From Lithuania to Texas:
Our story begins in 1978 in Greenville, Texas. It was there that Lilija Grumulaitis, a Lithuanian immigrant, met Susan and James Baker at a political event. The following year, while visiting the Bakers in Houston, Lilija mentioned that she was interested in moving to the Houston area.
Susan encouraged her to move to Montgomery County and to begin a Republican woman’s club. Lilija moved to Conroe and met with Dr. Wally Wilkerson, chairman of the Republican Party in Montgomery County. Dr. Wally gave her his blessing to begin a club.
Notices were placed in the local media inviting women to a meeting on Thursday, November 29, 1979 with Dr. Wally Wilkerson and Judge Pat Ruffin. Lilija was quoted as saying: “It is going to be an extremely exciting year politically. I’m hoping to give people the chance to get together and do something in a group and not simply talk about it.”
It was at that meeting – at Lilija’s kitchen table – that a group of enthusiastic ladies met to begin the process of forming the Montgomery County Republican Women. Twenty-one ladies became the charter members with Shirley Frazier Murphy serving as its first president.