In Memoriam

Alice McNamara Harwell, BA ’39, of Waco died Oct. 25. She married Dillard Harwell in 1939. She was a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, served on the Altar Guild and was president of the Junior League. Harwell was a member of the Colonial Dames of the United States, taking tea at the White House with Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush. Harwell traveled the world. She was a volunteer for the Providence Hospital Auxiliary and a Cub Scout den mother. She is survived by her children David and Susan, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Loraine Oxley Trammell, BA ’40, died Sept. 23 in San Antonio. She was 97. Trammell worked as a school teacher. Following World War II, she and her husband Luther moved to Houston, where Luther became a frozen food broker. Loraine was involved with First Presbyterian Church, the Bayou Bend Docent Program and the P.E.O. Sisterhood. She was predeceased by her husband of 69 years, James Luther Trammell Jr., ’41. Survivors include three children, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. 

Lee Glascock Evans Bennett, BA ’42, of Marfa and Clifton, TX, died Aug. 8 at age 95. At Baylor, she was in Pi Beta Phi and Alpha Omega Club. She married Bob Evans, who died in World War II. She then worked in the Marfa Army Air Field and married Murphy Bennett in 1948. Lee taught history for 22 years in Marfa and earned two master’s degrees from Sul Ross State University, where she served as an adjunct instructor in education and history. She was an avid historian and pilot. In 2005, Lee moved to Clifton. Among her survivors are two sons, three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. 

Helen Louise Slagle, BA ’46, of Clute, TX, died Oct. 23 at age 92. She spent her 20s as a school teacher. A homemaker for her four children, she later became involved with the Christian Women’s Club of Brazoria County, serving as call director. Slagle enjoyed traveling in retirement. Among her survivors are her husband of 63 years, Robert E. Slagle, four children, two grandchildren and sister Millie Mauldin, BS ’49.

Martha May Odom Treece, ’46, of Dallas died Sept. 7 at age 92. She attended Baylor School of Nursing as member of the Cadet Nurse Corps. She was married 67 years to Hobart M. Treece Jr., and she worked for 25 years as an office nurse in Mesquite and Dallas. She also was a member of Shiloh Terrace Baptist Church. Treece is survived by four daughters and others.

Virginia Belle Stiles Walker, BBA ’46, of Arlington, TX, died July 30 at age 91. At Baylor, she was a Chi Omega. She taught Bible classes for 75 years, ending at FBC Arlington. Walker served on the executive board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and as Tarrant Baptist Association G.A. director. She taught in Lovington, NM. Virginia and her husband of 62 years, John J. Walker, ’47, traveled the world. They were supporters of Baylor academics and athletics. Virginia was preceded in death by her husband and her son, Stephen J. Walker, BS ’71. Survivors include daughters, Carol Crumpton, BSN ’75, Nina Ronalder, BS ’77, and husband, Ron, BA ’78; five grandchildren, including Trey Crumpton, BS ’05, MS ’11, and wife, Ashley, BA ’04, MSEd ’10; Chris Ronalder, BS ’10, and three great-grandchildren.

Martha Durham Burt, BA ’47, died Sept. 6 in Houston. She was 90. Burt was a member of Houston’s South Main Baptist Church, where she worked with 10th graders. She enjoyed cooking, traveling, bridge and women’s clubs. Among her survivors are her husband of 70 years, Joe H. Burt Jr., BBA ’48, son Thomas D. Burt, BBA ’73, two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her son Joe H. “Bucky” Burt III, BA ’72.

Dr. Dwain M. Estes, BA ’48, of Woodville, TX, died Oct. 11 at age 91. After serving in the Army stationed at the Pentagon, he was an innovator in the field of education. Estes helped start the exemplary Education Service Center models. He was executive director of the Education Service Center in San Antonio. Estes was also a professor at Texas A&M University, the University of Alabama, the University of Texas at Austin, Baylor and others. He developed creative doctoral programs in Educational Administration. Estes worked until age 90 and spent time working with various educational software companies. Among his survivors are two children, including Becky Estes ’80, three brothers and three grandchildren.

Joy Lois Etheridge Howell, BA ’48, died Sept. 10. She taught in Marshall, TX, and later lived in Kilgore, TX, Shreveport, LA, and Pittsburgh before returning to Marshall in 1977. Howell served on the Baptist State General Convention Board and on the board of trustees of East Texas Baptist University. Among her survivors are her husband of 66 years, Thomas D. “Rusty” Howell; two children, including Leslie Howell Chambers, BBA ’81; six grandchildren, including Sam Howell, BA ’99, JD ’02; and three great-grandchildren. 

