Michael Howard Cooper, BSEd ’80, of McGregor, TX, beloved husband and father, went peacefully to be with his Lord on Jan. 31, 2019. Funeral services were held on Feb. 4, 2019, at Crestview Church of Christ. Interment followed at Oakwood Cemetery in Waco. Michael was born Oct. 11, 1955, to Howard and Jan Cooper in Gatesville and grew up in Robinson and graduated from Robinson High School. He graduated from Baylor University in 1980 and spent his career at Midway ISD where he was an elementary physical education teacher, middle school girls’ coach, a middle school assistant principal and principal, and then finally a principal at Woodway Elementary where he stayed for 20 years. He loved his teachers and students and families and always felt richly blessed to be a part of their lives. However, his family always came first and he was a wonderful husband and father. His favorite Bible verse was Hebrews 13:8 which states, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” This brought him great comfort during his long fight with brain cancer. Mike was baptized at the age of 14 at Robinson Church of Christ and then placed membership at Crestview Church of Christ as an adult. He greatly enjoyed his time as a Life Group Leader and appreciates how members enriched his life. Mike is survived by his mother, Jan Manning of Gatesville, and his mother-in-law, Lavern Rusk of Woodway. He is also survived by his wife, Cheryl Cooper, his children and their spouses; Candice Weiss-Cooper and Frank Weiss, Colleen and Mark Ducklow, and daughter Carrie Cooper and fiancé, Chad Rose. He is also survived by his brother, Brian Keith Cooper and sister Michele Cooper, brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Cherryl Rusk, along with numerous nieces and nephews. The family wishes to thank Bluebonnet Healthcare, the whole Midway community and Crestview Church of Christ for supporting us during this lengthy illness. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Crestview Church of Christ food bank or the Midway ISD Education Foundation or the American Cancer Society.
James Ernest Cummins, JD ’80, of Corsicana, TX, went to be with the Lord Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019 at age 90. He was born on June 5, 1928 in Rice to Marvin Ernest and Jimmie Leona Mahaley Cummins. Upon graduation from Rice High School in 1945, James served in the U.S. Navy during World War II on the battleship U.S.S. Iowa. He went on to earn a Bachelor’s of Science Degree with honors, in agricultural education from Texas A&M University, class of 1949. He also earned a Master's of Science Degree from East Texas State University in 1954. After retiring from public education, he earned a J.D. from Baylor University in 1980 and became a member of the Texas State Bar. He remained active in his law practice in Corsicana for 39 years, until his death. He was preceded in death by his parents and son James Randall Cummins. He is survived by his wife, Helga Cummins; his brother John Richard (Joan) Cummins; children, Cheryl Nan (Glen) Kitchens and Rodric Ernest (Connie) Cummins; daughter-in-law Kay Cummins; five grandchildren, Jill (Morgan) Ephlin, Shelley (Jordan) Golden, Meghan (Jared) Mazzola, Joni (Randall) Heye, and Taylor (Cayla) Cummins; and eight great grandchildren.
Michael Glenn Jones, BBA ’81, of Satin, TX, was born on November 27, 1953 to the parents of Lawrence and Juanita Jones. He attended Rockdam School through the 7th grade. During integration, he transferred to Chilton ISD. As a student at Chilton High School, he was President of his Senior class, Vice President of the Student Council, on the Honor Society in his Junior and Senior year and was honored in “Who’s Who in American High Schools.” He won Impromptu Speaking for District and Regional UIL, won the Lone Star FFA judging competition, was co-editor of the year book and voted most friendly and most dependable in High School. He attended McLennan Community College and was then awarded a scholarship to Baylor University. Mike graduated from Baylor University with a major in political science and a minor in business administration. He married Janice Kelly in 1986. During his marriage, he became an active Jaycee. His employment includes the Heart of Texas Council of Government, McLennan Community College and US Postal Service. His father and brother Alvie Kenneth Jones precede him in death. He is survived by his mother Juanita Jones and three sisters, Marilynn Jones of Waco, Texas, Charlotte Jones of Golinda, Texas, Juann Jones of Bedford, Texas, and Sandra Martin of Golinda, Texas, aunts, an uncle, a great uncle, and nieces, nephews, and cousins.
