Morris W. Commander, BBA ’70, of Bremond, TX, died March 7 at age 70. He was born to L.M. and Dorot hy Elizabeth Corn Commander in Hearne on October 24, 1947. Morris graduated from Franklin High School and Baylor University with a Bachelor’s in Accounting and a Minor in Economics. Morris served in the Army for six years and the Army National Guard for five years. He married Robin Rose Slawitsky in Houston, Texas on June 5, 1987. They have lived in Bremond for ten years previously living in Wichita Falls. He was a member of the Franklin Lions Club, JC’s of Houston, and American Alliance of Franklin and Wichita Falls. Morris was preceded in death by his father, L.M. Commander; sister, Margret Elizabeth Commander; father-in-law, Louis Slawitsky; and brother-in- law, Jerry Naughton. Morris is sur vived by his Wife of almost 31 years, Robin Commander of Bremond; Mother, Dorothy Commander of Easterly; Mother-in-law, Janet Slawitsky; Brother, Ray Commander and wife, Barbara of Bremond; Brother-in-Law, Allen Slawitsky and wife, Joanne; Sister-in-Law, Sharon Naughton; Numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, and friends. In lieu of flowers the family request that you donate to your favorite charity. Visitation was held on T hursday, March 8, 2018 at Bremond Memorial Funeral Home from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Services were held on Friday, March 9, 2018 at the Bremond Memorial Funeral Home Chapel at 10:00 a.m. Interment at the Commander Family Cemetery. Officiating was Rev Dennis Williams with Music by Dennis Williams and Becky Hoffpauir. Pallbearers were: Walter Commander, Mar vin Ray Commander, Stephen Commander, Sam Williams, Jeffery Hefti, and Patrick Danielczyk. Arrangements were under the direction of Bremond Memorial Funeral Home, Inc. Psalms 23:3 The Lord is m y shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in g reen pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and t hy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Published in the Franklin Advocate
Wanda Gail McWhirter, BA ’70, passed peacefully from this world April 8, 2018 with her family by her side. She was 69. Gail was the oldest of four children born to Malcolm and Nadine Meinkowsky Freedman. She was born in Clifton, Texas and grew up in Robinson, Texas. After graduating high school she attended McLennan Community College and then graduated from Baylor University with a BA in Education. During Gail’s forty-two years of teaching she taught in Killeen, Liberty, and Dayton, TX. Gail enjoyed traveling, reading, and learning about Geology. She was a long time active member of the Calvary Baptist Church in Dayton where she played the organ. She also volunteered her time to the Trinity Valley Baptist Association Food Bank. Gail was preceded in death by her father Malcolm Freedman and her husband Delbert Wayne McWhirter. She leaves behind to cherish her memory: daughter Kimberly Wood and husband Chris; son Clint McWhirter; Mother Nadine Freedman; sister Jan Robbins; sister Teresa Kirk and husband Russell; brother Jerry Freedman and wife Rachel; special friend Ron E. Heinen; and numerous nieces and nephews. In addition she is the Mamaw to her fur-grandbabies Foster, Bridgette, Maggie, and Ryder. A memorial service for Gail will be held 3PM Wednesday April 11, 2018 at Calvary Baptist Church, 4031 FM 1960 Dayton, Texas. Visitation will be held one our prior to the service. Condolences and memories can be shared online at www.allisonfuneralservice.com.
David W. Tolbert, BBA ’70, of Dallas died April 5 at age 70. David was born in Waco to parents Richard E. Tolbert and Jerrell D. Tolbert on February 5, 1948 who have predeceased him. David attended Baylor University in Waco and received a B.B.A in Management/Marketing and achieved the Dean's list. David had a highly successful career in the Advertising Industry to include Clear Channel Radio in Dallas. David received ongoing recognition and awards from Clear Channel throughout his career. David is survived by his loving Husband Michael Whatley, sister Gaynell Adams and Brother In Law George Adams and cousins Wayne and Bobbi Pratt and Bob and Mary Ann Pickens. A celebration of David's life will be hosted by Michael Whatley and Gaynell Adams Sunday, May 6 at 1:00pm at the town North, Community Center Pool area. Please RSVP to Buck Gibbs @ firstname.lastname@example.org.Published in Dallas Morning News
Virginia Ann “Ginger” Kemp Ward, BS ’70, of Atlanta, GA, died April 14 at age 70. Born March 29, 1948 in Amarillo, Texas, she died on Saturday, April 14, 2018, after an extended illness. Ginger is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Jinsie Ward Preddy and Michael Preddy, and two grandchildren, Adam and Sage; a brother, Carl Lee Kemp in Dimmitt, Texas, a sister, LaDawn Kemp Reichling in Marin County, California; and sister-in-law, Dona Ward, of Atlanta. Ginger was preceded in death by her parents, Carl and Louise Kemp, and her husband, Dr. Leland Ward of Atlanta. Ginger grew up in Dimmitt, Texas and later went on to Baylor University in Waco, Texas, graduating in 1966. After working in Dallas, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where she met the love of her life, Leland Ward. She worked as a dental assistant and for many years taught pre-school at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church. Ginger was beloved by all of her friends and relatives and her spirit will live on through all who knew her. A service honoring Ginger will be held on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 1:00 pm at H.M. Patterson & Son Spring Hill. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Atlanta Children's Shelter, www.acsatl.org. Ward, Virginia Ann Kemp "Ginger"
