Faculty, Staff and Friends
Michael A. Abel of China Spring, TX, died Oct. 5 in a motorcycle wreck involving a drunk driver. Michael was born January 10, 1963 in Dallas to Franklin (Bud) Abel and Cora Bush Abel. Michael’s family lived in Garland where he started the 1st grade. He went to 2nd through 6th grade in Blue Ridge, Texas. In 1975, Michael’s family moved to Crawford where he went to school from 7th grade and he graduated in 1981. Michael played football for the Pirates and was involved in FFA. After high school Michael went to TSTI and studied Diesel Mechanics. He then took a job in Alice, Texas for a period of time followed by working for Ryder Rental in Temple. He then moved back to the Waco area and went to work for Waco Systems. In 1988, Michael went to work for Huck Manufacturing and worked there until 1998. He left Huck to go work for Abel Service Co. until 2007. He started working for Aramark at Baylor in 2007. He started there working in the HVAC Department until he became the foreman for the BRIC and Baylor Science Building. Michael was a member of China Spring Volunteer Fire Department beginning in 1990. He served as Chief for the department from 1995-1996 and was still an active member. He had many passions and one was for guns, gun safety, and the Central Texas Rifle and Pistol Club. He was serving as treasurer for the gun club. Another passion he had was for motorcycles. He owned and rode them long before he met and married Schelly. Michael was an active member and Deacon at Lake Shore Drive Church of Christ. He loved God and it showed through his love, care, concern and desire to help others. In the fall of 1986, he met Schelly Jumper through mutual friends. Michael and Schelly were married on April 4, 1987 at Meadowbrook Baptist Church in Waco. Michael and Schelly moved to China Spring in the summer of 1988. Trent Autry Abel was born October of 1988. William Dalton Abel was born and died on February 7, 1991. Chesney Nicole Abel was born in April of 1993. He was preceded in death by a son. Michael is survived by his wife, Schelly; son and daughter-in-law, Trent and Whitney Abel of Whitsett, NC.; a daughter and son-in-law, Chesney and Caleb McNamara and grandson, Hudson McNamara; his dad, Franklin Abel and wife, DeeAnn of Crawford; his mother, Cora Abel of Waco; sisters, Kim Williams and Amy Abel; his brother, Alan Abel all of Crawford; and multiple nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins. We love you and will greatly miss you Michael Abel. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Michael’s memory may be directed to the China Spring Volunteer Fire Department or to the Central Texas Rifle and Pistol Club.
Rev. Milton Wallace Bailey of Houston died Sept. 1 at age 104. He was born in Houston, May 3, 1914, and spent his early years in Hollywood, CA. The family returned to Houston and settled in the Heights where he graduated from Reagan High School. He attended Baylor University and graduated from Howard Payne University where he lettered on the varsity basketball team. He then attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Rev. Bailey pastored more than twenty churches in the Houston area including First Baptist of Pearland, First Baptist of Humble, Meadowbrook Baptist and First Baptist of Willis. After retiring he served as interim pastor at numerous churches including Baptist Temple, Emmanuel Baptist and Spring Woods Baptist. He served for many years on the board of trustees for Memorial Baptist Hospital System of Houston and was a member of the site-selection committee for the founding of Houston Baptist University. He was twice elected president of the Houston Baptist Pastors' Conference. A Biblical scholar and humorist, he was a popular speaker at banquets, schools, and church events. He was a sports enthusiast, closely following the Rice Owls, Houston Cougars, Rockets and Astros. In his college years he attended Rice football games to assist brothers Bob and Marvin to film the games. Milton loved being a pastor and serving the Lord, saying it was his true calling. He never gave up preaching and at age 101 he traveled to Bryan, TX, to participate in the funeral of a dear friend. Prior to becoming a preacher, he worked at Stewart Title Company and Federal Land Bank of Houston where he handled complicated land abstracts. He was a member of Second Baptist Church of Houston. He was preceded in death by first wife, Rebalee Sharpley Bailey, and second wife, Lucille Malone Bailey, as well as his parents Mary Lou and Walter Bailey, and brothers Bob and Marvin Bailey of the Bob Bailey Studio. He is survived by his children James R. Bailey of Houston and Betty Lou Bailey McCall (Edward Molitor) of McAllen; brother-in-law and sister-in-law James W. and Geraldine Sharpley of Houston; nieces and nephews Kenneth Bailey (Patty), Wanda Bailey, Nancy Hutchinson (Gary) and Janet Sharpley, all of Houston, and John Sharpley of Singapore; cousins Robert and Carolyn Sears of Houston; stepdaughters Celia Lyn Grant (Bill), Cathy Burgess (Joe) and Nena Tatum (Glen); and step grandchildren Tammy Carns, Shelly Turner, Kevin Burgess, Kim Pearman, Brian Tatum and Amy Tatum. Visitation will be Tuesday, September 4 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Heights Funeral Home; graveside service at Forest Park Lawndale Wednesday, September 5 at 10:00 a.m.; and a memorial service at Heights Funeral Home Wednesday, September 5 at 2:30 p.m. Special thanks to the doctors who cared for him and for the loving and dedicated service of his private nurse Gwendolyn Wallace. