading Bible studies at mining towns in New Mexico. After graduating from Sunset High School in Dallas, she attended Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, Texas, where she pursued her passions of nursing, missions and the violin and received the Bachelor of Arts.

At Hardin-Simmons, she also met James Oscar Teel Jr., with whom she shared a call to missions. They were married on Jan. 21, 1949, in Abilene.

Georgie, as she was known to family and friends, wrote when seeking missionary appointment that she had begun feeling God’s hand on her as a girl when participating in her church’s Woman’s Missionary Organization for girls and spending hours at a community center nearby.

As time passed, she wrote, God showed her that he wanted her in missions as a career. One Wednesday night after prayer meeting, she wrote, “I followed our associate pastor in the office and … said, “Will T., I know God is calling me to be a missionary.’” They talked and prayed and, “When I left there was no doubt in my mind because I knew that I had found the Lord’s will.” She was nearly 16.

After graduating from HSU, Georgie and James attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. Aside from her studies, Georgie served as a pastor’s wife and homemaker. By the time the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed them as missionaries in 1956, they had a growing family.

Georgie and James served 26 years as missionaries in Ecuador, Argentina, the Dominican Republic and Canada. In Argentina, where the Teels served 16 years, her family said Georgie volunteered her nursing skills at the British Hospital and at a public hospital specializing in burns. She was a pastor’s wife, taught Sunday School and played the pump organ at church services. She was the unofficial nurse of the mission family. She also served with the local chapter of the Red Cross, spending nights away from home to help in disaster situations.

Between terms of service as missionaries, Georgie returned to school at Belmont College (now University), Nashville, in 1976 and was certified as a registered nurse. She worked at the Baptist Hospital in Nashville and for the Tennessee Department of Correction at a men’s prison facility in Nashville.

When they moved to Abilene in 1979, Georgie worked as a school nurse with the Abilene Independent School District, played violin at the Abilene Philharmonic, and made trips to remote regions of Ecuador as a medical volunteer.

Georgie is preceded in death by her parents Effie Henrietta Williams and George Wilbur Williams; a daughter, Shirley Ann, who passed away in 1958; and by her husband of 73 years, James O. Teel Jr., who died just five weeks before Georgie.

She is survived by four children, Linda Sue Farell (Dan), Judy Kay Simon (Jerry), Pamela Jean Teel, and James DeWitt Teel; seven grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren.

A funeral service was held March 24, 2022, at First Baptist Church of Abilene.

Donations in her memory may be made to the Baptist Spanish Publishing House Foundation, 130 Montoya Road, El Paso, TX 79932, or to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, IMB, 3806 Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA 23230, or online at Generosity Resource Center – IMB Generosity.

Read an obituary here.