1930s and '40s
Allie Mae Burt Woodard, AB ’35, of Waco passed away Sunday, July 28, 2019. Graveside services will be 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, July 31, at Oakwood Cemetery, with the Rev. Lynda McGee and James Bethany officiating. Visitation will be 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, July 31, prior to the service, at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home. A reception at 2617 Lake Air Blvd, Waco, will follow the graveside services. She was born December 31, 1913, in Erath, Texas, to Thomas Andrew Burt and Lillie Johnson Burt on a farm that she still owns and has been in her family for over 100 years. She attended school in a one-room schoolhouse in Erath until she entered Sanger Elementary in Waco for the third grade, where she had the principal Miss Nina Glass. Her parents rented a place from the H.S. Beard family where she stayed in town during the week, and returned to the farm on the weekends. Her father returned to the country to work each day. Mr. Beard was the superintendent of the McLennan County schools at that time. Allie attended North Junior and graduated from Waco High School. Then she lived in the country and drove to Baylor until she graduated in 1936. She was influenced by every class that she could take from Dr. Lorena Stretch, whom she quotes to this day. Allie Mae majored in English and French and took all the classes for a Master's degree but never took the time to write her thesis. Allie Mae has flung her green and gold afar and supported Baylor through the years. Allie's teaching career started in Bruceville-Eddy, where she taught elementary and lived with Mr. and Mrs. Adair and Miss Zora Kincannon. She met so many wonderful families and loved her students. She still remembers their names and experiences they shared. Later she taught at Alta Vista and had many more meaningful students and their families who still stand out in her memories. Along the way, she worked for her dear Migel family, who were childless and treated her as their own on her time off from school. Mr. Migel had known her family for years, and he took her to Toy Land at Christmas and let her play as long as she liked with any and everything. He had no children so he treated Allie Mae as a daughter and brought her gifts from all his travels. He took her to Baylor games and the Cotton Palace and various other places. Allie Mae worked for Mr. V.M. Cox, and he let her come to work whenever she wished and worked for as long as she wanted. Although she loved teaching and her students, she wanted to do more during World War II and worked at Blackland Air Base. She was in charge of supplies and met many many fliers who were in and out of the field. One day, one of the other ladies in the supply department asked her if she would like to learn to fly a plane. Of course, Allie Mae was interested so they took flying lessons and she soloed and got her license. She was prepared to ferry planes if her husband, Nelson, was taken into service. But, because Nelson farmed, he never was inducted into the service. She did love to fly. In 1949, she had a daughter, Betsy, and got involved in being the best mother ever. During Betsy's school days, Allie Mae became an important part of Lake Waco Elementary PTA through Richfield and became a Room Mother for every elementary grade. She was always there for field trips and whatever needed to be done. Allie Mae was active throughout Betsy's school years. She helped with the development of the Women's Division Building of the Heart of Texas Fair. Allie Mae served as Superintendent of the Women's division and worked relentlessly with the development of the Women's Division into its prime with various demonstrations and style shows and many many prize winners in every department. The Youth Division grew so much, they eventually moved into their own building at the HOT Fair. She was very influential in this growth with many other hardworking ladies. She has served on the board of the Salvation Army and taught Sunday School at Bosqueville United Methodist Church and served as recording secretary for many years. Allie Mae bought a lake house on Cedar Creek Lake in 1971, after many camping and boating trips to Lake Waco. She lived in Enchanted Oaks off and on for 30 years and still loved her house there. She made some very special friends in East Texas after living in Waco all her life. Last year, she was honored in Austin by Todd Staples, Texas Commissioner of Agriculture for the 37th Designated Family Land Heritage Property 100 years of agriculture by the same family – Johnson Burt Woodard Property – "Hilltop Farm". Allie Mae had been involved with agriculture all her life and a protector of land. She was forever making improvements on her property working with the United States Department of Agriculture to help get rid of the boll weevils in cotton, improve seeds, encouraging her renters to use good equipment, building terraces, cleaning ditches and cutting cedar posts from her land to build fences. She read and kept up with the latest farm information. Allie Mae did crosswords in ink and read the paper from cover to cover. She made wise investments and was always planning for future improvements. Her mother once told her, "Allie Mae, you think you can do anything". And truth be told…she did! Happy, happy birthday to someone who saw so many changes in her life and adjusted to the future with bright eyes, looking forward to tomorrow. She is survived by her daughter, Betsy Mae Woodard. Honorary pallbearers will be Gilbert Adam, Dr. Scott Jones, Newman Copeland and Tom McNamara. The family wishes to thank Tiffany Nino of Providence Home Health for her wonderful care of Allie Mae. Memorials may be made to JDRF, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 26 Broadway, 14th Floor, New York, New York, 10004, or the charity of your choice. The family invites you to leave a message or memory on our "Tribute Wall" at www.WHBfamily.com.
Ollie Mae Reneau Mann, BA ’39, was a proud member of the Golden Wave Band and enthusiastic Baylor football booster. She was an elementary school teacher until her retirement when she moved to Napa, CA. She passed on July 23, 2019 at 101 years old. She is rejoicing with her Lord.