James Dempsey Speer, BS ’80, of Corpus Christi, TX, died Apr. 7. He was born on December 29, 1956 to Janice Webb and Claude Speer. He graduated from Baylor University in 1980 and he received his Doctoral Degree in 1985 from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. He opened his own practice, Sunshine Dental Center, in 1992. He loved his patients, often forming a special bond with each of them while providing excellent dental care to all who entered his doors. Dempsey enjoyed being outdoors, especially BBQing, hunting and fishing with his friends and family. He will also be remembered for his love of Christ, devotion to family and gentle, caring nature. He served as a Deacon at Southcrest Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Buddy Murphrey. He deeply cherished the many close friends made at this church. He also loved serving the Lord in the Bill Glass Prison Ministry by witnessing to those who did not know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. James Dempsey Speer is survived by Diana, his devoted wife of 38 years, his 2 loving daughters, Sheila and Tara, his mother, Janice Webb and father, Claude Speer, 2 brothers, Dewayne Speer and Michael Haines and his adoring sister, Roseanna Speer, along with many extended family members who dearly loved him. A visitation will be held on Thursday, April 11, 2019 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM at Seaside Funeral Home. A Funeral Service will be held Friday, April 12, 2019 at 1:00 P.M. in Seaside Funeral Home Chapel. Interment to follow in Seaside Memorial Park.
A. David Hale, BBA ’83, of The Woodlands, TX, died Mar. 22.
Frank W. Mitchell, JD ’84, of Las Vegas, NV, age 61, passed away March 16, 2019 of cancer. Frank was born in Anaconda, MT on June 28, 1957 to Fergus and Louise Mitchell. He spent ten years in Anaconda, MT and later moved to Great Falls, MT in 1967. Frank graduated from C.M.R. High School in 1975 and went to University of Mt. In Missoula, MT for a two years on a debate scholarship. Later moved on to University of Utah where he received his B.A. Degree in 1979. Frank received a grant to Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, North Carolina, where he received his Master's Degree in 1981. Frank received his law degree from Baylor in Waco, TX in 1984. Frank married Melissa Matheny in 1984, who passed away in Nov. 2007 in Houston, TX. She was the love of his life and was so missed. Frank practiced law in Austin and Houston, TX for over twenty years then later moved to Las Vegas, NV where he had his law practices for ten years, until his death. Frank was a collector of many books and he enjoyed traveling in the U.S. and in Europe with Melissa and Delia. He enjoyed reading and baseball. As a child, he loved doing magic tricks and enjoyed swimming. Frank is survived by his daughter, Delia Maria; mother, Louise Mitchell; brother, John Mitchell (married to Carey Hughes); his sister, Margaret Mitchell (Louis Ippolito); sister-in-law, Melane (Mark) Ralston; nieces, Adreanna and Tesla; and nephews, Andrew and Evan. His father, Fergus, passed away Oct. 2016. Cremation has taken place and celebration of life will be held later this year in Great Falls, MT.
Marla Wells Jones, JD ’86, of The Woodlands, TX, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on April 19, 2019 following a courageous fight with cancer. She was 58. Born in Augusta, GA on August 26, 1960, Marla was the oldest child of Dewayn Carter and Merle Dunn. In 1962, Marla and her family returned to Canton, Texas. She graduated Canton High School, and received a basketball scholarship to Weatherford Community College. She completed her undergraduate degree at Texas A&M receiving a BBA in accounting. Marla then pursued a law degree at Baylor University. Marla began her law career at Jackson Walker in 1986. In 1997, Marla began working for Anadarko Petroleum Corporation where she met her husband, Randle. Throughout her career, Marla built a reputation that would be characterized as honorable, trustworthy, and dependable. Marla had a generous and loving nature, ceaselessly thinking of new ways to help her friends and family. More than anything, she will be remembered for her remarkable talent and her peerless work ethic, the combination of which allowed her to achieve success far beyond the norm and earn the respect of anyone that knew her. She loved entertaining family and friends at home in The Woodlands, as well as at her and Randle's ranch in Rockdale. She was an avid reader and traveler and loved trying new wines and foods. A couple of her favorite places to visit were Napa, California, and New York City. Marla is preceded in death by her dad, Dewayn Carter, and brother, Kelly Carter. Marla is survived by her husband, Randle Jones, children Christopher and Mitchell Price and Allie Jones, parents Merle and Howard Dunn, brothers Bret and Matt Dunn and Scott Carter, and many nieces, nephews, and extended family. Marla had family and many wonderful friends in The Woodlands and in Canton, and as an accommodation to everyone there will be a memorial service on April 25th at 10:00 a.m. at The Woodlands United Methodist Church and on April 26th at approximately 2:00 p.m. at the Eubank Funeral Home in Canton, TX.
