First Generation - Marvin & Leonora Gammage
Second Generation - Manny & Norma Gammage
Third Generation - David & Joella (Gammage) Torres
Third Generation - Tex & Mary Gammage
Fourth Generation - Joel & Catrin Gammage
Manny helped his parents move their shop and home from Houston to Austin in 1965. Afterward, Manny began commuting from Waco to Austin, to help his father get everything set up and running at the new shop. Five years later, he and wife, Norma, packed up their three children and moved to Austin too. Manny was raised in the backroom of many of Marvin's hat shops and knew the craft well. Norma was not well versed in hat making at that time, but already had mastered sewing skills by making clothes for her family for years. Just one year later, in 1971, they purchased Texas Hatters from Marvin and Leonora, keeping them on as consultants until the mid-80s. During that time, Texas Hatters gained worldwide acclaim for the craftsmanship and quality that we strive to maintain today.
Joella never really left. A whirlwind, two-year marriage, that only took her from home and shop for about six months left her with a baby boy (Joel) to raise alone, except for the help of Manny and Norma. Growing up, and raising her son, in the back room of the shop seemed the most normal thing to do. Joella has learned every aspect of the hat-making process, as well as bookkeeping, leatherworking, computer, and internet skills. After having dated off and on, for nine years, she and Manny's apprentice of 8 years, David A. Torres, were married in 1998. In addition to her son, they were blessed with two beautiful daughters; Liliana and Della. All three are married and walking their own paths, with a door always open to return to home and hat shop. Tragically, David passed suddenly after a routine surgery on March 15, 2023. Thirty-five hours later, the first of their grandchildren arrived, 3 weeks early.
Glenn, a.k.a. Tex, learned much about hat making and sales from his father and grandfather during his high school years. He joined the Navy after graduation and spent a distinguished 25 years in the service of our country, earning many awards and commendations. He retired briefly, but couldn't sit idle and returned to government service, where he has been hard at work since. Though Tex's Navy and post-Navy careers haven't allowed him much time at the hat shop, he has tried to keep his hand in by making sales when he can. Mary has a stellar career in meeting planning and travel. She has also helped out in the trim-room with Norma and the office with Joella. Their two children also spent time helping at the shop, but have both found other paths for their lives.
Marvin fell in love with hat-making in 1926, during his apprenticeship at Southern Hat Company, and with Leonora a few years later. Though he worked at a chemical plant by day through most of the 40s and 50s, his nights and weekends were spent working in his hat shop. Leonora had taken millinery and business courses in college, so she ran the shop while Marvin was at his day job. In 1965, after retiring from his career at the chemical plant, he moved his hat shop to Austin, Texas, with the help of his son, Manny. When discussing what to call the newest location of his hat shop, which had been named; Abilene Hatters, Pasadena Hatters, and Marvin E. Gammage Hatters, Manny said, "You're never going to move it outta Texas, why not Texas Hatters?"
Joella's son, Joel changed his last name to honor Manny, his Papa, in 2010. He has worked his way up from sweeping up the back room and washing hats, to promoting backyard events and building social media and online presence for Texas Hatters. At one of the backyard events, he met and fell in love with Catrin Bennett. They married in 2014. A little over one year later, while on vacation in Florida, Catrin was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia, and they remained there for her initial treatment. Thanks to God, the doctors of UF Shands and later, Texas Oncology, she has been in remission since the Spring of 2016. They moved to Seattle in early 2017, for her new career with Amazon as a Data Scientist. Joel continues to manage all of Texas Hatters' social media and continues to build the online presence of the family's business, as well as to help maintain this site.
"As modern as yesterday, with tomorrow's ideas."
- Manny Gammage
Third Generation - Phyllis L. Gammage
Although it has been many years since Phyllis has done any work with Texas Hatters, she is still a part of the 3rd generation of Texas Hatters. After working with her parents during her high school years, she moved on to executive assistant at a high-end restaurant in Austin, and then a tech firm. She returned to the hat shop for a while, after her first marriage, until her first child was born. That marriage took her around the world and gave her a daughter, two sons, and attending nursing school. After earning her RN, she returned to Texas and worked at one of the largest hospitals in Austin for about 15 years. Her second marriage brought her two more daughters. All three of her older children have done a stint at the hat shop, before moving on to bigger and better things. Her younger two haven't shown any interest as yet. Her career path currently has her with the Austin State Supported Living Center.
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