Friends and Family

Mary Grace Whitten Bozeman of Monroe, LA, passed away Jan. 6 after having waged a courageous battle against ovarian cancer for eighteen months.  Her life was remarkable not for deeds, which were many, but for the way she loved and was loved.  Her life was a reflection of God’s love. Mary Grace was born on February 5, 1959, to R.C. and Dorothy Dillon Whitten in Monroe, Louisiana.  Mary Grace was named for her grandmothers, Mary Elizabeth (Mae) McKoin Dillon of Jones, Louisiana and Gracie Dunn Whitten of Grayson, Louisiana, both whom she dearly loved.  While her name was a unique connection to her heritage, it also described her nature which was ever gracious. During her illness, Mary Grace exhibited amazing courage and resilience in the face of an incurable disease.  From the day of her diagnosis until her passing, she enjoyed an internal peace that surpasses the world’s understanding.  Her faith in Christ never wavered despite undergoing numerous surgeries, experimental treatment, and countless rounds of chemotherapy.  Though cancer claimed Mary Grace’s physical body, it never touched her spirit which remained undaunted. Mary Grace was blessed to have been born into a loving and supportive family.  From an early age, she was independent and strong-willed.  These qualities served her well throughout her life, but for those who knew her, she would best be described as loving, caring, and kind. Her childhood and youth were filled with accomplishments in every endeavor she pursued.  From academic honors, to winning awards in 4-H for sewing, cooking, and even showing livestock, to being a drum majorette for the Neville High School Band, Mary Grace achieved excellence in all aspects of her life.  The role, however, she enjoyed most in her growing years and which she continued to embrace until she entered Heaven was being a big sister to her beloved siblings Connie Whitten Chelette and Conrad Whitten. Mary Grace was an honor graduate of Neville High School.  She received her bachelor’s degree from Northeast Louisiana University (now University of Louisiana at Monroe), and her master’s degree in social work from Louisiana State University. For over thirty years, Mary Grace worked as a licensed clinical social worker.  Her career began at E.A. Conway Hospital in Monroe, continued on at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas, and with the Franklin Parish School System.  Lastly, for almost twenty-five years she worked as an independent medical social worker for home health agencies in North Louisiana. Mary Grace’s devotion to her work was best exemplified by routinely caring for patients in between her receiving rounds of chemotherapy.  The joy she experienced from helping others during her cancer battle was often the most effective treatment she received.  Countless lives were positively impacted by Mary Grace’s skillful and compassionate care. Mary Grace’s professional success was secondary to her commitment to her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and her family.  For thirty-nine years, Mary Grace and her husband Bob, whom she lovingly called Robert J., enjoyed a life together filled with love and was marked by a lasting devotion to one another.  Mary Grace captivated Bob’s heart with her external and internal beauty which was never diminished.  As Bob acknowledges, he overachieved in having Mary Grace as his wife.  Of their marriage, two precious daughters were born: Heather Katherine Bozeman Lensing of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Molly Louise Bozeman of Greenville, South Carolina.  They were her joy.  She thanked God every day for them, loved them unconditionally, and was pleased beyond measure to see them become women who are wholly devoted to Christ.  Words are inadequate to describe the depth of love and admiration Bob, Heather, and Molly have for their Mary Grace. Mary Grace’s spirit will live with each of them for eternity. Mary Grace’s involvement within her church, North Monroe Baptist Church (NMBC), and participation in other charitable and social organizations was extensive.  She was actively involved in NMBC’s Women’s Ministry. She served on numerous committees at NMBC, taught Sunday School, served as a Life Group leader, and participated in mission trips to Ukraine.  Beyond NMBC, she was a participant in Bible Study Fellowship and the Northeast Louisiana Cancer Prayer Support Group.  Mary Grace served for many years as a mentor at Jack Hayes Elementary School in Monroe as part of the Kids Hope USA initiative and she was actively engaged in the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home ministry.  She was a member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood, the Junior League of Monroe, and the Monroe Garden Club.  She was a supporter of MedCamps of Louisiana, an honorary alum of Baylor University, co-founder of the Baylor Parents League of Northeast Louisiana, and a Kappa Delta Sorority (Delta Zeta Chapter) alum. Mary Grace was preceded in death by her parents and by Bob’s parents, Charlie and Katherine Bozeman. She leaves her husband, Bob, her daughter Heather Bozeman Lensing (John), daughter Molly Bozeman, her sister Connie Chelette (Benny), her brother Conrad Whitten, her niece Morgan Chelette Bristo (Braden), her uncle Jimmy Dillon, cousins Harold Blue (Jean), Steve Dillon (Catherine), Melanie Dillon Long (Lenny), Melinda Dillon Gorman (Cecil), her sister-in-law, Caroline Bozeman Phillips, her nephews Brad Phillips (Audrey) and Chad Phillips, numerous other cousins, and many friends. A celebration of Mary Grace’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, January 10, 2020, at North Monroe Baptist Church with Dr. Bill Dye and Rev. Terry Hughes officiating.  Burial will follow at Kilpatrick’s Serenity Gardens Cemetery in West Monroe. Visitation will be held Thursday, January 9, 2020, from 5 to 7 p.m. at North Monroe Baptist Church.  Honoring Mary Grace as pallbearers will be members of her NMBC Life Group Class.  Honorary pallbearers are Conrad Whitten, Benny Chelette, John Lensing, Taylor Goodwin, Harold Blue, Steve Dillon, Lenny Long, John Long, Brad Phillips, Chad Phillips, Dr. Tom Gullatt, Steve Gullatt, Mike Breard, and Cam Smith. Thanks are extended to Drs. Kerry Anders, Scott Barron, Tom Gullatt, and P. Gary Jones for the guidance and care they provided our beloved Mary Grace during her cancer battle.  Special thanks go to the nurses and staff at Monroe Surgical Hospital for the care they provided during the days preceding Mary Grace’s entry into Heaven. Memorial donations may be made to North Monroe Baptist Church’s Benevolence Fund, Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home, or MedCamps of Louisiana.