Patrick H. Luckett Jr., BS ’48, of Austin died Sept. 11 at age 92. He served as a Marine in the invasions of Guam and Iwo Jima, where he was wounded and received the Purple Heart. While president of Baylor’s student body, he participated in the retirement ceremonies for Baylor President and former Texas Governor Pat Neff. After 32 years with the company, he retired as vice president of Rockwell International’s Municipal and Utilities Division. He then worked for 25 years as an international marketing consultant in the water and waste water industries. Luckett was a charter member of Houston’s Tallowood Baptist Church and a deacon at First Baptist Church Austin. He was president of the Texas Division of the American Cancer Society and the Patrick Henry Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. He was a 32nd degree Mason. Luckett was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Eleanor, ’48, and their son David. Among his survivors are three children, including Lisa Massar, BS ’72, and Kathryn Bishop, BS ’75; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. 

Dr. Gene Hix, BA ’49, of College Station, TX, died July 14 at age 92. He served in the Navy during World War II. Hix was editor of the Port Isabel Press and later worked for Amoco in Texas City. He opened Gene Hix Printing in Bryan, TX. After earning his doctorate in 1974, he became an editor for the Texas A&M University engineering department and later the Texas A&M agricultural department. Hix was a member of First Baptist Church Bryan for 54 years, serving in the college department as a director and teacher. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Martha Hix, BA ’49; three children, including Carroll Hix, JD ’79; three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Rev. Paul Smith, BA ’49, of Eureka, CA, died March 31 at age 94. His wife of 73 years, Abbie Maloch Smith, BA ’49, died Apr. 11 at age 94. Abbie and Paul put their education on hold due to World War II, when Paul joined the Marines and Abbie taught elementary school. They later moved to California, where Abbie taught school and Paul entered Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. Paul pastored Halcyon Baptist Church for 10 years and then moved to Gridley, CA, where he pastored for five years. In 1965, the Smith family moved to Humboldt County, where Abbie taught first grade and Paul served as the director of missions for the North Coast Baptist Association. Among their survivors are two daughters, four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

James L. Rogers, BBA ’50, of McKinney, TX, died Sept. 4 at age 89. He served in the U.S. Army in Japan from 1946 to 1948. Rogers was an insurance agent, spending 22 career years specializing in risk management of aircraft with the Insurance Company of North America. He ended his career with Henry Butts in Plano, TX. He was a member of several churches, including First Baptist Church McKinney. Survivors include children Ellen Dianne (Rogers) Winegeart, BSEd ’78, and Matthew William Rogers, BA ’82; sister Louise Lockhart, BA ’54; three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Patsy Jean Martin Rogers, ’53. 

Ross Lee Allee, Jr., BBA ’51, died Oct. 6 in Austin. He was 87. Allee served as an officer in the Air Force during the Korean War before moving to Corpus Christi, TX, where he met and married Sandra Jane Baker, BA ’54. Allee was a vice president of United Savings and Loan in Corpus Christi until he retired to Reagan Wells, TX, in 1980. He was involved in Kiwanis Club and the Reagan Wells Baptist Church. The Allees supported Baylor and volunteered at state and national parks, including Yellowstone National Park, for a number of summers. They settled in Franklin, NC, before moving to Austin. Among his survivors are two siblings, a daughter, a granddaughter and a great-granddaughter. 

Joan Glenn Branyon, BA ’51, MA ’78, of Waco died Aug. 22 at age 87. Her husband Tommy Branyon, BBA ’52, was drafted, so she followed him to Kentucky and then to Europe while he served in the U.S. Army. She began teaching in 1955, first at Lorena [TX] High School and later in Waco ISD. She earned a master’s degree and taught until retiring in 1984. She was active in the Pi Alpha Lambda and Chi Omega alumni groups, Baylor Round Table, the Baylor Retired Faculty and Administrators, Waco Retired Teachers and her Sunday school class. Among her survivors are her children Kathleen (Kathy) Branyon, BM ’78, Keith Branyon, BBA ’81, JD ’83; and granddaughter Margaret Branyon-Goodman, a senior at Baylor. Memorials may be made to the Tom and Joan Branyon Baylor School of Music Endowed Scholarship.

