Mildred Louise Holbrook Vinzant, BSN ’40, beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother passed away peacefully on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. She maintained a joyful spirit and a delightful sense of humor throughout her life. She lived her faith every day, treating each person she met with love and respect. Mildred was born on October 7, 1919 in Terrell, Texas. She moved to East Dallas when she started school. After graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School she entered Baylor School of Nursing and became a Registered Nurse in 1940. It was at Baylor where she met Samuel Benton Vinzant and they were married November 13, 1943. They were happily married for 50 years. She was a faithful member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) all of her life. Her greatest joys were spending time with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She dearly loved her family. Mildred was preceded in death by her mother, Isla Ruth Moore Holbrook and her husband, Dr. Samuel Benton Vinzant. A loving mother, she is survived by her children Samuel Benton Vinzant, Jr. (Jennifer), Isla Ruth Vinzant Newbury and Clement Eugene (Gene) Vinzant II. She is also survived by a niece and nephew, Betty Jean Peters Anderson (Roger) and Horace Dovard Peters (Ida Jean). A blessed grandmother, she is survived by her grandchildren Kristan Ann Vinzant, Shay Vinzant Taylor (Roger), Samuel Benton Vinzant III, Jacob Harrison Vinzant, Alison Newbury Odette (Philip), Anne Newbury and Jon Benton Newbury (Alli). Mildred took delight in getting visits and updates from her precious great-grandchildren Dylan Penelope Taylor, Avery Grace Odette, Austin Christopher Odette, Luke Thomas Odette, Harper Louise Odette, Jon Ford Newbury and Ava Kate Newbury. Services will be held on Friday, September 13, 2019 at Laurel Land Funeral Home located at 6300 South R. L. Thornton Freeway, Dallas, Texas 75232 (214-371-1336). Visitation will be at 9:00 am followed by a service at 10:00 am. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Disabled American Veterans at dav.org.
Lois Peters Cook, BA ’41, of Dallas, Texas passed away and entered the Kingdom of Heaven on January 12, 2020. She was preceded in death by her husband of many years Dr. Evin Lee Cook, her parents Albert John and Margaret Mae Kelly Peters, and sisters Betty Hilliard and Margaret Ann Wink. She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law Camille and Kenneth Price, her brother Albert J. Peters, Jr., a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins, and an extended family of special First Baptist Church friends. She was born in Giddings, Texas, grew up and attended high school in Brenham, studied and graduated from Baylor University in Waco, and was a longtime resident of Dallas where she taught elementary grades in Dallas Independent School District for twenty years. She was an accomplished artist and art teacher for many years, and was known for her oil paintings that were inspired by her childhood memories of the beauty of nature in Central Texas. She was a faithful and active member of First Baptist Church Dallas since 1949, where she taught Sunday School, served as superintendent of a pre-school department for thirty-five years, and was a Chapel Choir sponsor. Services will be held on Friday, January 17 at Restland Funeral Home. The family will receive friends from 11:30 am until 12:30 pm, and the Memorial Service will take place at 12:30 pm in Restland Wildwood Chapel, with Rev. Blake Lander and Rev. Denise Odom officiating. Interment will follow in The Abbey at Restland Memorial Park. Memorial donations may be sent to The Evin L and Lois P Cook Music Fund at First Baptist Church Dallas (214-969-0111), or to The Evin L and Lois P Cook Endowed Scholarship Fund at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (817-923-1921).
Mary Shelton Florence, BA ’43, of Dallas died peacefully Saturday, November 2, 2019 at home surrounded by her family and devoted caregivers. With great determination and courage, she fought the good fight. Her life was and still is a testimony of her Christian faith and belief. Mary Catherine's remarkable life of 96 years began in Archer City, Texas. She graduated from Baylor University where she worked for Dr. Armstrong in the Armstrong-Browning Library and earned a Masters of Arts at Southern Methodist University. She married Edward Florence Jr. in 1943, and they had three children. Mary began teaching in 1957 and in 1960 was appointed as one of the first women DISD principals. She influenced many young lives and teachers during her career before retiring in 1983. Her devotion to her husband, children, and family was a key priority, and she reflected God's love and grace to everyone throughout her life. During her life, she was very active in her church, a charter member and Regent of the General Levi Casey chapter of the DAR, a founding member of the Eta Zeta chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, and a long time Dallas Symphony Stradivarius Patron as well as active in the SMU Godbey Lecture Series and the Tate Lectures. Mary still lived life to the fullest even after the onset of dementia fifteen years ago. Her devoted caregivers took her out every day to NorthPark Center and Caruth Park where she enjoyed beautiful flowers and watching the children play. While dementia robbed her of many things, Mary still lived life with grace and a loving spirit. We, her family, greatly appreciate the love and compassion she received from her long-term caregivers, Angelica, Maria, and Delores; and the long support from her housekeeper, Felicia, and hair stylist, Sue. Mary was predeceased by her husband, Edward Florence Jr. and her daughter, Mary Gene Florence Ness. She is survived by her sons Edward Florence III, and Joseph Florence and wife Tina. She is also survived by son-in-law Norman Ness Jr, grandchildren Norman Ness III, Meredith Appelt, Matthew Florence, Joshua Florence, Zachary Florence, Nick Florence, and Luke Florence, and fifteen great grandchildren. Her funeral service will be held at Cox Chapel at Highland Park United Methodist Church on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 1:00 PM. Family will receive friends immediately after the service. Highland Park United Methodist Church address is 3300 Mockingbird Lane, Dallas TX 75205. The graveside service will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Park, 7405 West Northwest Highway, Dallas, TX. Memorials can be made to Highland Park United Methodist Church Journey Memory Program.
Leon Lebowitz, BA ’43, LLB ’50, longtime professor of law and a true mensch, passed away peacefully at home on January 11. He was 98. Leon, a scholar of both Judaism and the law, was a rare combination of brilliance, humility, and kindness. He was born and raised in Waco, Texas, where he often worked in the dry goods store owned by his parents, Frances and Dave Lebowitz. After receiving his law degree from Baylor University, Leon enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he served as a staff sergeant in the 3rd Infantry Division. He fought in the Battle of Anzio, participated in the liberation of Rome, and was awarded the French Legion of Honor for his role in the liberation of southern France. Leon returned to Waco after the war. In a 1940s version of the Dating Game, arranged by a friend, he was introduced to Elaine Ephraim, a visitor from Plaquemine, Louisiana. They married in 1948 and had two children, Brian and Amy. In 1956, Leon left his teaching position at Baylor Law School to begin his career at the University of Texas, where over the years he taught thousands of Texas lawyers Civil Procedure, Business Associations, and Securities Regulation. Through his State Bar committee work, Leon was instrumental in shaping Texas law in those areas. Leon was a leader in the Austin Jewish community, serving as president of the Jewish Community Council, B’nai B’rith, and his synagogue, Congregation Beth Israel, where he was an active member for over 60 years and where he instituted the lay-led Saturday morning minyan. He also worked passionately for justice and equality, working to end Jewish quotas in American law schools in the 1950s and to expand banking opportunities to East Austin in the 1960s. He supported a diverse array of organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, Austin Symphony, Chabad of Austin, and West Austin Rotary. In addition to his amazing whistling talent, Leon had a beautiful singing voice, and he always serenaded Elaine at their anniversary celebrations. He loved traveling, garage sales, books, music, interfaith dialogue, and playing bridge and poker with his buddies. He was devoted to his family, friends, community, and any cause he saw as helping the less fortunate. Leon is survived by Elaine, his wife of 71 years; his son, Brian Lebowitz and wife Lise Goldman, along with granddaughter Samantha Goldman, of Chevy Chase, MD; his daughter, Amy Greenspan and husband Donny; his grandson Adam Greenspan and girlfriend Shannon Scott; his granddaughter Gina Manlove and husband Kyle; and his great-grandchildren, Nelly and Miles Manlove, all of Austin. He is also survived by his two sisters and his brother-in-law, Bernice Beckerman and Shirley and Hy Warshaw of Houston. along with their children and grandchildren. Funeral services will be held at Congregation Beth Israel, 3901 Shoal Creek Blvd., at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, January 13. A shiva memorial service will be held at the same location at 5:30 p.m. that evening. The family extends its heartfelt thanks to Lena Shaw, Hospice Austin, and the many caregivers whose skill and compassion eased Leon’s last years. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Leon’s memory may be made to Congregation Beth Israel, the Leon and Elaine Lebowitz Endowed Presidential Scholarship at the UT School of Law, or the charitable or civic organization of your choice.