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory are suggested to South Main Baptist Church, 4100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77002. Published in Houston Chronicle
Dr. Harold Beaver, Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Chair of Geology in the College of Arts & Sciences, died October 25, 2018. The Memorial Service will be 11:00 a.m., Monday, October 29, at First Baptist Church, located at 500 Webster Avenue, Waco, with Dr. Matt Snowden officiating. Family visitation will be 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., Sunday, October 28, at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home, 6101 Bosque Blvd. He was born in Stoutsville, Ohio, on July 24, 1925, to Rev. Reuben, a United Church of Christ minister, and Margaret Beaver. He had two sisters, Gladys Stevenson and Helen Hare, and one brother, Dr. Wayne Beaver. They preceded him in death. Harold served his country in WWII in the Navy on the ship, Rigel. After his three years, he returned to the States and went to Taylor University, Ohio University and Wheaton College. He met his wife, Dorcas Barnard, at Wheaton College, and they were married August 19, 1949. After receiving his PhD from the University of Wisconsin, he began his teaching career as a professor of geology at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. Following that, he came to teach at Baylor University, just after the tornado in 1953. Harold joined Exxon for twenty years, taking the family to Bordeaux, France, and Weybridge, England. He then spent a year in Singapore with Exxon Research. The family returned to Waco when Harold was pleased to be asked to become chairman of the Baylor Geology Department. Harold retired in the spring of 1995. He was a deacon at First Baptist Church, Waco and a member of Abner McCall’s Sunday School Class, and also a member of Kiwanis. He is survived his wife, Dorcas; and three daughters, Marcia Robbins and husband, Tom, Jan Frost and husband, Roy, and Susan Wommack and husband, Anthony. Also surviving are six grandchildren, Laura White and husband, Doug, Steve Fleischer-Ihn and wife, Sarah, Paul Wommack and wife, Angela, Beth Beckmann and husband, Todd, Russell Frost and Sarah Frost; and seven great grandchildren, Luke and Ben White, Ty and Clayton Wommack, Wyatt Beckmann, and Elise and Silas Fleischer-Ihn. Memorials may be made to Baylor Geology Department or First Baptist Church, Waco. The family invites you to leave a message or memory in our “Tribute Wall” at www.WHBfamily.com.
Betty Dierking, 84, passed away at home in Crawford, Texas, surrounded by her family. Services will be 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at WILKIRSON-HATCH-BAILEY CHAPEL, 6101 Bosque Blvd., Waco, Texas 76710, with Father Tom Rardin officiating. Burial will be 2:00 p.m., at New Wehdem Cemetery, Brenham, Texas, and reception to follow at Saint James Lutheran Church, 10362 New Wehdem Road, Brenham, Texas 77833. Betty was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on December 1, 1933. Betty spent many years in Tucson, Arizona, and moved back to Texas in 1998 when she married the love of her life, Clarence Dierking. She became active in the local community of Crawford, serving as President of the Waco Flower Club and volunteered for the HOA of the 317 River Oaks Addition. She was a real estate broker for the majority of her life. Her life revolved around her family and Baylor Athletics. Along with football, she was a fervent supporter of Baylor Women's Basketball Program and Coach Mulkey. She was preceded in death by her parents, Bill Goodwin and Gladys Lyles; her sister, Joann Elkins; brother, Bill Goodwin; and her grandson, Alejandro Rivero. Betty is survived by her loving husband of 19 years, Clarence "Dirk" Dierking; children, Bill Crowley and wife, Diane, Pamela Reneau and husband, Kevin and Leasa Klastow; nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Pallbearers will be Bill Crowley, Jr., Aaron Crowley, Jackson Reneau, Kevin Reneau and Jeff Still. Memorials may be made to the charity of your choice, the Baylor Women's Basketball Program, 1500 South University Parks Dr., Waco Texas 76706 or Bluebonnet Health Services-Hospice, 2020 N. Valley Mills, Waco Texas 76710. Arrangements by WILKIRSON-HATCH-BAILEY CHAPEL.