Dr. Byron “B. B.” Brown, EdD ’71, of Waco died April 4 at age 86. He was born March 24, 1932 in Jewett, Texas to Byron and Jewel Brown. He married Margaret Claire Beall on June 2, 1958 and celebrated 59 years of marriage together. Byron attended Jewett High School graduating in 1949. From there he went on to Lon Morris Junior College, Jacksonville, Texas earning an Associate of Arts Degree - 1952; Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas - 1954 earning a Bachelor of Science Degree with a Major in Physical Education and a Minor in History; The University of Texas, Austin, Texas - 1958 earning a Master of Science Degree with a Major in Physical Education and a Minor in Education; Baylor University, Waco, Texas - 1970 earning a Doctor of Education Degree with a Major in Educational Administration and a Minor in Educational Psychology. He served in the United States Marine Corps stationed in Quantico, VA and Camp Pendleton, CA. as a Platoon, Machine Gun and Company Commander. He retired with a rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Byron had an extensive Administrative, Teaching and Professional resume. The University of Texas 1956 to 1958; Texarkana Junior College 1958 to 1960; La Vega High School 1960 to 1968, 1970 to 1971; Baylor University 1968 to 1977; Connally I.S.D. 1977 to 1996 ending his career in August as Superintendent of Schools. Byron had numerous Publications to his credit including Texas School Board Journal, Volume 19, September 1971 and Texas Study of Secondary Education, No. 9, 1972-1972.He was a Professional Member of the Texas Association of School Administrators, Texas Association of Secondary School Principals, Texas Middle School Association and Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association. His community service included serving as an Alderman for the City of Northcrest, Chalk Bluff Water Board Member, Chairman for the Criminal Justice Divison, Heart of Texas Council of Governments, Member of the Little League Board of Directors, President of the Connally Band Booster Club and a Special Deputy of the McLennan County Sheriff Department. Byron was preceded in death by his parents, Byron Brown and Jewel Brown. He is survived by his loving wife, Margaret; daughters, Rebecca Lynn Brown and Brian Mann of Forney, Texas, Laura Beth Chapoy and husband, Orlando, of Sachse, Texas; grandchildren, Kyle Bradley Hancock and wife, Kimberly, of Rowlett, Texas, Megan Lynn Hancock of Wylie, Texas, Alyssa Claire Hardin of Sachse, Texas, and Hannah Chapoy of Dallas, Texas; great-granddaughters, Tinley Renee Potts of Wylie, Texas, Kilyn and Kaivyn Hancock of Rowlett, Texas. Byron's wish was to will his body to the UTSW Medical School. No pending service. The family requests donations be made to the Marine Toys for Tots and Salvation Army. Published in Waco Tribune-Herald
Thomas Booth Gross, BBA ’71, of Bedford, TX, died April 5 at age 70. Tom was born, November 14, 1947, in Waco, Texas, to Dorothy Redding and William Presley Gross. Tom graduated from Richfield High School in Waco, in 1966, and attended Baylor University where he earned a B.S. in Business. Tom participated in the family grocery business in Waco for many years. He was married at this time to Phyllis Emmons Gross and they had two children Robert and Amy. They later moved to Memphis, where he worked with MS Carriers. After retirement, Tom became an active member in his recovery fellowship in Waco. After meeting Jane Overby, they moved with his mother to Bedford, Texas. They become involved in their recovery community in their new home and shared their experience, strength, and hope with many others. Tom enjoyed going to the beach, where he got to spend time with his granddaughters. His other love was baseball and watching his grandsons play all their sports. A special joy in his life was Jane's daughter, Emily Florio and her daughter, Sophie. He is survived by his partner, Jane Overby; mother, Dorothy Gross; brother, Charles Gross and wife, Barbara, of Richardson, Texas; son, Robert Gross and wife, Angie of Savannah, Georgia, and their two daughters, Lydia and Jenna; daughter, Amy Anderson and husband, Bernard of Chandler, Arizona, and their two sons, Gavin and Shane; and his niece and nephews, whom he adored. Thank you for all your prayers and thoughts at this time, as this is what helps the family during these dark hours. But as we are sad, we are also joyful. Joy for the lessons he taught each of us and for the example that he was. Joy that he did not suffer or decline, but instead was positive and able to spend his time doing what her loved. He made a difference for so many, many people. J.E. Foust & Son Funeral Home
Richard “Dick” F. Neville, BS ’71, of Waco died March 30 at age 78. Neville was born on April 2, 1939 in Morrisville, NY, to Lynnwood and Myrtle Neville. Richard Neville received his education at Baylor University in Waco, served in the U.S. Army stationed in Germany and then opened AC Products in 1971. He enjoyed gardening, working on lawn mowers at his shop and watching NASCAR races. He is survived by Dawn Wiggins, life partner; two daughters, Audra Pruitt and RayAnn Wiggins of Waco; son, Michael Neville of Waco and wife, Mandy, Sabrina Schroeder of Arizona; his four grandchildren. He also leaves behind sisters, Nancy and Mary Ellen of New York; two sister-in-laws, Irene and Beverly in New York; and many nieces and nephews. No funeral services. Memorial potluck at 6 p.m., June 15, 2018, at Lacy Lakeview Civic Center.