Ascenia Lorena “Dose” (Peebles) Underwood, BA ’43, of Lexington, TX, died Dec. 24, 2019. She was born at home in Lexington’s Old Town neighborhood on November 28, 1922 to parents Sam Parker and Mary Ann (Johnston) Peebles. Dose graduated from Lexington High School in 1939 at age 16. She then attended Baylor University, graduating in 1943 with a degree in Speech. In June 1943, Dose married Fred Waltmar Woodward of Lexington. The couple had two children, Kay Ellen and Fred Peebles Woodward. After the death of her husband Fred in 1949, Dose and the children continued to live with his parents, Homer and Dora Woodward, at their home near Lexington. Dose taught second grade and coached high school speaking events. Alongside several Lexington teachers, she earned a master’s degree in education from Prairie View A&M University. In August 1952, Dose married Thomas Roger Underwood, Jr., who was working as the principal of Lexington High School. The couple was blessed with a son, Thomas Roger Underwood III. The family moved to Rockdale, where Dose worked first in the high school, and Thomas served as high school principal. Dose coached speech and debate, and she served director of the One-Act Play. Later, she worked as a second-grade teacher before her retirement from Rockdale ISD in 1987. Dose enjoyed nature walks, rambling drives on country roads, and fishing with a cane pole in Brushy Creek. She had a tendency to fall in the mud, into the creek, and—at least one time—into the Guadalupe River. She always came up laughing. She had strong compassion for underprivileged people and anyone working on their behalf. She spent much of her retirement working at a Christian thrift store and delivering Meals on Wheels in Rockdale. Despite the tragedies in her life, including the sudden deaths of her first husband and eldest son, Dose held an inspiringly positive outlook on life. She encouraged her family and friends to “celebrate in all things, because God is with you and happiness is a choice.” Dose died on December 24, 2019 at Copperas Hollow Assisted Living in Caldwell, her home for five years. She is preceded in death by her parents, Sam and Mary Ann Peebles; husbands Fred W. Woodward and Thomas R. Underwood, Jr.; son Fred P. Woodward; daughter-in-law Julie ( Wiggins) Underwood; son-in-law Paul Van Dorn, Sr.; daughter-in-law Evelyn (Pearson) Woodward; brothers Sam Peebles, Jr., E. M. Peebles, and Wyley Marshall Peebles; sister-in-law Bootsie (Camp) Peebles; and nephew Parker Peebles. Dose is survived by her daughter Kay Van Dorn, son Thomas R. Underwood III, daughter-in-law Jan (Pirkey) Woodward, sister Rosa Gene (Peebles) Lewis, grandchildren Paul Van Dorn, Jr. and wife Karen, Amy (Van Dorn) Wright and husband Rusty, Andrew Woodward and wife Tina, Erin (Woodward) Truho and husband Scott, Jonathan Underwood and wife Carly, and Daniel Underwood, nieces Pattie Peebles Ivey and Jimanne Lewis Kubiak, and nephew Ray Lewis. She is also survived by her great-grandchildren Amanda Van Dorn; Margaret, Louise, and Charlotte Woodward; Madeline and Julia Wright; Wyatt, Grant, and Benjamin Truho; and Charlie and Teddy Underwood. Memorials may be made to First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 8870 N Highway 77, Lexington, Texas 78947, or the charity of one’s choice.
Lucile Yeager Adams, ’44, passed away peacefully on January 8, 2020, in Bryan, Texas. She was born on March 31, 1923 to her parents, Edith Guerrant and Willard Olden Yeager, in Iola, Grimes County, Texas. Lucile graduated from Bryan High School and attended Baylor University in Waco, Texas. On August 19, 1943, she married George Andrew "Pete" Adams, Jr. at First Baptist Church of Bryan. Lucile was a homemaker, who enjoyed her family and many friends. She was a member at First Baptist Church for over 75 years, where she taught Sunday School for women and girls. She served as President of The Woman's Club of Bryan in 1965, and she served as a Pink Lady at St. Joseph Hospital for many years. She is preceded in death by her parents, Edith Guerrant and Williard Olden Yeager; and her husband, George Andrew "Pete" Adams, Jr.; as well as, her great-granddaughter, Lucile June Peters. Lucile is survived by her daughter, Annette Adams Peters of Bryan, and Annette's husband, Mervin Dansby Peters; her son, Willard Andrew "Andy" Adams of Houston; her grandchildren, Margaret Annette Peters of Santa Fe, New Mexico, George Marshall Peters of New York City and his wife, Christina Naughton Peters, and Amy Adams Villarreal of Dallas and Amy's husband, Travis Villarreal; and her great-grandson, Cooper James Villarreal. Remembrances for Lucile Yeager Adams may be made to First Baptist Church of Bryan or Hospice Brazos Valley. Visitation will be held from 6-8 pm, on Monday, January 13, 2020, at Hillier Funeral Home of BRYAN. A Graveside Service will be at 10 am, on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at Bryan City Cemetery. Please visit Lucile's tribute page at www.hillierfuneralhome.com to share memories and stories.