James C. Hardin of Meridian, TX, died Aug. 27 at age 80. away on Monday, August 27, 2018 at his home after a short illness. James was born on October 18, 1937 in Waco, Texas. He was the son of Rev. W.D. Hardin and Maggie Ruth Hardin. He is survived by three brothers, John, Ben, and Paul Hardin. He is also survived by three sisters, Betty Calk, Deborah Bracey, and Rachel Harborth. James married Wanda Rice of Meridian on August 15, 1959. James graduated from Walnut Springs High School in 1955 and went on to pursue higher education. He graduated from Tarleton State College with his Associate's of Arts, and then North Texas State University, now the University of North Texas, with his Master's of Education. James began his long career in education as a 5th and 6th grade teacher in Walnut Springs. He was a long-time and beloved educator who filled many roles including: county education supervisor and a professor of English at Hill Junior College. He was principal of Meridian Elementary from the early 1970's until the 1990's. After retiring from school administration, he was a professor in Baylor University's Department of Education and Region 12 Educational Service Center. James was a teacher of teachers and supervised countless educators across the state. His legacy as an educator will live on through the lives of students he taught and those teachers he trained and supervised. James was an active member of the Meridian United Pentecostal Church and served on the board since the founding of the church. He was an accomplished singer and pianist who loved to serve the Lord with his talents. He taught, spoke, and ministered frequently. James was very active in his local community and civic organizations. James founded the Bosque Valley Arts and Crafts Festival, which was a launching point for many local events such as the Annual National BBQ Cook-off and Christmas on the Bosque. For all of his years of excellent service to the community, James received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Meridian Chamber of Commerce in 2017. During his lifetime, James and his wife Wanda were the owners of several local businesses including Clifton Floral, the Webb-Hardin Warehouse, Meridian Laundromat, and Rose Hill Terrace B&B, once featured nationally by the Associated Press. James is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Wanda Rice Hardin; sons, Barry Todd Hardin and wife, Lisa, of Beaumont, Brian Joseph Hardin and wife, Kristy, of Meridian; daughter-in-law, Gayla Hardin of Lufkin; grandchildren, Joshua Hardin of Conroe, Lindsey Hardin of Nederland, Texas, Macey Hardin of New Caney, Texas, Kayln Hardin Marlette and husband, Nathan, of Carrollton, Alexander Hardin of Houston, Brenndon Hardin of Burlington, Ontario, Canada; many nieces, nephews, cousins, and countless friends. Preceded in death by his parents, Rev. W.D. and Maggie Ruth Hardin; and son, Rev. Gregory Kyle Hardin. Funeral services are going to be 10 A.M., Friday, August 31, 2018 at the First United Pentecostal Church in Meridian. Bro. James Webb, Bro. Richard Creech, and Bro. Charles Johnson will officiate. Burial will be at the Meridian Memorial Cemetery on SH# 144. Visitation will be from 5:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M., Thursday, August 30, 2018 at the church. Pallbearers will be Alex Hardin, Joshua Hardin, Nathan Marlette, Josh Autery, Kent Hardin, Paul Harris, Sharon Callaway and George Smith. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to: Global Missions, 36 Research Park Court, Weldon Springs, MO 63304 Phone 636-229-7900 On the check please note Greg Hardin In Villa Nueva and add the following account number GMMFB.240762.2110. A church in Costa Rica is being built in memory of James and Wanda's son, Rev. Gregory Kyle Hardin, who passed away on September 24, 2016. Words of comfort and peace can be sent to the family at www.lawsonfuneralhome.net. Arrangements were made by Lawson Funeral Home, Meridian, Texas.
Diane Varner Henderson of Waco died Oct. 2. Services will be 2:30 p.m., Friday, October 5, at First Presbyterian Church, with the Rev. Dr. Leslie King officiating. She will lie in state at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey. Diane was born, November 28, 1940, in Dallas, to Maridean and Leslie Varner. Diane graduated from Highland Park High School in Dallas. She attended Lindenwood College in Missouri her freshman year and completed her education at Texas Christian University, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She was accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education with Special Services Position in Speech and Hearing Therapy and attended Northwestern University, where she received post graduate training in audiology, speech and language before she was hired to work as an audiologist and speech pathologist at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. Diane moved to Waco in 1963 with her husband, the late Dr. R.E. "Bill" Henderson, Jr., where he established his medical practice as a pathologist. In her early years in Waco, Diane was actively involved in the Junior League of Waco, serving as president from 1979 to 1980. During that time, she championed the League's acquisition and renovation of the Waco Hippodrome Theatre on Austin Avenue. Through her many entrepreneurial endeavors, she became a trailblazer for downtown renovation and an advocate for small business owners in Waco. In 1981 she formed "Convention Connections," an event, party planning and tourism company, with her partners, Barbara Martin and Maylois "Boo" Robinson. She eventually bought controlling interest of that company and in 1984, she purchased the old "Sachs" building at 1509 Austin Avenue in Waco, renaming it to its present day "Sironia." At that time, very few retail or other business establishments existed in that area of downtown Waco. Diane renovated the old Sachs building, creating an emporium concept filled with multiple individual-owned retail shops, a tea room and a rental facility. She developed a business model that would enable, or "incubate," small business owners, artists and individuals the opportunity to establish a proprietorship without the burden of excessive costs or large investment. Many of her early vendors successfully expanded to own their own free-standing retail stores, some even with multiple locations. Later, Diane renovated the building at 618 Austin Avenue, today known as Cameron Trading Company. At that time, the building was unoccupied and infested with pigeons. She restored it and filled it with three floors of antique vendors similar to the Sironia concept under her management company, The Crystal Palace Antiques. As a result of her early efforts to revitalize downtown Waco, she was named a business-person-of-the-year by the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce. Diane eventually sold the Sironia business, and later the property, to its current owners who to this day have a dish on the Tea Room menu in Diane's honor. Later in life, Diane was actively involved in The Women's Club, serving as president from 2001 to 2003.She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Dr. R.E. Henderson, Jr.; and sister, Susan Varner Shaw. She is survived by her daughter, Mary Henderson Senter; son, R.E. "Ronny" Henderson III and wife, Charlotte; three grandchildren: Clark Dudley Senter, Olivia Leigh Henderson, and R.E. "Billy" Henderson IV; nieces and nephews, Rob Shaw, Lane and Richard Rouse, Cathy Shaw, Molly and George Jones, Clair Echols Bullard, Amy Echols Barbles, Kellye and Tommy Echols; many great nieces and nephews; and her special friend, Michelle Olvera. Pallbearers are William Callan, Artie Giotes, Brian Ginsburg, Billy Henderson, Arturo Hernandez, Billy Hubert, Clark Senter and Rob Shaw. Honorary pallbearers are the ladies of The Women's Club and her loving neighbors, especially Nancy Callan and Sara Warren. The family is grateful for the caregiving services of Right at Home, Mrs. Ella McCoy, and especially her beloved Maria del Socorro Guerrero, who cared for her in the later years of her life. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 1100 Austin Avenue, Waco TX 76701; Waco ISD Education Foundation, P.O. Box 2369, Waco TX, 76703; or Meals on Wheels, 501 W. Waco Dr., Waco TX, 76707. The family invites you to leave a message or memory on our "Tribute Wall" at www.WHBfamily.com.