Brenda Livingston Bradley, 59, passed away on January 1, 2020 at her home in Waco, Texas, after a nine-month battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Brenda lived a life deeply invested in others. She was a devoted wife to her husband, Randall, a dedicated mother to her children, Hannah and Isaac, a loving daughter to her mother Maxine, a committed sibling to her sisters, Julia and Mary, and a friend to all who crossed her path. Her life was marked by her love for teaching, her gift of hospitality, her bread making, her commitment to all students who entered her classroom, her love for underserved people around the world, her passion for traveling and meeting new friends, her service to her community, and her love for yoga, jogging, and staying healthy. Born in Salina, Kansas, Brenda grew up in an Air Force family, and during the first 14 years of her life, she lived in Kansas, Japan, Nevada, Virginia, and Alabama. In 1974 her family moved to Alabama, where she graduated as valedictorian from Georgiana High School in 1978. She entered Troy University that fall as an English major and graduated in 1982. Later she earned a master’s degree at The University of North Texas. She also did work toward a doctorate at The University of Oklahoma.  She taught English to grades 6-12 for 11 years in Georgia, Texas, and Missouri, and taught college students for the next 26 years at Oklahoma Baptist University, Baylor University, and McLennan Community College.  Known as a teacher who was fully committed to every student, her joyful personality and commitment to helping students write well and discover a love for literature marked her career. However, she not only loved her students but also was deeply committed to developing relationships with colleagues and administrators.  Known as a good listener and “full of questions,” every person she met offered her an opportunity for personal connection. As a person of faith, Brenda was a member of Calvary Baptist Church where she served as a deacon and choir member. As a maker of what has affectionately become known as “Brenda Bread,” her bread showed up at the front doors of hundreds of people from her church and throughout the community.  She was a consummate cook and hospitable host, and she and Randall frequently opened their home to out-of-town guests, local friends, and groups of students.  On Easter and Thanksgiving, they offered hospitality to as many as 60 students and friends, and several times each year, they hosted the 100+ members of the Baylor Men’s Choir. As a life-long lover of words, Brenda wrote poems most of her life, and a collection of her poems, A Few More Minutes: A Collection of Poetry, was recently released. A collection of her recipes is forthcoming. Additionally, she was the vice president of the Komolion Human Development Fund, a non-profit which she, along with her husband and several friends, formed to support children in Kenya to receive an education and better serve their communities. Brenda is survived by her husband of 36 years, Randall Bradley of Waco, Texas; her daughter, Hannah Bradley of Decatur, Georgia; her son, Isaac Bradley of Waco; her mother, Maxine Livingston of Georgiana, Alabama; and her sisters Julia Hutsell of Johnson City, Tennessee; and Mary Livingston of Ellijay, Georgia.  She is preceded in death by her father Kenneth Livingston. Funeral services for Brenda Bradley will be 2PM Saturday January 4, 2020 at Red Oak Baptist Church. Interment will be in Red Oak Baptist Church Cemetery. Please join us in remembering Brenda Bradley by visiting our Memorial at Through this site we invite you to share your thoughts and fond memories with our family.