Dr. James Leo Garrett Jr., BA ’45, a Southern Baptist scholar and teacher who combined evangelical fervor with deep erudition and yearnings for Christians worldwide to find common ground, died late Wednesday in Nacogdoches, Texas. He was 94. For many decades, Garrett unabashedly promoted Southern Baptists’ educational institutions, publishing houses, foreign missions, ties to global Baptists and formation of a lobbying arm to preserve separation of church and state in the U.S. He was, though, first and foremost a trainer of ministers. With exactingly high standards, he sought to expose students to the broad sweep of Christian history and appreciation of how the church’s beliefs developed and should be sifted in modern times. “Dr. Garrett personified the best of Baptist scholarship for more than two generations of Baptist leaders in the U.S. and around the world,” said Preben Vang, a New Testament professor and director of the doctor of ministry program at George W. Truett Theological Seminary in Waco. Garrett was a Waco native who spent nearly half his life in Fort Worth. He immersed himself in teaching and research as a systematic and historical theologian at the same time the Southern Baptist Convention grew into the nation’s largest denomination. He exulted as membership soared and Southern Baptists commissioned more foreign and home missionaries. In recent decades, though, he and his late wife, the former Myrta Ann Latimer, were pained by developments in church and society, as Southern Baptists fought over Biblical inerrancy and U.S. culture grew more secular. In the late 1940s, the Garretts became teammates “in the quest for Baptist identity in the context of the wider Christian world,” he recalled in a 2005 lecture at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. It was a wistful remembrance, however, because he believed the residue of a hugely influential movement among some Baptists in Garrett’s youth – “Landmarkism,” which opposed ecumenical outreach – still had its effects. The denomination frowned on Christians with different practices of baptism and communion. In effect, decades of Garrett’s work to engage in respectful dialogues with non-Baptists were tossed. He saw them as necessary to heed Jesus’ fervent, pre-crucifixion prayer in John 17 for unity among his disciples. On the other preeminent issue of his youth – race – Garrett grew more sanguine. Like other Protestant denominations, Baptists split over slavery before the Civil War. But unlike some others, Baptists did not reunite in the 20th century. But they came through the civil rights movement without schism and more recently have formally apologized for once being captives of Southern culture and mores, Garrett noted with approval late in his life. Indeed, in retirement from their posts at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, where Leo taught theology and Myrta Ann headed the library’s serials department, they helped promote the growth of an interracial congregation, Meadowridge Community Baptist Church. For Leo, it was a happy coda. As an aspiring young Baptist minister in Texas in the 1940s, he was troubled by interpretations of scripture that were used to justify mistreatment of African Americans. In 1962, as member of a faculty panel that invited Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to lecture at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., Garrett and his colleagues rejected intense pressure for the invitation to be withdrawn. At the then-comparatively liberal Louisville seminary, though, as the 1960s wore on, Garrett emerged as somewhat conservative. While for decades he had pursued dialogue with Roman Catholics and eagerly followed news of meetings of the World Council of Churches, he grew disillusioned. He felt the council downplayed Christian missions, too narrowly defined ecumenical success as mere acceptance of one another’s communion practices and unconscionably embraced reformist political movements that justified use of violence. On the other hand, rifts between Protestants and Catholics narrowed. “I was there when Pope Paul VI ratified the document on religious liberty,” Garrett recalled in 2018, speaking of his attendance at the final week of Vatican Council II in Rome 53 years earlier. Garrett shifted to emphasizing ecumenical dialogues with Eastern Orthodox Christians. At the same time, he reached out to other American Protestants, such as Mennonites, that along with the Baptists were never members of state-sponsored churches. In 2004, he was disappointed by Southern Baptists’ withdrawal from the Baptist World Alliance. Examining what he considered the best of “Baptist distinctives,” such as believer’s baptism by immersion and no priestly intercessories between a believer and God, became a major focus of Garrett’s later scholarship. At age 65, he published one of two magnum opuses – his “Systematic Theology,” the first by a Southern Baptist scholar since his mentor at the Fort Worth seminary, Walter Thomas Conner, published his in 1924 and Dale Moody, Garrett’s former colleague at the Louisville seminary, followed with his in 1981. At 84, Garrett finished “Baptist Theology: A Four-Century Study.” Courtly, unfailingly kind and deeply humble, he was unusually committed to both academy and church, recalled David S. Dockery, the former president of Trinity International University in Deerfield, Ill., and Union University in Jackson, Tenn. “Not only was he a superb scholar and great teacher, but he was a faithful churchman and a person of deep and genuine piety, an exemplary ecclesial theologian with a love for the gospel and an infectious commitment to and hope for the unity of the people of God,” said Dockery, who studied under Garrett at Southwestern Seminary and is now theologian in residence there. While three of his five academic degrees were earned at Baptist institutions, Garrett received a master of theology from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1949 and a Ph.D. in church history from Harvard University in 1966. At both places, he forged lifelong, respectful friendships with Protestants of different traditions. Princeton president John Alexander Mackay modeled “what it means to be at the same time ecumenical and evangelical,” and as a former Presbyterian missionary to South America, helped fuel Garrett’s already-strong interest in Latin America, he later recalled. At Harvard, church historian George Huntston Williams, a Unitarian minister’s son, kindled Garrett’s curiosity about the Radical Reformation, or groups of early Protestants who repudiated Rome and Martin Luther alike for relying on princes to enforce religious conformity, which they saw as corruption. It was a subject Baptist seminarians weren’t learning enough about, Garrett believed – a concern tinged with irony as Southern Baptists more recently have come to exert considerable political clout in the U.S. “Baptists belong to the non-establishment wing of Christianity,” he recalled in 2018. “We have not used the civil powers to enforce our beliefs on others or persecute others.” When Garrett left Southern Seminary in 1973 to return to Texas, Southern’s president Duke K. McCall called him an “evangelical theologian.” The remark startled Garrett, who said the cleavages between mainline Protestants and Southern Baptists were not stark in his formative years. In an ensuing discussion with a former Louisville colleague, E. Glenn Hinson, published as a book in 1983, Garrett decided, though, that he was indeed an evangelical. Four Baptist institutions received Garrett’s most impassioned loyalty: the Baptist World Alliance, to which he and Myrta Ann devoted decades of service; Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, where they met and he began his teaching career; Baylor University, beside whose campus he spent his early childhood; and Southern Seminary in Louisville. His father, James Leo Garrett Sr., taught accounting at Baylor. His mother, Grace Hasseltine Jenkins Garrett Kee, earned two Baylor degrees and eventually taught English at Waco High. Leo Garrett Jr. was permanent president of Baylor’s centennial class, the Class of 1945. Between 1973 and 1979, he was director of Baylor’s J.M. Dawson Studies in Church and State and professor of religion. In 2008, Baylor conferred on him an honorary doctor of divinity degree. Garrett was an only child, and was predeceased by Myrta Ann in 2015. He is survived by three sons, James Leo Garrett III of Nacogdoches, Robert T. Garrett (Tina Hester) of Austin, and Paul L. Garrett (Nancy) of Austin; four grandsons, James Mark Garrett (Lindsay) and Will Latimer Garrett, both of Houston, Michael Thomas Garrett of Nacogdoches and Wyatt David Garrett of Lubbock; and three great-grandchildren, James Thomas Garrett, Henry Leo Garrett, and Tassie Ann Garrett, all of Houston. Visitation will be 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 12, at Meadowridge Community Baptist Church, Fort Worth. A funeral service will be at 10 a.m. on Thurs., Feb. 13, at Gambrell Street Baptist Church in Fort Worth with burial following at 3 p.m. at Oakwood Cemetery, Waco.
Eloise Gresham Werrell, BA ’45, age 95, died December 31 after a short illness, at home surrounded by family and friends. She had been a resident of Rock Hill, SC, since leaving Charleston in 2004. Eloise was born Oct. 1, 1924, in Bruceville, Texas, the daughter of the late Alberteen N. Savage and Lee Roy Gresham. She then moved to Waco, Texas, where she grew up and attended local public schools. She attended Texas State College for Women in Denton, Texas, for two years before transferring to Baylor University, where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in English in 1947. Shortly after graduation, she went to work for the Waco Tribune-Herald. She met her future husband, James MacDonald Werrell, a decorated World War II veteran, while interviewing him about local Christmas celebrations for the troops at Fort Hood, where he was recovering from a wound sustained in the Battle of the Bulge. They were married in 1947. They served as fire lookouts for the U.S. Park Service in Grand Lake, Colo., the summer after they were married. They then moved to New York City where Jim attended the Columbia University School of International Affairs. That led to a short stint with the State Department in Bangkok, Thailand. After leaving the State Department, Jim pursued a corporate career. The family lived in Minneola, N.Y.; Atlanta, Ga.; Akron, Ohio; and Glendale, Ohio. Jim and Eloise moved to Charleston in 1984. He preceded her in death in 2007. She is survived by three sons: James Werrell Jr. (Gretchen), Rock Hill; William Werrell (Judy), Charleston; and Timothy Werrell (Valerie), Hillsborough, N.C. She also is survived by six grandchildren: Caitlin Werrell (Francesco), Denton, Md.; Trip Werrell, Helena, Mont.; Jane Prevost (Charles), Charleston; Alex Werrell, New Haven, Conn.; Leigh Werrell, Philadelphia, Pa.; Henry Werrell, Philadelphia, Pa.; and one great-grandchild, Charles Prevost Jr. Throughout her life, Eloise was a vivacious, compassionate, funny and caring wife, mother and grandmother with scores of friends from around the world. She was a fearless decorator and loved traveling, dogs, reading, cooking and eating good food. She also loved politics and, in Glendale, did volunteer work for Planned Parenthood and a rehabilitation program for former inmates. For most of her life she attended the Episcopal Church. Her ashes will be interred with Jim's in a columbarium at Grace Episcopal Church in Charleston, at which time there will be a small family service.