Amanda Kate Jones of Tyler, TX, died Sept. 3 after a long battle with cancer. Friends and family will never forget the courage and strength she displayed in this fight. Her husband, Camden Jones, on behalf of her family, expresses thanks to the Tyler community for all the love and support Amanda received during this journey. Amanda was the devoted mother of Nash and Lyle Jane Jones. Besides her husband and children, she is survived by her parents, Gary and Marilyn Humphrey; sister and brother-in law, Sarah Beth Simons and Zach Simmons; nephew, Wyatt Simons; niece, Austin Simons; grandmother, Janeice Gann; uncle, David Gann; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Pam and Mike Jones; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Megan and Michael Doss; and niece, Norah Doss. Amanda was born in Dallas on January 23, 1979. She grew up in Rockwall and graduated from Rockwall High School and North Texas University. A memorial service honoring her life and Jesus Christ will occur on Thursday, September 6, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas. Immediately following the service, family visitation will take place at the church. The memorial service will be officiated by Pike Wisner, pastor of Tyler First Baptist Church and Chris Legg, pastor of South Spring Baptist Church. Amanda was thankful to the Christian nurses who ministered to her. In special recognition and honor of these nurses, Camden requests donations be made to the Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing - a school dedicated to educating Christian nurses. Gifts may be given online at www.baylor.edu/giving/memorialfunds or mailed to Baylor University, One Bear Place #97050, Waco, Texas 76798.
Kurt Frederic Kaiser, 83, of Waco, passed peacefully from this world surrounded by his family on November 12, 2018. The family will receive friends from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., Thursday, November 15, at 3800 Greenleaf Dr., Waco Texas 76710. A Celebration of Life service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, November 16, at First Baptist Church of Waco, 500 Webster Ave., Waco TX 76706, officiated by The Rev. Eric Howell. A reception in the church parlor will follow the service. Kurt was born on December 17, 1934, in Chicago, Illinois, to Elisabeth and Otto Kaiser. He grew up playing piano and performing throughout Chicago from the age of 12, including live radio on WMBI. At 15, Kurt left home for Billings, Montana, where he played piano for live radio, churches, and Youth for Christ rallies. During this time Kurt met his future bride, Patricia Anderson. After leaving Montana, Kurt returned to Chicago to graduate from Lane Tech High School in January 1954. He then went back on the road as accompanist to acclaimed basso Bill Carle for a year. Returning to Chicago, he studied at the American Conservatory of Music and earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Northwestern University by 1959. In 1956, Kurt married Pat, the love of his life and soul mate of 62 years. They lived a life full of adventure that took them around the world, making friends all along the way, sharing a common calling, and rearing a family together. Their rich and blessed relationship was an example to many. Kurt redirected his professional career when he joined Word Records, Inc. in 1959 as Director of Artists and Repertoire and later became Vice President and Director of Music. During his tenure, Word grew to become the largest Christian publisher in the world. Kurt composed more than 300 copyrighted songs and recorded 18 solo piano albums. He also arranged and produced albums for many artists, including George Beverly Shea, Ethel Waters, Ken Medema, Burl Ives, Christopher Adkins & Stephen Nielson, Christopher Parkening, and Kathleen Battle. His career spanned over fifty years, influencing modern church music and helping to usher in a new era of American Christian music. Crossing denominational boundaries, along with Ralph Carmichael, he co-wrote the first broadly popular youth musical, “Tell It Like It Is,” sparking an explosion of popularity in this new genre of contemporary Christian music. Kurt’s compositions are in many church hymnals, including his best known songs, “Pass It On” and “Oh How He Loves You and Me.” In 1992, Kurt was awarded a special Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. He received two Dove Awards during his career. In 2001, he was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and later received the GMA Faithfulness in Service award in 2003. He was inducted into the Hall of Honor for the Christian Booksellers Association in 1999. Kurt received an Honorary Doctor of Sacred Music Degree from Trinity College in Illinois and an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Baylor University. Baylor also presented him with the Pro Ecclesia award in 2017. A founder and active member of DaySpring Baptist Church in Waco, from its inception until his passing, Kurt directed the choir and provided inspiring devotional music from the piano for over 20 years. He was a dedicated member of the church and generous contributor to all its ministries. He loved DaySpring, its people, and its purpose. Even as he travelled the world, Kurt spent his entire