Obituaries

From The Frankston Citizen March 2005
March 3 Edition

Joe B. Ferrell

POYNOR — Graveside services for Joe B. Ferrell, 80, of Poynor were held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 1, in Muse Cemetery with Rev. Martin McRae officiating. Services were under direction of Boren-Conner Funeral Home of Jacksonville.

Mr. Ferrell died Sunday, Feb. 27, at his residence in Poynor.

He was a lifelong East Texas area resident and was a Baptist. Mr. Ferrell was a nurse technician having retired from Rusk State Hospital. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II

He was preceded in death by a son, Joe Glenn Ferrell.

Survivors include his wife, Sharon Ferrell of Poynor; mother and father-in-law, Artie and Gerald Peterson of Lake Palestine; sons, Dean Lewis Ferrell of Henderson, Ernest Shirey and wife Lana of Poynor, Mike Shirey and wife Tonja of Lake Palestine; a daughter Tonya Raulston and husband Brian of Junction City, Kan.; brother, Benny Berry Jr. and wife Francis of Porter; 14 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.


March 10 Edition

John Carter Lee

Graveside services for John Carter Lee, 44, of Lufkin, formerly of Poynor, were held at 11 a.m. Monday, March 7, at Poynor Community Cemetery with Steve Handley officiating. Arrangements were under direction of Thompson Funeral Home, Frankston.

He died Saturday, March 5. He was born June 27, 1960 in Jacksonville.

Survivors include his mother, Jessie C. Lee of Poynor; sisters, Lana Marie Sheets and Kathie Sides, both of Poynor, and Cynthia Fink of Missouri City; three nieces, one nephew and two great nieces.


James Wayne ‘Jimmy’ Mays

Graveside services for James Wayne “Jimmy” Mays, 49, of Frankston were held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, at the Liberty Hill Cemetery near Frankston with Rev. J.A Griffin officiating.

Services were under the direction of Thompson Funeral Home, Frankston.

Mr. Mays died Sunday, March 6, in a Jacksonville hospital.

He was born July 28, 1955 in Tyler.

Mr. Mays was a dairyman and served in the U.S. Army.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Earl Harvey Mays Sr. and Margaret Mays; and a brother, Earl Harvey Mays Jr.

Survivors include his wife, Sue Mays of Frankston; sons, Lenn Mays of Navasota, Donald Mays and wife Tammy of Pittsburg, Robert Mays of Bonham and LeRoy Mays of Palestine; a daughter, Carolyn Mays of Frankston; brothers, Richard Mays and wife Linda of Jacksonville, Danny Mays of Frankston; a sister, Gail Mays of Neches; nine grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Donations may be made to the Carolyn Mays College Fund at the First State Bank in Frankston.


Robert Edward Lee Tarrant

Graveside services for Robert L. Tarrant, 98, of Bullard were held at 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 2 with a nephew, John Cole Jr. officiating.

Burial was in the Tarrant Cemetery on Tarrant Ranch.

Mr. Tarrant died Tuesday, March 1 at his son’s home on the ranch at Bullard.

He was born Dec. 20, 1906 and was named after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. His birthplace was one mile north of Bullard. Shortly after his birth, his father moved back to the longtime Tarrant properties south of Bullard on the old Larissa Road. He lived on this property most of his life. He went through the sixth grade in Bullard and worked on his father’s farm until 1926 when he went to barber school in Little Rock, Ark.

After that he operated a barber shop on the east side of the square in Frankston.

He met Myrtle Levassar and they were married April 28, 1928 and in 1930 he moved back to his father’s farm.

Mr. Tarrant later had jobs with the Bishop Brick Co. and the Cameron Iron Works, an oil field supply company, in Houston.
In 1946, he purchased 410 acres of land which joined his father’s 560 acres and moved from Houston. He built a seven-room house on this property and lived there until his death.

In the 1940s, like everyone else farming in East Texas, he raised cotton, corn, watermelons, tomatoes and some cattle.

In the 1950s he built chicken houses and raised broilers. In the 1960s, coastal bermuda grass, livestock and hay became the main source of income.

In the 1970s, Mr. Tarrant built his herd of registered grey Brahman cattle into the largest Brahman herd owned by one individual in the United States, 600 head at the time. He developed the only herd of black Brahman cattle in the U.S. He exported cattle to Thailand, South Africa and Mexico. He was dedicated to soil and water conservation practices and wildlife preservation.

He was preceded in death by his father, Hugh Tarrant, a lifelong resident of Bullard; his mother, Ellen Pearson Tarrant, originally from the Troup area; his wife of 73 years Myrtle Levassar Tarrant, originally from Frankston; all of his six brothers and sisters; and all but one of his 121 cousins.

He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Mary Anne Tarrant of Bullard; two grandsons and their wives, Jim Jr. and Cindy Tarrant and Ken and Brandy Tarrant, all of Bullard; five great grandchildren and including Frankston area relatives by kin or marriage and many friends in Tyler, Jacksonville and Frankston areas.

Pallbearers were Jim Tarrant, Jim Tarrant Jr., Ken Tarrant, Matt Tarrant, Ben Tarrant and Will Tarrant.