William Bryan Thornburg, BA ’51, Robinson, TX, died Aug. 3 at age 90. At age 17, he joined the Navy and, at the end of World War II, he completed high school and was captain of the baseball team at Mars Hill College. He was a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, serving 21 years as a navigator in B-47s and B-52s, while also pastoring in churches wherever he was stationed. In 1970, Thornburg retired from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel, returned to Waco and enrolled in graduate school at Baylor. Over the next 40 years, he pastored First Baptist Church Calvert, Clifton and Robinson, and Waco’s Emmanuel Baptist Church. He was active with the Rotary Club, Waco Baptist Association, and he served on the board of Hillcrest Hospital board. He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Dorothy. Among his survivors are two children, including Jon, BA ’79, MS ’85; two granddaughters; two great-grandchildren; and a sister.

Dr. Seale Tippen Cutbirth, BS ’52, MD ’56, of Brownwood, TX, died Oct. 13. He had a general practice and practiced surgery in Wharton, then in Brownwood from 1958 to 1992. Cutbirth was one of the team doctors for the Brownwood Lions for many years. He served on the board that built the Brownwood Regional Hospital in 1969. He served a term as chief of staff at the hospital, where on occasion he performed complex emergency surgeries, often while talking on the phone in the operating room to a medical specialist in a larger city. Cutbirth was a deacon at First Baptist Church Brownwood. He served on the board of directors of Republic National Bank, Brownwood. His son Brian preceded him in death. Among his survivors are his wife of 66 years, Betty Sue Cutbirth, BA ’52; children Steve Cutbirth, BS ’76, Kitty Taylor, BSED ’79, MSEd ’80, and Sam Cutbirth, BBA ’81; nine granddaughters; 10 great-grandchildren; and brother Treldon Cutbirth, BA ’57.

Thomas Emory McBrayer, BS ’52, MSEd ’54, died Sept. 24 at age 89 in Murphy, TX. He enrolled at Baylor after serving in the Army Air Corps. McBrayer was a coach and then a principal for Dallas ISD for 30-plus years. His wife, Martha Sue Thomson McBrayer, BA ’52, MSEd ’65, preceded him in death in 2016. Tom was deacon at First Baptist Church Garland [TX]. Among his survivors are four children, including Mindy McBrayer Lance, BA ’79, and Mike McBrayer, BBA ’82, MBA ’83; seven grandchildren, including Drew McBrayer, BBA ’10, and Matt McBrayer, a Baylor senior; and four great-grandchildren.

George W. McNiel, BBA ’52, of Austin died Sept. 6 at age 86. At 16, he entered Baylor, where was designated the Distinguished Military Student in Baylor’s AFROTC. He was a CPA for Arthur Andersen & Co. He married the former Barbara Jo Metz, BA ’53, during his military tour, and they had three sons, including Earl McNiel, BBA ’80. He became the State Auditor of Texas by 1968 and served in this capacity for 17 years. His reports provided an independent and verified window through which creditors, state administrators and officials, and the public could view the state’s fiscal affairs. McNiel became an advisor to the executive, legislative, judicial and higher education segments of state government. Later, he served as the University of Texas system chancellor’s financial associate for six years. McNiel’s reports to the nation’s bond rating agencies helped the state’s credit rating rise to the highest classification available and remained that way throughout his tenure. He was a deacon at Austin’s Hyde Park Baptist Church. In addition to his wife and sons, he is survived by six grandchildren, including Wayne McNiel, BBA ’11, and Lacey McNiel, BA ’15.

Marilee Siebenmann Shockey, BA ’52, died Oct. 6 in Carrollton, TX. She was 86. Her parents founded a training school known today as the Baptist University of the Américas in San Antonio, where Marilee later taught as an adult. She married James Floyd Shockey, BA ’52, in 1951. They both attended Baylor and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Marilee and Floyd served as Southern Baptist missionaries in inner-city Chicago. Marilee spoke Spanish and served Hispanic churches by teaching future pastors and church leaders. Floyd and Marilee parented six children and fostered one child. Among her survivors are her children, including Jim, BA ’80, Jeanne, BBA ’82, and Julie, BSEd ’84; 10 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and two siblings, including Paul C. Siebenmann, MS ’61, PhD ’97.

