Jack A. Bell, MSEd ’70, of Fruita, Colorado passed from this life on April 5, 2019, surrounded by his loving family. Mr. Bell was born in 1934 in Moody, Texas. He graduated from Moody High School, excelling in all sports. He joined the Army right out of high school and spent his time in Korea. Upon returning, he married Jeanette Lewis, of Moody. Mr. Bell graduated from the University of Texas, where he developed a long and lasting devotion to his "Texas Horns." He also held advanced degrees from Baylor University. After coaching several sports at various schools and being part of many winning seasons, he turned to administration. He became a junior high school principal, a high school principal and superintendent of Texas schools. He will be remembered by the many young lives he touched in his 35 years of service to the Texas Public school system. Mr. Bell is survived by his wife of 62 years, Jeanette; three children, Glen Bell (Holly) of Houston, Texas, Drs. Carol Bell Lybrook (Scott) of Fruita, Colorado, Rita Bell of Portland, Oregon; grandsons, Jake, Justin and Josh Lybrook; granddaughter, Dr. Rachel Giese; brother, Jerry Bell of Wimberley, Texas. His quick wit, his love of life and family, his almost encyclopedic memory and knowledge of sports, especially college football will be missed. Cremation has taken place and family services will be held at a later date in his hometown of Moody. Memorial donations may be made to HopeWest Hospice Care Center, 3090 North 12th Street #B, Grand Junction, Colorado 81506.
Albert LeRue Dixon III, JD ’70, was born December 14, 1943, in Portsmouth, Virginia. He was an Eagle Scout and a member of Phi Delta Kappa and a Mason. He was a graduate of Baylor Law and served as District Attorney and was a member of Who's Who in Texas. He served for eight years as County Court at Law Judge in Rusk, Texas. He passed away on March 3, 2019, after a lengthy illness. Albert LeRue Dixon was preceded in death by his parents, Albert L. Dixon, Jr. and Johnie Corrice Ergle Dixon and a stepdaughter, Tracey M. Murphy. Albert LeRue Dixon is survived by his wife, Jackie Stallings Dixon of Jacksonville; three sons, Albert L. Dixon, IV of San Antonio, Arthur Zac Dixon and John David and Shanna K. Dixon of Jacksonville; two stepsons, D. Chris Frazer of Jacksonville and Steve K. Frazer of Chandler; a stepdaughter, Sarah Frazer of Jacksonville; a brother, Craig Dixon of Merrit Island, FL and sister-in-law, Carol Dixon; a grandson, Carter Dixon of Tomball; and two granddaughters, Emily Dixon of Houston and Myla Grace Dixon of Jacksonville; as well as many extended family members and very good friends.
Velva Jo Voisin Hausken, BS ’70, passed away, surrounded by her children, on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 in Stillwater, MN. She was 88 years old. Jo is survived by her children Michele (Greg) Smith of Brawley, CA, Marcia Hausken of Irvine, CA, Monta (Mark) Radke of Bayport, MN, Michael (Janet) Hausken of Stillwater, MN, and Matthew Hausken of Centuria, WI; her sisters Marion (Tommy) Powell of Westminster CA, Candice (Mark) Konopacky of Morgan Hill, CA, brother David (Marcy) Caple of San Clemente, CA; 14 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her husband Walter “Bud” Hausken, her parents Lorraine and Cecil Voisin, and Ayletha and Robert Caple. Velva Jo was born on February 8, 1931 in Moore, OK. She graduated from Waco High School in 1948 and received her Bachelor’s degree in Home Economics from Baylor University. She married Bud Hausken in 1951. They moved to Glenwood, MN in 1954, where they raised their five children. In 1970, she began a teaching career and received her Masters Degree in 1980. She was an accomplished cook and seamstress, often sewing clothes for her children and grandchildren. She was known by her family and friends for her wonderful smile and positive attitude. She was a unique and special person. A funeral service is scheduled for Saturday, May 4 at 1 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Stillwater, MN, with a visitation from 12-1 and a reception to follow. A private burial will be held at the Glenwood Lutheran Cemetery in Glenwood, MN. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Jo’s life. Flowers may be sent to Trinity Lutheran Church, 115 – 4th St. N., Stillwater, MN. In lieu of flowers, the family will send memorials to GAP School Native American Cultural Mentorship Program. Arrangements are with Cullen Crea Funeral Home of New Richmond, Wisconsin.
Darrell Erick Beyer, EdD ’71, of Cleburne, TX, died March 24, 2017. He was born January 26, 1931 in Madison, SD to Erick and Christine Josephine Knutson Beyer. He married Marvella Mae Anderson on Nov. 27, 1972 in Littleton, CO. Dr. Beyer was a retired Associate Superintendent of Education at Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and a loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and a friend to many. He was a member of Keene SDA Church. Survivors include his beloved wife of 44 years, Marvella Beyer; sons, Douglas Erick Beyer and wife Bernice of Claremore, OK and Allan Robert Beyer of Burleson; grandchildren, Shannon Lepp, Andy Beyer, Ericca Cook and husband McKennan and Arin Beyer; three great grandchildren; and a host of other relatives and friends who will miss him greatly. He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters.
Carl Dean Flatt, BA ’71, MA ’75, of Midland, TX, died March 5, 2019 at age 69. He was born on April 11, 1949 in Corpus Christi, Texas to Travis D. Flatt and Eunice Harrison Flatt. Because the family moved many times in federal service, Dean called Albuquerque, New Mexico home He attended Baylor University in Waco, Texas where he received a B. A. degree in history in 1972 and an M.A. degree in geology in 1975. He began his career with Pennziol and worked for many oil companies and environmental companies over the years. Dean liked to hunt and fish and in his younger years he enjoyed traveling, especially to Hawaii. He was a member of First Baptist Church. He met Mary Ann Vess in Waco and they were married on June 15, 1974 in Waxahachie, Texas. He is preceded in death by his father, Travis Flatt and by his oldest brother, Jerry Flatt. He is survived by his wife Ann; daughter Emily Deann Flatt of Edelsfeld, Germany; mother Eunice Flatt of San Angelo, Texas; brother and sister-in-law Ron and Marie Flatt of Mertzon, Texas; and one niece and three nephews. The family would like to express their gratitude towards the staff, nurses and doctors at Midland Memorial Hospital. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Lung Association.