Mayo Givens Kasling, BS ’46, of Hughes Springs, Texas, passed away December 28, 2019, three days before his 94th birthday, surrounded by loved ones. His memorial service will be held at the First Baptist Church in Hughes Springs on Friday at 1:00 with a reception immediately following. Our precious "Poppy" was born December 31, 1925, to Roy and Virginia Kasling. In school, his favorite teacher was Mrs. Lola Dees who taught him history and Mr. Durham who taught science. He graduated at 16 years old in 1942 and went to Baylor University where he studied math for a year and a half before he left college to join the Navy. In 1945 after World War II, he got out of the Navy and went back to Baylor where he graduated with a degree in Math and a minor in Physics in 1947. He was an avid Baylor supporter and was hoping to get to see them play in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day. He thought he might be the only person alive who had attended events in all four Baylor football stadiums. One of his first purchases after college was his beloved 1947 Harley Davidson Knucklehead Motorcycle. Although he denied it, it was rumored that he would ride his Harley up and down the main street of Hughes Springs while standing up. He still owns it today making him one of the oldest continuous original owners of a Harley motorcycle. He worked as a chemist for Lone Star Steel for two years and then reenlisted in the Navy at the start of the Korean War and served from 1951 and 1955 as a Navy Pilot. While in the Navy, he was stationed in Pensacola and Norfolk and flew a twin engine P5M. He loved his plane and many times on family beach vacations, we would take him to the Naval Air Station and Museum in Pensacola where the highlight was getting to see his P5M. He married Isla Anderson in 1952 and they were married for 50 years until her death in 2002. They had four children: Denise, Mayo Jr. (Bubba), Robyn, and Kemp. He went to work at the First National Bank in 1955 and served his community there for over 50 years. Many people have spoken of how his compassion and generosity in lending steered them on a path to success that otherwise had seemed hopeless. He served as President for many years and retired in 1994, although he continued to go to the bank every day to get his paper and mail and visit with his favorite bank employees. Other community service included coaching Little League baseball, refereeing football games, serving on the Volunteer Ambulance Service, and serving as a member of the Honor Guard. He was also a lifetime member of the First Baptist Church where he was the treasurer for many years. Some of the honors he received include Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year and the HSHS Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2004 he married Dina Dodgen Nix and added her daughters, Mileah and Peyton, to his family. They were married for 15 years. He was "Poppy" to 18 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. His strong faith, gentle spirit, and genuine love for his family and community made him an incredible gift to all of us, and we will miss him dearly. He donated his body for medical research in hopes that someone might benefit from it. Even in death, he continued to think of others. He is preceded in death by his parents, Roy Mayo Kasling and Virginia Florence Kasling; his sister, Ernestine Rayford and husband Vernon; and his wife Isla Catherine Kasling. He is survived by his wife Dina Dodgen Kasling; children Denise Dewitt and husband Michael, Mayo Kasling Jr. (Bubba) and wife Becky, Robyn Shelton and husband Rick, Kemp Kasling and wife Amy, and step-children Mileah Hall and husband Ben, Peyton McKinney and husband Ron. His grandchildren include Misty Lake and husband Jed, Marc Morgan and wife Casey, Amanda Self and husband Jack, Jamie DeWitt and wife Erin, Dillon DeWitt, Mayo Kasling III (Trey) and wife Katina, Jon Kasling and wife Danielle, Ricky Shelton and wife Meg, Shelby Shelton, Trent Shelton, Alix Hancock and husband Chris, Natalie Kasling, Graydon Kasling, Anderson Kasling, David Hall and wife Eliana, Karen Hall, Riley McKinney and Hannah McKinney. His great grandchildren include Will, Jaxon and McKenna Lake; Katherine and Sawyer Morgan; Joy and Lily Kasling; Jessy, Abigail, and Wyatt Self; Layla and J.J. DeWitt; Haydn and Elsa Mila Hall; and numerous nephews and nieces. The family has asked that memorials may be gifted in his name to the First Baptist Church of Hughes Springs, St. Jude, or the College of the Ozarks.
Mary Lou Barrington Applewhite, BA ’47,passed into Heaven on Monday, December 30, 2019. Services will be Friday, January 3, 2020, at First Baptist Church of Cotton Center, TX with Chris Knippa, FBC, Hale Center and Chris Collier, FBC, Cotton Center officiating under the direction of Lake Ridge Chapel and Memorial Designers. Interment will be at Center Plains Cemetery north of Cotton Center. Visitation will be January 2, 2020, from 5:30-7:00 p.m. at Lake Ridge Chapel and Memorial Designers. Friends are invited to share memories and expressions of sympathy for the family to cherish and view her life tribute at www.memorialdesigners.net. Mary Lou Barrington was born on November 21, 1925, to Marcus and Lena Barrington of Cotton Center, TX. She graduated from Cotton Center High School and attended Wayland Baptist College before transferring to Baylor University. She received a diploma in English and began her teaching career in Round Rock, TX. She returned to Cotton Center to teach and married Tommy Applewhite on March 29, 1951. They were married for 60 years. She is survived by three sons, Marc (Glenna), of Lubbock, TX; Morris (Iroma) of Corsicana, TX; and Max (Melissa), of Blooming Grove, TX; daughter, Sheila Arnold (Morris), of Georgetown; and seven grandchildren. She is also survived by 4 great-granddaughters and 11 great-grandsons; several nieces and nephews; and a host of friends. She is preceded in death by her husband, Tommy; parents; one sister, Lillian McFerrin; one granddaughter, Lauren Applewhite; and one great-grandson, Xander Wade. The family of Mary Lou Applewhite has designated the First Baptist Church, Cotton Center; Baylor University; Wayland Baptist University; Books Are the Beginning; Baskets for Babies (Westside Church of Christ, Roundrock, TX); Good News Café (First Baptist Church, Corsicana, TX); or Central Baptist Church Youth Fund (Blooming Grove, TX) for memorial contributions donated in her memory.