John Bloskas, BA ’53, of Carrollton, TX, died Sept. 25 at age 89. He left high school at 16 to serve in the Navy during World War II and the Korean War. Bloskas worked at the Waco Chamber of Commerce and the Houston Chronicle before becoming public relations director of the Southern Baptist Annuity Board, which served as the financial arm for Southern Baptist pastors. To help take care of widows of pastors that served small Baptist churches who had no pensions available to them, he started a ministry now known as Mission:Dignity, with over $7 million paid out annually to recipients. Among his survivors are his wife of 62 years, Ann Bloskas, and son Ken, BBA ’83. He was preceded in death by his daughter Suzie and son John Jr.

Robert Dale Tatum, BA ’53, began his journey in life on Sept. 5, 1929. He was born in Missouri City, TX, and graduated from Missouri City High School. He earned two master’s degrees from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Tatum was a minister and joined the Naval Reserves. Later, he was called to active duty as a Navy chaplain. He retired as a full commander in the U.S. Navy. He then served as an interim pastor and was heavily involved in the Masonic Lodge, VFW and the American Legion. Among his survivors are his wife Helen Tatum, three children and their families.

Rev. Jack Whyburn, BA ’53, of Meadowlakes, TX, died Oct. 18 at age 88. He received a degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. Whyburn was pastor of Oenaville Baptist Church in Bell County, TX, Third Street Baptist Church in Waco and the Buckner Ranch Baptist Church in Burnet, TX. He was administrator of the Buckner Baptist Boys Ranch for 37 years. After retiring, he was pastor of the First Baptist Church of Granite Shoals, TX, for 10 years, among other roles. Whyburn was a charter member and second president of the Burnet Rotary Club. The Whyburns endowed a scholarship at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. He was preceded in death by his son David Whyburn, BSEd ’77. Among his survivors are his wife Minnie Mae Whyburn, two children, four grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

Rayford Lee “Ray” Lasseter, BBA ’55, of Denton, TX, died Oct. 28. He served 20 years in the U.S. Army Reserve and retired a major. Lasseter was employed for 35 years with the Chevron Corporation, where he was a western regional manager of lease administration and an oil and gas attorney. He traveled extensively. He lived in Waco, Gainesville, TX, Houston, Denver, and Walnut Creek, CA, before retiring in Corinth, TX, where he was mayor pro tem. He took a great interest helping young people through scholarships. Lasseter was a member of the First United Methodist Church Denton and a 32nd degree Mason with a 50-year membership. He was preceded in death by his first wife Katherine. Among his survivors are his wife Jacquelyn Sahlin Lasseter.

Bobby Joe Moody, JD ’55, of Lubbock, TX, died Aug. 24 at age 87. He graduated from Hardin-Simmons. He served in the U.S. Air Force, including the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He practiced law for 51 years. Moody served First Baptist Church Lubbock, the Lubbock County Bar Association, the City Bank Board of Directors, Goodwill Industries, the West Texas Museum Association, South Plains Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra Board, South Plains Trust and Estate Council, the Masonic Lodge, Khiva Shrine, and the Lions Club. He was a board member at both Wayland Baptist University and Hardin-Simmons University. Moody had a 50-year association with the Boy Scouts of America. He served on the board and as president of the South Plains Council. Moody was awarded the Silver Beaver for Distinguished Service to Boyhood. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Charlotte Moody, ’55, daughters Charlotte, BA ’82, and Paula, BA ’86, and four grandchildren. 

Robert Keith Clark, BA ’57, of Longview, TX, died Aug. 5 at age 84. He was a member of the Baylor football team and served in the Army. He worked in the oil and gas business in Texas, Louisiana, Nigeria and Libya. Clark then changed his career to coaching and teaching. He coached football in Rosenberg and Marshall, TX, where he became a principal. He was a member of Longview’s Trinity Episcopal Church, the American Legion, the Masonic Lodge and the Texas Retired Teachers Association. He was preceded in death by infant son Kevin Clark. Among his survivors are his wife of 62 years, Sue Clark, two children, four grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and a brother.

David Allen Newcomb, BBA ’57, of Houston died Sept. 21 at age 82. He was a vice president at both Merrill Lynch and Morgan Keegan. He was also president of Royce Park Investments and served on the board of the Baylor Business School and as the vice president of the Houston Baylor Club. Newcomb served in the Army Reserve. He was a deacon, treasurer and Sunday school teacher at Tallowood Baptist Church. Among his survivors are his wife of 59 years, Colleen Childress Newcomb, ’60; children Mark Newcomb, ’84, and Nancy Newcomb, BS ’92; six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and two siblings, including Jim Newcomb, BBA ’66.