Billie Ruth Hayhurst Brownfield, 93, peacefully passed away on February 5, 2020 with her loving daughters by her side. Mrs. Brownfield is lying in repose at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Monday, February 10, at Columbus Avenue Baptist Church with a reception to follow in its Fellowship Hall. Billie was born on November 29, 1926 in Wheeler, Texas, to Effie Ruth and William P. Hayhurst. She was raised in Menard, Texas, and attended the University of Texas. While home on Christmas break, she ran into her brother’s best friend, Joe A. Brownfield, who had just returned home from World War II. It was love at first sight and the two began dating. Joe and Billie married on July 28, 1946, and moved to Waco, Texas. Two beautiful daughters, Scherry and Sally, soon followed and their son, Joe Troy, was a miraculous addition on March 2, 1962. With Billie’s invaluable help, Joe started Waco Construction, Inc. in 1953, and together they grew it into one of the most successful construction companies in Texas and built some of Waco’s most recognizable buildings. Joe and Billie were married for 70 amazing years and worshipped the Lord at Columbus Avenue Baptist Church, where Billie was a member of the Mixson Ladies Sunday School Class for over 55 years. Billie gave of herself in so many ways with her kindness, generosity, and desire to make others happy. She enjoyed nothing more than spending time with her family and especially loved hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas at “The Ranch” in Valley Mills, where she showered her loved ones with gifts, and losses at the card table in Onze. Always fun-loving, Billie was a founding member of the “Cluckers” birthday club whose members carried chicken purses and exchanged blank birthday cards so they could be reused. She was a competitive and accomplished Duplicate Bridge player and her friends joked that she “always” won, even when she wasn’t keeping score. Billie was everybody’s best friend, loyal to them all, and she made everyone feel special. She always had a smile on her face and loved life because Jesus was her Savior. Mrs. B was a generous philanthropist and supported many people in need and charitable causes including Historic Waco Foundation, Christmas on the Brazos, Cotton Palace, and most notably the historic East Terrace House, to which she tirelessly gave of her time, decorating expertise, and finances, and the Joe Troy Brownfield Memorial Branch of the Waco Boys and Girls Club. Billie Brownfield was preceded in death by her husband, Joe A. Brownfield; their son, Joe Troy Brownfield; her parents, Effie Ruth and William P. Hayhurst; and her husband’s parents, Ocie and Joe N. Brownfield. “Mom” is survived by her loving daughters, Sally Ruth Dunn and Scherry Joe Edens and her husband, Dave. “Grandmother” is survived by her grandchildren, John Mabry, Jr. and wife, Stephanie, Melissa Almerico and husband, Ben, David Brownfield Edens and wife, Julie, Erik Edens and wife, Megan, and Sarah Ruth Dunn. “GG” is survived by her great-grandchildren, Ava Grace Almerico, Connor Almerico, Jonah Edens, Jack Mabry, Liam Edens, Levi Edens, and Parker Elise Mabry. Mrs. B is also survived by her nieces, nephews, friends, and dedicated assistants, Shirley Tennyson, Betty McLennan, Rhonda Jernigan, Jorge Hernandez, and Teresa Arias, and hairdresser, Joe Thompson. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the East Terrace House Museum - HWF, 810 S 4th St., Waco TX 76706 and the Joe Troy Brownfield Memorial Branch of the Waco Boys and Girls Club, 2700 N. 21st St., Waco TX 76708. The family invites you to leave a message or memory on our “Tribute Wall” at