Oscar Thomas “Tom” O’Leary, Jr., BBA ’71, age 71, of Waco, went to his heavenly home Saturday, March 30, 2019. Visitation will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 5, at Lake Shore Funeral Home. The Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, April 6, at Lake Shore Funeral Home, 5201 Steinbeck Bend, in Waco. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery. This truly incredible man was born January 6, 1948, to Oscar and Dorothy O'Leary. He attended and graduated from Robinson High School, Tyler Junior College and East Texas State. He married Ann, the love of his life and together they raised their two daughters. Tom compassionately cared for Ann through 16 years of MS while working and taking care of his girls. Tom was a sales manager for the majority of his career. He worked for Central Texas Printing until his health no longer allowed him to. He also had two of his own businesses, O'Leary's Interiors and Po' Old Oscar's BBQ. Tom was a longtime member of Highland Baptist Church. He loved volunteering for Church Under the Bridge and serving his BBQ while volunteering. Tom loved sports. He was a huge Baylor fan and took his girls to Baylor football games frequently. He played golf almost every Saturday. He also coached his daughter's softball teams. The perfect words to describe Tom was "selfless servant." He was preceded in death by wife, Ann; parents, Oscar and Dorothy O'Leary; sister-in-law, Jan; in-law's, Bill and Flo Hensel; best friend, Mike Kopp. Tom is survived by his daughters, Mollie Ann and husband, Michael, and Courtney Lee; grandchildren, Brandon and wife, Dora, Trevin, Travis, Jhordan, Mikayla, Jim, Jace, and Caylee; great-grandchildren, Aleah, Christian, Aniyah and Baylor; extremely devoted sister, Mollie Kathleen; brother, Tim and wife, Janine; and numerous nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his dogs, Tebo and Daysha. Tom loved Jesus and it was evident in his daily life. He was a loving son, wonderful brother, devoted husband, amazing daddy, fun and nurturing PaPa and dependable friend. He never met a stranger and he would talk to everyone. The family would like to thank the staff at Quality Care of Waco for their sweet care of Tom. Memorials in Tom's memory can be made to Bluebonnet Hospice.
Ewell Herman Balltrip, BA ’72, of Somerset, Kentucky, entered into the Kingdom of Heaven on March 7, 2019, surrounded by his family after a long battle with chronic illness. He is preceded in death by his parents (Lloyd and Beatrice Balltrip); mother-in-law Gayola Elam Mills and father-in-law Earie Mills; and sister-in-law Vera Jones and niece Angela Jones Lawson. Ewell is survived by his wife Kathy Mills Balltrip, son Andrew Lee Balltrip of Lexington Ky, daughter Amanda Beth Balltrip of Somerset Ky, brothers-in-law Aaron Mills (Nancy) of Harlan Ky, Johnny Mills (Lisa) of Frankfort Ky, and John Jones of Gray Tn; sisters-in-law Willa Dean Hicks (Ron) of McHenry Il., Pat Ray (Bill) of South Gate Mi., Burma Kay Chappell (Virgell) of Edmond Ok., Phyllis Conte (Gale) of Sebring Fl., and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Visitation will be Sunday March 10, 2019 from 1-5 pm with funeral service starting at 5 pm. Southern Oaks Funeral Home is entrusted with the arrangements of Ewell Balltrip.
Martin “Marty” Don Gray, BA ’72, of Cherokee, TX, died Mar. 18. He was born May 10, 1949, to Sammye Williams Gray and Dudie Gray. He grew up on the family ranch established in the 1860s, proud of being the fifth generation of a ranching heritage. He claimed he never wanted to be a cowboy, but as a young boy, he and his black dog roamed the pastures. He and his horse rode beyond the boundaries of the family ranch to visit neighbors who had kind words, cowboy wisdom, and cookies always waiting for him. He rodeoed in junior rodeos, he hunted, he fished, he understood livestock, and he delighted in the sight of a new Hereford calf lying on the spring-green grass. His dad said he lost Marty as a cowboy to team sports when Marty joined a Little League team at 8 years old. Being a real cowboy was never lost in Marty; it was merely redefined. In later years, he called himself a country gentleman. When he left the ranch for Baylor in 1967, he tried various disciplines: medicine, but he did not ever want to lose a patient; law, but he really did not want to wear a starched white shirt every day; English and history, but what could he do with that double major? Then, he found what would become a most rewarding career: nurturing young people, teaching English and history while coaching team sports. His teaching career began in the fall of 1972 in Bynum, Texas. After nine years there, he began teaching in Hillsboro, Texas, where he remained for 10 years. In 1991, he returned home to Cherokee, Texas, teaching there for 11 years — thus completing 30 rewarding years of loving enlightenment. He said he was afflicted early on with the love of reading by his mother and later on by Charles Perry. He fell in love with words, and he, in turn, afflicted some of his own students with literature, poetry, grammar, and diagramming. He afflicted us all with his well-told jokes, from Shaggy Dog stories to clever puns. His favorite all-time books were “Huck Finn,” “Moby Dick,” “Little Big Man,” “True Grit,” “Lonesome Dove,” and “The Time It Never Rained.” He said that if had had another lifetime to live, he would have become a historical novelist. He married Shirley Low, his lifelong sweetheart. He cherished her. They shared a rare and special relationship. The next girl he treasured who came into his life was their daughter, Laura. He thought that he could not love any other little girls as dearly, but when granddaughters Allison and Brianna appeared, Marty fell happily into the role of the perfect Pap-pa. Marty died at home March 18, 2019. He was preceded in death by four loving grandparents, his parents, and a younger brother, Scott Gray. He is survived by his wife, Shirley; daughter, Laura Gray Pratt and her husband, Adam Pratt; his treasured granddaughters, Allison Pratt and Brianna Pratt; his brother, Dr. Mark Gray; and sister, Becky Gray McCarty and her husband, Bart McCarty. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews; his sister-in-law, Shannon Gray; his brother-in-law Ronnie Low and wife Cami; and brother-in-law and special friend James Low and his wife, Mary.