Chester Paul Odom, BA ’57, of Austin died June 24 at age 86. He was a graduate of Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, and he pastored churches in Corsicana, Brownwood, Wichita Falls and Killeen, TX. Among his survivors is his son Derik Paul Odom.

Eugene “Gene” King, BBA ’58, died Sept. 30 in Neenah, WI. He retired in 1988 from Kimberly Clark Corp. He is survived by his wife Betty Mooney, ’60, three children and three grandchildren.

Mary Joe Bradshaw Teddlie, BA ’58, of Exton, PA, died Sept. 30 at age 81. She worked as a legal administrative assistant and paralegal in several cities in Texas and Las Vegas as well as Media and Radnor, PA. She also traveled to China, Israel and Egypt. Teddlie played the violin, piano and organ, ideal skills for a pastor’s wife. She was predeceased by her husband Rev. Bob J. Teddlie, BA ’59. She is survived by two children, including Brian J. Teddlie, BBA ’90; four grandchildren and a sister. 

Loretta Jane Pridgeon Fortner, BA ’63, of Waco died Aug. 2 at age 76. At Baylor, she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma. In 1964, she married Dr. B. Ronald Fortner, BA ’62. She was a member of the Junior League of Amarillo, TX, Dallas and Waco; the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Baylor Alumni Association. She was a teacher in Dallas, Galveston, TX, Waco and Temple, TX. She was a member of Waco’s Austin Avenue Methodist Church and the Waco Symphony Guild. She was a lifetime member of the Armstrong Browning Library Guardian Angels and “Fano Club.” Among her survivors are three children, including Cynthia Fortner Slade, BBA ’89; five grandchildren; and sister Judith Pridgeon Eidson, BA ’63. Her brother James Pridgeon, BS ’59, predeceased her. At least 11 family members attended Baylor. Memorials may be made to Baylor’s Armstrong Browning Library.

Judd Brooks Holt III, BBA ’63, of Denton, TX, died Aug. 22. He was Baylor student body president and worked as a teacher and a park ranger at Yellowstone National Park. He earned a law degree from St. Mary’s University. Holt’s family lived in Wichita Falls, TX, and Denton, where Holt practiced law and wrote two novels. He was an elder emeritus at First Christian Church and was on the planning and zoning committee for the City of Denton. Holt retired in 2006. Among his survivors are his wife of 46 years, Suzy Holt, three sons, eight grandchildren and two siblings.

Tom Alan Langston, BA ’63, of San Jose, CA, died Aug. 6 at age 76. He played golf at Baylor, and his mother Greta Langston, BA ’27, and sister Margreta, ’53, were also Baylor alumni. He was married to Carol M. Langston for 45 years. Langston was a computer programmer and loved to hike, golf and watch Baylor sports. 

Dr. Gwendolyn W. Aldredge, BS ’64, died Aug. 14 at age 75. She received a master’s degree from Louisiana State University and her PhD from Florida State University. Aldredge was a professor at Baylor for 29 years before retiring in 2002. She was a member of Waco’s Western Heights Baptist Church. She is survived by children Collin Aldredge, BA ’14, and Alana Aldredge Schaeper, ’17, and a granddaughter.

Charles Ray Symank, BA ’64, of Valley Mills, TX, died Oct. 6 at age 78. He spent 33 years in Valley Mills as a science teacher and principal. Symank was a member of Waco’s Christ Lutheran Church and St. John Lutheran Church in Coryell City, TX. He served on the Bosque County child welfare board and on the Goodall-Witcher Hospital board in Clifton, TX. He served on the public responsibility committee and the board for the Heart of Texas Region MHMR Center in Waco. He was a member of Bosque County Retired Teachers and a volunteer at the Bosque Valley Food Pantry in Valley Mills. Among his survivors are his wife of 56 years, Joyce Symank, daughter Stephanie Kucera, BSEd ’90, MSEd ’95, two grandsons and a brother. 

Harold Eugene West, BSEd ’64, of Friendswood, TX, died Sept. 7 at age 77. He served his country for four years in the Air Force as an instructor pilot in the T-38 at Vance Air Force Base in Enid, OK, and he continued to serve in the Reserves for 10 more years. He entered civilian life and began a 27-year career as a commercial airline pilot. Among his survivors are his wife of 52 years, Judy West, BM ’64; children Barry West, BBA ’94, and Katy Burk, BSEd ’97; six grandchildren; and four siblings, including LaDawn Weeks, BMEd ’61.