Geraldine Cervenka Davidson passed away Nov. 11, 2019, with family at her side at Providence Hospital in Waco. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 2 p.m. Friday, November 15, 2019, at St. Louis Catholic Church, with Father Ryan Hugdon as Celebrant. Burial will follow at St. Mary's Cemetery in West. Visitation will be 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Thursday, November 14, at OakCrest Funeral Home, 4520 Bosque Blvd., Waco. Geraldine Margaret Cervenka was born on March 23, 1931 on the family farm at Route 2, West, Texas. She was the youngest of seven children born to Will J. and Annie (Smajstrla) Cervenka. The birth certificate listed Mom's name as Carolyna instead of Geraldine. Carolyna was her father's mother in Czechoslovakia. Mom's birth certificate was corrected, but even today it has a paper attached showing Carolyna. Mom always said she wished they would have kept her name as Carolyna. She preferred to go by Geri. Starting as a young girl, Geri had to pick cotton among other farm chores. She and her siblings wished they lived in the city (Waco). Years later after living in the city, she wished she was back on the farm. Geri attended Leggett Elementary School. She and her siblings had to walk almost two miles to school. She graduated in the top of her class at West High School in 1949.Geri attended Four-C Business College in Waco. She graduated early, finishing an 18-month curriculum in less than a year. She could take shorthand and type over 100 words per minute. Geri worked as an executive secretary at various companies, including Crawford & Co. Claims Adjusters and The Rohan Company. In her late seventies, Geri worked as a product demonstrator at Sam's Club, from which she retired. Geri was an avid Baylor Bears and Dallas Cowboys fan. We believe she waited to watch one last Baylor game. What a finale --- Baylor defeated TCU in triple overtime! Last year Mom was selected to be an Alumni by Choice of Baylor University. She proudly displayed her "degree" in her room, and pointed it out to all visitors. Not only was she beautiful and intelligent, but Mom was a wonderful cook and seamstress. Her family loved her homemade pickles, banana pudding, apple crisp, beautiful Christmas cookies, and sweet tea. She had a green thumb and anything she planted blossomed. Geri always had beautiful rose bushes and a lovely yard. Geri was proud of her Czech heritage and loved dancing to polka music. She would often honor her heritage by dressing in an authentic Czech kroje and baked homemade kolaches for her family. Geri always put God and family first. She was a member of St. Louis Catholic Church for many years and raised her children in the Catholic faith. Geri was preceded in death by her parents, siblings: Henrietta Cervenka, Willa Mae Cervenka, Eugenia Surley, and Wilfred Cervenka, brothers-in-law Alvin Surley and Anthony Ghelfi, sister-in-law Mildred Cervenka, and niece Sharon Cervenka. She is survived by her children: Michelle (Stephen) Curtis of Riesel, Renee (Billy) Chollett of College Station, Michael Davidson of Waco, Mark (Becky) Davidson of Independence, MO, and Troy Davidson of Springfield, MO, and Jane (Rob) Lewis of San Antonio; brother, Clement Cervenka of Burleson; sister, Evelyn Ghelfi of Astoria, NY; sister-in-law, Willie Mae Cervenka of West; fourteen grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews; and her beloved dog, Mickey. Pallbearers will be her grandsons. The family wishes to thank The Atrium for their care of Mom for the past few years. Special thanks to Providence Hospital ER, 4 North and Hospice Staff for their compassionate care of our mother. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Providence Hospice, 6700 Sanger Waco, TX.

Dr. Dovalee Dorsett of Valley Mills, TX, passed away peacefully in her sleep on December 12, 2019. Dovalee ("Dovie") was born on August 7, 1933 in Bossier City, Louisiana and grew up on various air force bases in the US and Japan. She graduated from Coolidge High School in 1950. After marriage and kids, she returned to school and obtained a PhD in statistics. After being a lecturer at SMU and UT Dallas, she and her loving spouse of 34 years, Dr. Patrick Odell, moved to Waco and were professors at Baylor from 1987-2005. At retirement, they moved to their country home in Valley Mills in 2006, where they lived until 2019. Dovie was known for her determination, independence, and especially her loving heart. She was most happy when visiting or helping her children and grandchildren. She was a great cook and loved family gatherings. She was loved by all and was a favorite at the Sunset Home in Clifton. She is survived by her spouse, Patrick Odell, brother, Tracy Dorsett, children, Kathy Mier and Tracy McElroy, stepchildren Mike Odell, James Odell, Patricia Kimray, Deborah Johnson, and Julie Odell, and grandchildren, Benjamin, Taylor, Annie, Jeremy, Patrick, Lynne, Ashley, Blake and Bryce, great grandchild Erin, niece Lee Dorsett, and nephew Tracy Dorsett. Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m., Saturday, December 14, 2019 at the Columbus Avenue Baptist Church in Waco with Pastor Ken James officiating. Interment will follow in the Coolidge Cemetery at 1:30 p.m.