Deborah Woodruff Voige, BBA ’71, of Waco died March 11 at age 69. Voige passed away, not without a fight, in Colorado, where she had gone weeks before for a ski trip. This was something she loved to do and it will forever be a mystery why her life ended this way. Faith in the Lord provided her comfort and continues to comfort her family. A memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m., Monday, March 19, at Columbus Avenue Baptist Church, with The Rev. Josh Vaughan officiating and Sarah Miller assisting. The Visitation will be a Reception following the service in the Fellowship Hall. Deborah was born in Houston, Texas and was raised in Fort Worth, Texas. She grew up attending Sagamore Hill Baptist Church, and was very active in the youth and music programs. She moved to Waco to attend Baylor University, and remained there for the rest of her life. She earned a degree in accounting and proudly passed the CPA exam on her first attempt. She married Tom in a small service at her family home on May 11, 1971. Together Deb and Tom started an accounting practice, which remains today. A few years later they had their daughter, Hayley, and a few years after that the three of them took on Harold Waite's Pancake House as a second family business. People may wonder why Deb took a vacation during tax season. The answer is simple - Hayley asked her to come along. During her hospitalization she was concerned about her clients. Thankfully local professionals offered their time and her brave assistant Jamie has managed to keep the office under control. Two things provided Deb an escape - travel and exercise. She worked extremely hard, and she very much enjoyed her time off. She was raised to be curious and adventurous. Her grandmother, and avid traveler herself would say "see what you can see." As a little girl she traveled through Europe, the Holy Lands and through South America. As an adult she led group trips to New York City and to Paris. The three generations, Deb's mother Reba, Deb and Hayley traveled extensively. And after Reba's passing, Drew Thomas became the next in line. Deb loved showing her grandson what the world has to offer. Late last year they went to the top of the Empire State building, enjoying both the elevator ride and the view. Fitness helped to keep her focused and strong. As a young couple, she and Tom competed in triathlons. They also took family bicycling tours through Canada and Vermont. Here in Waco Deb enjoyed pilates and weight training and would take long evening walks on the Waco dam with Hayley. Family was Deb's passion. She made spending time together a priority. The family often had lunch together at the restaurant. And she and Hayley found joy in simply running errands together on the weekends. Deb also saw every moment as a teachable moment. Her father was a civil engineer and he instilled in her a love for problem solving and astronomy. This she shared with Drew Thomas. They used to look at the sky and talk about the phases of the moon and the constellations. They loved to create scavenger hunts and build Lego sets. Before bed they would read together and work crossword puzzles. Deb was a fierce competitor. She tackled every challenge head on. She encouraged everyone whom she believed in and always expected excellence. She was a ferocious advocate for the people close to her. Her pep talks would ignite courage and a will to keep on trying. Never give up. Never settle. She recently became mesmerized with "Hamilton" - "I'm not throwing away my shot" was constantly playing in her car. Her loss is big. Thankfully she and Tom and Hayley and Drew Thomas deliberately lived their lives as a family. No argument was insurmountable and no grudge lasted too long. The Voige family has always been and will continue to be very close. She is survived by her husband, Thomas Voige,; daughter, Hayley Voige; and grandson, Drew Thomas English. She was preceded in death by her father, Robert Woodruff; mother, Reba Hinrichsen; step-father, Carl Hinrichsen; and brother, Paul Woodruff. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials be made to Columbus Avenue Baptist church. The family invites you to leave a message or memory on our "Tribute Wall" at www.WHBfamily.com.
James Shelton Breeden, BBA ’72, of Dallas went to be with the Lord March 1, 2018. He was 69. Jim was born in Bay City, Texas to Dr. Shelton E. Breeden and Mary James Sisk Breeden on February 28, 1949. He graduated from Bay City High School in 1967. Jim received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Baylor University. He also graduated from California Western School of Law and studied at the Center for Bilingual Multicultural Studies in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Jim led a successful legal career in Dallas for more than 30 years. He was a member of the State Bar of Texas and Texas Real Estate Commission. Jim also received an appointment to the Institutional Review Board and IACUC of Texas A&M University System Health Center, Baylor College of Dentistry and was a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Jim loved family history and possessed a keen memory of past events. In recent years he had become quite an accomplished photographer. Always witty and engaging, Jim never met a stranger…a kind and gentle soul. Jim is survived by his brother, Robert Neil Breeden and wife Susan; sister, Mary Claire Pollard and husband, Kent; “Favorite Nieces”, Sarah Breeden, Elizabeth Breeden, Allyson Wright and husband Eric, Mary Leigh Caldwell and husband Brandon; “Favorite Grand Nieces”, Marilyn Caldwell, Stella Caldwell, and Vivian Caldwell; “Favorite Grand Nephew”, Hudson Wright; and uncle, Bobby Breeden. A graveside service will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at Cedarvale Cemetery in Bay City with Dr. Michael Zimmerman officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Diabetes Association or the charity of your choice. Online condolences may be shared with the family by visiting www.taylorbros.net. Arrangements are with Taylor Bros. Funeral Home, Bay City, Texas.
