ROSES & THORNS

2008

This page will be constantly updated as we hear from you. Share with us your good news - new grandbaby, kid or grandkid graduates or gets married, etc. And since Bearcats are really a family, let us share your troubled times as well. To submit an entry click here. Please limit news to yourself, spouses, children, grandchildren, parents, and siblings.

Janaan (Ivie) Compton and her husband Joe have recently become grandparents, Asher Walt Hansgen was welcomed into their family on December 4, 2008. Asher weighed in at 8 lbs. 6 oz., the proud parents are Janaan's only child Jodi and her husband Ash Hansgen who live in Atlanta, Georgia. Janaan and Joe live in Belton, Texas, most likely they already have some trips planned between Georgia and Texas. 12/31/08

We just found out that George M. Cox is not our only classmate who celebrated a thirty fifth wedding anniversary in 2008. Gordon Ray Duke and Darlene Johnson were married on the easy to remember anniversary date of July 4th back in 1973, they live in Sherman. Please notify us if you know of any classmates that will be celebrating a special wedding anniversary in 2009, we can't list everyone's anniversary but we do like to recognize those where the numbers of years married will end in a five or a zero. 12/30/08

James Cooper's September four day business trip to New York City just happened to coincide with the special 9/11 memorial observance being held at the scene of that life changing event. James said just being in the general area of that tragic event at that particular time gave him a unique feeling of patriotism unlike any he could have gotten anywhere else. A special three hour and fifty minute program was held at the 9/11 site with several different dignitaries speaking, more special observances were also being held at other sites around the city including the Empire State Building which was specially lit in colors of red, white, and blue. Many people that have been to New York City in the last few years say the people there seem much friendlier than the possibly incorrect stereotype a lot of us had years ago about the citizens of New York City. Dianne (Keesee) Williams' husband John says that while New York City has many interesting things to see, you can't beat the beauty of his home area of upstate New York. Several '63 Bearcats have been to New York City but probably not very many have been fortunate enough to see all the beauty that upstate New York has to offer. If you check out www.visit1000islands.com, you might just discover there's a lot of truth in what John says. 12/23/08

Lyndall (Hobbs) Wilcoxon's mother, Vivian Riley Hobbs, passed away on Sunday, December 14, 2008 at Whitesboro Nursing Center in Whitesboro, Texas. Graveside services at West Hill Cemetery in Sherman will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 17, 2008, services will be conducted by Rev. David Petrash under the direction of Waldo Funeral Home. Vivian taught two and three year old children for several years at Key Memorial Church, she also served as a volunteer at Key Memorial Care Center. She is survived by daughter Lyndall Hobbs Wilcoxon and her husband Luther, granddaughter Kelly Wilcoxon Hall, great granddaughter Shelby Hall and brother E.C. Riley, Jr., all of Sherman, Texas. She is also survived by several cousins, nieces and nephews. 12/16/08

Willies Ballou and wife Cathye, our traveling couple, are on the road again. Correction, that should be on the water again. After completing two back to back seven day cruises a couple of months ago on Royal Caribbean's "Adventure Of The Seas" cruise ship which took them to eight different ports in the Southern Caribbean, they are right now in the Atlantic somewhere sailing towards their final port of Galveston from a nearly month long extended combination cruise and land travel vacation which had them touring several cities in France and Italy. While in Italy they also got to tour Sicily which is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Now sailing home from Barcelona, they will have visited a couple of ports in Spain as well as ports in Madeira, Portugal, The Canary Islands, The Bahamas, and Miami, Florida before arriving in Galveston. This latest trip had Willies and Cathye on Royal Caribbean's "Voyager Of The Seas" cruise ship for a total of twenty two days, one seven day voyage and one of fifteen days. The traveling couple will arrive home approximately ten days before Christmas and most likely they already have some trips planned for 2009, they just can't seem to stay home. Their first cruise named "Senior Trip" was part of our twenty five year class reunion activities back in 1988, Willies and Cathye didn't know then that trip would have gotten them so hooked on cruising. 12/12/08

Jerry Ruffin and his wife Sue spent a long weekend in the Jefferson, Texas area recently with eleven other family members, while there they all visited many of the interesting sites in and around what was at one time Texas' second largest inland port city. A special highlight was an old fashioned carriage ride around the town. This weekend Jerry and Sue will be in Pampa, Texas for the 50th wedding anniversary celebration of Sue's brother Charley and his wife Ann. 12/5/08

Anne (Bell) Langworth's mother, MaBelle Miller Bell, passed away in Dallas, Texas on September 30, 2008. MaBelle was born in Sherman and was active in many civic organizations and social clubs in Dallas where she had lived for many years. Services were held on October 3, 2008 in Dallas in the Cox Chapel of the Highland Park United Methodist Church. Her survivors include daughters Anne Langworthy, Lee Snadon, and Peggy Adams and her husband, Dr. Sam Adams, as well as ten grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. 12/5/08

Gwynn (Crowson) Getto and husband Jim have made a couple of trips recently to Denver, Colorado where they visited with Jim's dad, Jim's three bothers, and his sister. While there, Jim and Gwynn were also able to go horseback riding in and around some of the very beautiful and scenic areas that our nation's "Mile High City" has to offer. Santa Jim will be returning to Denver in about a week to deliver some presents for an early Colorado Christmas, after a four day visit there he will return home to Mesquite where Gwynn remained getting things ready for their upcoming Christmas celebration at home. 12/05/08

Dianne (Keesee) Williams and husband John spent some time recently in John's hometown of Alexandria Bay, New York which is in the very scenic area of upstate New York, they were there for John's mother's 87th birthday celebration. While there, Dianne and John got to visit with several other family members and they also made some trips into Canada for shopping as well as sightseeing. Now that their enjoyable vacation has ended, like many other families, they are now back home and busy preparing for a big Christmas Celebration. 12/5/08

Patricia (Pat) Onley's son, Joshua Benton (Josh) Onley of McKinney, Texas, passed away on November 22, 2008.  His survivors include mother, Pat Onley of McKinney; sister, Kathryn Jane (Kate) Onley also of McKinney; and aunt, Kathy Onley of Plano. Services will be held at 4:00 p.m. Saturday, November 29, 2008 at the Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Funeral Chapel in Allen, Texas. Pat Onley's father who passed away in March of 2006, H. B. Onley, was our assistant principal at Sherman High School. 11/29/08

Harold (Butch) Norris' father, Douglas Norris, passed away Monday, November 24, 2008 at Texoma Healthcare Center in Sherman. Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 26, 2008 at the Waldo Funeral Home Chapel, burial will follow at Cedarlawn Memorial Park Cemetery. Doug served in the United States Navy in WWII, he was also retired from the Frisco Railroad after serving thirty nine years as an engineer. Doug is survived by his wife of 70 years, Anna Margaret Walker Norris. He is also survived by two daughters, Martha Reed and her husband John of Collierville, Tennessee and Nancy Cox and her husband Kenneth of Bonham, Texas; son, Harold (Butch) Norris and his wife Jennie of Wichita Falls, Texas; seven grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. 11/25/08

Mike Nurre just finished his work as one of a fifteen member selection committee that was involved in the search for Austin College's new president. After beginning with 76 applicants, Mike and the other committee members narrowed the search down to three finalists who were brought to campus with their spouses for a two day visit. Dr. Marjorie Hass, currently provost of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, was the committee's choice to lead Austin College into the second decade of the 21st Century. The very dynamic Dr. Hass will be the fifteenth president and the first woman to take the helm in the 160 year old history of Austin College, she will begin her duties July 1, 2009. The college's current president, Dr. Oscar Page, will be stepping down at that time but not before assisting Dr. Hass into a smooth transition of leadership. Dr. Page's leadership will definitely be missed at Austin College, he has served as president since 1994 and is the driving force behind many of the improvements seen on campus over the last almost decade and a half. 11/25/08

Lesley (Chase) Cox's brother, Edgar Bishop Chase, Jr., passed away Saturday, November 15, 2008, he lived in Springtown, Texas. Edgar was a 1962 Sherman High School graduate, his memorial service was held at Fairview Baptist Church in Mineral Wells, Texas on Sunday, November 23, 2008. Survivors include: his wife Mary, daughter Lisa and her husband Kenny Baker, stepdaughter Shelli and her husband Greg Swift, stepdaughter Vicki and her husband Tom Matherly, brother Steve and his wife Nancy Kay Chase, sister Lesley Chase Cox and her husband Mike, eight grandchildren, two great grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. 11/25/08