adult life as a proud resident of Waco. He and Pat enjoyed a long association with the Waco Symphony, supported Baylor University, and were avid fans of Baylor sports, particularly the women’s basketball team. Kurt also enjoyed spending time with Pat, friends and family at his beloved summer home in Durango, Colorado, called Riversong. No matter where he was, Kurt’s positive demeanor, quick laugh, and ever-present whistling were familiar to everyone who knew him. Most precious in life to Kurt was family. His life was a source of love and support to an extended family that will miss him so. Kurt is survived by his wife Pat; his four children and their spouses, Kris Kaiser Olson and Charles Olson of Waco, Kelli and Kent Kaiser of Sugar Land, Janet and Craig Kaiser of Houston, and Gail and Tim Kaiser of Coppell; ten grandchildren, Beth Olson Drew and Anne Olson; Brett Kaiser and Brooke Hahn; Kurt, Charlotte, and Katherine Kaiser; Austin, Chad, and Kate Kaiser; great grandchildren, Claire and Fuller Drew; sister, Sigrid Schultz; brothers, Helmuth Kaiser, Martin Kaiser, and Gerhard Kaiser; and many friends. Pallbearers will be Kent Kaiser, Craig Kaiser, Tim Kaiser, Charles Olson, Brett Kaiser, Austin Kaiser, Kurt Kaiser, Chad Kaiser, and Leslie Neugebauer. Honorary pallbearers will be the members of the DaySpring Tuesday Men’s Bible Study. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to DaySpring Baptist Church, 7900 Renewal Way, Waco TX 76712; the Kurt and Patricia Kaiser Endowed Music Scholarship Fund, Baylor University, One Bear Place, #97050, Waco TX 76798-7050; or a charity of choice. The family wishes to thank the many healthcare providers who have so lovingly and expertly cared for Kurt over the years. The family invites you to leave a message or memory in our “Tribute Wall” at www.WHBfamily.com.
Gerald C. “Jerry” Ledet of Houma, LA, died Aug. 7. Jerry was born on October 8, 1934, to Clarence and Bertha Ledet of Gretna, Louisiana. He is survived by his beloved wife of sixty years, Lola Jordan Ledet; his devoted daughters Lizbeth Ledet Baker and her husband Dan Baker; Jan Ledet Miller and her husband Mark Miller; and Jeanne Ledet Norman and her husband Buddy Norman; grandchildren Forrest Norman, Sarah Norman, Hannah Norman, Andrew Miller, Griffin Miller, Sophie Miller, and Fielden Baker; his beloved brother and sister-in-law Elroy and Sarah Ledet; his brother-in-law Pat Jordan; and Ann and Addie Perryman. Jerry is preceded in death by his parents Clarence and Bertha Ledet; and his sister Debbie Ledet Kottman; Lola's parents French and Lola Jordan; and her brother Rudy Billy Jordan; and Lola and Jerry's sister-in-law Clare Jordan. After graduating from Gretna High School in Gretna, Louisiana, in 1952, Jerry married his high school sweetheart Lola on August 24, 1957. Lola and Jerry moved to Houma in 1960. Jerry, along with his business partners French Jordan and Pat Jordan, established and owned Shield Coat, Incorporated, and French Jordan, Incorporated, and Jerry served as General Manager of the companies for over forty years. A member of Grace Lutheran Church of Houma since 1960, Jerry loved his church and served God there in many ways over the years, including as President of the congregation and as an Elder. He also served as President of the Terrebonne Parish Waterworks District One from 1974 to 1988, and as President, he directed the construction of two standpipe water towers and the extension of water lines to bayou communities. Until his death, he served on the Coastal Zone Management and Restoration Advisory Committee, working to preserve Louisiana's coastline. Jerry was a member of the Mardi Gras Krewe of Terreanians for decades, and he was honored to serve as the King of Terreanians in 1979. He also belonged to the Krewe of Alla in New Orleans and the Krewe of Houmas. Jerry was a member of many professional organizations, including the National Association of Chemical Engineers (NACE), the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers (AIME), and the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE). Jerry loved God, delighted in his family, and was a wise and caring friend to many. As well, one of the great joys in Jerry's life was providing college scholarships to students from South Louisiana and beyond through the foundation he and Lola established in 1980. For over thirty years, Jerry loved being part of students' educations, and was always so pleased to hear of the outstanding life accomplishments of scholarship recipients. Jerry and Lola also endowed a chair at Nicholls State University and endowed scholarships both at Nicholls and at Baylor University. Friends and family are invited to visitation and a service celebrating Jerry's life on Saturday, August 18, 2018, at Grace Lutheran Church, 422 Valhi Boulevard, Houma. Visitation will be at Grace Lutheran from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m., and the funeral service will take place at 11:00 a.m. immediately following visitation. A brief reception will follow the service. Interment will be at 3:00 p.m. at Westlawn Cemetery, 1225 Whitney Avenue, Gretna, Louisiana 70056. Samart Funeral Home of Houma, West Park is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be given at www.samartfuneralhome.com.