Sandra Lynn “Sandy” Holdcraft, BSN ’72, of Dallas died April 17 at age 68. Sandra Lynn “Sandy” Holdcraft was born November 10, 1949 in Dallas, Texas, to Mary Louise “Bird” Matthews and Alvin Donald Holdcraft. She was a miracle baby, premature, and weighing only 4 lbs., 8 oz., interesting because of her long career at Methodist Hospital and at Children’s Medical Center, Dallas, in children’s health. Most of her life was spent on the same property on North Clinton, where she died quietly on April 17. Sandy was always competitive and adventurous, starting as a little girl, trying to keep up with big brother, Ricky, and the neighborhood boys. At Dallas Sunset High School, she lettered in Debate and Tennis, forecasting her lifelong love of a good discussion and sports, graduation in 1968. In 2011, she was featured in the Sunset Alumni newsletter for her work at Children’s Medical Center. In 1972, she graduated in nursing from Baylor University, and had her RN and BSN. She worked at Methodist Hospital for several years, while also developing her golfing skills. In the mid-1980s, Sandy toured with the Women’s golf circuit, until an injury returned her to Dallas and nursing. Her vivacious personality was a perfect fit for pediatric nursing, and she could make even sick kids giggle. Her lively, fun loving spirit carried over into her friendships, and she became everyone’s best friend, or adopted family. Sandy was very involved in the continuing development of women’s amateur and professional golf. In 1992, she was on the Texas Ladies Amateur Golf Association Board, and chaired the first Texas LAGA Texas Cup tournament, in Dallas. She also became a serious, and competitive poker player! Several trips into China, with friends pursuing international adoption, resulted in some former “orphans” now being American citizens, and part of their own families, but Sandy’s extended family, as well. Sandy had a great love for her faithful four-legged companions, Scooter and Jaxsy. For many years, the three of them participated in Flyball, a fast-paced dog team-relay sport. Both will be buried with her, as she requested. Sandy was preceded in death by her mother, Louise Holdcraft, and father, Al Holdcraft. She is survived by her brother, Richard Ryan Holdcraft and wife Daisy; nephews, Ryan Matthew Holdcraft and wife Tracy, and David Austin Holdcraft; niece, Renee Louise Holdcraft; and several great nieces and nephews, as well as many cousins and a great circle of friends. A memorial service for Dallas friends will be Saturday, April 28, 2 pm, at Kessler Park United Methodist Church, 1215 Turner Ave., Dallas, Texas. A second celebration of her life will take place at the Coolidge Cemetery Chapel, Sunday, April 29, at 2 pm, Coolidge, Texas, where she will be buried near her mother and grandparents. Pastor Maureen Day will officiate.
James David McCollum Jr., BA ’72, of North Little Rock, AR, died April 30 at age 68. He was born March 2, 1950 in Memphis, Tennessee to the late James David "J.D." McCollum, Sr. and Marguerite Steger McCollum. He was a graduate of Kingsbury High School in Memphis and Baylor University. David was an award-winning sports journalist who worked for nearly four decades at the Log Cabin Democrat in Conway. He was a member of Second Baptist Church, Little Rock and served as a deacon and Sunday School teacher. Survivors include his wife, Beverly Stanley McCollum; son, Gavin McCollum of North Little Rock; sister, Sharon Hart (Porter) of Millington, Tennessee; nieces, Leslie Hart, Katelyn Park (Bailey) from Memphis, Tennessee; sister-in-law, Margaret Stanley and niece, Shay Stanley of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and many close friends and colleagues. Visitation is planned for 10 a.m., Monday, May 7, followed by a Celebration of David's Life at 11 a.m. at Second Baptist Church, 222 East 8th Street, Little Rock. Online guestbook at www.SmithFamilyCares.com Memorials may be made to the church at www.2BCLR.com or Committee to Protect Journalists at www.CPJ.org Smith-North Little Rock Funeral Home Published in The Commercial Appeal
Earnest G. Pack, MSEd ’73, of Teague, TX, died Feb. 18 at age 80. Funeral services for Earnest G. Pack will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, at Bowers Funeral Home in Teague. Interment will follow the services at Greenwood Cemetery. Visitation will be held prior to the service on Wednesday beginning at noon. Earnest was born in Stephenville to Calvin H. and Cecil Jones Pack. He grew up on the family farm and learned the value of hard work at an early age by harvesting crops, building and mending fences, feeding the livestock and milking the cows. He graduated salutatorian from Huckabay and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education with a Business Composite from Abilene Christian University and later received his Master’s Degree from Baylor University. He also studied finance and business administration at the University of North Texas and Federal Tax Laws and Ethics at the Louisiana Income Tax School. After his college days, he returned to Huckabay as head coach basketball coach and business teacher. He coached his basketball and baseball teams to district championships while teaching accounting and history. Earnest married Mary Kaye on July 29, 1966 and shared over fifty-one years of marriage together. Mr. and Mrs. Pack moved to Fort Worth where he worked for Fort Worth Christian Schools as Business Manager for a year before becoming Principal of the K-12thgrade school as well as basketball coach where he again had success and won the Christian School Conference. In 1971, he and his family moved to Teague where he taught special education and driver’s education. He later became the supervisor of special education for the Bi-County Co-op in Fairfield. He later became the Director of the Co-op until his retirement in June of 2005. In 2010, Mr. Pack went back to work in Centerville as interim director of special education and retired a second time in 2012. Throughout many of his working years he also operated his own tax and bookkeeping business and served many clients and families. Mr. Pack was elected Mayor of Teague in 1998 and with the exception of a few years remained as such and was currently serving as Mayor. Throughout those years of service he refused to take the Mayor salary. He was a life member of the Texas State Teacher’s Association, a former member of the Texas Council of Special Education Administrators, the Teague and Fairfield Rotary Clubs, the Fairfield Kiwanis Club, and he was a past recipient of the Citizen of the year award from the Teague Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Pack was a faithful member of the Fairfield Church of Christ for many years and served as elder. He is survived by his wife, Mary Kaye Pack; one son, Greg Pack and wife Sandy all of Teague; two granddaughters, Megan Holmes and husband John, and Morgan Pack and Isai Serna; two great-granddaughters, Charlee Kaye Holmes and Hadley Marie Serna; two sisters, Lucille Bills and Rudene Adams both of Stephenville; one sister-in-law, Lana Hill; two nephews, Ronald McClatchy and Rodney McClatchy; other relatives and friends. The family requests memorials be made to Foster’s Home for Children, P.O. Box 978, Stephenville, TX 76401. Please visit our website at www.bowersfuneralhome.net to sign the memorial guestbook or to leave a message for the family.