Gary Park was a busy person recently as he attended four of the Veteran's Day celebrations in our area, the first was a special Veteran's Observance at the Bonham High School football field. He and some of his other Red River Valley Military Vehicle Preservation Association members also attended a special Veteran's Day parade in downtown Sherman, a memorial service at the Veteran's Memorial at Fairview Park in Sherman, and a special observance in Gainesville. A short program with government officials and area veterans speaking gave special meaning at each one of these observances. 11/20/08

Nina Lou (Davis) Doggett passed away on Monday, November 3, 2008 at her home in Sherman. Her services will be held at the Waldo Funeral Home Chapel at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, November 7, 2008, Terry Garrison and Randy Mathis will officiate with burial to follow at West Hill Cemetery. Nina is survived by her husband, Edgar Lee "Buddy" Doggett Jr.; son, Eddie Doggett of Sherman; daughter, Debra Hix of Sadler; brother, Billy Schroeder of Killeen, Texas; six grandchildren and one great granddaughter. 11/05/08

The motto of the Los Angeles, California Police Department is "to protect and to serve,"  Bennie (Bowen) Stoy's son Kent who lives in League City, Texas and is a police officer in Webster, Texas used that motto as his own when he spent an entire week without time off assisting residents of his area after the devastation from Hurricane Ike. If you do not know where League City is, it is between Houston and Galveston which is a great place to live but sometimes there are drawbacks as many residents recently found out. Kent and wife Cheryl fortunately had prepared their home ahead of the storm so they received little damage other than sections of a fence being blown down but many of their neighbors were not so lucky. Cheryl, a contract employee at NASA, stayed several days with family and friends in Plano and Sherman while Kent was working before heading back home. Kent said the whole experience was very frightening and one he hopes he doesn't have to repeat again. Ginger (Smith) Cook, who lives in the southwest part of Houston, was fortunate that she only received some wind damage to trees but her electricity was off for a week. Karen (McCall) Penrod who lives in Missouri City was another one of our classmates who was without electricity for quite some time. There are several other '63 Bearcats who live in the hurricane affected areas, however we do not have any definite updates on them but we hope any inconveniences they might have had were short lived and did not result in any injuries. 10/13/08

Stellagene (Teague) Shelton recently spent four days at a company retreat in the beautiful and historic city of Savannah, Georgia. Besides the usual conferences she was able to take in a couple of tours and see what makes Savannah unique, one tour was of historic Fort Jackson which was established just before the Revolutionary War and another was a boat tour of the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge along the banks of the Savannah River. After returning home, she and her youngest daughter Janetta and grandson Major spent a few days in East Texas enjoying the beauty of the pine trees there as well as the East Texas State Fair. 9/30/08

Last night's lead news story on KTEN Television Channel 10's 6:00 p.m. newscast featured Gary Park talking about today being the 7th Anniversary of the World changing 9/11 attacks and how Americans should remember all those lives lost on that tragic day. Being involved in different military organizations plus having his new "Grandpa's Footlocker" business devoted to buying and selling military collectibles such as medals, patches, uniforms, books and magazines, and more make Gary Grayson County's go-to person when questions are asked concerning the military or when the occasion might be a special military observance. 9/11/08

Gary Campbell's mother, Florence Catherine Campbell, passed away Thursday, Sept. 4, 2008, at Crawford Street Place in Denison. Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the American Funeral Services Chapel in Denison. Interment will follow at Cedarlawn Memorial Park in Sherman. Mrs. Campbell is survived by her sons, Ronald D. Campbell of Denison and Gary Campbell of Sherman; daughter Cathy Blanks of Lufkin; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. 9/5/08

Austin College Alumni Board President Mike Nurre presented this year's new freshmen class with their class banner in a special ceremony held at Austin College this past Monday. Another highlight of the event was when Austin College President Oscar Page introduced actor, author, and director Henry Winkler who gave a very inspiring convocation address. Henry, known to many as Fonzie from the classic "Happy Days" television show, told about how an item in one of the thousands of fan letters he has received through the years is a source of great inspiration. In that letter was a metal carving with the phrase "If you will it, it is not a dream," that carving now hangs on a wall in his home. Winkler, who admitted he had many struggles as a student, said he now understands the importance of that phrase. "I believe that, in the Western Hemisphere anyway, that phrase makes the world go around. There is no reason why you can't have what you dream. Every one of you is filled with greatness," he said. He went on to tell how everyone should use that greatness to pursue their dreams. Winkler, who participates in a variety of charitable organizations with many being devoted to helping children, said that giving back to others should be a priority. He further stated that "If you do nothing, something very important will remain undone." Winkler also spoke earlier Monday to students majoring in Communication Arts and students involved in the Leadership Institute Program. Henry Winkler was also on campus just over six years ago as he gave the Commencement Address to the Austin College Graduates of the Class of 2002. Mike Nurre is back on the Austin College Campus today as part of a special committee meeting involved in the search for a new college president, more about Mike's role in that search can be found by scrolling down in this section to our July 28th entry. 9/4/08

Johnny Hunt's mother, Cleo Hunt, passed away on September 1, 2008. Services were held at Dannel Funeral Home in Sherman at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 3, 2008. Officiating were Randy Harper and Danny Woods, burial followed at Cedarlawn Memorial Park. Cleo loved to travel, having spent 27 years as an Air Force wife traveling the world, and served as a community service volunteer on many of the bases where her husband was stationed. After his retirement from the Air Force, she and Buddy traveled the U.S. with "Campers on A Mission" and "Volunteer Christian Builders" helping build and repair churches. Cleo is survived by her husband of 66 years, Climmie (Buddy) Hunt of Sherman; her son, John Edwin Hunt and wife Donnelle of Sherman; and her sister, Vivian Coleman and husband Alvin of Ackerman, Mississippi. She is also survived by three grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and two nephews. 9/3/08

Weldon Hutson and wife Pamela were honored this past weekend with a 40th wedding anniversary come and go celebration at their home in Howe. The special event was hosted by the couple's four children and their spouses, DeAnn Drewry and her husband, Keith of Howe; Jared Hutson and his wife, Alyssa, of Carrollton; Jason Hutson and his wife, Delana, of Sherman; and Keith Hutson and his wife, Christy, of Plano. The 40th anniversary honorees are also proud grandparents to three grandchildren. Weldon Arthur Hutson and Pamela Ruth Rawlins were married August 30, 1968 at the former Central Baptist Church (now Grayson Bible Baptist Church) in Sherman, officiating was the Reverend Lloyd S. Ledbetter. Weldon is pastor of the Bethel Baptist Church in Howe. 9/3/08

Alice (Bruce) Nordin and husband Gary celebrated their fortieth wedding anniversary on July 19, 2008. Alice attended second through ninth grades in Sherman and says she has many fond memories of the time she spent here and the friends she made while attending school. She and Gary live in Edna, Texas which is one hundred miles southwest of Houston. Their daughter Carrie Hall, son-in-law Kevin, and grandson Samuel who will turn one soon live near San Antonio. Alice let us know that she and Gary are thoroughly enjoying being new grandparents. 9/2/08

George M. Cox was awarded the CEOs trophy for producing and closing over $55 MM in commercial real estate loans. For his efforts he was awarded an all expense paid (cash included) trip to Las Vegas and Reno Nevada. From there George M and wife Debby left to spend two weeks in Hawaii (their 34th trip to the Islands) and will soon be leaving to spend their 35th wedding anniversary in San Juan Puerto Rico on September 1st. George M and Debby are both Vice Presidents of 1st International Bank headquartered in Plano. 8/25/08

From a recent Herald-Democrat's "A Look Through Our Area's Past" Column: Fifty Years Ago-August 15, 1958-A 99-year lease of a designated area in Loy Lake Park for use by the Texoma Livestock Association for their annual show and sale was signed in Commissioner's Court in Sherman. Stellagene's (Teague) Shelton's dad Gene, the TLA's first president, and Nick Owen, secretary of the association, signed for that group and the Commissioner's Court members signed for the county. The rental fee is $1 per year. Leroy Griswold has now been very active in the Loy Lake Park livestock events for 47 years, he has been on the board for 27 years and is now a Lifetime Director. Leroy served as General Grounds Superintendent for the recent Texoma Livestock Association Show and Sale, an annual event which benefits Grayson County Youth. 8/24/08