Jeane Helen Church Buldain, AB ’40, of Albuquerque, NM, died Friday, July 12, 2019, one day after her 100th birthday. She is survived by her son, Paul Buldain and his wife Jerrie; daughter, Susan Jaschke and her husband Chrys; daughter, Martha Buldain; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Her last birthday was attended by her immediate family and 2 nieces, from Texas, to be with their beloved Aunt Jeane. Jeane was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived there with her parents and 4 siblings, with whom she had inseparable bonds, until they moved to Waco, Texas. Jeane attended and graduated from Baylor University. At Baylor she met and fell in love with George Buldain. Days after they graduated, they were married and remained together for over 55 years, until George's death in 1996. In their lives, George's career in the FBI led them to assignments in Puerto Rico, New York, and Deming, New Mexico, where Jeane taught 2nd grade. Though they intended to retire to San Antonio, Texas, the allure of New Mexico prevailed and, ultimately, they moved to Albuquerque in 1971, where Jeane established numerous friendships. Jeane was an avid reader and formed the Four Hills Neighbors book club. She also loved to play bridge and she was pretty darned good! She loved to travel, not only with George, but with many of her friends after his death. Her children will attest to their love of her cherry pie "best cherry pie west of the Mississippi!" Jeane was an adventurous soul, always willing to seek new experiences. Her caring and non-judgmental nature were admired by all in her family. The family would like to express deepest gratitude to the staff at Elmcroft Senior Living, in Albuquerque, where they provided loving care for Jeane for over 5 years. A special thank you must also be made to Ambercare, who made Jeane very comfortable during her last few weeks. And finally, a very special thanks to Lois Sanchez who served as Jeane's personal caregiver for several years. There will be a private service at Santa Fe National Cemetery, at a later date. She will be laid to rest next to her husband, George. We will all miss Jeane's uplifting and loving spirit, her intelligence, and easy laughter, and her beautiful, blue, smiling eyes. Please visit our online guestbook for Jeane at www.FrenchFunerals.com.
Ernest C. Jett, BBA ’41, of Winnsboro, Texas passed away after a well lived life on July 11, 2019. He was 99. Ernest was a man of faith and a good friend to many. Mr. Jett graduated from Baylor University in 1941 with a B.B.A. He served during World War II as a first lieutenant in the Army Air Corps and was honorably discharged in 1945. Mr. Jett went on to work as a comptroller for over 40 years with Exxon Mobil. He served as a deacon at the First Baptist Church in Tyler and was currently a member of the First Baptist Church of Winnsboro. Ernest was also a member of Hawaii Baptist Academy Mainland Advisory Council. Mr. Jett was born on April 11, 1920 in Dayton, Texas to Willis Warren Jett and Laura (Frazier) Jett. He was preceded in death by his parents and first wife Mary Jett in 2008. Ernest is survived by his wife Burnell Jett, son Ernest Jett, Jr. and wife Janene, son David Jett and wife Gail, step-son Jimmy Hutcherson, step-daughter Sylvia Maddox and husband Peter, step-daughter Sharon Gorham and husband George, 14 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and numerous other family. The family will receive friends for a time of visitation at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, July 16th at the First Baptist Church of Winnsboro, followed by the funeral at 11:00 a.m. with Dr. David Rose officiating. Interment with military honors will occur at Cathedral in the Pines at 3:00 p.m. the same day.
Gloria Griffin Bagwell, BA ’42, of Ashville, NC, passed away on May 15, 2019 at 99 years old in the excellent medical hands of Care Partners Hospice Solace Center. Gloria is survived by her husband of seventy three years, Jack Bagwell (from Fairview), her daughters Beth Bagwell Pappas and her husband, John and Anna Bagwell Arnold and her husband, Frank. She is also survived by her sister Johanna Griffin Shirey, by her grandson, Jake Arnold, and granddaughter, Jeana Arnold Bush, and Jeana's daughters Olivia and Lucy Bush. Gloria grew up in San Antonio, Texas and graduated from Baylor University in 1942. She graduated from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1947 where she met the love of her life, Jack. Gloria was a gifted teacher in schools in Asheville, Drexel, Raleigh, and Nashville, Tennessee. Her God given gifts of infinite love and compassion made her a wonderful wife, mother, teacher and friend. Gloria has spent her life serving the Lord and now joins her parents, her daughter, Linda Dawn Bagwell, and brothers Hampton and Deel Griffin in heaven. The service celebrating Gloria's life will be held at 2 pm on Saturday, June 8th in Crouch Chapel at First Baptist Church, Asheville. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Academy for the Arts at First Baptist Church of Asheville. The address of the church is 5 Oak Street, Asheville, N.C. 28801.