C. Wayne Huff, BA ’72, of Boerne, TX, died Apr. 2 while on vacation in Koblenz, Germany at the age of 68. He was nearing retirement after 45 years practicing law. He began his legal career in 1974 as a prosecutor in the Dallas County District Attorney's office. He left the DA's office as a chief felony prosecutor in 1980 to start his private practice as a criminal defense attorney. Over the course of his career, Wayne tried hundreds of jury trials, including several high-profile death penalty cases in Dallas. Wayne felt at home in the courtroom. He and his family moved to Boerne, Texas in 2003 where he continued to practice defense work in south Texas. Wayne was born on April 7, 1950 to Col. Rufus D. and Alline Huff in Ft. Monroe, Virginia. He graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School in San Antonio in 1968, Baylor University in 1972 and the University of Texas School Of Law in 1974. Wayne was an enthusiastic supporter and member of Fair Oaks Ranch Rotary. He was President-elect of his chapter at the time of his death. He loved the community of fellow Rotarians and the service-oriented nature of the organization. Wayne was also deeply devoted to his Sunday School class at Woodland Baptist Church. His life-long love of history, constitutional law and theology were nourished by thoughtful discussions in class. He had many passions including cooking, bicycling, reading, and teaching Mock trial to high school students but his greatest devotion was to family and friends. Wayne is survived by his wife of 41 years, Melinda Huff; daughter and son-in-law Catherine and Andrew Krantz; sister-in-law, Anne Marie Turley; nieces, Lynda Losapio and Kellie Brixius, and nephew, David Dozier; brother-in-law, Fred Smith and wife, Vi and nephew, Jeff Smith; brother- in-law, Mike Smith and wife, Judy; and mother-in-law, Janice Smith. He was predeceased by his brothers Richard Huff and Bob Dozier and his parents.
Carol Quick Lane, BA ’72, MA ’73, of Hot Springs, AR, passed away Feb. 22, 2019. She was married to Dr. Chuck Lane, BA '74. She was a member of Kappa Theta and knew virtually everyone on campus. Both of her children, Charley Lane and Catie Lane graduated from Baylor. Carol was born in Houston, Texas to Randolph and Jane Quick in the late summer of 1950. The family moved to Arkadelphia where Carol was a cheerleader and graduated from Arkadelphia High in 1968. After high school, Carol attended Baylor University. While at Baylor, she was a member of Kappa Theta and Seventh and James Church, earned her Bachelor’s in Social Work in 1972 and her Masters in Sociology in 1974. She began her career as a researcher at the graduate school of Social Work at UALR. Carol and Chuck had been acquaintances while both Baylor students. However, it took a mutual friend and some long-distance matchmaking to set them up on a date. An evening walk throwing Frisbee and smelling honeysuckle was all it took. Carol and Chuck married in 1976. They were blessed with Charley and Catie a few years later. A house fire in 1987 prompted Carol to discover new talents. Her family needed a home and Carol, having neither training nor experience, took it upon herself to design and contract the entire project. This remains the family home. The home project came just as she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. This disorder would cause her pain the remainder of her life. You’d never know it though! She always had a smile on her face while working tirelessly to serve others. She continued to be a resource to those in need, a comfort to those in pain, a teacher to those on the journey and an asset in the hands of her God. Carol served her Lord in so many ways—teaching youth for over 15 years, lending her sweet voice to the choir, serving as discussion leader or substitute teacher in Bible Study Fellowship for 19 years, teaching in her Connect Group at First Baptist Church, and recently providing relentless encouragement to people diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease through Rock Steady Boxing. She never, never, never gave up! Carol will be welcomed to Heaven by her father, Randolph Quick and her sister, Connie Quick. She is survived by her mother, Jane Quick; husband, Chuck Lane; children, Charley Lane and Catie Curtis; son in law, Ryan Curtis; grandsons Joshua, Nathan and Timothy; and her church family at First Baptist Church in Hot Springs.
James “Jimmy” R. Ridings, ’72, of Fort Worth passed away Wednesday, April 24, 2019. CELEBRATION OF LIFE: A family celebration of life service will be held at a later date. Jimmy was born Feb. 28, 1950, in Meridian, Texas. He graduated Richfield High School in Waco, Texas, in 1968 and attended Baylor University. In 1985, he founded Craftmade International, Inc. and was chairman and CEO until his retirement in June 2008. Embedded in the culture of Craftmade was Jimmy's character and generosity, which resulted in the company being recognized many times by Forbes Magazine in their annual 200 Best Small Companies issue. Jimmy's other passion was being the owner-operator of Colonial Oaks Ranch (COJR), Meridian, Texas where he raised Limousin cattle. Jimmy was preceded in death by his parents, Edwin Alonzo Ridings and Altus Marie (Royal), and his brother, Larry. SURVIVORS: His wife, Debi Ridings of Fort Worth; his son, Jason Ridings (Holly); daughter, Whitney Heimann (Brad); stepsons, Justin Cappers (Shelly), Alexander Cappers; and three grandsons.