Clifford Trice was featured in an article in today's "Herald Democrat," it told that he was the guest speaker at last week's meeting of the Grayson Rotary Club. Cliff, a former Phoenix, Arizona police officer now living in Sherman, told of his life today as a licensed private investigator. He spoke of some of the methods used in conducting investigations and how results from those investigations can be used in the court cases which often follow. Cliff primarily works on cases related to Cooke, Fannin, and Grayson Counties but his work can take him to other parts of Texas and even out of state if needed. 8/21/08

Bob and Gini (Galan) Christian chose to spend their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, July 2, 2008, in the majestic mountains of Colorado which is where they spent part of their honeymoon twenty five years earlier. They have been going to the little town of Creede, Colorado for over twenty years now and get back whenever they can. Bob and Gini enjoy hiking, running, ultra light trout fishing, and have recently taken up fly fishing. Bob says that the area around Creede and Lake City is so scenic and abundant with wildlife that it is quite a contrast from San Angelo, Texas where they now live. 8/19/08

Daryl Talbot and wife Theresa have just returned from a Potawatomi Tribe Gathering on Walpole Island in Ontario, Canada. Theresa is Potawatomi and this annual gathering is similar in some ways to a family reunion, but much larger and with more to do. There are Native American dances, educational classes, lots of food, and also lots of fun. The Potawatomi Tribe was divided in the early 1800's by the United States, this annual gathering brings the separated nations together and helps to revive their culture, history, and language. Theresa is one of approximately 19,000 Native Americans belonging to the Citizen Potawatomi Group, the largest of the seven different groups of the Potawatomi Tribe. Each year the gathering is in a different location hosted by the Potawatomi Tribe in the selected area, next year's event will be in Kansas. Recent previous tribal gatherings have been in Michigan, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. 8/14/08

Ron and Patsy Speed are grandparents again. Aug.13,2008 welcome Sophie Isabella Speed. Obviously, she is BEAUTIFUL! Parents are Ron H. and Tania Speed, Sophie now joins her brothers, Averey,11, Skyelar,8,and sister Audrey 5. Grandmother Patsy is an OB nurse and assisted in the delivery. How fantastic is that? Grandfather Ron only had heart palpitations! 8/14/08

Joey Ulrich's father, Joseph Van "Joe" Ulrich Jr. passed away Monday, August 11, 2008 at his son's residence in Plano, Tx. Services will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008 at the Waldo Funeral Home Chapel in Sherman, Texas. Rev. Albert Fisher and Mary Lois O'Neal of Key Memorial United Methodist Church in Sherman will officiate the service. He is survived by two sons, Joseph Van Ulrich III and wife Janell of Van Alstyne, and Scott T. Ulrich and wife Melody of Plano; two grandchildren, Joseph Van Ulrich IV and wife Wendolyn of Van Alstyne, and Leigh Anne Adcock and husband Mike of Allen; three great-grandchildren, Grant Adcock, Rachael Adcock and Rebecca Ulrich. 8/13/2008

Bennie (Bowen) Stoy and husband Hubert recently enjoyed a very scenic ten day trip to the Canadian Rockies, one of the many highlights was a two day journey on the Rocky Mountaineer Train viewing coastal forests, lofty mountain peaks, and roaring river canyons. Three of the ten days were spent in Vancouver, truly one of the most magnificent cities in Canada. Kamloops, Jasper, Banff, and Lake Louise were also included in the tour. An overnight stay at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, known as the "Castle in the Mountains," was another of the trip's many highlights. Al Nelson, our entertainer friend, tells us that he and wife Christi count Banff as one of their favorite vacation spots not only for the scenery but also for the magnificent skiing. A short stay in Calgary was a perfect ending for this Canadian adventure before the flight home, it was truly a trip that Bennie and Hubert will remember forever. 8/12/08

Karen (Christie) Parker and husband Bob have recently moved into a new home in the scenic Lago Vista area of Lake Travis near Austin, Texas. Both are retired from jobs involving NASA and the space program, Karen worked for several NASA contractors in her thirty three years of employment. When away from home, they enjoy cruising as they have taken several cruises since retiring. Hopefully they will be able to join Willies Ballou and some other '63 classmates as "Senior Trip-Part Two" sets sail in February of 2009. 8/6/08

Ned Bryan Bounds of Sherman, Marie (Bounds) Swanger's brother, passed away Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at Wilson N. Jones Medical Center in Sherman, Texas. Family visitation will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Friday, August 1, 2008 at Waldo Funeral Home. Ned was an Army veteran and a longtime resident of Sherman. His survivors include his wife, Nancy Bellows Bounds of Sherman; children, Bradley Bounds and wife Tisha of Southmayd, George Bounds and wife Elisa of Southmayd, Karen Barber of Tom Bean, Kelly Bounds of Sherman, Stormy Allen and husband James of Southmayd, and Windy Whitehead and husband Johnny of Ector; a brother, Alfred Bounds of Roanoke, Virginia; two sisters, Marie Bounds Swanger and husband Wilbur of Fallon, Nevada and Sandra Bounds Raines and husband Gene of Chesterfield, Virginia; and thirteen grandchildren. 7/31/08

Dianne Gale (Flusche) Skipworth of Sherman passed away Saturday, July 26, 2007 at Texoma Medical Center in Denison, Texas. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, July 30, 2008 in the Waldo Funeral Home Chapel. The Rev. Irby McKnight, Assembly of God minister of Sherman, will officiate with the burial to follow at Cedarlawn Memorial Park. Dianne is survived by her husband, Billy Skipworth of Sherman, Texas; sons, Brent Cross of Denison, Texas, Brian Cross of Dallas, Texas, and Paul Crawford of Saint Peters, Missouri; daughters, Crystal Lowery of Denison, Texas and Tammy Coker and Vanessa Skipworth of Sherman, Texas; twelve grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her father and mother, Herman J. Flusche and Marjorie Ruth Flusche and her grandparents William Burton Norris and Grace Ethel Norris. 7/28/08

Austin College Alumni Association president Mike Nurre has been named as one of a fifteen member search committee that will be selecting a qualified successor to replace Austin College President Oscar C. Page as he steps down on June 30,2009. Dr. Page is the college's fourteenth president, his successor should assume his or her duties on or about July 1, 2009. The person that will be hired to replace Oscar Page will truly have big shoes to fill as Dr. Page is one of the most down to earth and hands on presidents the college has ever had. As school starts back each year in the Fall, Dr. Page has often been seen helping the new freshmen carry boxes into their dorms. While at AC, Dr. Page has orchestrated many changes on campus including some new buildings, renovations of some others, improvements to the general academic program, as well as landscaping and other improvements which have significantly enhanced the entire campus. At this time, he is also working on fundraising efforts for a proposed new state of the art $40 million science building which should further strengthen Austin College's role as one of the best liberal arts colleges in the United States. Mike and the fourteen other individuals on the search committee truly have their work cut out for them in finding a successor to Dr. Page, the key word would be successor rather than replacement because Dr. Page just can't be replaced. 7/28/08

Jackie (Ryon) Cosper's sister, Nancy Ryon Batot of Irving, Texas, passed away July 20, 2008 in a Dallas hospital. Funeral services officiated by Mr. Don Hatch and under the direction of Donnelly's Colonial Funeral Home, will be held at 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at Beltline Road Church of Christ in Irving, Texas. Graveside services will follow at 3:00 p.m. at Oak Hill Cemetery in Whitewright, Texas. Nancy was a 1966 graduate of Sherman High School, she retired in 1996 as a mortgage banking vice-president. Nancy's survivors include her husband, Mike; mother, Ann Ryon; brother, George Ryon and wife Ginette, all of Irving; sister, Jackie Ryon Cosper and husband John of McKinney; and numerous nieces and nephews. 7/22/08