Helen Dodd Hawkins, of Lexington, SC, loving mother & grandmother, passed away peacefully on Dec. 23, 2019. She was 85. Helen was born October 14, 1934, along with her twin brother Harold, to Harry and Myrtle Dodd, in Waco Texas. She also had an older brother Jim Bob. Helen completed her early education in the Waco School District and graduated from Waco High School in 1952. She later graduated from Southwestern University (Class of '56) in Georgetown, Texas where she met and fell in love with Richard M. "Dick" Hawkins, Jr. Following graduation, Dick and Helen were married September 1, 1956 and raised three children while living and working in Texas, New Jersey and Florida, including a five-year period out of the country in Tripoli, Libya. Helen's 40-year employment career spanned a variety of different organizations including Martin Marietta and St. Michael's Episcopal Church, while also keeping busy with her Phi Mu sorority sisters and serving in the Methodist church. Helen was the rock that held the family tight, leading by example of what it means to be courageous and strong in the face of adversity. A tireless and faithful servant of God, having touched the heart of everyone she met, Helen was known for her quick wit, infectious laugh and kind and compassionate spirit. She returned to Waco in 2005, reuniting with family and friends and joined the Baylor University bandwagon to cheer the Lady Bears basketball squad. In 2017, Helen moved closer to her daughters and their families in the Carolinas where she particularly enjoyed being close to her grandchildren. Preceded in death by her husband in 1991, she is survived by her children, Deborah Pedersen of Lincolnton, NC, Rick and Marilou Hawkins of the Philippines and Ami and Steve Whelan of Lexington, SC. She is also survived by her loving grandchildren, Matthew and Rebecca Pedersen, Adam and Conrad Hawkins and Brandon and Zachary Whelan. While she will be missed by many, Helen's loving spirit will live within us forever. Memorial services are planned in Winter Park, Florida and Waco, Texas later in 2020. In lieu of flowers or other gifts, the family kindly requests that memorial donations be made to the Hospice Care of South Carolina, Southwestern or Baylor University, or a charity of your choice.

Melinda Luise Herzog, age 65, died on Friday, January 3, 2020, in Newton, North Carolina. She was born on May 31, 1954 in Houston, Texas to Howard and Florence (Alder) Herzog and was the youngest of three daughters. Melinda earned a BA from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and a Master’s degree in museum management from Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Her professional career took her to Huntsville, Alabama; Baylor University in Texas; Rutgers University in New Jersey; Manassas, Virginia and Conover, North Carolina. She was accomplished in various forms of needlework and enjoyed reading and researching her ancestors. She was devoted to her several dogs. Those family members left to cherish her memory include her sisters, Barbara Earman and Susan Herzog Zilinskas; and her nieces Amanda Fagg, Abigail Clautice, Huntly Klimchalk, Amy Klavohn and Abigail Meads. Melinda's family expresses profound gratitude to those devoted friends who generously gave care and affection to Melinda as her health declined. They would especially like to thank Adele Roseman, JoAnn Harper, Judy Bailey and Terri Duckett. No services are planned. Condolences may be made to Amanda Fagg, 2321 N Blue Mesa Dr. Fayetteville, AR 72703, or to the Herzog family at Memorials may be given in her name to a charity of your choice. The Herzog family has entrusted funeral arrangements to Drum Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Conover, NC. 

Don Thomas Hutto, age 83, passed away on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 in Waco, Texas.  He was born on November 13, 1936 in Waco, Texas. He graduated from Slocum High School and attended Navarro Junior College on a basketball scholarship.  He earned his degree in Education from Sam Houston University.  He spent ten years in the education field as a teacher, coach and principal.  He was also the Athletic Director at the YMCA on Columbus Avenue in Waco in the ’60s. In 1971, he started a life-long career as a Life Insurance Agent.  He was a representative for American Amicable, Texas Life and National Farm Life for almost 50 years.  Don served on the Waco Association of Life Underwriters and was President for many years.  He is a member of the First United Methodist Church and served on many committees as well as being an Usher.  He was captain of the first tennis team from Waco to qualify for the Nationals in 1994. Don enjoyed volunteering at various local organizations.  He also enjoyed playing tennis, golf and playing cards. He loved going to watch the Baylor Lady Bears basketball games and spending time with his family. Don is preceded in death by his parents, Johnny and Roxi Hutto; his sister, Natalie Lomax; his first wife, Virginia Walters Hutto.  He is survived by his wife, Nancy Hutto; daughter, Merry Hutto Kemp and husband Gary; son, Don David Hutto and wife Kelli; Stepsons, Andy Evans and wife Amber, Jeff Evans and wife Ann Renee, Jay Evans, Jonathan Evans and wife Katherine; Grandchildren, Kelli Kemp, Kaci Kemp, Jake Hutto, Liza Hutto, Landon Ibbott, Logan Ibbott, Tristan Legier, Audrey Evans, Shelby Evans, Jeffrey Evans, Kaitlyn Evans, Laura Beth Evans, Jeremiah Evans, Easton Evans and Solomon Evans. A memorial service will be 1:00 pm, January 18th at Grace Gardens.