Michael “Mike” Eugene Vahrenkamp, BBA ’72, of Fort Worth, age 68, entered into eternal peace with his Heavenly Father on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019. SERVICE: 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18, at University Christian Church, 2720 S University Drive, Fort Worth. MEMORIALS: The Saving Hope Foundation at https://saving-hope.org/donate/. Mike was born Sept. 16, 1950, in Waco, Texas, to Louise and Will R. Vahrenkamp. He graduated from Paschal High School in 1968 where he was a proud Paschal Panther quarterback. Mike attended Baylor University on an academic and athletic scholarship where he played football and graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor's of Business Administration. He was married to Carol Claire Shelton of Marlin, Texas, on Aug. 19, 1972. Mike was an oilman who loved to hunt, fish, play golf, work in his yard and was a true craftsman working with his hands. He loved vacationing at Disney World and Seaside, Fla., each summer with his family. He was a member of University Christian Church. Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Louise and Will R. Vahrenkamp, and sister-in-law, Anna Vahrenkamp. SURVIVORS: Wife of 46 years, Claire Vahrenkamp; children, Justin Vahrenkamp and wife, Tiffany, Leah Vahrenkamp and fiance, Randy Brown, Jacqueline Vahrenkamp Copeland and husband, Reid; grandchildren, Madeleine Vahrenkamp, Hadley Vahrenkamp; grandson due this July; siblings, William "Bill" Vahrenkamp and wife, Cathy, and Lloyd Vahrenkamp. Mike also leaves behind nephews, Billy, Chad, Josh and Russell Vahrenkamp; as well as a great-nephew, great-nieces, many relatives, and a host of dear friends that he has always held close to his heart.
George Wilson Zahn, BBA ’72, age 71, of Euless, Texas, passed away on March 1, 2019 surrounded by his family. The family will receive friends and visitors from 5:00-7:00 P.M., Thursday, March 7, 2019 at Lucas Funeral Home in Hurst. A service to celebrate his life will be held at 2:00 P.M., Friday, March 8, 2019 at First United Methodist Church in Hurst with Rev. Philip Rhodes officiating. Interment will be at Shannon Rose Hill Memorial Park in Fort Worth earlier in the day. In honor of George, the family requests that all members of the Boy Scouts attending the service to please dress in scout uniform. George was born in Terrell, Texas to Dr. Charles W. and Margaret A. Zahn on November 8, 1947. He grew up in Richland Hills, Texas and attended Richland High School and graduated from Allen Military Academy in Bryan, Texas. George attended Texas Wesleyan where he met his bride-to-be Patsy Ogden. They were married on May 22, 1971. He graduated from Baylor University with a degree in Management and Accounting. While at Baylor he joined and served in the Army Airborne National Guard. After graduation he went to work in the oil business and later worked in industrial tools sales. He ended his career as an owner of an executive office suite from which he retired. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Hurst, Texas and as an avid golfer always looked forward to the Wilson Canafax Golf Tournament each year. His great joy was serving the adults and youth of the Boy Scouts of America. He earned his Eagle Scout rank, the Silver Beaver and the Wood Badge Award of the Year in 2007. He went on 2 Philmont treks with his son Chip and then went on to serve as staff on a Wood Badge course there as well. As an active volunteer with the City of Euless for over 35 years, George served on the Parks and Recreation and Planning and Zoning Commissions and others, and was given the Lifetime Contribution Award in 2015 for his dedication. He also gave his time to HEB-ISD and Allen Academy when called upon. George is preceded in death by his parents Dr. and Mrs. Charles W. Zahn. George is survived by his beloved wife Patsy and their children Elisa Boltz, husband Kyle, and George W. Zahn Jr. “Chip”. And his brothers and sisters; Charles W. Zahn Jr. and wife Linda, Margaret Ann Copher, Linda Sue Skidmore and husband Larry, and William C. Zahn. His greatest joy was his grandchildren, Kyle and Ben Risley and Sofia and Anisa Zahn. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Longhorn Council Wood Badge fund in memory of, Longhorn Council Office, 850 Cannon Dr., Hurst, Texas 76054. George’s family would like to extend our sincere thanks to the many doctors and nurses at Texas Health Harris Methodist H.E.B. hospital who provided him care and to Heart to Heart Hospice for their care and guidance. He was blessed and thankful for his family and friends who shared their love and support, which added joy to his life.
Lenora Jane Gaasch Crowder, MSEd ’73, age 82, passed away on February 15, 2019, at St. Catherine Center in Waco, Texas. Funeral services will be 1:00 p.m., Saturday, February 23, at First Baptist Church Waco, 500 Webster Ave., Waco. Burial will follow at Waco Memorial Park. Visitation will be 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., Thursday, February 21, at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home in Waco. Lenora was born in northeastern rural Oklahoma, the third child of Troy and Ruby Smith Gaasch and the younger sister of twins, Florene and Lorene. Early in her life, Lenora understood the value of education, and she spent most of her life educating, guiding, and investing in others. She taught junior high and high school science in public schools in Norman, Waco and Robinson, and she served as Director of Placement at Baylor University. She was a life-long learner. She married W. Eugene “Gene” Crowder in 1957. They moved to Waco in 1959 when Gene accepted a position in the Biology Department at Baylor. At that time, they became a part of the First Baptist Church Waco family. Gene and Lenora had four children. In the early 1970s, she cared for Gene through a terminal illness. At age 37, she was a widow responsible for continuing to meet the needs of her children. Rearing them alone was certainly a daunting task, but she faced it the same way she faced every challenge — with strength and dignity. Lenora was incredibly strong, always courageous, and fiercely independent. These traits enabled her to surmount great obstacles and to persevere through terrific challenges, including the final challenge of her own terminal cancer. Most of her life was an uphill climb. In her final days, she stood atop a great precipice, lingering on the brink of glory. Those who knew her best and loved her most celebrate with her as she has taken that final step - that leap of faith. Today she stands in the midst of glory, in the company of her parents, her sisters, Gene, and countless other friends and family who have gone before her. Lenora is survived by her children, Nancy Crowder Huerter and husband, Joachim, David Crowder and wife, Elisa, Richard Crowder and Elizabeth Herrera, John Crowder and wife, Lisa, and former daughter-in-law, Lorie Crowder; her grandchildren, Jenny Huerter Gamon and husband, Michael, Elizabeth Crowder Gough and husband, Patrick, Carroll Crowder, Michael Huerter, Lincoln Crowder, Brian Crowder, and Ashley Crowder Burtnett and husband, Bryson; and her great-grandchildren Ariella, Asher, Lark, and Nina Gamon. Memorials may be made to the Eugene Crowder Memorial Biology Scholarship Fund, University Development, One Bear Place #97050, Waco TX 76798-7050.