Paul Carlton Mathews USAF (Ret.) of Montgomery, AL, died July 20. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, July 25, 2018, at 11:00am in the Westminster Room at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 1728 S. Hull St. Montgomery, AL, 36104 followed by a Memorial Service at noon in the sanctuary with Rev. Claude McRoberts officiating. Colonel Mathews was born in Palatka, Florida, on February 15, 1933, to Carlton Joseph Mathews and Leah Garbett Mathews. In his early years, he was active in the First Baptist Church of Palatka as well as the Boy Scouts of America, where he attained the rank of Eagle Scout. In 1955, he graduated from The Citadel in Charleston, SC, and in 1968, he acquired his Master's Degree in Guidance and Counseling. Colonel Mathews was a combat veteran of Southeast Asia, flying numerous special operations missions in helicopters for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters. Upon retiring from the Air Force, Colonel Mathews served Baylor University as an academic advisor, pilot, and admissions counselor. He retired from Baylor and then completed a third career as a counselor at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas. He was an active member of Trinity Presbyterian Church where he served as a Ruling Elder. Preceding Colonel Mathews in death are his first wife, Dottie; parents, Carlton and Leah Mathews; and his brother Richard. Survivors include his wife Margaret Harbor Gracey Mathews; his daughter Beth Beckwith (Paul) of Sydney, Australia; and his sister, Leah Fontaine (Joe) of Bear Valley Springs, California. Extended family include Sally Byrd (Chuck), Ann Gillespie (Dean), and Sarah Hillyer (Josh and children Harbor and Zelda). Paul will be missed by his family and many loving friends. Memorials may be made to The Citadel, 171 Moultrie St., Charleston, SC 29409 or to Trinity Presbyterian Church. Published in the Montgomery Advertiser
Charlotte McClanahan of Dallas died July 30 at age 86. A wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, she peacefully went to be with her Lord on July 30, 2018. A graveside service, dedicated to the glory of God and in celebration and thanksgiving for her life, will take place at 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, August 1, at Oakwood Cemetery in Waco, Texas, with Reverend Wes Keyes, Executive Director of Brother Bill’s Helping Hand, officiating. A reception will immediately follow in the home of Richard and Sarah Downs. Charlotte was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, to John and Grace Griesser. As a teenager, her family moved to Tyler, Texas. She earned her undergraduate degree at Stephen F. Austin State University and then began applying her extraordinary teaching skills at Moore Jr. High School, until she attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and earned her master’s degree in art education in 1962. She returned to SFA and began her career as Assistant Professor of Art. Her love of mentoring students kept her in the education field, and she was asked to serve as Dean of Women at Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, Oklahoma, from 1966 to 1968. In the summer of 1968, she married John McClanahan and moved to Charlotte, North Carolina. Their only child, Mark, was born in 1971, and Charlotte committed herself to becoming a full-time mother. The family moved to Waco in 1976, where Charlotte supported her husband in his work at Baylor University and raised Mark. John and Charlotte retired to Dallas in 2010, and they recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. She was preceded in death by her parents. Charlotte is survived by her devoted husband, John; her loving son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Aimée; her beloved granddaughter, Della; and her dear sister, Lois Griesser, all of Dallas. Charlotte’s life bore testimony to her strong Christian faith, and she will be remembered for her kind and sweet spirit. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to your most loved charity or church. The family invites you to leave a message or memory in our “Tribute Wall” at www.WHBfamily.com.
John D. McDowell of Waco died Sept. 21 after experiencing heart failure while visiting family in Phoenix, Arizona. He was 75. A service celebrating John's life will be held at 1:00 p.m., September 28, 2018, at First United Methodist Church Waco, 4901 Cobbs Dr., with Wayne Williams and Travis Phillips officiating. Visitation and a light lunch will be in the chapel from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., preceding the service. John McDowell was born, January 2, 1943, in Memphis, Tennessee, to John and Jane McDowell. He lived in Blytheville, Arkansas, and graduated from Blytheville High School in 1960. He graduated from the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee in 1964 and received his commission into the United States Air Force. He married his high school sweetheart in 1963 and after graduation they were stationed in Germany where he spent four years serving his country. After returning from Germany, he went into management with Montgomery Wards which sent his family to San Angelo, Big Spring and then Waco. After 10 years, he entered the mortgage banking industry, and then started McDowell's EZ Pay which he owned and operated for 25 years. John was a faithful man. He was devoted to the Lord, to his wife, to his children, and grandchildren. He prioritized them above all else. He also had a great love for his country and for traveling with his family. Finally, he loved sports—all kinds, but especially Baylor sports. He spent many of his days coaching his kids, refereeing, watching, and supporting his favorite teams. It can also be said of John that whatever he did and wherever he went, he made a friend, and he made that friend laugh. John was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Linda Marble McDowell; children, Scott McDowell of Waco, Allison Nance and husband, David, of Amarillo, Texas, and Joy Phillips and husband, Travis, of Phoenix, Arizona; grandchildren, Caroline, Claire, and John David Nance and Ellie, Sarah Grace, Emily, John Wesley, Lydia, and Mary Elizabeth Phillips; one brother, Jimmy McDowell of Hot Springs, Arkansas; and many nieces and nephews. Memorials may be made to Antioch Phoenix Building Fund (1125 N. Dobson, Chandler, AZ 85224 or www.antiochphx/give) or First Methodist Church Peru Fund.