Ira Omar Harvey Jr., ’42, of Dallas was born to Ira Oma Harvey, Sr. and Martha Rebecca Bibby Harvey in Goldthwaite, Texas, October 4, 1920, and died June 6, 2019. Omar told everyone he met that he was the most fortunate person they would ever know and lived as if he was. He traveled extensively yet always defined himself as a Goldthwaite country boy. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ira Oma and Martha Rebecca Harvey, Sr., a sister, Lilla Harvey Boogher and brothers Weyman Julius Harvey and Earl Eugene Harvey who died defending his country in World War II in Schneiden, Germany. Omar was a graduate of Goldthwaite High School, attended Baylor University and The University of Texas. He met the love of his life, Dorothy Page, in 1939 and married July 27, 1940. Omar loved his Lord and his family. He often said, “The Bible teaches to train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” But it doesn’t say what he will do in the meantime. Omar said, “I’m afraid I lived too much of my life in the meantime.” He is survived by his wife of 79 years; two daughters, Martha Payne Shaw, husband George Fletcher and Carol Harvey Ellis and husband, Michael Ellis. He was blessed with grandchildren, Gregory Thomas Payne, wife, Robyn, Alysha Payne Godfrey, husband, Ben, David Lee Harvey Payne, wife, Heather, Robert Omar Alexander, wife Sarah, Meredith Alexander Torcasi, husband, Sean and Brooke Alexander Chambers, her husband, Matthew, Jessica, and Lauren Fletcher. Great-Grandchildren adding joy to his life are Brandon Thomas Payne, Reid and Ryder Pekowski, Abigale, Emily, Rebecca, Grace, Paige, and Lily Godfrey, Caroline Chambers, Maren, and Coen Mahoney, Nora and Miles Torcasi, David Gilbert and Calum Payne and Alice Fletcher Dove. Omar served with the Pacific Overseas Air Technical Command during WWII, partnered in the Texan Café in Austin, owned Harvey’s Variety Store in Goldthwaite, achieved executive positions with IBM working with Chairman of the Board of Directors & CEO, Thomas. J. Watson, Jr. and served as Executive Vice President, First National Bank in Dallas. He chaired Bill Clements’ campaign for Governor of Texas, was Director of Community Affairs, the Committee on Aging and Housing, Chairman of the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Criminal Justice, Director of Special Events for the Boy Scouts of America, National Office, consultant to Trammell Crow to construct and lease the Informant, Chairman and CEO of Stockton Saving Association, Dallas, Texas as well as Commodore Saving and helped form Bluebonnet Savings. He spent twenty years as an independent business consultant. Community involvement included Chairman of Board of Trustees, Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Vice Chairman of Baylor University, participated in the Executive in Residence at the Hankamer School of Business in Waco, President of Circle Ten Council, Boy Scouts of America, member of the Dallas Citizen’s Council, The Salesmanship Club of Dallas, Chairman of the Byron Nelson Golf Tournaments, Life Deacon and Chairman of the Personnel Committee, Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas, President of The Rotary Club of Dallas, Membership Chairman, Dallas Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the Board of Offenders’ Preparation and Education Network (OPEN, Inc.). He was a 32 Degree Mason, a 60-year and Life Member of Lonnie Daylight Masonic Lodge in San Antonio and of the Scottish Rite Temple in Dallas, Honorary Alumnus of Baylor University in Waco and Life Member of the Baylor Alumni Association, recipient of the Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver, Silver Antelope, Good Shepherd Awards and Baylor University Health Care System Wings of Eagles. Omar’s Memorial Celebration of Life Service will be held Sunday, June 9, 2019 with visitation at 2 pm and Memorial Service at 3 pm. The service will be held at Restland Funeral Home 13005 Greenville Avenue Dallas Texas. The Reverend Jack Martin will officiate.
Margaret E. Evans, BA ’45, of Fort Worth passed April 19, 2019. Service: Memorial service to be held at a later date.
Ethel R. “Lillie” DeLaurentis, BSN ’46, of Stone Harbor, NJ, passed away on May 11, 2019 at age 94. We wanted to spend one more Mother's Day with her, but she was anxious to be reunited with her beloved husband and our dear dad, Joe, who left us in November. We are consoled by the knowledge that they are together again, sitting side by side, watching over us. Lil, as she was known to everyone since her nursing student days at Baylor University School of Nursing in Dallas, Texas, met Joe on a blind date when he was a medical student at Southwestern University Medical School in Dallas, and thus began a long and happy life that led to four children, 12 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and weekly family dinners that kept us all nurtured and enriched in body and soul. Lil was the absolute best mother and grandmother and we were blessed to have had so many years with her. Her family was what she was most proud of, but she had many other accomplishments. She was a registered nurse, and along with Joe often provided emergency medical treatment to everyone in the neighborhood. She volunteered for the Women's Auxiliary of the Delaware Medical Association, Opera Delaware, and every school event that needed organizing. She was always into fitness, long before it was fashionable, and became an aerobics instructor in her 50s. She was a guide at Hagley Museum, a job she loved for 30 years, retiring when she and Joe became "Snow Birds" and moved to Florida for the winters. We are certain that she knew more about the DuPont Family than many of the actual family members. After moving to Florida, Lil and Joe continued to spend summers in Stone Harbor, NJ where they had a home for 52 years. Our family memories of time spent with them in our collective favorite place on earth will sustain us until we join them in heaven. Lil will be missed by her loving family: daughters Justina Pedante (Domenic), Donna DeLaurentis (Richard Fischer), Gilda Gallo (Clarence), and David DeLaurentis; grandchildren Andrea Sereni, Mark Pedante (Emily), Leanne Pedante (Miles Cooper Seaton), Thomas John Shopa, Jr. (Valeriya), Cara Shopa Duncan, Timothy Shopa (Laura), Nicholas Shopa (Mark Goethals), Nicole Leitner (Benton), Joseph Gallo, Max Gallo, Benjamin DeLaurentis, and Christina DeLaurentis; great-grandchildren Bruno, George, and Bernard Shopa, and Cary Pedante; sister Pauline Henderson and nephews Robert Henderson, Michael Henderson (Sheila), Mark Henderson (Patty), Donald Henderson (Sherrie), and Donna Henderson Fore (Jeff). Our sincere thanks to the staff at Rockland Place who have become like family to us these last two years. Words cannot express our gratitude for the love and care they gave both mom and dad, and all of us, during these last precious years with them. We'd also like to thank Seasons Hospice for taking care of mom in her final hours. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, May 20 at 10:30am at St. Joseph on the Brandywine Catholic Church, with visitation from 9:30m to 10:30am. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, please contribute to a charity of your choice. For online condolences, please visit chandlerfuneralhome.com