Jon Dwight Markham, BS ’65, MS ’70, of Lake Leelanau, MI, died May 30 at age 76. He played Baylor football and had a 36-year career teaching and coaching, with the last 25 years in Houston’s Spring Branch ISD. Markham was head coach and athletic coordinator for two years at University High School and head baseball coach at Richfield High School in Waco. He also taught driver education for Aramco Oil Company in Saudi Arabia and spent five years as a real estate appraiser. Among his survivors are his wife of 43 years, Jane Wheeler Markham, BS ’73.

Bonnie Lee Ware, MLS ’65, of Waco died Sept. 16. She graduated from Southwest Texas State Teacher’s College and worked as a secretary at Waco’s Columbus Avenue Baptist Church, where she was also a choir member. She married Tom Ware in 1952 and was a teacher and librarian in Waco ISD for 30 years. Ware was an avid gardener and bridge player. She was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas Lea Ware, BA ’36, MA ’39. Among her survivors are her daughter, Ann Ware May, BSEd ’78, step-daughter Dulce Lea Brasby, BBA ’59, seven grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

James Earl Crouch, JD ’66, a lawyer in Hamilton, TX, for more than 50 years, died Sept. 23 in Dallas. Crouch was a partner in Crouch & White, Attorneys at Law, and also owned the Hamilton County Abstract Co. He was past president of the Hamilton Lions Club, a member of the Hamilton County Historical Commission, a deacon at First Baptist Church, past chairman of the Hamilton Democratic Party and active at the state level, a member of the Texas State Bar Association and its foundation, and an officer of the Hamilton Masonic Lodge. Crouch traveled extensively and was an avid outdoorsman and historian. Among his survivors are his wife Jane Caudle Crouch, BA ’63, daughter Jana Crouch Lippe, three grandchildren, and brothers Ben Crouch, BA ’65, and Charles Crouch, BBA ’72.

Gary Lynn Burnett, BBA ’67, of Meadows Place, TX, died Sept. 7 at age 73. He was an entrepreneur, owning small businesses in Houston, Odessa and Sugar Land, TX. He retired after selling his interest in Cinnamon’s Bakery in Sugar Land. Burnett enjoyed discussing politics and football, especially his Baylor Bears. Among his survivors are his wife of 40 years, Judy, two children, two grandchildren and a brother.

Thomas A. Nance, BA ’67, of Hughes Springs, TX, died Aug. 19 at age 78. He trained seamen in flight simulators while in the Navy. During summers as a college student, he drove ambulances for the City of Dallas and took crime scene photos for the Dallas Police Department. He became manager of Waco Hall. Nance earned an MHA and worked for HCA Hospital in Arlington, TX, Beauregard Memorial Hospital in DeRidder, LA, and Atlanta Memorial Hospital. He completed 23 years of military service and worked in assisted living administration. Among his survivors are the mother of his children, Virginia Gray Nance, ’66, two children and six grandchildren.

C. David Porter, BA ’68, JD ’71, of Lufkin, TX, died Oct. 7 at age 70. He played Baylor football and practiced law in Lufkin, where he mentored many young professionals. Porter was a member of First Baptist Church Lufkin. Among his survivors are his wife, Madelyn Erwin Porter, BA ’68; two children; six grandchildren, and a sister.

Danny Allen Makowsky, JD ’70, of Waco, died Oct. 1 at age 71. He practiced law for many years with his friend, Dogie Giles. Makowsky served in many roles at Trinity Lutheran Church. He loved music, memorabilia and the Atlanta Braves. He was a champion volleyball player, and once bowled 186 left-handed. He is responsible for the Waco City Softball League’s rule that all players must wear shoes. Makowsky once chased a fugitive through the streets of downtown Waco and tackled him. Among his survivors are two children, including Dr. Reid Makowsky, BA ’04, MA ’06, PhD ’14, and wife Katherine, BA ’13; and three siblings, including his brother, Milton Makowsky, BA ’65.