March 17 Edition

Clyde Hunter Bell

Funeral services for Clyde Hunter Bell, 73, of Frankston were held at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 17, in the chapel of Thompson Funeral Home, Frankston with the Rev. J.A. Griffin officiating.

Burial was in Wofford Cemetery, near Frankston.

Mr. Bell died Monday, March 14 in a Tyler hospital. He was born June 21, 1931 in Tucker.

He was an auto mechanic.

Mr. Bell was preceded in death by his father, Esle Lee Bell, and a brother, Norman Bell.

Survivors include his wife, Minnie Bell; his mother, Purvis Bell; daughters and sons-in-law, Rhonda and Fred Tunstill of Canton, Kathy and Don Morris and Jo Ann Bell, all of Frankston, and Carolyn and Kenny Evans of Hurst; a sister, Evelyn Bell of Bullard; eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers were Fred Tunstill, Ben McKinney, Steve McKinney, James Shugart, Kenny Evans and Nathan Evans.

Honorary pallbearer was Maurie Bell.


March 24 Edition

Lisa Denise Martin

Memorial services for Lisa Denise Martin, 50, of Frankston were held at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 23, at the United Methodist Church of Frankston with Rev. J.A. Griffin, Bro. Doug Howell and Rev. George Folmar officiating.

Interment was at the Wofford Cemetery near Frankston.

Services were under the direction of Thompson Funeral Home, Frankston.

Mrs. Martin died Friday, March 18, in a Tyler hospital.

She was born May 30, 1954 in Hobbs, N.M. and was a clerk at the Pardons and Paroles Division, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Gurney Unit.

Survivors include her husband, Mark David Creamer of Frankston; sons, Jody Wayne Martin, Michael Chase Martin and fiancee Kandice Michelle Looney, and Billy Carrington Martin; parents, Billy Jack “Blue” and Frances C. Beard of Frankston; two grandchildren, Tyler Keith Martin and Savannah Hope Martin and a daughter-in-law, Angel Martin of Dallas; uncle, Edward Carrington Allison of Fort Worth; several nieces and nephews; Jan and Murlene Martin of Bullard and other relatives.

Honorary pallbearers were Joshua Vaughn, Tommy Martin, Robert Fuchs, Danny Palmer and TDCJ employees, Gurney Unit, Pardon and Paroles Division.

Memorials may be made to the United Methodist Church of Frankston Memorial Fund.


March 31 Edition

Dennis Ray Clayton

LARUE — Memorial services for Dennis Ray Clayton, 56, of LaRue, were held at 1 p.m. Monday, March 28, at Living for the Brand Cowboy Church, Athens, with Steve Bradshaw officiating under direction of Cooper Funeral Home of Athens.

Mr. Clayton died Tuesday, March 22. He was preceded in death by his father, Thomas Jefferson Clayton.

Survivors include sons, Dennis Dwayne Clayton and Thomas Ray Clayton; a daughter, Carla Renee Pass; his mother, Minnie Lou Clayton; brothers, Billy Clayton, Ronny Clayton, Terrance Clayton; sisters, Donna Cessna, Cynthia Bradshaw; four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.


W. J. Martin

NECHES — Funeral services for W.J. “Willie Joe” Martin, 87, of Neches were held at 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, at Herrington/Land of Memory Funeral Home chapel in Palestine, with Dan Manuel officiating.

Burial was in Neches Cemetery.

Mr. Martin died Sunday, March 27.

He was born Dec. 20, 1917 in Neches to the late Joe and Pearl Martin. Mr. Martin owned Martin Signs in Neches and Jacksonville. He designed ads for the Piggly Wiggly grocery store in Jacksonville and originated the “piglet” trademark that was adopted by the entire Piggly Wiggly chain.

Mr. Martin was a member of Crockett Road Church of Christ.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Kathy; and a sister, Marie Martin Hendrix.

Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Freddie Bradley Martin; foster sons, Keltie Grigsby and Durwood Hendrix; and a brother, Billy Johnson.

Pallbearers were Brice McDonald, Bob Steth, Don Bell, Dale Sparks, Gary Todd and Alvin McGill.

Honorary pallbearers were Jimmy Martin and Edward Martin.


Valerie Ross

BERRYVILLE —Funeral services for Valerie Ross, 89, of Berryville were held at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 31, at Autry Funeral Home in Jacksonville with Rev. Benny Walker officiating. Music was by Anna Traylor, vocalist.

Burial was in Tecula Cemetery.

Mrs. Ross died Monday, March 28, in a Jacksonville hospital

She was born March 30, 1915 in Cherokee County, the daughter of Laurence “Dock” Ross and Cora Stockton Ross. She retired from Peden Iron and Steel after 30 years and worked for Brown and Root in Houston five years.

Mrs. Ross was preceded in death by a sister, Josephine Lake, on Jan. 12, 2005 and four other brothers and sisters: Regina Moore, Cleo McElyea, Marion Ross and Virginia Bowden.

Survivors include one brother, Harry Lee Ross, formerly of Berryville, now of Troup; and several nephews and nieces, including Glenda Kindle of Troup, formerly of Berryville.

Pallbearers were great nephews: Clinton McElyea, Robert Kindle, Larry Moore, Rex Foster, Mike Traylor, Alan Ross and Ronnie Ross.