Gwynn (Crowson) Getto was in Jonesboro, Louisiana recently visiting her sister Charlotte Crowson Bailey who is a 1961 Sherman graduate. Charlotte is very much involved in this year's "Sunshine Day's Festival," an annual event in Jonesboro, Louisiana which is named in honor of the former Louisiana Governor the late Jimmie Davis. Governor Davis composed many country and gospel songs with his most famous being "You Are My Sunshine." A native of the area, he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1971. One of the interesting things about the "Sunshine Day's Festival" is a mural that measures 8' X 16' which is on the side of a downtown building, Charlotte is the festival's artistic director in charge of this mural. Depicted on the mural are many things that represent the area and Governor Jimmie Davis, children and adults of Jonesboro and neighboring communities as well as some Louisiana Tech students are allowed to contribute their artistic talent to the painting. Up to this date almost 200 area citizens plus Gwynn have added their special touch to the very large mural. 7/17/08

Gary Park was busy on July 4th at Eisenhower Birthplace State Park with activities before he joined several classmates at "Loose Wheels, Texas" for the "Meet & Greet" part of our recent reunion. He and other members of the Red River Valley Chapter of the MVPA (Military Vehicle Preservation Association), the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 973, and Eisenhower State Park Director Jacob Morris were all on hand for a military salute to General Dwight D. Eisenhower and our great nation. Following a short program, free tours of Eisenhower's Birthplace were given along with a special showing of military vehicles. There was also a raffle for a rifle donated by two V.V.A. members and two of the V.V.A.'s associate members were on hand to promote "Chow Line" which was their new cookbook. Several out of town visitors were present and all there seemed to enjoy the special July 4th tribute. 7/16/08

From today's "A Look Through Our Area's Past" column in the Herald-Democrat: Forty Years Ago-July 14, 1968-William Robert King, a Sherman native transplanted to Dallas, might be described as a poet who doesn't show it. Dressed in an ivy-league suit and striped tie, King visited Sherman this week to see his parents and also promote his first and probably his last book of poetry "The Sleepers and the Shadows." Leaving the literary world behind, Bill has been an attorney in Washington, D.C. for many years. 7/14/08

While our "Happy Days Again" reunion was going on last weekend in Sherman, Dianne (Keesee) Williams and husband John were enjoying a ten day vacation in Florida complete with their own family mini-reunion consisting of several members of John's family. Some of the cities they visited on this trip were Fort Lauderdale, Key West, Miami, and Naples. Dianne said, besides just enjoying being with family, one of their most memorable activities was going snorkeling in the Dry Tortugas. The Dry Tortugas, said to be the southernmost point in the contiguous United States, are a small group of islands which were discovered by Ponce de Leon. The vacation's only drawback seemed to be that the day they returned home, John did not have much time to rest as he had several business appointments scheduled the very next day beginning with an early morning breakfast meeting. 7/12/08

Our Honorary Bearcat, Jack Griffin - Denison Class of '63, competed in the 2008 Texas Police Games sponsored by the Texas Police Athletic Foundation. These annual events have been going on for over thirty years, this year's events were held in June on South Padre Island. Competing in the 34 different events were police officers from all over Texas, both active and retired. Jack completed in the powerlifting event Old Timer's Division, he won the gold medal with a bench press of 380 pounds. He used to also compete in dead lifts and squats, back surgery a few years ago prevented him from now competing in those lifts. Jack was made an Honorary Bearcat by emcee Danny Coffey at our "A Time To Remember" mini-reunion held at the Sheraton Inn in Sherman in October of 1989. Jack is a retired Texas State Trooper and now serves as Denison's City Marshall. Congratulations good friend and Honorary Bearcat Jack Griffin on your recent accomplishment. 7/9/08

Comments from a classmate: David and Sam, Just a note to tell you thanks for your hard work and diligence regarding the class reunion and our class web site.
I seriously don't think most of our classmates understand the difficulty and time constraints involved in keeping up with news, contacts, web preparation, much less the hard work on the reunions. If the nay-sayers can do better, than I say STEP UP TO THE PLATE! Most of the one's that groan the loudest rarely participate. For what you guys had to work with.......WELL DONE. We have already lost too many classmates not to honor and recognize the living at our reunions. For those of you that could afford it, are healthy, and just didn't bother to show up.....SHAME ON YOU! Best regards, Ron D. Speed 7/8/08

Alton Bowman just this week received a very prestigious award at the statewide "Keep Texas Beautiful" convention which was held at the Omni Mandalay Hotel at Las Colinas in Irving, around eight hundred people were in attendance. The O.P. Schnabel Senior Citizen Award is for lifetime achievement, environmental preservation, and for practicing the "Keep Texas Beautiful" principles founded by Mr. Schnabel. O.P. was a resident of the Olmos Park area of San Antonio who started a beautification program in the Alamo City in the 1940's, that basic program continues today in San Antonio and has also expanded to include other cities in Texas and even other states. The O.P. Schnabel Park in San Antonio, named in honor of O.P. or Old Pushbroom as he was sometimes known, is said to be one of the cleanest parks in the nation. Alton was recognized for his work with the Flower Mound Foundation, his book about the Mound and how the town got its unusual name, his work on the Tree Ordinance for the town of Flower Mound, and for his work with the Tree City USA program. Legendary Dallas Realtor Ebby Halliday who is now 97 was on hand to help present the awards. Flower Mound is a more beautiful town because of Alton's efforts, we are glad to say "Congratulations Alton" as we recognize this most deserving classmate. 6/28/08

Stephanie (Burnette) Chambers – Stephanie, who completed law school in Kansas City in 1993, is currently the Executive Director of Home with Hope, Inc. in Lafayette, IN, a 104-bed residential recovery program that has three facilities.  She also serves on Drug Court, Forensic Diversion Court and ReEntry Court and volunteers as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) – representing abused and neglected children in the Juvenile Court.  Stephanie also has three children, Whitney, a tenured professor of English at Miami University of Ohio, Lance, a regional manager for a company in Kansas City, and Derek, a business owner in Kansas City.  She also has four wonderful grandchildren, Zoe, age 5, Charlotte, age 2, Declan, age 2, and Piper, 4 months.  She believes being a grandmother is the most rewarding thing she has ever done! Stephanie’s parents, Walter and Judith Burnette, celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on June 1.  They recently moved from Florida to Corpus Christi, Texas to an independent retirement facility to be closer to their son, Christopher. 6/27/08

Sam and Bettye Mullins recently celebrated forty years of wedded bliss, having first taken the big step at Grand Avenue Church of Christ in Sherman on June 21, 1968. They are parents of two sons, Patrick and Josh, and a loveable little Bichon Frise named Bristol. Son Patrick and wife Darla presented Sam and Bettye with their first grandchild last year, Henry James Mullins will be celebrating his first birthday on October 17, 2008. 6/26/08

Stewart Crane now lives in Reno, Nevada and wrote to let us know that some of his fondest days of growing up were spent in Sherman and although he can't make this year's reunion, hopefully he will be able to attend another time. Stewart is a retired Army Colonel and some of his greatest joys now come from family activities involving his wife, three kids, and a granddaughter. His wife Pat is a professional concert violinist who in her spare time is working on a book that will tell the story of the unique music culture that was prevalent in the Reno area from the late thirties through the early eighties. The story will be told through the eyes of some of the actual musicians who were there at those times, it should make a captivating story for anyone interested in music and especially music of that area as well as era. 6/17/08

Sylvia (Taylor) Finch just returned home from her thirteenth trip to Holland where she visited her daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren. While there, Sylvia was able to visit Germany for one week and she also visited the tiny and scenic country of Luxembourg. A birthday party was one of the family happenings while Sylvia was in Holland as grandson Aaron turned nine years of age. She said the weather was great the entire trip which made her visit that much more pleasant, the only problem seemed to be that she had to leave family and the nice weather much too quickly and return to her job and the heat of Phoenix. 6/10/08

From today's "A Look Through Our Area's Past" column in the Herald-Democrat: Forty Years Ago-June 9,1968-The new Goodwill Industries plant in Sherman was dedicated in John H. Sicks' memory. John, Mary Sicks' father, was the first vice president of Goodwill Industries' board of directors and the man who conceived and helped organize the organization. John, a church and civic leader, was in management at Anderson Clayton while living in Sherman and passed away unexpectedly while on a business trip in 1958. 6/9/08