Gwendolyn Freeman McCarver French, MSEd ’73, of Kosse, TX, died Feb. 1. She was born on January 10, 1927, in Iredell, Texas to John Anderson Freeman and Gertrude Mahan Freeman. She was called home on February 1, 2019 after a valiant battle with lung cancer. While she seemed to be meek and mild, she was strong, courageous and independent. Gwen graduated from Longview High School in 1944. She completed her Bachelor’s degree at Sul Ross University and her Master’s degree at Baylor University. She worked as a teacher while raising three children on her own. While retired from teaching, she was also a cattle rancher and enjoyed that greatly. She had a special relationship with her cattle and once told a cow, “You’d better have a calf soon, or you will be gone.” The next day the cow had a calf nursing, not her own calf, but she had taken another’s calf and looked defiant when the truck passed by as if saying, “See, I have a calf now!” Gwen also put lipstick on before going to see the cows. When asked why, she always said, “The cows expect it.” She also took painting lessons after retiring from teaching and had painted many paintings that are prized by her family. Gwen loved going to the Kosse First United Methodist Church. In the past, she was involved with the children’s ministry and the church choir. She moved on to becoming an integral part of the church administrative board and chaired her last meeting this past December. She supported the church bazaar by making jelly and bringing cakes for the bake sale. She was the face of the country kitchen booth at the bazaar. She was also instrumental in the community. She participated in the Red Stocking Follies at Groesbeck ISD for many years while she was teaching. The group she was part of always put on a good show. The Kosse annual rainfall by month reported to the Groesbeck Journal had been collected and sent in by her. She was treasurer of the Kosse Community Center for many years and helped plan many community events, attending numerous of them. She volunteered to sell tickets at the Kosse homecoming dance for many years. She was a member of the Retired Teachers Association and was a member of the Marlin Art League. She participated in four Line-Dancing groups and helped create one of them. In her personal life, she was active with her devotional and prayer time. She enjoyed gardening and raising chickens. She loved her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and enjoyed the successes in their lives. Whether called mom, grandmother, mammer, wife or friend; she was loved by all. Gwen was preceded in death by her parents, and sister, Patsy Freeman. She is survived by her husband, Jimmy, daughter Julie Logan and husband Ricky of Kosse, sons John McCarver and wife Rosalinda and David McCarver and wife Judy, step-children: Kay York and husband Charlie, Archie French and wife, Sharon, Gary French and wife, Judy. She is also survived by five grandchildren, Sylvia Cardenas, Sheila Wilson, Tamara Lee, Daniel McCarver and Austin McCarver, six step grandchildren: Carolyn Lee, Jessica French, Valerie Bravo, Anthony Lee, Gary French, Cassandra French, Justin Graham and Charles York and seven great grandchildren and three step great grandchildren as well as numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family.
Beth Gortner LaNoue, MHA ’73, age 87, of Tampa, FL, left this world March 10, 2019, when the Lord called her home to reside in a mansion prepared for her in heaven. Beth was born in Miami, Florida, on December 26, 1931, to Reverend and Mrs. Vernon G. Gortner, both deceased. She is survived by her husband of 32 years, LTG Alcide M. LaNoue. Her 3 brothers, Joseph Gortner (Sue) of Portland, Oregon, J. Narver Gortner (Ann) of Fullerton, California, and Vernon R. Gortner (Phyll) of Portland, Oregon, predeceased her. Beth is survived by 4 stepchildren; Claire Louise LaNoue Lanoue, Alcide Joseph LaNoue, George Edwin LaNoue (Amy), and Michele LaNoue Spicher. Beth was also blessed with 10 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren and two surviving loving canine companions, Jorja & Heidi. Beth graduated from Valley Forge Christian College in Pennsylvania. Thereafter, she received her designation as a Registered Nurse at Hahnemann Medical College, in Philadelphia, followed by a BS in Education from Temple University, as well. While stationed in Fort Sam, Houston, Texas, Beth obtained a Masters in Hospital Administration at the U. S. Army Baylor University. Beth served 10 years as a nurse before entering the U.S. Army, where, over the next twenty-one years she attained increasing roles, ultimately earning the rank of Colonel as Chief Nurse at Eisenhower Army Medical Center before retiring in 1987. Her appointments include a tour in Vietnam as Supervisor of Medic/Surgery from 1967 to 1969 and a tour in Landstuhl, Germany, as Assistant Chief Nurse from 1979 to 1982. Beth was the recipient of the Bronze Star in Vietnam, 6 Meritorious Service Medals, as well as the Order of Military Medical Merit for service in the medical community. Most prestigious was her being awarded the Legion of Merit for service at Eisenhower Army Medical Center. At retirement, Beth became very involved in many volunteer services and fundraising efforts. She especially enjoyed serving as an Arlington Lady, where she supported those bereaved at the Arlington National Cemetery during burial services. In 1996, Cid and Beth made the move to Tampa, Florida. As her faith in Christ was sincere and deeply rooted, Beth immediately found a church home and became extremely active in volunteer work at South Tampa Fellowship Church. Her skills as an organizer and administration carried over as she served the Lord tirelessly in Bible Studies, Wednesday Night Dinners --- you would be greeted by her warm and friendly smile from the reception desk. Her tender heart drew the little children and she could often be seen with young babies and children alike. She was instrumental in the organization and recruitment of many beloved church pilgrimages where faith became alive and relationships blossomed. She had a gift of securing financial support for the Lord’s Great Mission. Beth was devoted to the Tampa Christian Women’s Club, engaging and persuading, drawing people into action and was a cornerstone to the club’s fundraising efforts. A service to celebrate Beth LaNoue’s life will be held at South Tampa Fellowship Church, located at 5101 Bayshore Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33611, on Saturday, March 30, 2019, at 2 pm, with a reception to follow at the same location. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to First Priority of Tampa Bay, P.O. Box 10731, Tampa FL, 33679 or online at firstprioritytampabay.org/ She is survived by her husband of 32 years, LTG Alcide M. LaNoue. Her 3 brothers, Joseph Gortner (Sue) of Portland, Oregon, J. Narver Gortner (Ann) of Fullerton, California, and Vernon R. Gortner (Phyll) of Portland, Oregon, predeceased her. Beth is survived by 4 stepchildren; Claire Louise LaNoue Lanoue, Alcide Joseph LaNoue, George Edwin LaNoue (Amy), and Michele LaNoue Spicher. Beth was also blessed with 10 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren and two surviving loving canine companions, Jorja & Heidi.