Mary Louise Gettys Woodruff, BA ’46, of Decatur, TX, passed from this life Thursday, May 23, 2019 in Fort Worth after a brief illness. She was 93. A Memorial Service and celebration of life is planned Saturday, June 29 at 10:30AM at the Decatur Conference Center. Mary Louise was born on August 27, 1925 to C.T. and Albert (Walker) Gettys in Fort Worth. She was united in marriage to W. B. Woodruff, Jr. (who shared her date of birth) on November 1, 1947 in Decatur. She graduated from Decatur High School in 1942, Decatur Baptist College in 1944, Baylor University with a BA in History in 1946 and received her Master’s of Arts Degree in History from the University of North Texas in 1952. She taught history at Decatur Baptist College from 1953 to 1958 and was one of the last known surviving teacher/staff member of that institution. She owned and operated a local fabric and sewing shop called Fabric Fashions in Decatur from 1957 to 1963. Her varied interests included gardening, astronomy, astrology, ancient civilizations and handwriting analysis. She spent decades studying genealogy and traveling coast to coast researching her family history in countless state archives, cemeteries and libraries, becoming acquainted with distant relatives particularly in North Carolina, and eventually authoring numerous books on her families' roots. These volumes provide an invaluable source of information for her relatives and later generations. Her desire to learn and to teach never ceased. She received the Decatur Distinguished Service Award from Dallas Baptist University in 2011 and just last month received their first ever 75th Anniversary Alumnus recognition. She was a former member of the Decatur Woman's Club and belonged to a local Bridge Club for 50 years. She was a beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt and friend, and was always ready for visit or a competitive game of Dominoes or Cards. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 70 years, W.B. Woodruff, Jr.; her brother, Charles T. (“Tom”) Gettys and her great-grandson Drew Glosson. Those left behind to cherish her memory are her 3 sons, Martin Woodruff and wife Jana, Mason Woodruff and wife Karen, and Tim Woodruff and wife Joylynn, all of Decatur; her 2 daughters, Nannette Williams and husband Kevin of Denton, and Nola Cocanougher and husband Daniel of Lake Bridgeport; 13 grandchildren and step-grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren and one on the way; her sister, Margaret Ann Cude and husband Mel of Decatur; numerous nieces, nephews, and a host of friends. The family wishes to thank the staff of Governor's Ridge Assisted Living Center in Decatur for the friendship and care they have shown the family over the past 18 months.
Nelda Faye Barnes, BA ’47, age 92, passed away quietly on June 20, 2019 in Round Rock. Ms. Barnes was the daughter of Henry Jackson and Opal Esdelle (Bussell) Brooks of El Dorado, Arkansas. She is preceded in death by James William Barnes, her husband of 66 years, who passed away in 2013. Ms. Barnes was a graduate of Baylor University and received a Master's Degree in Education from the University of Arkansas. She taught social studies in the El Dorado, Arkansas and Texarkana, Texas School Districts before moving to Austin and working for the Texas Education Agency. A lifelong Baptist, Ms. Barnes was a member of First Austin Church. She was an avid reader and especially enjoyed her plants and pets. She became addicted to watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune after her retirement. Ms. Barnes is survived by her brother, Larry Brooks of Austin; daughter, Marsha Kay Schwartz of Georgetown; son, James Randal Barnes of Round Rock; daughter-in-law, Angela Barnes of Round Rock; grandchildren, Kevin Schwartz of Georgetown, Krista Gronniger of Austin, Alexandra Ohlendorf of Austin, and Andrew Barnes of The Woodlands; and six great-grandchildren. The family would like to acknowledge the staff at Franklin Park in Round Rock and Encompass Health for the care and compassion given to Ms. Barnes. Family and friends are invited to a visitation to be held from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at Cook-Walden Davis Funeral Home in Georgetown. A graveside service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 27, 2019 at Arlington Memorial Park Cemetery in El Dorado, Arkansas. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Austin Humane Society. To share words of comfort and memories of Ms. Barnes with her family, please visit www.cookwaldendavisfuneralhome.com.
Sue Wegenhoft Briscoe, BBA ’47, of Eagle Lake, TX, died July 28. She was born in Rock Island, TX on December 9, 1926 to Oscar and Elsie Wright Wegenhoft. Her family has lived in Colorado County for generations. Sue is survived by her brother Bill Wegenhoft, one niece Cindy Moran, two nephews Curt Wegenhoft and Carl Wegenhoft, great niece Rachel Wegenhoft and great nephews William, Elliott and Mitch. She will be greatly missed by her family and many, many friends. She has touched each one of them in a special way during her life. Sue graduated from high school at San Marcos Baptist Academy as Valedictorian and continued her education at Baylor University receiving a BBA Degree with a major in accounting. She continued her studies at the University of Texas where she received a Masters of Business Administration Degree with a major in accounting and law. In 1951, Sue received her certificate as a Certified Public Accountant. In 1979, she was appointed by the Governor of Texas as the first woman CPA to ever serve on the Texas State Board of Public Accounting for a six-year term. She was appointed County Auditor of Colorado County and served in that capacity from 1951 until December 1954. During that time, she served as a state officer of the County Auditor's Association of Texas. In 1954, she resigned as County Auditor and went into public accounting. She owned her own firm from 1954 until 1979, when she retired. From 1954 until 1979, Sue was active in the accounting profession. She was a member of the American Society of Women Accountants and served that organization as National Director for two years; National Treasurer for one year, and was National Vice President for one year. She was asked to be National President by that organization in 1956, but declined because of the large accounting practice she was carrying at that time. During this time, Sue was a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants. In 1958, she was in the first edition of Who's Who of American Women. She was in the twelfth edition of the World Who's Who in Commerce and Industry. In 1962, she was in the publication Texas Women of Distinction. Sue was actively involved in the Republican Party for many years. She was a delegate from Colorado County to the State Republican Convention in 1968 through 1978. She was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1972 and 1976. She served as Committee Woman to the State Republican Executive Committee for ten years prior to serving on the SREC. She served as State Treasurer of the Texas Federation of Republican Women from January 1968 through September 1970. Sue was a member of the First Baptist Church in Columbus, Texas. She served on the Board of Trustees of San Marcos Baptist Academy from 1981 to 1990. She was very interested in traveling, having made two trips around the world. The first trip was in 1964 north of the equator and the second in 1980 south of the equator. She hunted in East Africa in 1967. Her favorite places were Hawaii, New Zealand and Switzerland. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 from 10:00 am to 11:00 am at the First Baptist Church in Columbus, Texas. The funeral service will follow at 11:00 am with Rev. Victor Morrison officiating. Burial will follow at Lakeside Cemetery in Eagle Lake, Texas. Serving as pallbearers will be Carl Milentz, Matthew Milentz, Charles Cole, Mike Thompson, Rod Adkins, J.L. Obenhaus, Jon Gregory and Jesse Koch. Memorials may be made to Care Net Pregnancy Center of Central Texas, 1818 Columbus Ave, Waco, TX 76701 or online at www.pregnancycare.org/donate and Sue Briscoe in the comment field.