Dianne (Keesee) Williams' parents, Harold & Wanda Keesee, recently returned from a seven day vacation in Hawaii where they saw many sights including Pearl Harbor. Their son Craig and daughter in law Kathy, who lives in Fort Worth, also went on the very memorable vacation. Seeing Hawaii from a helicopter was just one of the many highlights of the trip, they even have a video of that adventure so they can relive that memory again whenever they want. This was Harold's first time to see Hawaii since his days in the military, he served in the United States Army during World War II and happened to be landing on Saipan Island in the western Pacific Ocean the same day Dianne was born many miles away in Frederick, Oklahoma. Harold and Wanda are wonderful people that are still enjoying active lives, we wish Wanda a Very Happy Birthday as she turns 87 years young today. It was a pleasure having Harold and Wanda attend one of our dinners in Irving once and they were also with a group of some Class of '63 Bearcats at one of our Texas Ranger's baseball games, they're welcome back anytime. 6/9/08

Mike Nurre's parents, Ted and Jerre Nurre, recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary with a family dinner in Dallas. The Nurre's met in a Dallas school bus in 1940 when both were in high school. They married on May 31, 1943 in the base chapel at Harlingen Air Force Base where Ted was stationed at the time. Sherman has benefitted in many ways because of Ted and Jerre as they are very active in both church and community activities. The Nurre children include sons Mike of Dallas, Texas, Patrick of Spring, Texas, Richard Nurre of Anchorage, Alaska, and daughters Rebecca Atkinson of Argyle, Texas, Sara Tarvin of Sherman, Texas and Susan Bagheri of Dallas, Texas. Ted and Jerre also have twelve grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. 6/9/08

These items appeared recently on different dates in the Herald-Democrat's "A Look Through Our Area's Past" column: 50 years ago - David Hall's sister, Sharon Hall, was crowned queen of the annual May Day Festivities at Mt. Vernon Junior College in Washington, D.C. 50 years ago - David Stockslager's brother, Allen Stockslager, placed second in the Texas Interscholastic League's number sense district contest. 30 years ago - Sam Mullins' mother, Martha W. Mullins, was recognized as being one of the employees that was honored at an awards breakfast for retiring school employees. Mrs. Mullins taught English and Speech for many years at Sherman High School. 6/5/08

From Friday's "A Look Through Our Area's Past" column in the Herald-Democrat: Fifty Years Ago-May 30,1958-Skee Hughes was mentioned as being the seventh grade representative on a three student panel who offered suggestions to a PTA committee which drew up a guide for teenage social conduct for young people and their parents, Sylvia Sonnenburg and Louie Lusk were the other class representatives who also made suggestions. Butch Ewing's mother, Beverly Fant's mother, and Pam Poole's mother were some of the parents on that committee along with junior high principal Walter Carpenter. 5/31/08

Gary Park and his Red River Valley Chapter of the MVPA (Military Vehicle Preservation Association) participated in this year's annual Memorial Day Parade held in downtown Denison, they received recognition for best vehicle entry with a theme of "Remember The Veterans." Gary's group had twelve vehicles which also provided transportation for twenty kids and their leaders from the Big Brother's/Big Sister's organization of Grayson County, the local Military Order of Purple Hearts Veterans, and some veterans from the local chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America organization. The entire parade had seventy entries and the weather also cooperated, it was a fitting tribute to honor the memory of all those brave men and women who lost their lives in military service to our country. 5/28/08

Mike Nurre's mother, Jerre Nurre, won an award for one of her short stories at the recent "Telling Our Stories" annual awards ceremony held at Austin College. Jerre has been involved with the "Telling Our Stories" workshop almost since its inception in 1990. On occasions she is also a guest story writer for the Herald-Democrat newspaper, her stories are always interesting and often cause many of us to recall some good memories. Jerre's latest project is a collaboration with her three sisters about growing up on the old home place which should make for interesting reading. The "Telling Our Stories" workshop gives local authors a chance to learn the basics of story writing, improve their writing skills, and have their stories published. Dr. Jerry Lincecum, English Professor Emeritus at Austin College, is the workshop's founder and is always glad to lend a helping hand whenever and wherever needed. 5/21/08

Dr. Lynda Uphouse, Texas Woman's University Cornaro Professor of Biology, was recently named a 2008 Piper Professor by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation of San Antonio, Texas. The foundation was established in 1950 by Randall Gordon Piper and his wife Minnie Stevens Piper. The Piper Professor Program Awards, which were first awarded in 1958, are just one of the many worthwhile endeavors of the foundation. Award recipients are chosen from teachers and professors in Texas' colleges and universities. Qualification for the award includes "dedication to the teaching profession" as well as "outstanding academic, scientific, and scholarly achievement." The very prestigious honor means a great deal to Lynda but she says that her greatest accomplishments come from those student's lives she has touched and those who have touched her life, seeing one of her former students succeed in life gives her much joy. We congratulate Lynda on this very special achievement. 5/13/08

Grand Avenue Presbyterian Church in Sherman, located across the street from Austin College, will be celebrating Pentecost this Sunday with guest minister Reverend Marilee (Munger) Scroggs. Her sermon will be "The Spirit On All The Lord's People" and is based on Acts 2:4-21 and Numbers 11:11-29. Marilee is now living in Arlington, Texas after moving back to Texas from Pampton Plains, New Jersey where she lived for many years. Jack Minter's father, Reverend John P. Minter, was a former minister at Grand Avenue Presbyterian Church. The fellowship hall at the church where many special events are held, Minter Hall, was named in honor of Reverend Minter's many years of service to the Grand Avenue church. 5/9/08

Patricia (Pate) Bruce's sister, Marvanell Baker of Sikeston, Missouri, passed away at her home on Wednesday, April 16, 2007. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Monday, April 21, 2008 at the Parkview Church of Christ in Sherman under the direction of Waldo Funeral Home with burial to follow at Friendship Cemetery in Sherman. Marvanell had been a certified psychological examiner spending much of her time working with learning disabled students. Survivors include her husband Bruce Baker, and her mother Naomi Pate. She is also survived by two sons, Tim Baker of Youngsville, Louisiana and James Baker of Houston, Texas; two brothers, John David Pate of McKinney, Texas and Morris John Pate of Sherman, Texas; three sisters, Brenda Watkins of Sherman, Texas, Patricia Bruce of Denison, Texas, and Susie Raines of Kingswood, Texas; and four grandchildren. 4/21/08

Melvin Ray Phelps, of Arcadia, California, passed away Thursday, April 17, 2007 in McKinney, Texas. Melvin worked many years as a tile installer. Surviving him are three daughters, Elysia Glasscock of McKinney, Texas, Patricia Phelps of Fort Worth, Texas, and Siobhan Phelps of Irving, Texas; one grandaughter, Emerald; three grandsons, Alex, Jayson, and Jordan; brother, Charlie Phelps of Hartford, North, Carolina; sister, Ann Blackburn of Sherman, Texas; two nieces, Anna and Jennifer; and three great-nephews, Andrew, Brady, and Jack. 4/21/08

Gary Park, a very active military enthusiast, recently attended special ceremonies in Gainesville, Texas to honor eleven of our nation's Medal of Honor winners. The eleven winners, true American heroes, were able to tell their own very emotional stories and stories of others as well as meet and visit with soldiers who were either en route or returning from deployment to places such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Several events were held over the four days set aside to honor the distinguished visitors including a Saturday parade and a Saturday night banquet which sold out over one month in advance. Many area citizens attended as well as Gainesville city officials and representatives from the USO. Gainesville is the only city in our nation with a Medal of Honor Host City program, plans have already begun for next year's celebration. 4/18/08

From the "A Look Through Our Area's Past" column in today's Herald-Democrat: Ten Years Ago-April 18,1998-Patsy (Lillie) Hagood's daughter, Lauren Hagood, was mentioned as being one of the fourteen Denison High School Student Council members who would be going to the state competition after they captured sweepstakes honors at the district level. 4/18/08

Jim Clement passed away Sunday, April 13 at Wilson N. Jones Medical Center. Funeral services for will be held at 10:00 am Wednesday, April 16 in the Waldo Funeral Chapel. Rev. Billy Hackler, Bill James, and Brian Pugh will officiate. Burial will follow at Georgetown Cemetery. Jim is survived by his wife of 42 years, Mary of Sherman; two daughters, Cynthia Diane Clement-Tate and husband Scott and Lisa Clement-Beaver and husband Bryan, all of Sherman; one son, Michael Clement and wife April (Harrison) Clement of Sherman; four grandchildren, Tristan Scott Tate, Ryan Carter Tate, Sarah Elizabeth Beaver, and Allison “Allie” Ann Beaver; one uncle, Ernest Muncrief of Marlow, Oklahoma; one aunt, Lucy Clement of Pottsboro; one niece, Catherine Keith of Abilene; and one nephew, Jeff Clement of Abilene. He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Bill A. Clement. 4/14/08