Reba Lou Weaver Campbell, BA ’47, of Waco passed away peacefully at her home on Sunday, January 5, 2020. She was 95. She loved the holiday season so it was fitting that she went to her heavenly home on the 12th day of Christmas. A Celebration of her Life will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, January 9, at Austin Ave. United Methodist Church. A graveside service for family and close friends will precede the memorial. A visitation with the family will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 8, at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home. Reba was born on April 22, 1924, in Navasota, Texas, to Roy and Lela Weaver. She was the fourth of five children. She received her bachelor’s degree from Baylor University in 1947. She married Dave Campbell on December 9, 1950 – a marriage that lasted more than 70 years. She met Dave while both worked for the Waco Tribune-Herald. She was by his side when he conceived the idea for Texas Football magazine and for many years gave up her kitchen table for the magazine’s layout. An inspiration to women journalists, Reba refused to be relegated to writing for the society pages. She was a news reporter and feature writer for the Waco News-Tribune and Waco Tribune-Herald for 10 years and also was the Central Texas correspondent for United Press International, covering such stories as President Dwight Eisenhower’s journey through Texas. After leaving the newspaper, she was a lecturer in the Baylor journalism department and led several groups of students on trips to New York City and Washington, D. C., where they met with Walter Cronkite at CBS News and with LBJ at the White House. A dedicated, creative and tireless community volunteer, her first love was music. She was former president of the Waco Symphony Association and the Texas Association for Symphony Orchestras. In 1992, she was presented the Award of Excellence by TASO, only the third person to receive the award. In1982, the worked with the Pape Foundation to inaugurate the Pape Chamber Music Series and served as its president for four years. She also served as president of the Waco Symphony Council. Her other volunteer activities included serving as president or board member for the Brazos Forum, Friends of the Waco-McLennan County Library, Caritas, Greater Waco Council of the Arts, Waco Arts Center, YWCA. She also was active with the Waco Cotton Palace, Historic Waco Foundation, Junior Shakespeare Study Club and the Waco Mammoth Site. Her civic appointments included the Waco Charter Revision Committee, the Waco Crime Commission, the Waco Health Committee and the Waco Tourism Committee. She was an active member of Austin Ave. United Methodist Church and served as chairman of the board of trustees. In 1997, she received the Award of Excellence for Community Service from the Henry Downs Chapter of the DAR. Reba loved to travel, especially to New York City to see shows, visit museums, eat in wonderful restaurants and attend the Heisman Trophy presentation with Dave. During her life, her other favorite trips were to the Holy Land, Oberammergau for the Passion Play, the Hawaiian Islands and England. She was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, Stanley, Nevin and Binford Weaver; her nephew, Robert Weaver; and her dearest friend, Billie Schultz. She is survived by her husband, Dave Campbell; her daughters, Becky Roche and husband, David, and Julie Carlson and her husband, Alan; grandchildren, Campbell Roche and his wife, Katie, Jackson Roche and his wife, Caroline, and Derby Carlson; her sister, Lynette Walker; her sister-in-law, Jo Campbell; and many nieces and nephews. Honorary pallbearers will be Alan Carlson, David Roche, Campbell Roche, Jackson Roche, Danny Weaver and Johnny Bledsoe. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Waco Symphony Association or the Waco Symphony Council.
Jo Elizabeth Frels Hartsfield, BA ’47, of Waxahachie, TX, passed away peacefully Jan. 15 surrounded by family and friends, at age 94. She was preceded in death by her husband, Judge Milton A. Hartsfield, and a son, Milton A. Hartsfield, Jr. She was born Nov. 8, 1925 in Beeville, Texas, to Albert Frederick Frels and Ethel Elizabeth Beedy Frels. She graduated from Baylor University with a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Spanish. She met Milton at Baylor and they married on June 1, 1948. Upon graduation, she taught high school English in Taft, Texas, before moving to Waxahachie. She later taught in Red Oak and as a substitute in Waxahachie. She loved teaching and was a lifelong learner. She was an accomplished soloist and seamstress, but first and foremost, she was a beloved caregiver. Before losing her independence to a stroke, she loved travel and spending time with her widespread children and grandchildren. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Waxahachie. She was instrumental in the founding of the Ellis County Association for Retarded Citizens and was an active member of the Century Club and many other civic organizations. She is survived by her cousins, who were as close as siblings, Eldridge Custer (Carla) and Mary Kay Reed. She also is survived by daughters, Elizabeth Owens (Randy) of Fort Worth and Mary Matlock (David) of Shreveport, La.; son, James Hartsfield (Peggy) of League City; grandchildren, Stephen Owens, Marie Chase (Brandon), Kathleen Barbee (Justin), Destiny Owens Harrington, Emily Pellegrin (Jarred), Katy Dotson (Russell), David Matlock, Jr. (Rebecca), Alan Matlock (Jordan), Dylan Hartsfield, Angie Hartsfield and Annie Hartsfield; and great-grandchildren, Kaiden and Lilliana Owens, McKinley and Delaney Chase, Elliott Barbee, Violet Harrington, Nathan Pellegrin, Margaret Jo, Eli, Millie and Rose Dotson, Thomas and Ellie Matlock, and soon to be Malynn Barbee and Cora Matlock. The family wishes to express special gratitude to Wendy and Rob Clark for their unwavering compassionate care and friendship. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Texas Special Olympics at: https://give.specialolympics.org/page/contribute/texas19. Friends and family are encouraged to gather for a time of visitation on Sunday, January 19, 2020 from 2-3 in the afternoon at Wayne Boze Funeral Home. A service celebrating Jo's life will be held at 3 p.m. in the Pat Boze Memorial Chapel with Rev. Jarred Pelligrin officiating. Burial will follow at the Waxahachie City Cemetery. Arrangements especially for the Hartsfield Family by Wayne Boze Funeral Home. 1826 W. Hwy 287 Bus., Waxahachie, TX 75165. 972-923-2700. www.waynebozefuneralhome.com.
Helen Jane Fowler Quick, BA ’47, of Arkadelphia, AR, died Nov. 2, 2019, at age 94. She was born March 5, 1925 in Dallas, TX to Trinton A. Fowler and Margery Fowler. Her Father worked for many years at the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mills, and her mother established and directed the Children’s Department at East Grand Baptist Church in Dallas. Jane graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas in 1943 and enrolled in Baylor University in Waco, TX that summer. She returned to Dallas between ’44 and ’45 to work, then went back to Baylor. She graduated in May 1947 with her B.A., having completed all her courses work in a total of 2 years and 9 months. On August 22, 1947 Jane married Randy Quick (also a Baylor Graduate). Their daughter Connie was born in Waco in 1948. Shortly thereafter the family moved so that Randy could begin teaching at the University of Houston. Their daughter Carol was born in Houston in September,1950. In 1952 the family moved to Austin, TX while Randy worked on his doctorate. The next year they moved to Arkadelphia, AR where Randy, and later Jane, taught at Ouachita Baptist University for many years. Jane received her M.A. in 1968 and taught English at O.B.U. until 1991. She returned later in the 90’s to teach English as a Second Language to international exchange students from the former Soviet Union. Jane was always serving somebody, whether it was family, her church or her students. When in her presence you always knew that you had her undivided attention. She was tirelessly faithful to her two daughters and her grandchildren, and she was always Randy’s best audience and supporter. She knew her Lord Jesus very well, praying daily and often asking Him pointed questions. She is now reunited in heaven with her husband Randy and her daughters Connie and Carol. She lovingly leaves her sister Joyce and her children, her grandchildren Charley Lane and Catie Curtis (Ryan), great-grandsons Joshua, Nathan and Timothy Curtis, and son-in-law Chuck Lane. The family requests that any donations made in her honor be sent to the Department of English at Ouachita Baptist University or to First Baptist Church of Arkadelphia, AR. Visitation will be 10:00 a.m. Friday, November 8, 2019 at First Baptist Church with services following at 11:00. Committal will be 3:30 p.m. Friday, November 8, 2019 at Rest Haven Memorial Gardens.