John Robert Saringer, JD ’73, of Abilene, TX, passed away on January 10, 2019. He is survived by his wife of 50 years Sandi; daughters Kellye Saringer and Stacey Moore and her husband Jeff Moore, grandchildren Reagan and Jack Robertson and Kylie and Brady Moore; sister Frances Jones and husband Bob; Niece Missy Romero and nephews Richard Jones and Tony Landrum; and of course his beloved canine companion Sasha. He is also survived by "The Dinner Club"---close friends who became local family and his brothers and sisters in Christ. He was pre-deceased by his parents John and Etolia Saringer, in-laws Ken and Nell Brooks, and sister Judy Landrum. John grew up in Dallas and graduated from Bryan Adams High School. He earned his BS from Southwestern University in 1968 and his JD from Baylor University Law in 1973. He served in the US Army from 1968-1970 in Vietnam and Hawaii. John and Sandi moved to Abilene in 1973 where he served as a city attorney and later joined a private law practice with Don & Randy Wilson. He served as Taylor County Court-at-Law Judge from 1983 to 1987. In 1989 he joined the Wagstaff Law Firm where he practiced law until his retirement in 2017. During his law career he served on several Bar Association committees and boards at the state and local level. John was a faithful member of Aldersgate UMC and the Lamplighters Sunday School Class. John loved the outdoors and hunting, fishing, and boating. He enjoyed many hours teaching grandchildren to water ski and trying to bounce them across the lake on a huge tube. Services will be held at 10 am Monday January 14th at Aldersgate UMC, officiated by Gary Boles and Dr. Phil Christopher. Interment will follow at Elmwood Memorial Park. Visitation will be Sunday, January 13th from 4:00 to 6:00 P.M. at The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road, Abilene. Honorary Pallbearers will be members of the Wagstaff Law Firm. Pallbearers will be Charles "Bob" Clark, Brady Moore, Jeff Moore, Harry Reaugh, Jack Robertson, John Stearns, and Lloyd Turner. Special thanks to Dr. Tommie Ferrell, Dr. Jose Vega and Dr. Hans Hammers and to the Hendrick Hospice Care team for their wonderful care. In lieu of flowers, family requests memorials to Hendrick Hospice Care, 1651 Pine, Abilene, TX 79601.
With grace and peace that can only be provided by our Lord, Deborah Kay (Fehler) Canuteson, BSN ’75, age 65, of Clifton, TX, entered in to the arms of Jesus at MD Anderson on Friday, March 1, 2019 after a valiant eighteen-month battle with Multiple Myeloma. Deborah – also known lovingly by her family and friends as “Hootsie” – left her earthly body surrounded by family and listening to praise songs. She is surely rejoicing in heaven with loved ones who preceded her in death: her father, Charles Fehler; her brother, David Fehler; and her in-laws, Oren “Tookie” and Barbara Canuteson. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 pm Thursday, March 7, 2019 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Clifton, Texas. Burial will follow at Norse Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 5:00 – 7:00 pm Wednesday, March 6, 2019 at Clifton Funeral Home. To celebrate the love Deborah had for art and for the beach, the family encourages all who attend her service to wear colorful attire. Deborah was born on July 31, 1953 in Fredericksburg, Texas to Charles and Regina Fehler. Recent memories shared by her mother describe a childhood where Deborah grew strong in her Christian faith due in large part to the influence and guidance of her father, who gave her the nickname Hootsie. While in high school, Deborah met the love of her life, Jim Canuteson. She graduated from Clifton High School in 1971, married Jim in August of 1974, and graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1975. With a servant’s heart, Deborah spent many wonderful years in a profession she loved working in a variety of positions including as OR Supervisor at Goodall-Witcher Hospital for fifteen years and Clifton Medical Clinic Manager for her last five years, retiring in 2015. Deborah was probably most well known for her creative talents in singing, acting, painting, photography, and playing the organ at Immanuel Lutheran Church. She loved traveling, especially to Rockport, Texas. The beach was her heaven on earth. She and Jim enjoyed sitting on the deck of their condo, drinking coffee and watching the pelicans glide across the sunrise. Hootsie’s memory will live on in the murals she painted throughout the years in their beachside condo. Flamingos – her favorite – will bring a smile to the faces of family and loved ones for years to come. The family has steadfastly held on to a favorite quote of Deborah’s reminding us all to “Stand in Faith, even when you are having the hardest time of your life.” Deborah’s legacy will live on through those who survive her: loving husband, Jim; son Wade, daughter-in-law Ashley, and their children Zane and Zoey; son Weston, daughter-in-law Mandi, and their children Charlotte and Colt; mother Regina Fehler; brother, Doug Fehler and wife Kristye; brother Doyle Fehler and wife Linda; and a host of nieces, nephews, friends, extended family, and loved ones.