Mike Nurre and Judy (Brown) Nurre are the proud grandparents of Tessa Elizabeth Nurre (a real TEN), their first grandchild, born November 5, 2006. Tessa will be celebrating her first birthday with her parents, Ted and Teri Nurre, in Dallas. We just received this announcement which maybe we should've had slightly over five months ago. It is always a pleasure to pass along good news, even if we get it late. Maybe we should start a "Better late than never file." 4/11/08

Sylvia (Taylor) Finch and Stellagene (Teague) Shelton got together this week in Scottsdale, Az. for dinner and a "catch up" gabfest. Sylvia will be leaving the end of April for her annual visit to Holland to see her two youngest grandkids (and their parents). But she and Stellagene plan on lots more dinners in the next 6 months! Hopefully they can connect with Carolyn (Hudnall) Cooper too! 4/9/08

Stellagene (Teague) Shelton has just joined a small healthcare consulting firm, Atlanticon, headquartered in Fairborn, Ohio. She will be providing Project Management skills to hospitals who are installing healthcare related software, such as the electronic patient record and on line nursing/physician documentation and order entry. Her first assignment is managing two projects for Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona which will should keep her busy almost the entire 6 months. Although Stellagene will be in Scottsdale from Monday to Thursday each week, she still will be back at her home in Sherman most weekends. She has already been able to make contact with Carolyn (Hudnall) Cooper and Sylvia (Taylor) Finch and set up opportunities for dinner and lots of visiting time over the next 6 months. 4/6/08

Alexis (Tocquigny) Dedeyan let us know that she and her husband Paul have been living in France since 1971, they seem to stay very busy with their missionary work. Alexis and Paul have started two Baptist churches in France as well as a youth camp, this is very commendable especially since there is a shortage of Christian workers there to help. Due to their busy schedule and the many miles away from Texas, Alexis says she doesn't get to return to the states as often or sometimes just when she would like to but she still has her Bearcat spirit and keeps up with activities and classmate news through our website. There are some drawbacks in being that far away but converting people to Christianity and promoting the word of God have many very special rewards, no matter where you live. Alexis and Paul have five children and thirteen grandchildren, one daughter still lives in France while the other four Dedeyan offspring live in the United States. Their other daughter lives in Georgetown, Texas, two sons are also in the Austin area, and their other son lives in Washington, D.C. Like their parents, all the children are involved in promoting Christianity, either as a full time profession or in lay jobs through their church ministries. 3/27/08

Janice K. (Spears) Chitwood of Prosper, Texas passed away Monday, March 24, 2008 at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. Her survivors include; husband, Michael E. Chitwood of Prosper; daughter, Michelle Chitwood McBride and husband Byron, also of Prosper; grandchildren Brooke, Cade, and Kristin McBride all of Prosper; sisters Nancy McEwen and husband Ronnie of Sherman, Texas and Suzanne Holmes of Conroe, Texas and numerous nieces and nephews. Funeral services conducted by Khris Kennedy and Warren Samuels will be at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, March 27, 2008 at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow-Funeral Chapel in Allen, Texas with burial to follow at Ridgeview Memorial Park. 3/24/08

Marie (Bounds) Swanger's father, Otis Dee Bounds of Chesterfield, Virginia, passed away Friday, March 21, 2008. Funeral services were held at 2:00 p.m. Monday, March 24, 2008 at Ironbridge Baptist Church in Chester, Virginia under the direction of J.T. Morriss & Son Funeral Home. Graveside services will be at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, March 27, 2008 at the Gardens Cemetery in Fallon, Nevada. Otis served in the United States Army during World War II and was retired from the mining and iron industry. He is survived by; daughters, Mildred Marie Raines of Fallon, Nevada and Sandra Kay Raines of Chesterfield, Virginia; sons, Alfred Monroe Bounds of Roanoke, Virginia and Ned Bryan Bounds of Sherman, Texas; fifteen grandchildren; thirty two great-grandchildren; brother Monroe E. Bounds of Long Beach, California; and numerous nieces and nephews. 3/25/08

Jan Avery's father, William Kyle Avery, passed away Monday, March 17, 2008 in Dallas, Texas where he had been living the past year. Funeral services will be held at the First United Methodist Church in Sherman at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, March 20, 2008. Kyle was a veteran of the United States Army and for many years was employed by the Grayson County Sheriff's Department as a court bailiff. Kyle is survived by his two daughters, Jan Avery of Dallas, Texas and Kay Avery of North Bethesda, Maryland. Kyle was predeceased by his first wife Maxine and by his second wife Joe Bess Carter. He is also survived by his stepdaughter Kay Courtade and her children Alex, Claire, and Will.  3/19/08

From today's "A Look Through Our Area's Past" column in the Herald-Democrat: Fifty Years Ago-March 17, 1958-Four of the eight girls mentioned as taking part in a special Camp Fire Girls council ceremony at the Sherman Municipal Building are Judy Brown, Martha Crawford, Darlene Lowry, and Betsy Marshall. 3/17/08

In one of his first acts as the recently elected President of the Austin College Alumni Association, Mike Nurre presented three of the five Distinguished Alumni Awards to the worthy recipients in the Austin College Alumni & Volunteers Award Gala held this past Friday night March 7, 2007 at AC's Wright Campus Center. Mike was also present at the Friday dedication of the just completed Betsy Dennis Forster Art Complex, this is a 20,000 square foot two story building with many specialized features dedicated solely to the study of art. To see some of what the Alumni Association does for Austin College, go to www.austincollege.edu and scroll down to the section titled Alumni & Friends. Austin College has been in Sherman since moving from Huntsville, Texas in 1876, it was the first college in Texas to grant a graduate degree. Austin College's contribution to the Sherman area economy is much bigger than you might think, the latest report shows an annual economic impact to the Sherman/Denison area of $181,000,000. Sherman is lucky that Austin College chose to relocate here, it's a relationship that just seems to be getting better all the time as Sherman realizes a great benefit from Austin College. AC and Sherman work well together and hopefully will continue to many years into the future. 3/11/08

Margie Wilhelm's mother, Ruby Wilhelm, passed away Saturday, March 8, 2008 at Wilson N. Jones Medical Center in Sherman. Services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at Fairview Baptist Church in Sherman with Dr. Patrick Mead officiating, burial will follow in West Hill Cemetery under the direction of Waldo Funeral Home. Ruby is survived by her daughters Linda Hope, Margie Wilhelm, and Virgie Carter, all of Sherman and Wanda Ferguson of Powell Butte, Oregon; son, Philip Wilhelm of Savoy, Texas; ten grandchildren; twenty great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; two sisters, Mary Drain of Sherman and Margie Sparks of York, Pennsylvania; and numerous cousins, nephews, and nieces. 3/11/08

From today's "A Look Through Our Area's Past" column in the Herald-Democrat:  Twenty Years Ago-March 11, 1998-Patsy (Lillie) Hagood's daughter Paige was mentioned as being one of a special group of students receiving an academic award at Denison High School. Elizabeth Paige Hagood was named in honor of her mother, Patricia Elizabeth Lillie Hagood. Patsy's other daughter Lauren was mentioned in the same column just last week but in the ten years ago section as being one of the Denison Yellowjacket Cheerleaders receiving an award at a special awards banquet. Patricia Lauren Hagood was also named in honor of her mother, Lauren just recently celebrated a special birthday. Being born on February 28, 1980, she missed being a Leap Year Day baby by only one day. An unusual bit of trivia comparing 1980 with 2008 is that both February's contain five Friday's, this only happens once every twenty eight years so Lauren was born on a Thursday and also turned twenty eight on a Thursday which just happened to be the twenty eighth. Lauren and Paige's father and Patsy's husband is Denison attorney R.J. Hagood, the family has lived in Denison for many years. 3/11/08