Grace Gayer Wakefield, BA ’47, of Pineville, LA, was born November 13, 1925 in Fort Worth, Texas and passed away Sunday, July 7, 2019, at Brookdale Alexandria Senior Living. She was 93. She was a native of Groves, Texas. Grace graduated from Baylor University, Class of 1947. It was there that she met her late husband, John Francis Wakefield. After marriage, she became an Army Chaplain's wife and lived in Alabama, Virginia, Germany, Louisiana, and Texas. They were married for 49 years. John Francis passed away in 1996; Grace moved from Wildwood, Texas, to Pineville, Louisiana, where she has lived the past 23 years. Grace was an active member of First Baptist Church in Pineville, Louisiana. She taught Sunday School in the International Ministry Class and was a choir member. Grace was an accomplished organist, pianist, and flautist. In her seventies, she played the flute in the church orchestra. Grace was an avid golfer and loved the competition of a good Scrabble game. Grace was preceded in death by her husband Chaplain (Col.) John F. Wakefield and her son, Thomas (Tommy) Gayer Wakefield; her parents, Dr. Frank L. and Mabel Page Gayer of Groves, Texas; and a sister, Carolyn Gayer Martin of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Grace is survived by her son, John E. Wakefield and wife Kathy Sayer Wakefield of Pineville, Louisiana; three daughters: Sara Charlotte Wenzel and husband Dr. Brian Wenzel of Springhill, Alabama; Carolyn Anne Reid and husband Larry Reid of Alexandria, Louisiana; Patricia Grace Burns and husband A.W. (Buddy) Burns of Rogers, Arkansas. Grandchildren: Ruth Ryland Subramanian, Daniel E. Ryland, Esther Ryland Keul, Rebekah Ryland Brocato, John Michael Ryland, Thomas James (T.J.) Wakefield, Caleb C. Wakefield, Charles Kelsey Wakefield, Dr. Grace M. Wenzel, Anne K. Wenzel, James J. Wenzel, Kristopher W. Burns, Sarah Burns Gray, Amy Wakefield Comeaux, Madison Wakefield Richard and fifteen great grandchildren. Serving as pallbearers were Caleb C. Wakefield, Kristopher W. Burns, John Michael Ryland, Sam F. Brocato II, Charles Kelsey Wakefield, and Taylor Richard. To extend online condolences to the Wakefield family, please visit us at www.hixsonbrothers.com.
Robert Tracey “Bob” Farrall, BA ’48, passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 12, 2019, in Athens, Georgia. Born May 24, 1927, in Washington, D.C., he was the son of the late Victor and Corinne Tracey Farrall. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his brother, John Farrall, and sister-in-law, Dottie Farrall, of McLean, Virginia. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Betty Jane Hammett Farrall, as well as loving cousins, James and Betty Chapman of Newton, Mississippi; Mary Jo and Steve Mickelsen of Tuscaloosa, Alabama; and Marshall McKell of Gloster, Mississippi. He also leaves behind many wonderful church children. Bob earned a Bachelor of Divinity and Music Degree from Baylor University and a Master of Divinity from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. He did post-graduate work at Florida State University and Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland. During his college and post-graduate studies, he was active in solo, opera, and traveling choral groups. Bob's main goal in life was to lead others to worship through music and to sing to the glory of God. In 1954 Bob married Betty Jane Hammett, Religious Education Director of First Baptist Church, Greenville, Mississippi, and together they began their life journeys in making music with children and adults. Moving to Thomasville, Georgia, and making their home, Bob held the position of Minister of Music at First Baptist Churches in both Thomasville, and Valdosta, Georgia. In 1970 he moved to Athens to become the Minister of Music at Athens First Baptist Church, were he served for 25 years. During his tenure at Athens First Baptist, he led three youth choirs on tours of Europe, singing in churches in England, Germany, France, and Italy. In 1977 Bob was recognized in the Marquis Who's Who in Religion for outstanding achievement in his field. Upon retirement, Bob's love for travel and people led him to coordinate many trips throughout the world for senior adults. Bob was an avid gardener, and he and Betty Jane thrived on welcoming visitors to their home and garden. A memorial service will be held at Athens First Baptist church on Thursday, May 16, 2019, at 3 p.m. Dr. Frank Granger, Minister of Christian Community, will officiate. The family will receive friends at the church following the service. In lieu of flowers, contributions designated for the music ministry in Bob's memory may be made to First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 8107, Athens, GA 30603.