Alafair Burton Hammett, BA ’48, began her life on December 23, 1927 just in time to celebrate Christmas with her parents A.B. and Lucy Maye Burton on their small farm in Axtell, Texas. She ended her journey on November 7, 2019 in Mesquite, Texas. There is no doubt that if Alafair was asked to describe her life in one word, she would have said, "an adventure." Alafair's stories of her younger years included deciding to try chewing tobacco and swallowing whole when she heard her father looking for her, only to be caught moments later learning the reason that one did not swallow chewing tobacco whole. She delighted in telling of her paternal grandfather, A.B. Burton, secretly teaching her to drive at the age of nine. Followed by leaving her parents' home with her Grandfather driving only to switch drivers when out of view driving into Waco, going in and doing banking business for her grandfather; followed by driving home and switching drivers again before returning to the driveway. Once again her mother and father were oblivious to this until a bank teller mentioned it to her father one day when she described Alafair as a "responsible" little girl. Alafair was born shortly before the Great Depression. Her responsibilities began early when her younger sister, Cosette was born with multiple health issues and Alafair became a protector. She was the oldest of John and Etter Wilson's grandchildren and took on the responsibility of role model for her younger cousins. She was idolized as a big sister to all of them and set a high standard for herself that she manifested to all of the family. As role model, she inspired younger family members by demonstrating the importance of education and having a profession by graduating from Baylor University in 1948 with a degree in secondary education and mathematics. Her pioneer spirit began to shine at this point, when she traveled to Edinburgh, Texas in the Rio Grande Valley and began using her teaching degree because the district "offered me the best salary." Shortly after arriving in the Valley, she met a very eligible young bachelor by the name of Walker Hammett from Santa Rosa. Despite her initial intent to only stay in the Valley for one year and her attempt to move away and teach somewhere else, Walker lured her back to the Valley and married her on June 8, 1951. The couple settled in Santa Rosa where Walker was Postmaster. Alafair continued her teaching career for 34 years in Harlingen, La Feria and Santa Rosa with only one brief three-year break when Walker and Alafair's daughter, Jeanie, was born. In the late 1970's Alafair became involved in the establishment of a fledgling teacher's organization Association of Texas Educators (A.T.E.) and became their president in 1979. In the spring of 1980, Alafair became the first President when it merged with Texas Professional Educators and became the Association of Texas Professional Educators. She delighted in her trips to Austin to lobby for what she felt in her heart was good for Texas Educators and the school children of Texas. As the years went by and her ability to be in Austin for legislative sessions declined, her thirst for knowledge of legislative activities remained and she could tell you exactly what was going on with education related legislative bills when the Texas Legislative session closed earlier this year. In addition to her work with ATPE, she was a Sunday School Teacher at Santa Rosa First Baptist Church. She was also a long time member of First Baptist Church of Harlingen; and at the time of her death, she was a member of the Oak Lawn Baptist Church in Bellmead, Texas. She was a long time member of the international honor society for female educators, Delta Kappa Gamma as well as the Walter Baldwin Chapter of Eastern Star. In 2007, Alafair and Walker left the Valley to return to the farm that she had grown up on in the Axtell area. In 2013, she returned to the Valley to bring her beloved Walker back to the home he loved following his death. She returned to Axtell until 2018 when an unexpected illness forced her to reluctantly move to Mesquite to live with her daughter Jeanie and son-in-law Mike where she remained until 2 weeks before her death. She was preceded in death by her parents, A.B. and Lucy Maye Burton; her sister, Cosette Burton; and her husband, Walker. She leaves behind her daughter, Dr. Jeanie Hammett-Zelanko and son-in-law, Mike; her grandchildren Elise (Derek Davis) and David Zelanko; and a very special great grandson, Kellen Walker Davis. Funeral Services will be at 2pm on Wednesday, November 13, 2019, at Allen Family Funeral Options located at 2112 West Spring Creek Parkway, Plano Texas. Rev. Doug McClure will preside and be assisted by cousin, Leon Bates. Burial arrangements at Restlawn Cemetery in La Feria, Texas are pending. Alafair has served as a model daughter, wife, mother, teacher, mentor, and Christian witness to many during her lifetime. Without a doubt she arrived to meet her Lord and Savior and heard those powerful words, "well done my good and faithful servant." Alafair believed that teachers were professional educators who educated children and served the communities where they taught. She would often say that "education is the only thing that no one can take from you." She believed that completing the education required to become a teacher was only the first step to becoming a quality educator. Alafair was certain teachers must continue to learn to stay ahead of their students. Well- trained leadership is necessary to produce well-trained educators. As a result, Alafair's family request that donations in her memory be made to Leadership ATPE c/o Dr. Shannon Holmes, ATPE Suite 300, 305 East Huntland, Austin, Texas 78752-3792.
Mary Virginia Smith Pendergrass, BA ’48, was the daughter of Henry and Jewel Tate Smith. She was born September 14, 1927 in Huntsville, Texas in Walker county and died October 19, 2019 in Round Rock, Texas in Williamson County. Mary Virginia Smith Pendergrass graduated from North High School in Columbus, Ohio in 1944 and then attended Baylor University, graduating in May 1948 with a degree in sociology. Her first job after graduation was as an Executive Director for the Camp Fire Girls of Alice, Texas. She had many positions during her career including working as a fifth-grade teacher in Mesquite ISD, serving as a child protective services officer for Camp county and as an adult probation officer for the 271st Judicial District in Mount Pleasant, Texas. After moving from Pittsburg to Austin in 1981 she earned her Texas real estate and broker’s license working for Sherry Brown Realtors and specializing in national relocation. Throughout her life, Mary served her community and worked for the betterment of those around her. While in Pittsburg, she was a member of the 20th Century Study club of Pittsburg, the oldest women’s club, and served as its president from 1965 – 1966. She also served as a leader of Junior Girl Scout Troop 88 and was president of the Parent Teachers Association where she worked with Donna Hodge to have the school board remove sugared beverages from the schools within Pittsburg ISD. Ultimately, this decision was reversed due to the high school principal’s concern about lost revenue. She worked with Laverne Davis to start the first Republican Party in Camp county, and the following year the county went for Eisenhower. After moving to Austin, she served as a convention delegate to 2 different Texas State Republican Conventions. Always socially minded, she upset convention after arriving in Pittsburg, Texas when she insisted on paying household domestic help minimum wage and paying their social security as opposed to the customary $2 per day, regardless of the number of hours worked. She endured great scorn for this but held firm. She was honored by the citizens of Pittsburg/Camp County Chamber of Commerce as “Woman of the Year” in 1975 - 1976. She had a life-long love of music and encouraged her children in this area. She played the piano and loved opera. Mary served on the Board of Directors of the Austin Musical Theater for 7 years. Mary was a member of St. David’s Episcopal Church for many years and was a member of the order of the Daughters of the King. Serving one year as its president. Mary was a woman of great faith who expressed God’s unconditional love to those around her. She had an amazing gift of hospitality and had the ability to make everyone feel loved and accepted. She had a great love for her family and her most important work was as a wife and mother and later as a mother-in-law, grandmother and great grandmother. She was the glue that held her family together and will be greatly missed. She was preceded in death by both parents and her beloved husband of 67 years, Robert Keith Pendergrass, Sr., MD. She is survived by her four children, Robert Keith Pendergrass, Jr. and wife Juli, Mary Virginia Lannen and husband Rick, Henry Lee Pendergrass and wife Colleen, Peter William Pendergrass and wife Desiree; and 9 grandchildren, Virginia Leigh Hart, John Bucy III, Richard Henry Lannen, Anna Pendergrass Rankin, Sarah Pendergrass, Peter Pendergrass, Jr., Katherine Pendergrass, Abby Pendergrass, Annie Pendergrass; and 2 step-grandchildren, Whitney and Justin Lannen, and 3 great-grandchildren, Catherine, Jackson and Ryan Hart. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made, in memory of Mary Virginia Smith Pendergrass, to: Samaritan's Purse.