Robert Howard (Bob) Kirk passed away Saturday March 1, 2008 in Garland. Services will be 10:00 AM Tuesday March 4, 2008 at Eastgate Funeral Home Chapel. Interment will be at 2:30 PM Tuesday March 4, 2008 at DFW National Cemetery. Bob is survived by his wife, a son, John and wife Misty Kirk; daughter, Patty Kirk and Darrell Coward; two granddaughters Grace and Wes Kirk; grandson Grayzien Coward. Bob is also survived by a brother, Chuck Kirk and sister Kay Branch. 3/3/08

Willies and Cathye Ballou finished out 2007 and began 2008 the very same way, taking memorable trips. In early December they flew to Barcelona, Spain with a stop in Frankfort, Germany. They also spent some time in Sitges, Spain which is a beautiful little seaside town just south of Barcelona, they enjoyed strolling the streets and taking in the beautiful scenery as well as eating some of the wonderful food which is available in that area. On December 8th, Willies and Cathye boarded Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas cruise ship for a 15 day cruise back to Galveston stopping at several ports on the way home. One of their favorite stops on the cruise back home was at Funchal (Madeira) Island which is a Portuguese Island located approximately 370 miles off the coast of Morocco. Madeira Island is known as the Pearl of the Atlantic, a floating garden. While on Madeira, they took a cable car up to the top of the mountain and came down on a wooden sled called a toboggan which was guided by two local runners through city streets. That very special trip was a nice way to close out their traveling for 2007 as they arrived home just in time for Christmas. On January 20, 2008 Willies and Cathye started their traveling for this year with two back to back 7 day cruises out of Galveston, Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas cruise ship was again the cruise ship of choice. Both 7 day cruises are called Western Caribbean Cruises but the ports are different on each voyage, they weren't just repeating the same cruise. One of their stops on the back to back trip was to have been at the port of Costa Maya, Mexico but a recent hurricane destroyed much of what was once there. That didn't put a damper on their trip at all as they still stopped in many other scenic ports. Since they took their first cruise in 1988 as one of our "Senior Trip" 25 year reunion cruisers, we think it's safe to say that the Ballou's now qualify as Cruise Experts. Willies and Cathye were home long enough recently to join some of us at one of our regular get togethers at Irving's Venice Italian Restaurant, their presence is always a pleasure but it takes a lot of luck to catch them in between trips. 2/22/08

Mary (Phares) Harris' mother, Helen Elaine Phares, passed away Saturday, February 16, 2008 at Granbury Care Center in Granbury, Texas. Graveside services, with arrangements by Waldo Funeral Home, were held at 2:00 p.m. Monday, February 18, 2007 at Akers Cemetery in Sherman. Helen retired from Texoma Medical Center in Denison where she worked in medical records and is survived by her daughter Mary Lou (Phares) Harris and husband Dwight of Granbury, Texas. Her other survivors include three grandchildren, five great grandchildren, three nephews, and one niece. Mary Phares was one of our early class members as she attended Jefferson School while living in Sherman. 2/19/08

Mike Nurre recently began a two year term as president of the Austin College Alumni Association board after serving the past 3 years as a board member. The AC alumni board usually consists of 35-40 alums and supports the school and its alumni by helping plan and execute homecoming events, nominates and selects Distinguished Alumni award winners as well as names the volunteers of the year. In addition, they review applications for and award the 26 annual alumni scholarships. This alumni organization also serves as a sounding board for the school administration and its Board of Trustees. Mike says if he can ever help your grandchild or relative apply to AC or by providing information on Austin College, e-mail him at mike@mikenurre.com and he will help in any way he can. 2/14/08

We've again found out about the deaths of two classmates that we didn't know about until just a day or so ago. Carol (McMinn) Hook passed away June 1, 2007 at her home in Alvarado, Texas. Carol had retired from Huguley Hospital in 1999 where she worked in the patient business office and also as a volunteer coordinator for hospice. Some classmates might remember Carol from junior high, her father Clayton McMinn worked for the Grayson Hotel. Her survivors include husband, Billy W. Hook, Sr.; son, Billy W. Hook, Jr.; daughter, Amber Hook Thomas; five grandchildren; sisters, Jill Goodchild of Flower Mound, Texas and Tina Brock who is a missionary in Hungary; and brother Ron McMinn of Keller, Texas. The other classmate we found out about is Mary (Craig) Pearson of Baytown, Texas who passed away December 13, 1998. Mary, originally from Texarkana, was one of our 1963 graduates and lived with her aunt Mable Craig and grandmother Mrs. Robert Craig while she attended Sherman High School. Mary was a former health care worker, she is survived by her daughter Jeannie Oesch and granddaughter Elizabeth Potts. She is also survived by her sisters Helen Furlow of Genoa, Arkansas and Jean Coufal of Temple, Texas. 2/14/08

The week of January 20-27, 2008 Pat (Bohrer) Means, along with 30 other ladies, sailed on Carnival Conquest to the Caribbean islands of Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. This was the 4th annual cruise that Pat has taken with the group called S.A.I.L. which is a group of ladies from various religious denominations that have joined together for Bible Study, fun and fellowship. The last 2 years have included a mission in Cozumel. Through this mission clothes, daycare items, medical equipment and supplies, food, and money have been taken to help the underprivileged people of the island. S.A.I.L. works with the local Red Cross in locating worthy groups and areas of need. A front page feature story and a color picture showing Pat and two of her traveling companions appeared in the January 20, 2007 edition of the Herald-Democrat. If anyone is interested in joining the group or contributing to this worthy cause, they may contact Ilene Kendrick at Austin College by calling 903-813-2518. 2/14/08

Daryl Talbot recently retired from his main communications/security job at ExxonMobil in Shawnee, Oklahoma where he now lives, however he is still continuing his part time job of drawing cartoons so it's not a full retirement yet. He's been providing cartoons to Western Horseman Magazine since 1965 and Leanin' Tree Greeting Cards since 1995, he will continue to do that but now with more free time in which to draw. He will also now be providing artwork for his wife's Potawatomi Tribe's tribal newspaper as well as doing illustrations for several native American stories for books, sounds like his retirement will be a busy one. 2/13/08

Glenn Hailey feels mighty fortunate as he let us know that his weekend home in Heber Springs, Arkansas received a little bit of damage from the recent tornadoes that caused much devastation throughout several southern states earlier this week. His home's damage is of a minimal nature to the roof and will be fairly easy to fix, in fact he says all that will be involved is replacing a few missing shingles which he plans to do himself. The glass table on his front deck had the glass literally picked up out of the frame and it was found several feet away and the glass was not even broken which is one of the unusual things you hear about that sometime occur with these type weather disasters. All in all, Glenn considers himself mighty lucky as over 50 people lost their lives in these storms. We haven't heard but we hope our other classmates that live in areas affected by these storms were as fortunate as Glenn. Our prayers go out to the families of all those over fifty people that lost their lives in such a tragic way. 2/8/08

  We now have made the discovery of another deceased classmate that we didn't know about, Miller Brown Pitts, III passed away July 20, 2006. Miller, a resident of Dallas, began his military service with the United States Navy before switching over to the Army where he spent most of his military career. Serving with the United States Army in Vietnam, he had the extremely dangerous job of being a door gunner on helicopters and he also was an MP which more than likely began Miller's interest in law enforcement. Once his military service obligation was complete, Miller spent over thirty years in civilian law enforcement before retiring with the rank of Senior Corporal from the Dallas Police Department in 2003. He first began his chosen career as a patrolman in Sherman before moving to Dallas, Texas to work as a security officer for the Adolphus Hotel. Shortly after moving to Dallas, he left the Adolphus and joined the Dallas Police Department where he worked in many divisions including patrol, canine squad, and vice squad. He was preceded in death by his wife, Peggy Jean Pitts on February 3, 2006, and he is survived by sons Miller Brown Pitts, IV and Philip W. Pitts. He is also survived by stepmother Emma Pitts Fennell of Sherman and stepsister Shirley Berry of Allen, Texas. 2/6/08