Richard E. Sanders Jr., ’73, of El Campo, TX died Dec. 2, 2017, at age 73.
Larry M. Cunningham, JD ’74, of Corpus Christi, TX, died Feb. 14 at age 73. Mr. Cunningham was born in Denton in 1944 to Ben and Cecil Cunningham. He graduated from Denton High School in 1963 and served with the U.S. Army in the Vietnam War. He was a graduate of the University of North Texas and Baylor University and practiced law for 43 years concentrating on court appointments and Child Protective Services cases in Corpus Christi. He enjoyed golf, video games, bowling, reading, travel and watching "Survivor" and supporting the Texas Rangers. He was preceded in death by his parents; and a brother, Jimmie Cunningham. Survivors include his wife of 43 years, Anne; children, Heather Cunningham and Krystal Cunningham; and many other family and friends. A memorial service will be held at the Oso Beach Golf Course from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 26, where a memorial bench will be presented to honor him. Arrangements were entrusted to Limbaugh Funeral Home, Portland.
Susan Powell Woodruff, BSEd ’74, of Dallas died Feb. 22 at age 65. Funeral Services for Woodruff, formerly of Athens, TX, are scheduled for 2:00 P.M. Monday, February 26, 2018 at the Hannigan Smith Funeral Home Chapel in Athens with the Rev. Faulk Landrum officiating. Susan Marie Powell Woodruff was born June 26, 1952 in Athens, Texas the daughter of James Thurman Powell and Marnece Owens Powell. She was a member of the First Baptist Church in Dallas, was a very musical person who loved to sing and play the piano. Her love was charity work and her job as a personal shopper. She was a loving daughter and niece and will be missed by all she knew and loved. She was preceded in death by her mother. Susan is survived by father Thurman Powell of Athens; two aunts, Loree Roberts of Athens, Fern Thomas and husband Bill of Mesquite and numerous cousins. Visitation will be held prior to the service on Monday from 1-2:00 P.M. at the Hannigan Smith Funeral Home of Athens. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Hannigan Smith Funeral Home family. Published by Hannigan Smith Funeral Home
Jeannie Gigi Wright York, BS ’74, of Cleburne, TX, went to be with our Lord on March 19, 2018 with her loving husband of 43 years and her sister and best friend by her side. Services for Jeannie will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, March 23, 2018 at Nolan River Road Baptist Church with the Rev. Adam Mathews and the Rev. Royce Dodd officiating. Burial will follow at Cleburne Memorial Park Cemetery. A visitation will be held from 6 8 p.m. Thursday, March 22, 2018 at Nolan River Road Baptist Church. Jeannie was born on September 19, 1952 in Alexandria, Louisiana to Loyd and Barbara Wright. She grew up in Grand Prairie and Lancaster, Texas until attending Baylor University in the fall of 1970.While at Baylor, Jeannie met her husband, the Rev. Larry York, and the two were married on August 17, 1974. In 1975, the newlyweds moved to Buffalo, Wyoming, where Jeannie served faithfully alongside her husband in the ministry as well as working at hospitals in both Sheridan and Buffalo as a medical technologist.
In 1982, the couple welcomed their first child, Jared, and in 1986 their daughter, Brittany, was born. In 1988, the Lord brought Jeannie and Larry to Cleburne where Jeannie continued her career in the medical field while raising their two children. Jeannie faithfully served as a Sunday School teacher for the preschoolers at Nolan River Road Baptist Church for many years.
She was diagnosed with cancer in 2014 and fought courageously every single day. She was a wonderful wife, dedicated mother, loving grandmother, and precious friend to many.
Jeannie is survived by her devoted husband, Larry York of Cleburne; children, Jared York and wife, Megan, and Brittany Bowers and husband, Kelly, all of Granbury, Texas; siblings, Cindy Fountain and husband, David, of Waxahachie, Texas and Eric Wright and wife, Dee, of Mansfield, Texas; grandson, Declan York; and numerous nieces, nephews, family and friends.
Donations in Jeannie's memory may be made to: Nolan River Road Baptist Church Building Fund, 820 N. Nolan River Road, Cleburne, TX 76033. Published in Cleburne Times-Review
Robert Bruce Bartrug, BA ’76, of Oklahoma City, OK, died Feb. 16 at age 64. Robert was born February 3, 1954 in Oklahoma City to Vallard and Mildred (Graber) Bartrug. Robert attended Baylor University and received his degree in Business Administration. He then went on to attend the University of Central Oklahoma and received his Accounting degree. He worked for the Oklahoma Tax Commission as well as the Internal Revenue Service. He was preceded in death by his parents. Robert is survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Charles and Nancy Bartrug of Yukon; nephew, Joshua Bartrug of Yukon; uncles and aunts, Stan and Evelyn Koehn and Roland and Helen Bahre, all of Kansas; as well as numerous cousins. A memorial service will be 1pm Tuesday at Guardian West Funeral Chapel with Pastor Gary Ellis officiating.