Bettye Delene Baird Keathley, 82, passed away peacefully at home Wednesday, January 8, 2020 in Round Rock, Texas. Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m., Sunday, January 12, at Connally/Compton Funeral Directors in Waco, Texas. A graveside service will be at held at 2 p.m., Monday, January 13, at Frost Cemetery in Frost, TX. Bettye was preceded in death by her parents, Raymond and Lessie (Cook) Baird and husband, David L. Keathley. She is survived by their daughter, Kathy Cawthron and husband, Rich, and granddaughters Delaney and Savannah of Round Rock, Texas. She is also survived by her cousin, Lynn Short and wife, Anita of Frost, Texas. Bettye was born on February 28, 1937 in Corsicana, Texas. On September 3, 1955, she married the love of her life, David Keathley. After graduating from Sam Houston State College, they dedicated their lives to public school education. Bettye taught Home Economics in Magnolia Independent School District. They moved to Waco in 1962, where she both taught and served as a district and campus administrator for Waco Independent School District. Bettye and David were active in the Kareem Shrine and other community organizations, as well as being very involved in their only daughter's school activities. After Bettye retired in 2003, she began working for Baylor University and Waco ISD in the teacher preparation program. Bettye loved to travel and she, Kathy, Rich and her granddaughters enjoyed many vacations and excursions. In lieu of flowers, memorial dedications may be made in her honor to your choice of Title I public schools, animal shelters, or pet rescue organizations. 

Shirley Horn May went to be with the Lord Saturday, January 25, 2020 in San Antonio, Texas. She was born in Spring, Texas on June 27, 1936. She was 83. She was the daughter of William Christian Horn and Mabel Scott both of Spring. For the last nineteen years, she lived in San Antonio to be close to her Grandchildren. She is survived by her son Allen Kyle May of Boerne, TX. Grandson Kendall Edward May of Boerne, TX and Luke Sterling May also of Boerne, TX. Plus many nieces and nephews. She was proceeded in death by her husband Rev. Edward James May and son Cary May. She was also proceeded in death by her sister Dora Mobley, sister Dorothy Green, Sister Inez Walker, and Brother Bill Dietz. Shirley graduated from The University of Mary Hardin Baylor in Belton, Texas with a degree in education. Shirley was a school teacher in the northwest Houston area for 32 years. She was an accomplished pianist and played alongside Edward in all the churches he pastored. Shirley never met a stranger. She always had a story to tell. She like to sew and do crossword puzzles. Everyone has a story about Shirley which meant she touched so many lives. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be sent to The George W. Truett / Edward J. May Scholarship at the Truett Seminary at Baylor University. The family is adding Shirley's name to the scholarship as well since they were such a team spreading the gospel of Christ. The family will greet friends 5-8pm, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020 at Klein Funeral Home, Tomball. A funeral service will be 2pm, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020 at Klein Funeral Home Chapel, Tomball. Truett Seminary One Bear Place Box 97026 Waco, TX 76798.

Daphne McGowen passed away on January 13, 2020 surrounded by her loved ones after a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Daphne was born in Lubbock, Texas, August 10, 1941 to Robert Maeker and Luceil Rose Maeker. She was the oldest of three children and the firstborn grandchild in the Rose family. Daphne attended Texas Tech University before marrying LeRoy McGowen on May 14, 1960.Daphne and her family moved to various locations throughout Texas including Sherman, Tyler and Waco from 1970 until 1984 when the family permanently moved back to Waco, Texas. Daphne was employed by Baylor University for more than 20 years where she developed many lifelong friendships and where she took many students under her protective wing. Daphne had an infectious smile and is described by those who knew her as the kindest, sweetest soul one would ever meet. Daphne's spirit and legacy lives on through her four children (Lisa Meadows, Leslie Mitchell, Jennifer Goldston and Dave McGowen), ten grandchildren and five great grandchildren – all of which were the absolute joy and light of her life. The family would like to express its deep appreciation to the dedicated caregivers at Westview Manor (McGregor, Texas), Hearthstone Health Center (Round Rock, Texas) and Guiding Hospice/Transitions Hospice (Round Rock, Texas). In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Alzheimer's Association (