Bettye Jane Richardson Green, BM ’48, of Lubbock, TX, formerly of Tahoka, passed away on July 26, 2019 in her home. She was 93. Born in Burkburnett, Texas to Dallas Lee Richardson and Ola Bertha (Clements) Richardson. Bettye married Harold Green on March 22, 1946. Bettye was a Baylor University School of Music graduate. She was a grade school teacher at Waco Independent School District and Tahoka Independent School District. Bettye was also involved with Lynn County Hospital Board of Directors, The American Cancer Society, Lynn County Unit (former vice-president); Boys' Ranch & Girlstown (former board of directors); Phebe K. Warner (former president); TFWC (former district president); GFWC (former president); and the Texas Silver-Haired Legislature (former secretary of criminal justice committee). She was also very involved in the First United Methodist Church of Tahoka and her community in Tahoka, Texas. She is preceded in death by her parents, Dallas and Ola Richardson; brother, D.L. Richardson; and son Richard Harold Green. Bettye is survived by her husband, Harold Green; daughter, Laura Beth (Green) McCleskey; granddaughters, Melissa Beth McCleskey, Jennifer Christin McCleskey, Lacey Lee (McCleskey) Lopez and husband Luis Lopez; grandsons, Richard Harold Green II, Zachary Matthew Green; and five great-grandchildren. Memorial services for Bettye Green will be held August 10th at 2:00 pm at the First United Methodist Church in Tahoka, Texas. Family suggests, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Elaine Geisendorff Fields See, BA ’48, passed away on May 16, 2019 in Baton Rouge at the age of 92. She was born in Baytown, Texas and graduated from R.E. Lee High School and Baylor University. Teaching school was her profession and she educated children in Baton Rouge and Denham Springs, Louisiana, as well as Atlanta, Georgia and the Houston, Texas area. She loved ballroom dancing and was a member of Fellowship Baptist Church. Preceding her in death were her parents, Martin and Ora Geisendorff, brother Martin W. Geisendorff, and sister Loyce G. Hill. She is survived by her daughters, Lauren Fields, Joanna F. Thomas (husband Phil), son Ben J. Fields (California), grandchildren, Scott Thomas (Allain), Jill Thomas and great grandchildren Katherine, Caroline and Camille Thomas. Also survived by nieces Sandy Svobodek, Kim Futrell, Valerie Chueda and nephew, Jeff Geisendorff. Special thanks to Baton Rouge Hospice, neighbor Nicole Skidmore and those who cared for her at Landmark. Memorial service, visitation and reception to be held at Greenoaks Memorial Funeral Home in Baton Rouge on Thursday evening, May 30 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the charity of your choice.
Delona Shiplett, BA ’48, MA ’49, of Waco passed away Monday July 22, 2019, surrounded by his family. He was 97. Graveside services will be 10 am Thursday July 25, at Waco Memorial Park, 6623 S I 35, with Larry Reynolds officiating. The family will receive visitors from 5-7 pm Wednesday July 24, at Pecan Grove Funeral Home, 3124 Robinson Dr. Waco. Delona was born October 10, 1921 to William and Ada (Mink) Shiplett. He served his country in the Army from 1941-1945 during World War II as Military Police in Japan and then the Pacific area in Hawaii. He began a 40-year teaching career in 1949, after graduating with Master Degrees in English and Religion from Baylor. Delona married Alyda M. Groth on January 28, 1950 at Memorial Baptist Church in Waco and they enjoyed 69 wonderful years together. They were blessed with two children, Darrell and Cheryl. He has been a member of Western Heights Church since 1961. Delona enjoyed painting, gardening and being with family, as well as bible school and area small churches. He is preceded in death by his parents; and siblings, Clona, Leona, William, Vira Ellen Berryman, and Ann Cavaness. Delona is survived by his wife Alyda; children, Darrell Shiplett and wife Cheryl Rebecca, and Cheryl Tucker and husband Johnny; brother, Francis and wife Deana; grandchildren, Jarrod Shiplett and wife Suly, Karmae Shiplett, Travis Tucker and wife Karla, Shane Tucker and fiancé Amy, and Holly Tucker; great-grandchild, Joseph, and many nieces and nephews. Honorary pallbearers will be his grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to the Dementia Foundation, your favorite bible school program, or a charity of your choice. The family would like to give a special thanks to Bluebonnet Hospice and Visiting Angels.
Ben Lamoine Smith, BA ’48, age 92, passed away on Sunday, June 16, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. He graduated from Baylor University and served in the United States Airforce. He enjoyed a career as a High School teacher. He was devoted to his faith and enjoyed reading and playing golf. He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy Smith; Ben is survived by his sister, Shirley Stone, (James); daughter, Libby Campany, (George): son, David Smith; daughter, Carrie Rodick, (Frank); He was a loving grandfather and great grandfather and uncle. The family will receive friends beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, July 12, 2019 at Porter Loring Mortuary North. Pastor Randy Houston will officiate. Interment with Military Honors will follow in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Wounded Warrior.
Rev. Clifford DeWitt Johnston, BA ’49, peacefully entered his eternal home Saturday morning, July 13, 2019, at age 92. Clifford was born on July 19, 1926, in Fort Worth, Texas, to Manton DeWitt and Stella Bess Hand Johnston. He married Billie Charline King on August 17, 1951 and had three sons — David, Charles and Michael. Clifford lived his life in faithful service to the Lord as a Baptist pastor serving congregations in Hillsboro, Marfa and Alvin. He and Charline then moved to Arlington, where Clifford was instrumental in starting the chaplaincy program at Medical City Hospital Arlington. He served as chaplain for 20 years. Clifford was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Charline; his brother, Jim; his sister, Dorothy; his granddaughter Alisha; his daughter-in-law Cinde; and his son Michael. He is survived by his sons David (and his wife, Sherrill) and Charles (and his wife, Kathy); his grandson, Daniel (and his wife, Arin); his granddaughter, Abby (and her husband, Blake); and his three great-grandchildren — Nathan, Levi and Alisha Danielle. After graduating from Fort Worth’s Amon Carter Riverside High School, Clifford attended Texas A&M to study civil engineering. He put his studies on hold to enlist in the United States Army Air Force, serving in World War II from 1944 to 1945. After an honorable discharge, he continued his education at Baylor University, obtaining degrees in English and Bible. He went on to receive his Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and later pursued post-graduate studies in counseling and psychology at the University of Houston. His denominational activities included time as the president of District 7 of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (president), director of Paisano Encampment in Alpine, Texas, and dozens of committees at the associational and district level. His service also extended to the communities he served as co-founder and executive board member of a health services program for Alvin Community Health Endeavor, a member of the Alvin Chamber of Commerce, a coach in youth baseball leagues, the first president of Alvin Museum Society and participation in various other community service organizations. Clifford will be remembered as a committed Dallas sports fan; an advocate of dessert after dinner; and a generous, loving son, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Most of all, however, his legacy lives in the uncountable number of lives he touched in service of the Lord. The kingdom is fuller and richer because of Clifford. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, July 17, 6pm to 8pm at Moore Funeral Home (1219 N. Davis Drive, Arlington, TX) with a Service of Celebration of Life at Noon on Thursday, July 18, at First Baptist Church of Arlington (300 S. Center Street, Arlington, TX). The family requests memorials be made to Mission Arlington.