James Virgil Dorrell, BBA ’76, of Orange, TX, died March 12 at age 63. Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, March 17, 2018, at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. Officiating will be Father Joseph P. Daleo of St. Mary Catholic Church. Cremation is under the direction of Claybar Funeral Home. Burial of cremated remains will be held at a later date at Bethany Cemetery in Colmesneil, Texas. Visitation will be from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., before the service begins at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. Born in Orange, Texas, on February 3, 1955, he was the son of Thomas Bervin Dorrell and Erma Jean Flowers. James attended Lutcher-Stark High School, class of 1973, where he was a star baseball athlete. He graduated from Baylor University with a degree in marketing and went on to work for DuPont for 38 years as a laboratory analyst. He had a passion for tennis and went on to become a certified teaching professional under USPTA. He followed the McNeese girls tennis team and mentored many high school tennis players for 30 years in Orange, Texas. He was an avid fan of Baylor University sports. He attended St. Mary Catholic Church and loved listening to and attending concerts of the Doobie Brothers. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him. He was preceded in death by his father, Thomas Bervin Dorrell; and his mother-in-law, Virginia Goff Musemeche. He is survived by his mother, Erma Jean Dorrell Riley; loving wife of 41 years, Maria (Musemeche) Dorrell of Orange, Texas; children, Beau James Dorrell of Orange, Texas, Nicholas James Dorrell of Mid County, Texas; nephews, Seth Johnson and wife Erika of Sarasota, Florida, Adam Johnson and wife Jodi of Corinth, Texas; great-niece Rose Johnson; sister, Tommye J. Dorrell Johnson and husband Paul of Orange, Texas; brother, George B. Dorrell and Holli Hames Hay of Plano, Texas; brother-in-laws, Christopher and wife Lucinda Musemeche of Houston, Texas, Stephan Paul and wife Tammy Musemeche of Bronson, Texas; sister-in-law, Kate and Anne Morgan-Musemeche of Austin, Texas, Laura and husband Jonathan Yarbrough of Brenham, Texas; father-in-law, Frank Musemeche of Orange, Texas; beloved pets, Puppito and Lela; and grand dog, Nola. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Southeast Texas Hospice 912 W. Cherry, Orange, Texas; St, Judes- stjude.org or Humane Society 2050 Spindletop Ave. Beaumont, Texas 77705. The family would like to extend gratitude to Dr. Michael Amsden and all of the team at Southeast Texas Hospice for their care and support. Claybar Funeral Homes
James A. Lawless, BBA ’76, of Hewitt, TX, died Feb. 26 at age 63. Visitation will be from 6 pm to 8 pm at Oakcrest Funeral Home on Thursday, Mar. 1. Graveside services will be 1 p.m. Friday, Mar. 2, at China Spring Cemetery. James was born September 4, 1954 in Paris, TX to Lona B. and Doyle Lawless. He graduated from Richfield High School in 1972. Afterwards, he moved on to Baylor University where he earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1976. He then began a lengthy career as a professional housekeeping director at hospitals and nursing homes around the state of Texas. He served numerous terms on the Texas State Housekeeper’s Board as well as the National Executive Housekeeper’s Association Board of Directors. James never met a stranger in his days and was always quick to share a story or joke. He loved to sing and the outdoors, especially hunting and snow skiing. James married Cindy Dickens on January 4, 1975 and to that marriage was born two sons, Justin James and Jeffrey Jack Lawless. James was preceded in death by his parents, Doyle K. and Lona B. Lawless; Maternal and paternal grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. James is survived by his sons: Justin Lawless and wife, Tara of Round Rock, and Jeffrey Lawless and wife, Angelique of Carrollton; grandchildren: Colton, Addison and Kayleigh Lawless; brother, Doyle Lawless Jr. and wife, Shirley of Waco; niece, Jennifer Grimm and husband Russell of Lorena. Also surviving are many loving cousins, family and friends. You may share a memory or send a message to the family at www.oakcrestwaco.com
Guy Mitchell McCollum, BBA ’76, of Fort Worth went to be with our Lord unexpectedly Monday morning, Feb. 12, 2018. Mr. McCollum was 64. SERVICE: A celebration of his life will be held 11 a.m. Monday in the sanctuary of the First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth, 800 W Fifth St., with reception immediately following in the church's Wesley Hall. He will be laid to rest in Greenwood Memorial Park. Family and friends will gather from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday in the Great Room at Robertson Mueller Harper. MEMORIALS: In lieu of flowers, consideration of contributions to the First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth, the Boy Scouts of America or a charity of your choice, in his memory, is suggested. Born in St. Louis, Mo., on Dec. 29, 1953, Guy was the son of Robert Miles and Marion Frances Silhavy McCollum. He moved with his family to Fort Worth in 1966 and graduated from Southwest High School in 1972 where he was a football and track athlete. He received a degree in business from Baylor University in 1976. Guy was a member of the Baylor Alumni Association as well as the Baylor Foundation. Following in their grandfather's, Ralph McCollum, footsteps Guy was raised in the scouting program. He was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout and the Order of the Arrow. He worked in real estate and appraisal and property tax assessment creating McCollum Consulting. The company merged with other companies in 2017 to become Quatro Tax LLC. Guy worked hard and played hard. Where there was a celebration or political event, he was there. His love for all things boating began at an early age; learning to water ski very early. All things boating turned into a true passion. His classic 1966 red Century ski boat and other restored wooden boats earned multiple awards throughout the years. God has been working in his life making him gratefully aware of the wonderfully awesome affect Christ has on a life. His children were his heart and his eyes always sparkled when he spoke of them. He will be missed by his family and all who knew him. Guy was preceded in death by his father. SURVIVORS: In addition to his wife, Jacque Gober McCollum, Guy is survived by his children, Jackson Robert McCollum and Rachel Zendig and her husband, Michael; his mother, Marion; brother, Scot McCollum and his wife, BK; sister, Roberta Birtchet and her husband, Mike. He is also survived by his nieces and nephews, Melanie McDonald, Stefanie Colson, Chelle Rose, Miles McCollum, Josh McCollum, and Lauryn Bone; and a host of other relatives and friends far and wide.