Martha Ann Curtis, BSEd ’75, age 66 of Harker Heights, Texas passed away March 11, 2019 in Temple, Texas. She was born on February 11, 1953 to Eugene Springfield and Billie Ruth Hailey in Marlin, TX. Visitation will be from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., on Sunday, March 17, at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home, Killeen, TX. Funeral services will be at 9 a.m., on Monday, March 18, at Central Christian Church, Killeen, Texas. Burial will follow at Clover Hill Cemetery, Lott, Texas. Martha graduated from Rosebud-Lott High School in 1971 and from Baylor University in 1975. Shortly before graduation Martha met the love of her life, Randy Curtis, on a blind date. They were married on December 28, 1974, in Lott, Texas. Martha and Randy started their family in Killeen, and were blessed with three children; daughters, Christie Leigh and Kelly Anne; and son; Andy Hailey. The Curtis family enjoyed traveling and Martha and Randy took many trips traveling the world together. Throughout her life Martha was a devoted Christian, loving wife, mother and grandmother. She was also a school teacher, Sunday School teacher, Choir Director, Deacon, Elder, and so much more. Martha loved people and never met a stranger and always took time to get to truly know someone. She loved Jesus, her family and the Baylor Bears. To know her was to know the love of Jesus. Martha was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her beloved husband, Randy Curtis; her cherished children, Christie Curtis, Kelly and Joe Eakin, and Andy and Sarah Curtis; and precious grandchildren, Owen Curtis and Kendal Curtis. She is also survived by her brothers, Chester Springfield and Gene Springfield and wife, Rozelle; along with many other beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Ronald “Ron” Stephen Manns, BA ’75, age 65, of Georgetown, Texas, passed away on April 3, 2019, at home. He had lived with cancer for five and half years but shunned battle metaphors in favor of living with gratitude and wonder every day. Ron was born in Lubbock, Texas to Thomas Edward Manns, Jr. and Eula Mae Sneed Manns on June 3, 1953. He graduated from Justin F. Kimball high school in Dallas, Texas, in 1971, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Baylor University in 1975. He received a Master of Religious Education in the Social Work program from Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky in 1978 and a Master of Science in Psychology, Applied Behavior Analysis program, from The University of Texas at Arlington in 1983. He also did doctoral studies in Special Education and Educational Psychology at The University of Texas at Austin. Ron began his professional career at Buckner Baptist Children's Home in Dallas but soon moved into the field known then as mental health and mental retardation (MHMR), now referred to as services for people with intellectual disabilities. He worked in direct-care facilities and administration at the county, state, and federal levels in a variety of positions related to quality assurance, regulation compliance, and improvement of services, always with a profound focus on ensuring the best quality of life possible for the individuals he served, with particular attention to their unique preferences for living a fulfilling life. Ron was an active member of the International Association for Behavior Analysis and the Texas Association of Behavior Analysis and was a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). He ended his career as the Director of Behavioral Services at the Abilene State Supported Living Center and described it as his dream job, leading the development of several innovative programs and mentoring and coaching a number of staff psychologists in earning the BCBA designation. He retired in March of 2017 and moved with his wife to Georgetown, Texas, to spend more time with his children and grandchildren in the Austin area. Ron was an avid runner, cyclist, and swimmer. He began sailing as a teenager and continued most of his life, raising his children to love it, too. He enjoyed white water kayaking, fly fishing, and playing his guitar and mandolin. Ron will be remembered by friends and family for his witty sense of humor and affinity for puns. As his health deteriorated and he was no longer able to do the physical things he enjoyed, he made it his purpose to find at least one person every day to make laugh, whether his health care professionals or strangers he encountered on the street. Ron is survived by his high school sweetheart and wife of 43 years, Deborah Dillard Manns of Georgetown; son Aaron Thomas Manns, daughter-in-law Sarah Kincheloe, grandson Clarence Winters Manns and granddaughter Sidney Mae Manns of Austin; son Andrew Douglas Manns of Austin; daughter Amy Manns Surko, son-in-law Jack Surko, granddaughter Ainsley Mac Surko and grandson John Joseph Surko IV of Hutto; his mother Mae Manns of Hendersonville, North Carolina; sister Ann Walker and brother-in-law Gil Walker of Saluda, North Carolina; as well as a number of aunts, uncles, nieces, great nieces and nephews, and many cousins who will miss him greatly. He was predeceased by his father, Tommy Manns. A memorial service will be held at The Gabriels Funeral Chapel, 393 N. Interstate 35, Georgetown, Texas, on Friday, April 12, 2019, at 2 p.m. There will be no burial service as Ron requested that his ashes be scattered on a river he loved. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Prostate Cancer Foundation (pcf.org) or Zero Prostate Cancer (zerocancer.org).
Nathan Bernard Collins, BA ’76, of Lucas, TX died on February 22, 2019 after a long struggle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). He was 64. Nathan was born on September 19, 1954 in Texarkana, AR to Nathaniel Jr and Delores Collins. He spent his childhood years living in Naples, TX with his parents, two brothers, his grandparents, two “aunts” and an “uncle”, the latter three similar in age to him and his siblings. They lived next door for most of his childhood and formed an extended nuclear family. He graduated from Paul Pewitt High School in 1972 in the top ten academic group and left a large leadership footprint. After high school Nathan attended Baylor University in Waco, TX where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1976. He then went to Texas Tech University to pursue graduate studies in chemistry. Nathan had a nearly 40 year-long professional career, much of it in the semiconductor industry but also in process improvement positions in other industries. Employers included Safram Seats, Red River Army Depot, Texas Instruments, Philips Semiconductors, VLSI Technologies, AMD and Mostek. He achieved a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification as a process improvement professional. Nathan lived in a number of cities as he followed this career path including Dallas area cities, Colorado Springs, San Antonio and Texarkana. His career also afforded him travel opportunities both nationally and internationally. Nathan is survived by his devoted spouse, Roberta, whose loving care never wavered during his journey and illness. Father Nathaniel of Texarkana, two brothers and sister-in-laws, Bruce (Cyndy) of San Marcos, CA and Hobart Dwain (Sheila) of Wake Village, TX. Two nieces Charise Battle and Dwaina Collins and two nephews Grant Collins and Nathan Collins. A great nephew, Krayson Battle and great niece, Genesis Battle. He is also survived by members of his childhood “extended nuclear family” Sara Washington (Richard), Raydonna Hall (Lester) and Patrick Collins (Lee Anna). He was preceded in death by his mother Delores. Visitation for Nathan will be Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 5:00 PM followed by a service at 6:00 PM. Burial will be at Chapelwood Memorial Gardens at 10:00 AM on Thursday.