James “Jimmy” L. Magers, BA ’87, age 56, born in San Antonio, Texas on November 20, 1962, passed away suddenly in Lawrence, Massachusetts on February 27, 2019. Jimmy was the youngest child of Lawrence M. Magers and Gail E. Magers. He was raised in Houston, Texas, and had recently moved to Massachusetts, with his wife, Ingrid Dichoso. Jimmy attended South Houston High School before attending Baylor University. After graduation with a B.A. in Political Science, he later attended and graduated from South Texas College of Law with a JD. His law career included work in contracts, insurance, and criminal defense. Jimmy was an avid follower of car racing. He especially enjoyed Formula I races, and could be found at various racetracks around the country. He was also fond of traveling, skiing, and listening to live music. Jimmy is survived by his wife, Ingrid;, his father, Larry Magers; sisters Connie Pratt, Judy Scholz (Tom), Sandy Briggs; nieces Brooke Wilson, Danielle Wilson; nephew Jon Briggs (Melissa) and great-niece Cecilia Briggs. Visitation will be held Monday March 4, 2019 from 6 to 8 pm, at Crowder Funeral Home, 111 Medical Center Blvd., Webster, Texas. A memorial service is to be held at the same location on March 5, 2019 at 11 am. A private burial will be held at a later date.
Connie Wiggs Walker, BSCS '87, of Houston, TX died January 29, 2019. After a long fight with brain cancer, Connie Lynne Walker passed away in her Houston home the morning of January 29, 2019. Surrounded by her husband and daughters at her time of death, her family is now rejoicing that her suffering is over and that she is at home with Jesus. She is preceded in death by her father and mother, Lawrence Edwin (Larry) and Betty Chloe Wiggs, sister Sharon and niece Jennifer. She is survived by her husband James, daughters Allison and Lindsey, brother Larry M Wiggs and wife Betty J of Grand Prairie, niece Julie Liming and husband Garrett of Austin, and the many, many people she loved and considered family. Born in Dallas on April 19, 1965, Connie would go on to graduate from Grand Prairie High School as Salutatorian and Baylor University with a Bachelor’s degree in computer science. After graduation, she began an 8-year career in her field eventually moving from Grand Prairie to Houston. It was at Baylor that she would meet the love of her life, her best friend James. That friendship would continue to fuel a beautiful marriage of 29 years and produce two daughters, whom she loved so well. Connie adored life and lived it with the belief that “God is present!” in all circumstances. She wanted God to receive glory through all that was allowed in her life and for God’s will to be done. She believed that “it is the small, faithful, routine events of each day that form our faithful lives”. Connie poured her heart and soul into being a Godly wife and mom, taking care of a home that she filled with laughter, cooking, friends, cooking, scripture, and cooking. Over the years she invested her talents and energy into Pre-School Sunday School, PTA, Girl Scouts, maintaining and organizing Celebration costumes and serving as a Houston’s First supporting seamstress. Connie especially loved to serve at the Spring Branch Faith Center sorting the baby clothes with joy. She lived out for her daughters every day what a faithful, loving, fun, capable and joyful woman was. Her greatest joy was watching them grow into beautiful women, finding their unique paths into their future. Connie ministered to her extended family in the same way: fully and without reservation. Her extended family was precious to her, and she loved them dearly. She acted on her faith with expressions of love in the form of hugs, rides, meals, visits and, most of all, her prayers and scripture. Combining His Word with encouragement such as “Trusting God is as easy as 1-2-3”, “Luvin that hug! Back at you!” or “Thank you, God has got this!” was common and conveyed her deep love of God and her love for you. We know with absolute certainty that today Connie is standing strong and joyful in the presence of her awesome, Holy God. Today and for the rest of eternity she is loving and praising the One who loved us and gave Himself for us, still lifting us up before God and encouraging us to do the same. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Bible Project (thebibleproject.com) or the HFBC Faith Center (713-681-8000).
Bobby Wayne Hall, BA ’88, MSEd ’95, a longtime Waco resident, died Oct. 3, 2018.