Dr. William “Bill” C. Robinson died July 3, 2019, in Winter Springs, FL. He is responsible, more than anyone else, for starting the International Horn Workshops and the International Horn Society. His mission in life has been as a music educator. Bill was born in Oklahoma in 1919. He earned his degree in Instrumental Music Education at the University of Oklahoma in 1942 and became band director at Norman High School before going into the Army that same year. He played baritone and trombone in the army band in El Paso and started horn instruction with Leonard Hale, who was also a member of the band. He played in the El Paso Symphony until the band was sent to the Pacific in 1945. After being discharged from the Army in 1946, he returned to Norman, earned a master's degree from the University of Oklahoma, and resumed his position as band director at Norman High School. He studied horn with George Yeager and played in the Oklahoma City Symphony Orchestra for seven years. In 1958, after hearing the Chicago Symphony Woodwind Quintet and becoming acquainted with Philip Farkas, he went to Chicago during the summer to study with Phil. They became good friends - a friendship that lasted for the rest of Phil's life. In 1959, the Robinsons moved to El Paso TX, where Bill taught in the public schools and played first horn in the El Paso Symphony for seven years. During his years in secondary band programs, Bill developed what was called the "Breath Impulse System," which promoted breath support, tone production, and good rhythmic body feeling. With his colleague in Norman, James Middleton, and his colleagues at Baylor University, Richard Shanley, Larry Vanlandingham, and Gene Smith, he wrote a book, the Complete School Band Program for the benefit of school band directors. He later published two horn method books that were edited by Phil Farkas. Bill was the horn professor at Florida State University in Tallahassee FL from 1966-71. He was a member of the Faculty Chamber Orchestra, Faculty Woodwind Quintet, and Brass Trio. While there, he hosted the first three International Horn Workshops (1969, 1970, 1971) and was instrumental in forming the International Horn Society in 1970. He served as vice president of the IHS for five years (1971-76). In 1971, he moved to Baylor University in Waco TX, where he taught horn and later became Chairman of the Instrumental Music Division, which grew from 19 to over 125 instrumental music education students during the years from 1971 to 1986, when he retired. While at Baylor, he also played in the faculty woodwind quintet and brass quintet, the Waco Symphony, and the San Angelo Symphony. Bill was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 1978, elected to the Oklahoma Band Director's Hall of Fame in 1988, and received the Edwin Franko Goldman Award from the American School Band Directors Association in 1995. He was a charter member of the last organization in 1953. In 1999, he was honored at Baylor University as the founder of the Chamber Music Society in Waco. Bill studied horn with George Yaeger, Philip Farkas, Dale Clevenger, and Arnold Jacobs and also had help on the horn from Frøydis Ree Wekre and Hermann Baumann. He taught horn students of all ages from schools in Orlando FL and surrounding areas in his retirement until shortly before his death.

Ralph Mathers Sloman, 90, of Taylorville, IL, died Monday, May 27, 2019 at his home. Mr. Sloman was born March 22, 1929 in Springfield, the son of George and Jennie (Mathers) Sloman. After graduating from Morrisonville Community High School, Ralph attended Shurtluff College in Alton and then transferred to the University of Illinois where he earned a B.S. degree in Agriculture. He enlisted in the United States Air Force achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant. He married Eva Elizabeth (Beth) Monroe on July 9, 1954; she preceded him in death in 2011. To this union was born a daughter, Dawn Ilene Sloman, who tragically died in 1982 in an automobile accident. Ralph enjoyed life as a farmer retiring after 39 years from the fields of Christian County. In 1985 he received the prestigious Prairie Farmer "Master Farmer" award. For more than 50 years, he was a member of Zenobia Baptist Church and later continued to serve his Lord at Bethel Baptist Church. He was a King Township trustee and served on boards of Morrisonville School District, Morrisonville-Palmer Fire District, Lake Springfield Baptist Camp as well as over 40 years of service to University of Illinois Extension Council and was a lifetime member of the American Legion. Ralph loved being a part of his community, enjoyed mentoring and was faithful in his visitation of shut-ins. He is survived by several nieces and nephews: Maude Higgins (Duane) of Matthews, NC; John Sloman (Rita) of Rockfield, KY; Rachel Broughton (Perry) of Pawnee, IL; Vicki McMillian (Joe) of Galloway Township, NJ; Carol Fontenot (Dave) of Sulphur, LA; Ray Pryne of Iowa Park, TX; one sister-in-law: Paula Pryne of Galloway Township, NJ; and one very special “adopted daughter,” Patty Taglioli, Taylorville, who cared for him like he was her father. Mr. Sloman was preceded in death by his parents, his wife and daughter, brother and sister-in-law Wheeler and Catherine Sloman. Funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 1, 2019 at Bethel Baptist Church with Pastor Steve Robinson officiating. Visitation is 9:30 a.m. until time of service. Internment with full military honors will be at 2:30 p.m. at Morrisonville Cemetery. McClure Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Taylorville is assisting the family with arrangements. Memorials may be made to Bethel Baptist Church, 1919 N 1000 East Road, Taylorville 62568.