Ray Edward Stoesser, BBA ’71, of Dayton, TX, died Aug. 18 at age 68. In 2015, the National Conservation Systems Cotton and Rice Conference recognized him as the National Rice Farmer of the Year. In 2016, Stoesser was asked to testify before the U.S. Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington, DC, about the need for the rice industry to re-establish trade with Cuba. He traveled yearly to Washington, seeking to establish increased rice trade with other nations. Stoesser held numerous leadership positions within the rice industry, including president of the Texas Rice Council and past chairman of the board of the U.S. Rice Producers Association. He also was president of the Liberty County [TX] Farm Bureau. Among his survivors are his wife of 47 years, Eileen Jarett Stoesser, BA ’70; two sons; five grandchildren; and sisters Sandra Wallace, BA ’59, Ellen Byrd, BSN ’64, Ruth Seaberg, BA ’62, and Betty Carraway, BA ’66.

Larry Monroe Williams, BBA ’72, of Roscoe, TX, died Sept. 9 at age 67. A high school valedictorian, he was a CPA in Dallas and Sweetwater, TX, before farming fulltime with his father and brother. Williams served on the Roscoe [TX] ISD School Board, 10th District Farm Credit Council and the Central Rolling Plain Cooperative board. He was a member of the Roscoe State Bank and Plains Cotton Cooperative Association board. Williams was also a deacon at First Baptist Church Roscoe for 39 years and was a member of the Sweetwater Emmaus Community. Among his survivors are his wife of 46 years, Virginia, ’73; children Mandy Williams, BA ’98, Stacey Williams Kelley, ’01, Christy Williams Fairey, BA ’02, BSEd ’03, and Jeremy Williams, BBA ’04; six grandchildren; father and step-mother; and three siblings. 

Hugh Whitfield Davis, BA ’73, of Waco died Sept. 5 at age 89. He was a member of First Baptist Church Waco for more than 40 years. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps and stayed in the Reserves. In the Marine Corps, Davis served in China, Korea, Vietnam and stateside. His primary specialty was artillery, but he also had substantial experience in tanks and missiles, as well as logistics and administration. Davis retired as a decorated First Sergeant in 1969. He was executive director of the Heart of Texas Council of Governments from 1977 to 1992. He was also a member of the Downtown Waco Rotary Club, a 33rd degree Mason and served on various civic committees and boards. Survivors include his wife of 67 years, Esther; children Hugh Jr., BA ’74, JD ’83, Bruce, BA ’94, and Eden, BA ’75, JD ’78; five grandchildren and one great-grandson. 

Dr. Marcus “Mark” Kent Norvell, BA ’76, of St. Simons Island, GA, died Sept. 21 at age 63. He graduated from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and practiced obstetrics and gynecology in Brunswick, GA, for 31 years, retiring in 2015. He was a deacon and chair of administration at First Baptist Church St. Simons Island. Additionally, he was the advising medical director for CareNet in Brunswick. Among his survivors are his wife of 41 years, Lee Norvell, BSN ’76, three sons, six grandchildren and one brother.

Thomas Martin Conry, BA ’84, MS ’86, of Waco died Sept. 11 at age 68. He attended Kent State University until it closed because of the 1970 riots. He married Sharon Ann Baum, BS ’99, MS ’01, in 1970 and welcomed a son, David, MBA ’05. Conry spent nine years in the Army working for the National Security Agency. While Conry was stationed in Japan, the family welcomed twin daughters. Conry was an associate pastor at First Baptist Church China Spring, TX, worked at the Texas Water Commission (now the TNRCC), the Brazos River Authority and taught at Baylor. He retired from the City of Waco.

Stacey Gabriel Homra, BBA ’86, of Stuttgart, AR, died Sept. 23 after a long battle with cancer. At Baylor, she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma. She met her husband Allen while working in the Dallas area. They moved to Stuttgart in 1988. Homra was preceded in death by her son Trey. Among her survivors are her husband Allen; daughter Madison; parents Pat and Frank Gabriel, BBA ’57; siblings Kimberly Dominy, BBA ’84, and Brent Gabriel, MS ’89; and others. 

Jean Nix, ’87, of Waco, died Aug. 19 at age 83. She attended the University of Houston and was fashion coordinator for Foleys in Houston before joining Lichenstein’s of Corpus Christi, TX, as an assistant to Miss Marie Petyo of Wanamaker’s New York. She married Frank Nix, BBA ’47, in 1956. She was instrumental in the founding of Keep Waco Beautiful, the Freedom Frolic Fourth of July Celebration and other projects. Among her survivors are three children, including Angie Carter, BSEd ’79, MS ’80, and Scott Nix, BBA ’82; nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Dr. Lance Jason Wilder, MA ’95, of Athens, GA, died May 17 at age 47. He received his doctorate from the University of Georgia, where he was a senior lecturer in the English department. He also taught in the UGA at Oxford program and served as the associate director in the British and Irish studies program. Wilder served on several boards, including the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission. Among his survivors are his wife, Shannon O’Brien Wilder, BFA ’95, and son, Declan.