Charles Edward Kennedy, BA ’49, beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather died May 19, 2019 in Abilene, Texas at the age of 95. Funeral services will be held Friday, May 24, 2019 at 10:00 A.M. at the First Baptist Church Chapel, 1333 N. 3rd St. in Abilene, Texas. Burial will be at 3:00 P.M. in the Tahoka Cemetery in Tahoka, Tx Arrangements are under the care of The Hamil Family Funeral Home in Abilene, Texas. Visitation will be at The Hamil Family Funeral Home on Thursday, May 23, 2019 from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. Charles was born February 5, 1924, in Oilton, Oklahoma to E. E. (Jack) Kennedy and Myrtle Thompson Kennedy. The family later moved to Mid Continent Petroleum Oil camp in the Seminole, Oklahoma area. In 1937 the family moved to Kermit, Texas. Charles enlisted in the U.S. Army in March 1943, during World War II. He was assigned to the First Army 28th Division in Europe in November 1944 where he was wounded in action during the Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, European-African-Middle East Service Medal and Good Conduct Medal. In May 1945 he was discharged from the U.S. Army at Hoff General Hospital in Santa Barbara, California. Charles was a life member of the Disabled American Veterans. In May 1945 he enrolled at Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech University). He transferred from Texas Tech to Baylor University in 1948 where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1949. He married Faye Nordyke, August 1, 1948, at the First Baptist Church, Tahoka, Texas. In 1949 he entered Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where he graduated with a B.D. Degree in 1952. He taught elementary school in Fort Worth, 1953-56. The Kennedys moved to Lubbock in 1956 where he received a Master's Degree in Education at Texas Tech University in 1959. When in Lubbock he was assigned to Jackson Elementary School where he taught for 3 years. He became Principal at the Lubbock Independent School District's George C. Wolffarth Elementary School where he served for 21 ½ years. He was transferred to Bayless Elementary School in January 1983 and retired in 1986. Charles enjoyed working with children and continued to keep in touch by volunteering at various LISD elementary schools. After retiring he served as substitute principal at several elementary schools. He was presented the Lubbock Classroom Teachers Association's Administrator of the Year Award in 1980. In 2000 he received the Founder's Award for outstanding service to youth. He was a life member of the Texas State PTA, the National PTA and the National Education Association. He was a member and served as president of the Lubbock Elementary Principal and Supervisor's Association, District XVII Elementary Principal's and Supervisor's Association (TEPSA) and Llano Estacado Phi Delta Kappa Education Fraternity. He was a life member of TEPSA and PDK. He was a life member of the Texas Classroom Teachers and Administrators Association. Charles was a member of Lubbock's First Baptist Church for 51 years where he taught Sunday School classes for college students, an adult men's class and was a member of First Baptist's Primetime Choir. Charles and Faye Moved to Abilene in 2007 where they resided at Wesley Court, a Sears Methodist System Retirement Facility. After moving to Abilene in 2007 he joined First Baptist Church, was in the Fellowship Class and remained a member until the end. He was a member of South Plains Lions Club for 49 years, serving as president and various other offices. He joined the Abilene Founders Lions Club in 2007 and was an active Lion for over 50 years. Charles was an honorary member of Merry Mixers Square Dance Club; a life member of Baylor University Alumni Association and a member of Texas Tech Alumni Association. He was a Covenant Medical Center Auxiliary volunteer for 21 years. He represented LISD's School Board on the Lubbock Citizens Traffic Commission and the Community Action Agency. He was preceded in death by his lovely wife, Faye. He is survived by his daughter Connie E. Holbert, son-in-law, Joe Holbert, of Burkett, Texas; his son, Kevin Lee Kennedy of Abilene; granddaughter Katherine Elaine Johnston, great-granddaughter, Katelynn Elaine Ezell, great-great-granddaughter Hazel Brianne Roe of Lubbock, great grandson, David Duane Ezell of Houston; and a grandson Jeffrey Alan Holbert and his spouse Christine Holbert, of Everett, Washington. Other survivors include his brother Jackie Randall and his wife Carolyn Davis Kennedy of Lakeway, Texas; his sister Mildred Kennedy Gruber of Meridian, Idaho, his sister-in-law Lois Thomas Kennedy of Houston; and a host of nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Curtis Hollie, Robert Gene and Kenneth Dean. Charles was much loved and respected by all who knew him and will be sorely missed by family and friends. The family requests memorials be made to First Baptist Church, Abilene or a favorite charity.