Helen M. Ping of Eustace, TX, died Sept. 28. Memorial services will be 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, October 3, at Regis Chapel at Providence Park, with Dr. Randall Perry officiating. A visitation will begin at 10:30 a.m., prior to the service, on the second floor in St. Elizabeth at Providence Park. Helen was born, September 20, 1928, in McGregor, Texas, to John and Mellie McKey. She retired after many years from the VA Hospital in Waco, and she was an avid fan of Baylor Women's basketball. She also was a long-time member of First Baptist Church in Waco. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband and father of her two sons, Charles Lindy Westerfield; and deceased second husband, James Ping. She is survived by two sons, David Westerfield and partner, Thomas Weigl, and Mark Alan Westerfield and wife, Pam; two sisters, Margaret Maddux and husband, Charlie, and Martha Jane Fulp and husband, W.D.; three grandchildren, Josh, Ashley and Mandy; and four great-grandchildren, Gavin, Noah, Harper and Mia. The family invites you to leave a message or memory on our "Tribute Wall" at www.WHBfamily.com.
Charles B. Turner, of Fort Worth, loving husband, father and grandfather, passed away on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, at the age of 95. A Memorial Service will be held 11:00 a.m., October 2, at First United Methodist Church in Waco, Texas. Private burial will follow in Mineral Wells, Texas. Charles was born on January 25, 1923, in Palo Pinto County, Texas, to Jess and Laura Turner. He was one of three boys. He finished high school in Mineral Wells, and attended Texas Wesleyan University, Fort Worth, until entering cadet pilot training in 1941. Charles loved to fly. He began flying in high school. When the war in Europe began, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. His first assignment was with the 1st Air Commando Group as a glider pilot. He served as a combat pilot in China, Burma and the India Theater until 1945. He flew over 50 recorded combat missions in B25H, C47, and gliders. He was proud to have served his country in WWII and continued to be active in the First Air Commando Association, National WWII Glider Pilots Association, Air Commando Association, The Military Order of the World Wars, and Chindits Old Comrades Association, England. Since leaving the military, he has been involved in the development, manufacturing and marketing of numerous patented and proprietary products. In 1968, he and an associate formed Time Manufacturing Company in Waco, Texas, making Versalift Hydraulic Lifts. Charles served as CEO until the company was acquired by O’Flaherty Holding Company. He then served as president and as Chairman of the Board of Directors. He was on the board of O’Flaherity Holdings, Inc., O’Flaherity Finance Corporation and Time International, Inc. He served on the board of Texas National Bank, Chairman of the Trust Department and on their Executive Committee. He was a founder and on the Board of Directors of Texas First State Bank, Waco, Texas. Charles was an avid golfer and tennis player which he shared both with family and friends. He enjoyed playing golf all over the world in his travels and played league tennis well in to his 80s. He also had a passion for ranching and being a steward of the land. Charles developed a reputation herd of commercial Brangus cattle and a market for quality commercial bulls. He was a horseman, enjoying working horses and riding. He loved to share his passion with his beloved grandchildren and anyone else who crossed his path. Gramps always had time to explore nature, drive the ranch, look for arrowheads and fossils, fish and talk about livestock with his grandchildren. All who knew him would agree he always had a thirst for knowledge and was a teacher and mentor who enjoyed sharing that knowledge. He had a quick wit, an infectious smile, and a kind and compassionate spirit. Charles believed in giving back to his community. He was an active member of the First United Methodist Church where he served as a Sunday School teacher and on numerous boards and committees. He was a Methodist Home board member and was Chairman of the Church Growth and Development Methodist Central Texas Conference. He was a board member of the Waco Symphony Association and on their Executive Committee. He worked many years with the Heart O’ Texas Fair and served as chairman of the Heart O’ Texas Fair. Charles served on the Providence Hospital Board, as the Vice Chairman of the board and Chairman of the Building Committee. He was strong supporter of education and supported McLennan Community College and Baylor University. He and his wife, Dorothy, set up a scholarship at MCC to help students receive their education. They also mentored students from Baylor University. They loved to adopt students and enjoyed fellowshipping with them. Charles was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Dorothy; two brothers, Jess and Joe Turner; and a son-in-law, Harold Dean Martin. He is survived by two daughters, Dell Martin and Cindy Leonard and husband, Paul; five grandchildren, Melissa Martin Hoggett and husband, Jerry, Dean Martin and wife, Belinda, Jennifer Martin Riley and husband, Kelly, Leigh Ann Leonard Stull and husband, Stephen, and Lauren Leonard; six great grandchildren, Samantha Hoggett, Trady and Hannah Martin, Cecilia Riley, Emerson and Leonard Stull; and several cousins, nieces, and nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to: McLennan Community College Foundation: The Dorothy and Charles Turner Scholarship Fund, www.mclennan.edu/foundation/, 1400 College Dr. Waco TX 76708. The family invites you to leave a message or memory in our “Tribute Wall” at www.WHBfamily.com.