Lisa San Miguel, BA ’98, of Monroe, CT, died Aug. 30. She was 41.

Gwen Gist, JD ’04, of Brenham, TX, died Aug. 12 at age 62. She worked as a CPA and attorney in Carlsbad, NM, before moving to Hobbs, NM, where she was city attorney, then Lea County Attorney, then assistant district attorney for the Fifth Judicial District. Recently, her firm Gist Law transitioned to wills, trusts, estates, and helping people get access to legal representation.

Joshua Eli Barta, MBA ’11, of Austin died Sept. 3 after battling cancer. He was 38. An Eagle Scout by age 14, he earned a degree from Texas Tech University and finished his career with Austin Energy. He is survived by his wife Victoria Ross, parents and a brother.

Peggy Burton, of Woodville, TX, died Aug. 12 at age 90. She was dedicated to her church—First Baptist Church Woodville—and was active in her community, where she was honored as Citizen of the Year. Burton was a member of the Reading Club and a Hospital Pink Lady volunteer. She tutored disadvantaged children and was a member of Baylor’s Endowed Scholarship Society. Burton graduated from Rice University and the University of Virginia. Early on, she worked as a medical laboratory technician. She was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, Dr. L. Gayle Burton, ’47. Among her survivors are sons Dr. Bruce Burton, BA ’74, and Brian Burton, BA ’79, brother Bob Weatherall, three step grandchildren and seven step great-grandchildren.

Dr. Charles “Chuck” Holmes Herty III of Waco died Oct. 6 at age 93. He served in the Navy, earned advanced degrees from Lehigh University and worked for Phillips Petroleum on solid rocket propulsion development in McGregor, TX. Herty became manager of the R&D Department, and later technical director of Tactical Propulsion. He retired from the Hercules plant (now owned by Space X) in 1987. He was awarded three patents and also supported Baylor for years. Herty was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Jackie. He is survived by two daughters, including Kathleen Stanton, BSEd ’74, and others.

Dr. David A. Kopplin of Waco died Sept. 1 at age 85. He held degrees from Lawrence University, Lutheran Theological Seminary, the University of Michigan, and two from Michigan State University. Kopplin taught 28 years in the Baylor psychology department, pouring his energy into the development of graduate students in the PsyD program. He received the 2009 Herbert H. Reynolds Award for Exemplary Service. Until recently, he was a part-time psychologist at the Injury 1 Treatment Center. Kopplin also served as a hospital chaplain and mission developer for the Westside Medical District in Chicago, and as a professor at Lutheran Theological Seminary and the University of Michigan. He traveled extensively and participated in the Baylor in London program. Among his survivors are his wife of 56 years, Faith Kopplin, three children, seven grandchildren and a brother.

John Delorraine Mayfield, III, died Oct. 15 at age 87. A Texas A&M University graduate, he served as a second Lieutenant in Korea. He later took classes at Baylor, where he met and later married Beth Miller, BBA ’54, his wife of 63 years. In the 1950s, he began running the Texas Life Insurance Company, founded by his family in 1901. He negotiated the sale of Texas Life to Metropolitan Life of New York in 1986. Mayfield took a leadership role in the then-National City Bank, also founded by his family. He retired from Texas Life in 1996 and was a member of St. Paul’s. Mayfield was a member of Baylor’s 1845 Society and Bear Foundation. He had one daughter and two grandchildren.

Dr. Billie Hopper Nowlin died Oct. 4 at age 95. She taught high school and earned advanced degrees from North Texas State University and Texas Woman’s University. Nowlin was a professor at Baylor for 21 years and retired in 1989. After retirement, she lived in Laguna Park and Arlington, TX. Among her survivors are her daughter Becky McCullough, BS ’70, and husband Jerry, BA ’69, and a grandson.

Justin Swanson, a Baylor MBA student, died Aug. 23 at age 34. A graduated of Cedarville University and resident of Austin, Swanson was employed at Tableau Software. He previously worked for Dell and was a member of First Baptist Church Round Rock, TX. Among his survivors are his parents and two siblings.