Rebecca Ann Collier Palinski, BSEd ’76, of Little Rock, AR, died March 21 after a long battle with colon cancer. She was 64. She fought her cancer and extreme pain valiantly to the end. We will dearly miss her and wish her well on her eternal journey free of pain and suffering.
Becky was born April 19, 1953, in Little Rock, Ark., to Billy Forest Collier and Ana Mae (Lentz) Collier. She grew up in the Hillcrest area and graduated from Little Rock Central. She also graduated from Baylor University in 1976 with a B.S. in Elementary Education/ Kindergarten, and received her Masters in Elementary Education from UALR in 1980. She belonged to Kappa Kappa lota, a professional educators' society whose goal was to improve education and sponsor worthy students' college education. Before moving with her husband to Washington, D.C., Becky taught kindergarten at Oakhurst and at Williams Magnet. She completed her career teaching in the Prince George (Md.) School District. In 2004, Becky and Julian retired to Ajijic, Mexico, where they lived for 10 years. Becky and Julian were members of St. Andrew's Anglican Church, where she assisted with Sunday School. Always the teacher, Becky also taught ESL to Mexican children for some years. Rebecca was preceded in death by her parents and grandparents, and infant son Steven, and her sister Deborah (Collier) Winter. She is survived by her husband of 46 years, Julian Palinski. Two daughters Rachel Palinski Peppers (Josh), Abigail Palinski (Brain Calla and stepdaughter Addison), Jackie Kirklin of Jasksonville, Ark., an uncle Mark Collier (Kathy) of Bowling Green, Ky, her cousin Dean Collier of Bowling Green, Ky., and her brother-in-law, Steve Palinski (Dawn) and niece Laura Lynn Palinski of Buffalo, N.Y. A Celebration of her Life will be held on Saturday May 5, at 11 a.m. at the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 199 Barcelona Road, Hot Springs Village. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in care of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Memorial Fund. Arrangements have been entrusted to CedarVale Funeral Home, Hot Springs Village. For online condolences, please visit www.cedarvalefuneralhome.com.
John Finas Powell, BA ’76, died Feb. 19 at age 63. John was born on November 22, 1954, in Austin, Texas, where he spent his boyhood and graduated from A.N. McCallum High School. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Baylor University and a Master of Science degree in statistics from Texas A & M University. He also earned a teaching certificate from Houston Baptist University. John was a Fellow of the American Academy of Actuaries, having passed all of the difficult and challenging examinations required for that prestigious credential. He went on to have a long and distinguished career as an investment actuary, working primarily for Unum Provident in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and later as a consultant for Aegon. From a young age, John developed and maintained a passionate interest in the sport of baseball. He was an outstanding Little League and Pony League player in the Northwest Austin area. Until he died, he was a rabid Houston Astros fan but had a later enthusiasm for the Atlanta Braves. For many years, he was a season ticket holder of the Chattanooga Lookouts minor league organization. As a boy and as a young adult, he attended many games in the "Eighth Wonder of the World," the Houston Astrodome. John was an avid baseball card collector and a card-carrying member of the Society for American Baseball Research, attending several national conferences of that organization. He also collected an assortment of baseball posters and memorabilia. John was absolutely thrilled that he had lived to see the Astros win the World Series! John's other passions included books, movies, music, and above all else, his daughter and son, Hannah and Grant. He especially loved mystery novels and collected many first editions by some of the most famous authors of that literary genre. He adored the novels of Larry McMurtry, having traveled to Archer City, Texas, once to catch a personal glimpse of that renowned writer. His favorite western movie of all was certainly Lonesome Dove, from which he often delighted in quoting. Willie Nelson was John's favorite musical artist, although he was able to attend many outstanding concerts that featured other popular singers and instrumentalists. His enjoyment of music and his love for baseball were gifts he shared with both of his children as they matured into adults. As with his friends and other family members, John took great pleasure in teasing them and in offering them funny stories or witty remarks whenever possible. John was preceded in death by his mother, Hazel Handley Powell, and his father, Dr. Harry C. Powell, Jr. He is survived by his brother, Harry C. (Buddy) Powell, III, and wife Louise of Waco, Texas; by his sister Judy Powell Shannon and husband Patrick of McKinney, Texas; by daughter, Hannah Elizabeth Powell of Bedford, Texas; by son Grant Finas Powell and wife Nancy of Dallas, Texas; by nephews Andy Powell, James Powell, Joshua Shannon, and Noah Shannon; by niece Carrie Powell; and by a host of other relatives and friends who will miss him greatly. On John's behalf, the family wishes to thank all of wonderful medical professionals who have cared for him in recent weeks and months, including the compassionate and patient nurses and aides of St. Catherine's Center in Waco, the great staff of Providence Hospital and Providence Hospice, and the wonderful doctors in the Providence Health System, especially Dr. Maydee Rosario and Dr. Samuel Ralston. A family visitation will take place from 6:00 to 8:00 this Friday evening in Austin at the Weed-Corley-Fish funeral home on North Lamar. A graveside celebration of John's life is scheduled for 2:00 pm on Saturday at the Austin Memorial Park. Pallbearers will be Grant Powell, Richard Dugger, Andy Powell, James Powell, Pat Shannon, and Josh Shannon. Donations may be made either to the Powell Family Nursing Scholarship at McLennan Community College through the MCC Foundation or to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation. As John quoted Gus McCrae on his deathbed, "It's been quite a party." Published by Weed-Corley-Fish