Tom J. Boone, BA ’49, of Irving, TX, was born on February 4, 1922 and went to be with the Lord on December 15, 2019. He is preceded in death by his wife, Gradis Boone, parents, Alonzo Earl and Estella Freeman Boone, brothers, Jack and Joe Boone, and sister, Sally Roberts. He is survived by his wife, Dora Lou Boone, and children Thomas Boone (Patricia) of Edmond, Oklahoma, Beverly Daugherty (David) of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Linda Cloud (Gary) of Santa Cruz, California, Ann Hammond (Sonny) of Tucson, Arizona, and Paul Boone (Suzanne) of Dallas, Texas, and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. Tom’s father died of cancer when he was only four years old, and he spent most of his formative years in Wellston, Edmond, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, being raised in part by a godly aunt and uncle. In March of 1942 he went to work for the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover in Washington, D.C. He planned on getting a law degree and becoming an agent, however, God had a much different plan. After a year and a half, he resigned from the FBI and joined the Navy. While waiting to be sworn into the Navy, Tom worked for the Kerr McGee Oil Company which was drilling a wild cat well in Arcadia, Oklahoma. When the war was over, he was discharged on April 4, 1946. About this same time, he felt called to the ministry, was ordained, and enrolled in Baylor University in the fall of 1946. While he was a student at Baylor, he was pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lott, Texas. After graduating from Baylor on August 18, 1949, he began commuting to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. Tom pastored churches in Coolidge, Texas, Tulakes Baptist Church in Bethany, Oklahoma, Northview Baptist Church in Lebanon, Indiana, and Richardson East Baptist Church, Richardson, Texas from 1992-2000. He was a field consultant for Church Building Associates from 1969-1977. One of the happiest assignments Tom had during his latter years was serving as director of adult 4, department 1, at the First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, which forever held a special place in both Tom and Dora’s hearts. About ten years ago, Tom wrote an “autobiography” which he made available to numerous family members. He concluded those memoirs by writing, “My ticket to home in heaven has no date marked for the journey, but I can say with the late George Younce, who sang “Supper Time” on the Bill Gaither weekly television broadcast and followed the singing of that song by saying:
“You know, I have a lot more time
Behind me than I do ahead of me
Should my Lord return for me tonight,
I’m packed and ready to go.
I’ve got my house all in order.”
I secured my ticket in 1935. It was bought for me at a tremendous price by the Landlord. All I had to do was receive it. (Ephesians 2:8-9, 3rd chapter of the gospel of John and 1st John 5:13.
Dr. John Graham Compton, BS ’49, passed away Saturday, November 30, 2019 at Baylor Scott & White Hospital Waxahachie surrounded by his loving family. Dr. Compton was born January 21, 1926 in Dallas, Texas (Oak Cliff) to Johnnie Willis Thomas and John Graham Compton, Sr. As a young child, his family moved often and he attended many schools until they finally settled in Center, Texas where he graduated Valedictorian of his class. After high school, he attended Baylor University as a pre-med student for a short time before deciding to join the United States Navy, where he was with the Navy Medical Corp during World War II, based out of San Diego Naval Hospital before being shipped overseas to Okinawa, as the head of the Surgical Department. After he was honorably discharged from the Navy, he returned to Baylor University studying pre-med. While at Baylor, he met the love of his life, Evelyn Lynette Stahl from Weslaco, Texas. They were married on August 14, 1949. He graduated from Baylor with a BS degree and in 1950, went to the University of Texas Galveston where he became a Doctor of Medicine. Also, during this time, his daughter Deborah Lynette and son John Graham were born. Dr. Compton then completed his Residency at the US Public Health Service and Lenox Hill Hospital in Rockville, MD, as well as Staten Island Hospital in downtown Manhattan, where he was awarded the Intern of the Year. He and the family then returned to Texas and after looking at several Texas communities, he decided to set up his practice and make his home in Waxahachie, Texas in 1955. Back in the day, he worked at the Waxahachie Sanatorium, later named the W.C. Tenery Hospital, set up his practice at 201 Ferris Avenue, where he worked his entire 61 years of medical practice. In addition to hospital work, and his office practice, he also did house calls all over Ellis County after his day job was done. He also delivered over 1000 babies over a period of time and in 1962, his second daughter Deanna Elise was born in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Compton served his career as Chief of Staff of the Waxahachie Sanatorium, Medical Director of Renfro Nursing Home, head of the Ellis County Medical Health Department and was on the staff of the Baylor Hospital since it opened. He has been a loyal member of the St. Paul Episcopal Church Waxahachie for many, many years and participated on 15 medical mission trips to Honduras, where he absolutely loved brightening the day and treating so many, especially the children. Dr. Compton is survived by his daughter, Deborah Compton of Waxahachie; son, Graham Compton and his wife, Alice of Waxahachie; daughter Deanna Compton and Cindy Wyndham of Irving; grandchildren, Tammy Thompson, Carli and Ron Turbeville, Jeff Clark, Jessica and Mark Holmes, Lindsay and Brandy Compton, Justin and Stephanie Wade; great-grandchildren, Peyton, Lukas, Ryan, Spencer, Sterling, Skyler, Adrienne, Linden, Greyson and Hadleigh and cousin, Roberta Stahl. He is preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Lynette and his parents, John and Johnnie Graham. We would like to say a very special thank you to his caregiver, Carolyn Williamson, who has become a wonderful part of our family, as well as the awesome team, Shanna and Jessica from Custom Care Hospice, who have been working with us over the past 9 months and have been amazing. Memorial Service’s to celebrate the life of Dr. John Graham Compton, Jr. will be held at 2:00 pm Thursday, December 5, 2019 at St. Pauls Episcopal Church located at 624 Ovilla Rd. Waxahachie, Texas with Father Terry Reisner and Father Jerry Hill officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Pauls Episcopal Church, 624 Ovilla Rd. Waxahachie, Tx. or The Canterbury Episcopal School, 1708 N. Westmoreland Rd. Desoto, Tx 75115. Arrangements especially for the Compton Family by Wayne Boze Funeral Home. 1826 West. Hwy 287 Bus. Waxahachie, Tx 75165 972-923-2700 www.waynebozefuneralhome.com.