Clark Cabot Watts, Brigadier General (US Army retired), Neurosurgeon, Attorney and Author peacefully rejoined his beloved wife Patty on Dec. 24, 2019, surrounded by his family after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Clark devoted his life to learning, teaching and his love of Neurosurgery. Born in Dallas, Texas on January 16, 1938, the eldest of 5 children. When he was 9 years old, they were placed at the Buckner Orphanage in Dallas where he spent the rest of his childhood and adolescence. Following graduation from high school at Buckner followed by an undergraduate degree from UT Austin, he went on to earn numerous advanced degrees including both his Medical Doctor degree and a master’s degree in Pharmacology at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas. Though he was accepted as one of the first neurosurgical residents at UT Southwestern, his residency had to be deferred because of a draft notice from the US Army which became the first step in a long and successful military career.  He later returned to complete his residency in neurosurgery at UTSW in 1970 followed by ABNS board certification in 1972. Clark’s long and productive neurosurgical career included serving as faculty at his alma mater, UTSW where he was instrumental in establishing the pediatric neurosurgery program at Dallas Children’s Medical Center. This was followed by positions as professor of surgery and director of the neurosurgery residency program at the University of Missouri in Columbia from 1976 to 1991, University of Maryland in Baltimore 1991-1993 and University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio from which he retired from neurosurgical practice in 2005. During his career, he held a number of elected and appointed positions in medicine, including President of the Texas Association of Neurological Surgeons as well as editor of several medical journals. He continued to contribute to the medical literature even after his retirement from neurosurgical practice. Perhaps his most important contribution was being co-founder of the Think First National Injury Prevention Foundation, now known as ThinkFirst. Medicine was just one of the three professions at which he excelled. He gave true meaning to being a lifelong learner, earning a Master of Public Health (1983) and Juris Doctorate (1990) from the University of Missouri in Columbia. Upon his return home to Texas in 1993 in addition to his neurosurgery position at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, he practiced healthcare and administrative law in Austin where he held the position of Adjunct Professor of Law at the UT Law school. Dr. Watts served twenty-seven years in the U.S. Army Reserves as a general medical officer, neurosurgeon, flight surgeon, advisor on reserve affairs to the Department of Defense, and hospital commander, receiving the Order of Military Medical Merit and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal. As the highest-ranking medical officer in the reserves at the time of Desert Shield, he led the neurosurgery program at Walter Reed Army. He retired in 1998 at the rank of Brigadier General. But all these accomplishments do not reflect the true Renaissance man he was. His interests went far beyond medicine, law or the military to literature and the arts.  He loved to travel with his wife, Patty and he loved to tell stories of his adventures. Clark had a passion for words and writing. His writing Development Counsellors International included publications in national literary and poetry journals.  In his retirement years, he authored several books: All I Ever Wanted Was A Home (2009) about his life growing up in Buckner; Dinner with Caesar (2015), a collection of poetry and short stories; and Unlikely Journey (2019), a memoir. At the time of his death he was in the process of completing a book about the religious art of the Holy Land. Dr. Watts was predeceased by his wife, Patty Watts, his mother, Dora and sister, Eva. Clark is survived by 1 brother, 3 sisters, 8 children 14 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. Clark loved his family and friends and the many English bulldogs who were fortunate to have shared his home. He will be remembered as husband, father, mentor, teacher and friend. A private military burial will be at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.  

Dr. Wendell “Bill” C. Williams, of Adel, IA, died Jan. 27. He was born on February 9, 1928 in Stennet, Iowa. Bill attended college at both Drake University and Iowa State University. Bill’s early years were spent as middle school teacher in the communities of Dallas Center, Adel and Linden. While attending those schools, he operated a small farm east of Adel, along the highway and came to have a love of Black Angus cattle. Bill married Gretchen Noe in 1950 and to this union a son, Stephen, was born in 1956. After completion of his PhD from Iowa State University, Bill became a professor at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, in the Sociology Department, becoming Professor Emeritus & Chair of Educational Psychology (1976-1991). Bill and Gretchen retired back to Iowa, first living in West Des Moines and Bill worked as a professor at Drake University, then moving to Adel in 2002. A private family graveside service is planned for Thursday, January 30. Memorials can be made to the First Christian Church of Adel. Online condolences may be left at