David K. Stephens, BA ’77, of San Diego, CA, died Feb. 20 at age 61. David and his twin sister Diane were born on July 2, 1955 in Arrington, Cambridgeshire, England to Col. (Ret.) Joseph W. Stephens, Jr. and Helen Nadine Stephens. David was a member of the Highland Church of Christ and attended public schools in Abilene, Texas. He received a B.A. degree in 1977 from Baylor University and was a member of the Kappa Omega Tau Fraternity. After a brief career in sales in Dallas, he returned to Abilene and assisted the Chamber of Commerce in the Abilene Centennial celebration. David had a thirty-six-year career in higher education administration at Baylor University, The Cooper Union in New York City and the University of San Diego. David met his husband Darryl J. White, AIA in Provincetown, Massachusetts in 2003 and they made their home in San Diego for the past 14 years. They spent their life together enjoying friends, world travel, gardening and one another. David's greatest joys were his relationship with his Lord and Savior, husband, family and friends. David is survived by his husband Darryl J. White, two older brothers and their spouses Joey and Merry Sue Stephens, Kenny and Linda Stephens and twin sister and her spouse Diane and Barry Packer, many nieces and nephews, and beloved friends from coast to coast. Visitation hours will be from 6:00 to 7:30 P.M., Friday, March 2, at The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road. Funeral services will take place at the Highland Church of Christ, 425 Highland Avenue in Abilene, TX on Saturday, March 3, at 11:00 A.M. to be followed by a graveside service at Elmwood Memorial Park. Published by Hamil Funeral Home
Dr. Nancy “Suzy” Seale Coll, MPT/MSD ’79, of York, PA, died April 14 at age 74 after a sudden illness. Suzi was the wife of Dr. James A. Coll, whom she married in 2016. Funeral services will be held Saturday, April 21 at Saint Patrick's Church, 231 S. Beaver St., York, Pa. with a viewing from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. followed by Mass of Christian Burial and a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that friends contribute to St. Patrick's Church, Campaign to Restore and Preserve at above address. A memorial celebration of Suzi's life will be planned in Dallas later this year. For additional details and the full obituary please see the York Daily Record newspaper obituary.
Published in Dallas Morning News
Dr. John Phillip Soulé, BS ’79, of Victoria, TX, died March 31 at age 60, after a brief battle with cancer. He was surrounded by numerous loving family, colleagues, neighbors, and friends.
A native of El Paso, Dr. Soulé (“Dr. John” as he was long since christened by his patients) graduated from Eastwood High School in 1975, and Baylor University in 1979. Dr. Soulé graduated with honors from Baylor College of Medicine in 1983, and completed his residency in internal medicine at the Medical College of Virginia (Richmond, VA). Following a short stint as an internist in Houston, Dr. Soulé hung out his shingle in Victoria in 1989. His beloved partner-in-life of nearly 25 years, Kathryn Custer RN FNP joined him in the practice in 2009.
Dr. Soulé had a mutual love affair with his adopted home town. An esteemed member of the local medical community, Dr. Soulé served as President of the Victoria County Medical Society in 2003, and Chief of Staff of Citizens Medical Center from 2003 to 2005.
Known for his suspenders, cowboy boots, strong opinions, and flamboyant ties, Dr. Soulé was a valued colleague and beloved MD. He was fierce in his care and service to all who crossed his path, personally and professionally. As he meant to be, he was the very model of service to others, a loving and committed physician.
Passionate about history, Dr. Soulé had a special interest in World War II battles, and old westerns and war movies. Not surprisingly, he was fascinated by modest but strong heroes, from sheriffs to soldiers. Sunday gatherings with family often found him insisting that others again watch his favorites with him, including “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Lilies of the Field.” He leaves us as his heroes often did, riding off before we can even grasp how much we’ll miss him.
In addition to Kathy Custer, Dr. Soulé leaves us his beloved son, Nicholas, North Carolina and stepson, Layne Custer (Kristen) San Marcos; his parents, Charles Sr. and Carolina, Victoria; his siblings, Charles Jr. (Patricia) New York; Michael, Houston; and Carole, Danbury, CA; 11 nieces and nephews, and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and grandnieces and grandnephews throughout Texas and the US.
Among so many, we wish to offer special thanks and blessings to Dr. Mehran Nezhad, Dr. Bob Harvey, Dr. Khiem Vu and Dr. Andrew Clemmons, to Elliott Costas, to Brandi Fauth RN, to our beloved office staff Gaby Lefferts and Maria Hernandez, and to Dr. Vu’s very caring office staff, for the many loving ways in which they’ve eased his path and ours in these past weeks.
Dr. Soulé was predeceased by his grandparents, Jesús and Carolina Bencomo, and Carlos and Consuelo Soulé; his aunts, Lucila Soulé Santiesteban, Maria Bencomo Bárcena, and Julieta Saucedo Bencomo; his uncles, Robert Santiesteban, Fernando Soulé, Ronald Perryman, Guillermo Bárcena, José Bencomo, and José Santos; his cousins Robert Santos, Peggy Santiesteban, James Santiesteban, Hortencia Bárcena Fernández; and his nephew, Charles R. Soulé III.