Susannah (Aston) Crosthwaite's father, R. B. Aston, was mentioned earlier this week in a thirty year's ago "A Look at Our Area's Past" column telling of his retirement in 1977 as director of public works for the City of Sherman. R. B. Aston also once owned Aston's Grocery at 313 N. Walnut, a small grocery store that offered many basic items as well as some specialty items along with free delivery and great service. R. B. 's grocery shared the same block with Chase Chevrolet which was for many years classmate Lesley Chase's family's well known car dealership. Small family owned businesses were once abundant in Sherman, they are almost now a thing of the past not only in Sherman but in many other cities and towns throughout our nation. To get an idea of just how true this is, all you have to do is take a drive down our Travis Street and remember how things used to be. Car dealerships, clothing stores, drug stores, hotels, movie theaters, shoe stores, and many other types of family owned businesses were once numerous in Downtown Sherman. This is one of the things that many of us think about when we refer to the "good old days." 2/1/08

Debbie (Larkin) Roberts mother, Margie Larkin, passed away Thursday, January 24, 2008 in Sherman. Visitation will be Friday, January 25 from 6:00 until 8:00 pm at Waldo Funeral Home. Funeral services will be at the Parkview Church of Christ building on Dewey Ave. in Sherman at 10:00 am Saturday, January 26 with Welton Stoker officiating. Burial will follow at Cedarlawn Memorial Park in Sherman. Margie had many friends and many of those friendships developed as a result of being a waitress for over thirty years, a job which she thoroughly enjoyed. She worked at Sambo's (later to become The Kettle), Western Sizzlin', and Golden Corral until ill health forced her retirement in 2003. Margie is survived by five daughters, Debbie Roberts of Sherman, Lisa Whaley and husband Chuck of Sherman, Stephanie Larkin and Ron Bishop of Elkins, Arkansas, Becky Jackson and husband Bill of Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Rhonda Byler and Jerry Mitchell of Farmington, Arkansas; one son, Mark Larkin of Sherman; one brother, Bob Gulledge of Combs, Arkansas; one sister, Ernestine Shepherd of Winslow, Arkansas; one sister-in-law, Margaret (Brownie) Crow of Garland; 12 grandchildren; 24 great grandchildren; and all of her friends in Christ. She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, three brothers, Charles, G.C., and Frank Gulledge, and two sisters, Baby Ruth Gulledge and Drue Gulledge Davis. 1/25/08

We've recently received word that two of our non-graduate classmates have passed away. Gary Eugene Everhart passed away in September of 2006 at his home in Downer's Grove, Illinois. Gary was in the advertising business for many years, some classmates might remember him when he attended Bryant School here. His father, James G. Everhart, was plant manager for Line Material when they lived in Sherman and he now lives in Centralia, Missouri. Gary's sister, Barbara Everhart Phillips of Columbia, Missouri, also survives him as does his brother Rodney Everhart of Chester, New Jersey. The other classmate we found out about is Thomas Virgil (Tommy) Allison who passed away at his home in San Diego, California in October of 2005. Tommy was in the food service business and had been a resident of San Diego for several years. He is survived by his parents, Tom & Virginia Allison of Longview, Texas; a brother, Ronny Allison of San Angelo, Texas; and a sister, Karen Allison Johnson of Friendswood, Texas. 1/24/08

Glenn and Marie Hailey enjoyed the recent Christmas holidays as their three daughters and five grandchildren (their entire family) gathered at the family home in Memphis. Glenn and Marie spend as much time as possible at their "second" home in Heber Springs, Arkansas. 2007 also marked the 30th anniversary of Glenn and Marie's security company, Alarm Alert Center, Inc. Through online computers and fax machines, he is still able to oversee operations of the business without going to the office on a daily basis and he is now officially "semi-retired." Regarding his recent eye surgeries, Glenn reports that finally his eye problems look to be a thing of the past. We know this to be a big relief to him because it allows him more time to attend the Memphis Grizzlies' basketball games as he is one of their most supportive fans. He is also serving on the Advisory Board of the Grizzlies, an opportunity he calls, "THE BEST PART TIME JOB A GUY COULD HOPE FOR!" Bob and Polly Higginbotham (Sissy's Brother) live a couple of miles from Glenn and Marie in Memphis and they are great friends. They joined Glenn and Marie at a Grizzlies' game recently and Glenn asked Bob (if you remember, he was the Captain of the Bearcats Basketball team in the class of 60) what he thought of how basketball is played now and back when he played?  He responded, "If we played like these guys play we would be called for palming every time we dribbled the ball and would all foul out in the first quarter!"  So true! 1/24/08

Doris (Moore) Ritchie's mother, Hattie Mae Moore, passed away Friday, January 11, 2008 in Sherman. A private celebration of her life will be held at Cedarlawn Memorial Park at a later date. Hattie worked for many years at Burlington Mills in Sherman. She is survived by a daughter, Doris, and son-in-law, Aubrey Ritchie; brothers, Bill, Joe, and Johnny Moody; sisters, Florene Woods and Vida Tadlock; grandchildren, Angela Lorance and husband Rob, Darren Ritchie and wife Debbie, Dustin Ritchie and wife Teresa, all of Sherman; great grandchildren Melissa Ritchie, Rami Ritchie, Aubrey Ryan Ritchie, Mikayla Ritchie, Natalie Mae Ritchie; great-great-grandchild Stevie Marie Brattain and one to arrive in June; as well as many nieces and nephews. 1/15/08

Suzanne (Young) Welch finished 2007 with participation in eleven different charity runs/walks benefitting a variety of worthwhile causes in the DFW Metroplex, we congratulate her on the very rewarding efforts she put forth. Her original goal of an average of one a month or twelve events in 2007 had to be scaled back due to an ankle injury that kept her sidelined back at the end of Summer for around six weeks, well there's always 2008. She says that she has already signed up for one for this new year and is checking into signing up for some others. 1/9/08

Larry Howard's brother, William Eugene "Gene" Howard, passed away Thursday, January 3, 2008  in Sherman. Funeral services were held at 4:00 p.m., Sunday, January 6, 2008 at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Chapel in McKinney, Texas with Rev. Randy Morlan and Rev. Bob Ross officiating. Burial followed at Ridgeview Memorial Park in McKinney. Gene was a member of the First Baptist Church of McKinney and he was a real estate agent and home builder in Plano. Survivors include his wife of fifty-four years, Joanne; daughters, Heather Orr and her husband Joe of McKinney and Holley Dean and her husband Jeff of Sunset, Texas; brothers Earl, Chuck, Larry, and Jerry Howard; sister, Georgia Parker; six grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. 1/7/08

Donna (Cook) Hannah's sister, Delores (Cook) Rapp passed away January 4, 2008 in Sherman. Services will be Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at the Parkview Church of Christ with Welton Stoker and Jason Hale officiating. Interment will follow at Cedarlawn Memorial Park. Visitation will be Monday, January 7, 2008 at the Waldo Funeral Home. Dolores is survived by her mother Imogene Cook of Sherman, TX , three daughters, Deanna Medcalf and husband James of Farmerville, TX, Debra Rapp of McKinney, TX, Denice Drost and husband Perry of Sherman, TX. Dolores has one sister, Donna Hannah and husband Jim of McKinney, TX. There are four grandchildren, Chelsea and Brianna Medcalf, Serenity and Jaze Drost. She is also survived by two nieces, Laura Hattaway of Sherman, TX and Sarah Brown of Highland Village. Dolores has many other relatives and a host of friends. She was preceded in death by her father, Travis Cook a long time Sherman barber and realtor. 1/6/08

Terry Green has many reasons to be thankful this new year, several courtesy of his grandchildren. Terry's only grandson, Taylor Hardin, was recently selected by unanimous vote for the 6-5A all district football team in Texas high school football. He is a junior and plays outside linebacker for Flower Mound Marcus. Taylor's parents are Terry's daughter Hillary and husband Bobby, their ten year old daughter Sydney is also into sports and she is not only the youngest member of her volleyball team but also the number one server. Terry's other daughter, Monique Hoppess, and husband Thor live in Frisco, Texas and are proud parents to daughters Hagan and Madison. Hagan is thirteen and shot her first deer over the recent Thanksgiving Holidays which just happened to be a 10 pointer. In March of 2007 ten year old Madison helped her cheerleading group win the grand national championships at Disney World in Florida. Terry's other very special reason to be thankful is his wife, Pam Hagan Green (SHS '64), who just happens to be the proud mom to Hillary and Monique and a proud grandmother as well. Terry and Pam just celebrated their forty-first wedding anniversary on December 30, 2007. 1/2/08