JULY 2016 PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY David S. Irvin’s Positively Parker County is now part of the First Financial empire). When my father established it, WN was the first new bank in years and years and years to be established in Parker County. That was 1983. It’s turned into the largest banking chain in Texas. First Financial came in and bought Citizens and merged Weatherford National Bank. My father retained a position on the board for many, many years.” It’s safe to say that land, ranching and banking is in the Worthington’s blood. Mark’s mother, Jo Worthington is a community leader, who mostly used her talent and ingenuity to further great causes and making sure the methods resulted in fun for everyone. “The Parker County Peach Festival was her idea,” Mark said. “The first one was in the parking lot of Weatherford National Bank. Mark and Dottie own Worthington Real Estate & Investments. Their daughter Bree Worthington-Clay gained fame early in life as a trick rider, was the youngest person to ever hold a PRCA Card, at the age of 7. Today, she is most well-known as a buffalo trainer, owns and manages three buffalo, that include the Plains Capitol Bank icon buffalo known professionally as “Mo,” but his birth name is Miko. Bree also owns a white buffalo named HOPE. She is married to Nathan Clay and has two children, Dillon Clay, 9, and Millie Mae Clay, 3. Mark and Dottie’s Youngest daughter Brook Worthington – Ladouceur is a realtor, like her mom and dad. She married a cowboy, like her mom did. Well, sort of. While her mother married a rodeo cowboy, Brook married a Dallas Cowboy—#91. They have two children — Annabelle Ladouceur, 3, and Wyatt Fant Ladouceur, 19 months. Dottie McGee was a 19-year-old student at Georgia Southern when duty called. “My mother called me and said, ‘you have to come home,’” Dottie Worthington recalls. “My hometown (Moultrie, Georgia) was putting on a rodeo and I had to come home and be the rodeo queen. I didn’t want to, but I did.” The rodeo was in July. At the rodeo, she met a handsome young bullrider named Mark Worthington, who bought a Cocoa-Cola from the rodeo queen. 92 Continued from page 48 “She had a two liter bottle on the table and a bunch of Dixie Cups,” Mark Worthington recalls. “I asked her how much the Coke was. She said it was $1 and poured a Dixie Cup of Coke and I grabbed the 2-liter bottle and drank it down. She said, ’Hey, wait a minute!’” Mark and Dottie were married less than a year later, in June of 1976. “We rodeod for quite a while after we got married,” Dottie Worthington said. “Bree was born in August of 1978 and we went back on the road in January of 1979, to go rodeoing.” Bree had her first birthday on the road. “We moved to Weatherford in 1980,” Dottie Worthington said. “I was tired of waiting for the odds to catch up to me,” Mark Worthington said, adding that bullriding is risky business. “I wanted to live long enough to see my daughter grow up.” Mark and Dottie opened their real estate company. Brook was born in 1982. Mark’s second cousin, Louise McFarland, (her mother and Mark’s grandmother were sisters had donated funds to build the maternity ward at Weatherford Regional Medical Center (then called Campbell Memorial). “Brook was the first baby in the family who was born in that maternity ward,” Dottie Worthington said. Louise McFarland was known for her generosity, despite the fact that she tried her best to hide that fact. “We called Louise, ‘Sister.’ Dottie Worthington said. “She used to donate money to take the school children to the symphony. She didn’t want anyone to know so the teachers would say, ‘the trip to the symphony is funded by the contribution of a generous local woman. Our girls would say, ’That’s Sister!’” These days Brooke takes her children to the symphony. Sister would be proud of her. Walter Fant Worthington is about to turn 90. He and his wife Jo Worthington are both in good health, enjoying watching their greatgrandchildren grow up.