Dr. Charles Edward Deal, EdD ’78, age 83, died March 4, 2019, at Northeast Baptist Hospital, San Antonio, Texas. Charles was preceded in death by his parents, Horace and Bernice (Hodges); sisters, Carene (Troy) Mallard, Betty (Bobby) Stringer and Helen (Carl) Scott of Statesboro, Ga.; and second wife, Karen. He is survived by his first wife, Velda Deal, San Antonio, Texas; daughter, Linda Gonzales (Robert); and son, Christopher Deal (Stephanie); stepdaughters, Tracy Presslly (Thomas) and Amy Scheiber (Bruce); grandchildren, Hunter, Brayden and Chandler Deal, Jason (Ana) and Kevin Owens (Nora) and R.J. Gonzales and Catherine, Thomas and Katie; great-grandchildren, Mariella, Amy, Lincoln, Michael and Christopher; and brothers, Hugh (Kay) Deal and Edgar (Diane) Deal, both of Statesboro. A memorial service will be held in the chapel of Porter Loring North April 1, 2019, at noon and a private service, with military honors, will be held at 1:30 p.m. in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, Texas. Flowers may be sent to Porter Loring Mortuary North, San Antonio, Texas.
Harold Dean Farley, BMEd ’78, of Woodstock, GA, beloved father, husband, and friend arrived in Heaven peacefully on February 4, 2019. He was 63. He was born on August 23, 1955 in Beeville, Texas. Harold was an immensely talented, hard-working man and a jack-of-all-trades with a sense of humor that will never be forgotten. Harold was a writer of satire, wit, and encouragement as evidenced by his Facebook friends and fans. Harold was an accomplished pianist and organist from an early age, actor and balladeer in high school, and music and youth director during college. After graduation from Baylor University, he began his journey into music evangelism. After meeting Deshone Sikes, through mutual friends, they quickly fell in love and married on August 25, 1979. They began their life together sharing the Gospel through music in churches throughout the U.S. and internationally. Their daughter, Jillian, joined them in 1984. Over the next decade, Harold continued his music ministry for several churches. Once the family relocated to Georgia in 1993, Harold moved into the business world and worked as a mortgage underwriter for the majority of his career at HomeBanc. After retirement from the mortgage industry, Harold worked as an actor in a number of film projects, including Footloose (2011), Second Wind (winner of the 2014 Georgia Short Film Series Award), Blues for Willadean, The Anna Nicole Story, Inheritance Italian Style, and Joyful Noise. He also loved performing as the mob boss and other fascinating characters in murder mystery dinner theatres in the Atlanta area. Most recently, Harold worked as a security guard at Coosawatte River Resort in Ellijay, Georgia. Harold loved the North Georgia mountains and dearly treasured his "tiny" cabin that was a constant source of projects. He could build anything he set his heart on - just like his daddy. As a result, he and Jillian were constantly watching HGTV together for new ideas, but mainly to critique other people's ideas. Harold was so artistic and musically gifted, and the times he sat down to play the piano just for the dogs will be sorely missed. Harold is survived by his daughter and the light of his life, Jillian Noel Farley, his best friend and beloved wife of 39 years, Cheryl Deshone Farley, and several loving cousins scattered across Texas. Harold was preceded in passing by his mother, Ruby Lee Upchurch Farley, and father, Edward May Farley. In lieu of flowers, there are two families serving in Southeast Asia that are dear to our hearts, the Howards and the Lanfords. To honor Harold by a donation to these ministries, please use PayPal (JillianFarley@Outlook.com). Please designate which family you would like to receive your gift if you have a preference.
Margaret Julian “Juli” Smith McDonald, BSEd ’78, of Forney, TX, died Feb. 11. Juli passed from this life on February 11, 2019. She was born on July 3, 1956 in Dallas, TX. She was preceded in death by her father, James R. Smith, Sr. She is survived by her husband, Sam Mc-Donald of Forney, children O’Brien McDonald (Carrie) of Forney, Deidra McDonald Ruchaber (Mitch) of Forney, Sean McDonald (Shannon) of Dallas, and Lesley McDonald Pennington (Ryan) of Forney; grandchildren Ayden and Paige McDonald, Cooper and Lilly Ruchaber, and Boyd and Samantha Pennington. She is also survived by her mother Margaret T. Smith of Forney, sister Janna Smith Dobbs of Forney, brother Richard Smith, Jr. of Forney and numerous nieces and nephews. Juli graduated from Forney High School as Salutatorian in 1974. She attended Baylor University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1978. She married the love of her life, Sam McDonald, on January 11, 1981. They have resided in Forney all their married life. Juli worked for several Dallas law firms throughout a 40 year career in the legal industry until her retirement from Jones Day Law Firm in 2018. She is also a contributing Author for MTS Publications. Juli loved her family, Nascar and reading books, books, books and more books. In Lieu of a traditional funeral we are having a celebration of life Saturday the 23rd at 814 South Bois d Arc, Forney, TX 75126 at 3pm.