Walker Knight, BA ’49, founding editor of Baptists Today and former editor of the Southern Baptist Home Missions Board magazine Missions USA, passed December 1 while under hospice care at the Sunrise Retirement Home in Decatur, GA. He was 95. Services will be held at 2 PM, Dec. 14, at Oakhurst Baptist Church in Decatur, where Knight was a member for 60 years. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to the Oakhurst Recovery Program, 232 East Lake Drive, Decatur, GA 30030. After nearly 34 years in denominational journalism, Knight retired early to pursue his longtime dream of establishing an independent Southern Baptist newspaper, Baptists Today. Working for half the salary, he achieved that goal as a mission project of Oakhurst Baptist. The first issue was published in April 1983. Emmanuel McCall, an African-American minister who served on the executive staff of the Home Mission Board from 1968 until 1991, described Baptists Today as "perhaps the most effective communication piece that caused Southern Baptists to become more open and sensitive to racial reconciliation." The publication continues today with the same mission, under the name Nurturing Faith Journal & Bible Studies. Walker was preceded by his wife Nell and is survived by his children, Walker Leigh Knight, Jr. and husband Judson McDonald of Denver, CO; Kenneth Knight and wife Monika of Cleveland, GA; Nelda Coats and husband Chaz of Oriental, NC; Jill Knight of Arden, NC; grandchildren Tom Knight and wife Cassi of Cumming, GA; Shawn Knight and wife Jen of Jonesboro, GA; Chandler Coats of Alpharetta, GA; and Zach Howell of Raleigh, NC. Also surviving are Walker's siblings, Cooksey Bennett Knight of Henderson, KY; Mary Ruth Gardner and husband Norman of Bonita Springs, FL; Hiram Knight and wife Barbara of Zion, KY; Jane Mahler of Warner Robins, GA; and James Knight and wife Sue of Henderson, KY.
Monroe Harold Ross, BBA ’49, went to be with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on January 20, 2020 in Mesa, AZ. Funeral services for Ross, 92, of Lamesa, TX, will be held Monday, January 27, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church with Pastor Jim Medley and Pastor Dennis Teeters officiating. Interment will follow in Loop Cemetery under the direction of Branon Funeral Home. Visitation will be Sunday, January 26 ,2020 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m at Branon Funeral Home. Harold was born in Thalia, Texas to Jesse James Ross and Jewel Marsh Ross on March 23, 1927. He graduated from Lockett High School in 1944. He attended Texas Tech University before joining the US Navy in 1945. Upon his discharge from the Navy he attended and received his BA from Baylor University. After graduation he went to work in West Texas in the oil industry. It was there that he met Helen Mae Todd. They were married December 23, 1950 in Lovington, New Mexico. His love for Football and working with young people led him to accept a head football coaching position at Loop High School in 1952, and in 1956 Coach Ross accepted a head football coaching position at Klondike ISD. There he coached, taught, and was principal until 1967 winning many district championships. In 1967 he accepted a coaching/principal position at Union School. From there he was coach, principal, and teacher at Flower Grove ISD. Some years later he finished his teaching career at Lamesa Middle School. Coach Ross was a longtime member of Klondike Baptist Church serving as Sunday School Director as well as serving in many other roles. He was a member and deacon of First Baptist Lamesa for many years. Harold worked summers for the ASCS office in Dawson county. He, also, worked for them several years after retiring from the schools. He finished his working years teaching GED classes before finally retiring. As a Master Mason, he was a member of the Seagraves Lodge of Texas for 62 years. Coach Ross is survived by his daughter, Becky (Ross) Surratt-Benvin, husband Patrick of Mesa, AZ and a son Jim Ross, wife Donna of Odessa, Texas, four grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife Helen, his father, Jesse James Ross, his mother, Jewel Marsh Ross, his brother Jesse James Ross Jr. The family would like for Memorials to be made in his name to First Baptist Church Lamesa, Texas, the National Federation of the Blind of Texas, or the American Heart Association. To send condolences online, please visit www.branonfuneralhome.com.
Dr. Ralph Lee Rummage, BA ’49, age 93, of Waco, passed away on January 8, 2020 at Baylor Scott & White - Hillcrest after a short illness. Public Visitation will be at OakCrest Funeral Home from 5 - 7 p.m., Thursday Jan. 16. Memorial Services will be 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, at Columbus Avenue Baptist Church, Waco, with Rev. Josh Vaughn officiating. A private family burial will precede the memorial service at Oakwood Cemetery. Ralph was born on June 3, 1926 in Tulsa, Oklahoma to Clarence and Gladys Rummage. He graduated from Will Rogers High School, Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1944. After graduation, he attended Baylor University, receiving his Bachelor of Arts in 1949. While attending Baylor, Ralph met and married Laverne Russell in 1948 and moved to the Bay area of California, where he attended Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, receiving his Masters of Divinity in 1953. While in seminary and after graduation, Ralph and Laverne began their career in pioneer missions, participating in church planting in California. In 1957, they moved to Bixby, Oklahoma and pastored for two years. In 1959, Ralph and Laverne were appointed by the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) as career missionaries to Southern Rhodesia, Africa (now Zimbabwe) for 32 years, retiring to Waco, Texas in 1991. While on the mission field, Ralph completed his Doctor of Ministry degree in 1985 from Southwestern Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. In their retirement, they continued to be involved in volunteer-based domestic and foreign missions to Zimbabwe, Wisconsin, Kenya, and Bosnia. Ralph remained an active member of Columbus Avenue Baptist Church singing in the choir, teaching Sunday School, and serving on many committees until his death. Ralph and Laverne spent their lives in service to Jesus Christ, their Savior, by serving people in their family, church, and communities (domestic and foreign) wherever they lived and worked. Known as “Dad” or “Baba” to his family, Ralph was loved for his relentless desire to share the love of Christ. He was also known for his sense of humor and corny “dad jokes.” Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, brother J Reid Rummage, sister Joyce Rummage, granddaughter Jamie Lynn Rummage, and daughter in law Patty Rummage. He is survived by his wife of more than 71 years, Laverne; son David Rummage and his children, Mike and Kate; son John Rummage and his wife Debbie, and their children Rachael and Samuel; daughter Carolyn Woods and her husband Bill, and their children Daniel and Josh; son Paul Rummage and his wife Carole, and their children Ben and Holly; 8 great-grandchildren; 6 grandchildren in law; and sister-in law Mary Russell. Pallbearers will be Ralph’s eight grandchildren Rachael Stoldt, Mike Rummage, Katie Rummage, Samuel Rummage, Ben Rummage, Daniel Woods, Holly Humphrey, and Josh Woods. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the International Mission Board, 3806 Monument Ave Richmond, VA 23230.
Cecil Earl Singletary, BBA ’49, of Waco passed peacefully in his sleep on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. He was 96. His service and celebration will be 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at OakCrest Funeral Home with Rev. Ken James officiating. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery. Visitation will be 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, at OakCrest Funeral Home. Cecil was born in Dry Creek, Louisiana on May 4, 1923. After high school, he spent four years in the Army Air Corp serving in the China/Burma Campaign during WWII. After his military commitment, Cecil attended Baylor University where he studied business management. His time at Baylor provided him with a lifetime of cherished memories and the love of his life, Vivian Renfrow. In August 1948, Cecil and Vivian married in Waco. They moved to Houston, made their careers, and raised a family of three children. They were members of South Main Baptist Church and then Tallowood Baptist Church, both in Houston. Cecil and Vivian retired and returned to Waco in 1992 where they were members of Columbus Avenue Baptist Church. Vivian passed away September 28, 2019, leaving Cecil to be survived by their children and spouses, Gail and Denny Copeland, John and Nancy Singletary, and Jillian Singletary. He is also survived by five grandchildren and their spouses, Tobin Copeland and wife Adrian, Clay Copeland, Rachel Singletary Lytle and husband Dalton, Kyle Singletary, and Rainey Richards. Survivors also include five great-grandchildren, Dayde Copeland, Dawlson Copeland, Hudsyn Copeland, Cooper Copeland, and Colton Lytle. Cecil is survived by his baby sister Jeanette Tawater, his beloved cousin Linda Bowden and her husband Russell, and many nieces and nephews. He was also preceded in death by his parents Aubrey Carl and Leta Cooley Singletary, his sister Doris Kaminski and his granddaughter, Jamie Scout Richards.