Marian I. Schofield Mullins, ’49, of Georgetown, TX, completed the journey of her life Tuesday, May 21, 2019. She was 88 years old, born October 10, 1930 to A.M. and Grace Schofield. She is survived by daughters Lisa Mullins, Michele Christy and son-in-law Jeff Christy; grandchildren Kristen Hollinger (Andy Henderson), Jerrod Christy, James Maurer (Lisa Stefka), Jacob Christy; great grandchildren Cooper, Troy and Bo Henderson and Chandler and Daniel Stefka, numerous nieces and nephews. She has joined her loved ones who have gone before her: husband, E.W. (Moon) Mullins, grand-daughter Paige Maurer, parents A.M. and Grace Schofield and brother, Dr. J. R. Schofield. Born in Spring, Texas she moved with her family to Mart where she graduated from high school. She attended Baylor University. During her senior year of high school, Marian met a handsome young man returning from WWII who had been injured at the Battle of the Bulge. He instantly became the love of her life and they married in 1949. They relocated to Corpus Christi where they remained for the next 37 years. Marian was active in activities at Second Baptist and Lexington Baptist churches. She was a homemaker and was heavily involved with youth activities with of her girls. Marian loved music and sang in the church choirs and played the piano. She found much joy in gardening and her painting. Her flower beds were always beautiful. Her paintings will be cherished by her family. She and Moon moved to Georgetown in the late 1980s and became active members of Crestview Baptist Church where she served as a deacon’s wife, director of Sunday School classes, choir and senior choir soprano and the church decorating committee. She also volunteered with Meals on Wheels. The family wishes to express gratitude to for the care provided by St. David’s Georgetown and Round Rock Medical Centers. Our hearts will be ever grateful for the love and care provided the past several years by Debbie Karst and Theresa Bates. Services to celebrate her life will be Sunday, May 26, 2019 2:00pm at the Gabriels Funeral Chapel with visitation one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, please contribute to her favorite charity, The American Heart Association or Meals on Wheels of Williamson County.
Charlene F. Rivers Perdue, BA ’49, of Hewitt, TX, passed away Sunday morning June 23, 2019, at the age of 91. A visitation will be from 9:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. Saturday June 29, 2019, at Day Spring Baptist Church with the funeral service commencing at 10:00 A.M. Rev. Tiffani Harris will be officiating. Interment will be 2:00 P.M. Wednesday July 3, 2019, at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio. Rev. Bill Perdue will officiate. Mrs. Perdue was born December 28, 1927, in Waco, Texas, the daughter of the late Walter Wardman and Troy Jim (Woodruff) Rivers. Charlene was named after her brother Charles who died tragically just a few months before she was born. As the youngest of six children she was the baby of the family, dearly loved and coddled by her older siblings. Her life centered around the church which was led by her Baptist pastor father. After being named Valedictorian at Electra High School, she left home for Baylor University, where it didn’t take her long to find a prospective young Baptist preacher to marry and continue her love for Jesus Christ and His church. She was a talented musician, playing both Piano and Organ. An art major in college, she loved to illustrate devotional lessons by “Chalktalks,” and later in life studied watercolor art and produced many lovely watercolor paintings. With her husband, Bill, she loved to travel and made several trips to Israel and Europe and Hawaii, took a mission trip to Guadalajara and visited family in Japan. Upon retirement, she moved to Canyon Lake with her husband. Although he died after only living there five years, she remained there serving as lake hostess to family and friends for another seventeen years. Nothing made her happier than to be surrounded by family. In 2016 in declining health, she moved to Hewitt to live with family. She loved Dayspring Baptist Church very much and enjoyed playing the piano for Dayspring worship services at Ridgecrest Nursing Home. Also preceding her in death were two brothers, Truett Rivers, Charles Rivers; three sisters, Ruth Williams, Lois Segrest and Evelyn Lowag. Survivors include four sons, Bill Perdue and wife Susan, David Perdue and wife Judy, Robert Perdue and wife Karen, Jimmy Perdue and wife Rhonda; one daughter, Judy Brown and husband David; eighteen grandchildren and thirty-seven great grandchildren. For those desiring, the family has suggested Canyon Lake Animal Shelter Society, 2170 Old Sattler Road, Canyon Lake, Texas, for memorial contributions. The guestbook is offered at www.gracegardensfh.com. Through this site, you are encouraged to leave condolence and fond memories of the Perdue family.
Joseph A. Van Wie, BBA ’49, age 94, passed away peacefully on Thursday June 13, 2019 in Midland, TX. He was born on April 28, 1925 in Waco, TX to Fred and Mary Ellen Van Wie. He graduated from Waco High School and then went on to Baylor University with a degree in Business Administration. Joe proudly served our country in WW II as a gunner in the United States Air Force. On a blind date he met and later married Betty Merle Jones from Belton, TX. Joe spent the majority of his work career with Amoco Production, serving them in San Antonio, Andrews, Ft. Worth, Bay City and Pearland. He retired in Bay City where he loved to play golf and work in his yard. In 2004 Joe and Betty moved to Midland to be closer to family. In 2017 they moved out to the Helen Greathouse Center in the Manor Park Community. Joe is survived by his beloved wife of 68 years, Betty, 3 daughters, Jerre Hutson of Dallas, Sherre and her husband, Leon Gentry from Horseshoe Bay, TX, and Patti and her husband, Mike Mayer of Midland, TX. He was especially proud of his 6 grandchildren, Mark Hutson (Terese), Tracy Hutson, Jill Collins (Keith), Jennifer Cummings (Justin), Michelle Hofer (Steven), and Meghan Cotton (Christian), and his 13 great grand-children. Funeral services will be held at 3:00 pm in the chapel at Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home & Crematory of Midland with Dr. Darin Wood presiding. A reception will follow at the Branch next door. Arrangements are under the direction of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home & Crematory of Midland. Online condolences can be made at www.npwelch.com.