Dr. Chester A. Vaughn, of Tyler, TX, died Sept. 21 at age 86. A memorial service will be held on Sunday September 30, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church with Pastor, Dr. Stuart Baskin officiating. Dr. Vaughn attended Navarro Jr. College, Baylor University and UT Southwestern Medical School. He served in the military, first as an Army medic in Korean then stationed at the Pentagon. He established his medical practice in the early 1960’s and served 30 years as an Ophthalmologist in Tyler, TX. He was involved in Tyler Race Relations, Tyler Together and was the recipient of the Peace Making Award in 2005 and 2010 by Grace Presbytery. He was also an original member of the Board for East Texas Meals on Wheels where he remained emeritus board member until his death. His hobbies included playing drums, discovering and collecting great music, photography and pouring his time into reading and learning. He was a percussion player in his high school band where he co- wrote the Corsicana Tigers Fight Song! He was a long-standing member of First Presbyterian Church of Tyler where he was an elder and deacon. He was preceded in death by parents, Chester Vaughn and Mildred (Beaton) Vaughn; wife Carolyn Vaughn, sister, Elizabeth (Vaughn) Williams as well as dear companion Stella, a Doberman Pinscher. He is survived by his son, Chris Vaughn; son, Robert Vaughn and wife Lori; grandchildren, Collin Vaughn, Chelsea Vaughn; and great-grandson, Camden Vaughn. Lastly, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to East Texas Meals on Wheels Ministry or PATH in Tyler or Goodwill. In the interest of medical research, Dr. Vaughn’s body has been donated to UT Southwestern Medical School.
Bennett R. Willeford of Lewisburg, PA, died Sept. 22. He was born Oct. 28, 1921, in Greenville, S.C., the only son of Bennett R. Sr. and Elizabeth (Thomson) Willeford. Ben's twin sisters died shortly after birth and he never knew them. Ben was educated in the public schools of Charlotte, N.C., at Emory University, Atlanta, Ga., and the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
In 1950, he became a member of the faculty of the Chemistry Department of Bucknell University, Lewisburg. Ben taught there until his retirement in 1984. After retirement from Bucknell, he continued to teach for nine years at various schools in the United States including Earlham College and Baylor University, as well as schools in Germany, India, and Liberia.
Ben was actively involved with a number of local, national, and international peace and social justice organizations. Surviving are two first cousins, Nancy Nickels of Charlotte, and Margaret Thomson McCallum of Chester, S.C. A memorial service will be conducted at 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at the First Baptist Church, 51, S. Third St., Lewisburg. Memorial gifts may be made to the First Baptist Church, 51, S. Third St., Lewisburg, PA 17837, or the Mennonite Central Committee, 21 S. 12th St., Akron, PA 17501, or to another organization devoted to peace and social justice issues. Funeral arrangements are by Roupp Funeral Home Inc., 8594 Old Turnpike Road, Mifflinburg. Leave your condolences online at www.rouppfuneralhome.com.
Dr. Stephen L. Williams of Waco died July 31 at age 70. He was retired associate professor of museum studies at Baylor. A burial service was held Friday, Aug. 3, at Waco’s Oakwood Cemetery. “I know more recent students may ask their teachers about him, but those of us who had him for a teacher wish that you could have taken one of his classes,” said Mark Browning, former acquisitions clerk for Baylor’s Moody Library. “We signed up with ‘fear and trembling,’ but soon learned this professional had both our best interest at heart and sought to make museum work a recognized profession. He was our ‘To Sir, With Love.’”
Dr. Williams was born June 30, 1948, in Midland to Angela and Jacob L. Williams III. He was an Eagle Scout and graduated from Midland High School. He received bachelor's and master's degrees in biology and a master's degree in museum science from Texas Tech University. He earned his doctorate in conservation from the University of Goteborg in Goteborg, Sweden. In the summer of 1971, Dr. Williams married Kathleen Dobbs. They had two children, Sarah and Jason. Williams began his career with The Museum at Texas Tech University as a collection manager and later moved to Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1990, he returned to The Museum at Texas Tech University and taught museum science. In 1995, he took a position at The Strecker Museum, later known as The Mayborn Museum Complex, at Baylor University and taught museum studies. Dr. Williams published many research papers over the course of his career. Upon retirement in 2007, he continued to work with students when needed. After his retirement, he enjoyed traveling with his family, hunting, fishing and playing with and going on dam walks with his dog and grandchildren. Dr. Williams is survived by his wife of nearly 47 years, Kathleen Dobbs; daughter, Sarah, and husband, Allen Kaiser; son, Jason L. Williams and wife, Angel; grandchildren Will, Ben, Maddie and Jon Kaiser and Julianne, Anson, Josephine and Jacqueline Williams; sisters Kathy Buckberry and her two sons and family, and Anne and her husband, Jim Busby, and their two daughters; brother, Jacob L. Williams IV; uncle, Ignatius G. Peters and his family; aunt, Sue Peters Brady and her family; and many relatives and friends. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Dup15q Alliance. Thoughts and memories may be shared at Lake Shore Funeral Home.