Obituaries for December 2015

Frankston Area Obituaries — 1999-Present

Here are the obituaries posted for the current month from information provided courtesy of local and area funeral homes and published on their websites or those submitted by families. If an obituary is overlooked and it is desired that it be posted, please inform us at . Families may request changes or additions, if required. If you have an obituary for a person who has connections with someone or some family in the Frankston-Poynor-LaRue or Lake Palestine area that you want posted to this month or to the archives, and is not currently posted, please let us know at . Obituaries selected or submitted should follow a format which is essentially consistent with other obituaries posted here or by funeral homes and follow standard grammatical style. Through arrangements with funeral homes and/or the families, we will publish pictures with current obituaries. We will add pictures to archived obituaries from the print version of The Citizen newspaper prior to September 2019 when available. Pictures with archived obituaries posted after that will be added in cooperation with funeral homes or on requests from families.  As was the tradition of the Citizen newspaper, obituaries are published at no charge.

(Obituaries listed chronologically by date of death or funeral service.)

Donnie Bussey

Donnie Bussey was born August 23, 1935 in Frankston to Olvan Edward (OE) and Alice Griffin Bussey.

He passed away surrounded by family Nov. 24, 2015, after a long and hard fought battle with several illnesses at St. Luke’s Hospital in Houston, Texas.

He lived in Houston for over 50 years before moving back to Frankston earlier this year.

Donnie loved his family and spending holidays and other times with them. He was a world traveler and a collector of art.

He loved animals and rescued many dogs over his lifetime. He loved the beauty of plants and flowers and had an extraordinarily green thumb. He also loved feeding and watching birds and going on birding trips with his trusty camera.

He graduated from Frankston High School, East Texas Baptist College in Marshall, Texas, and later got his master’s degree in biology and Earth sciences at Texas A&M University.

He worked his way through college at Sullivan Funeral Home in Marshall. He then worked at Core Labs analyzing oil well core samples and Uncle Ben’s Rice Company as a research scientist in their research kitchen before landing his lifelong career as a teacher.

His teaching career spanned many decades and included teaching in Australia for two years.

He retired from Sugar Land Junior High School in Fort Bend County, where he was head of the science department and had a no-nonsense reputation among the students.

He was once voted Teacher of the Year and was a Teacher of the Year nominee for the state.

After retiring, he stuck with what he loved becoming a substitute teacher at Annunciation Orthodox School in Houston where he worked for about a decade until his health began to fail last year.

He is survived by three brothers and sisters-in-law: Billy Frank and Flo Bussey of Frankston, Bobby and Lomond Bussey of Athens and Richard and Freida Bussey of Frankston; six nieces and nephews who all loved their Uncle Donnie: Alan Bussey of Frankston, Diana and Mike Dugan of Quitman, James and Kandi Bussey of Tyler, David and Tammie Bussey of Athens, Brent Bussey of Columbus, IN and Stacy Bussey of Bloomington, MN; one great nephew; three great nieces; numerous cousins; many loving friends who knew him as Don and his beloved rescue dogs Alexes and Tagalong, who will miss him tremendously.

Donnie’s wishes were to have no service. He will be buried alongside his parents in the Frankston City Cemetery.

Memorials can be made to the charity of one’s choice. We already miss you, Donnie!

Lola Louise Croom

Lola Louise Croom (Grimes) passed away in Katy, Texas, on Nov. 25, 2015, at the age of 72 years.

She was born on July 13, 1943, in Frankston, Texas, to Albert and Georgia Grimes.

Lola was employed and retired from Katy ISD in 2009 after 35 years as a school bus driver.

She was also employed with Wal-Mart (Fry Rd.) for 20 years and retired in 2005.

She is remembered by all for her love of her family, her big smile, her laughter and her appreciation for everyone she ever met.

She was a sweet, loving soul who always thought of others more than herself. A resident of Katy for over 40 years, she enjoyed the Katy Tigers, her hometown Frankston Indians and the New Orleans Saints.

She is survived by her husband, Scotty Croom; son, Matt Smith and his wife Kelli; grandchildren, Makaila, Mallory and Marshall Smith of Richmond, TX; grandson, Jordan Smith of Cypress, TX; her sister Joyce Kiefer and niece Kathleen Kiefer of San Antonio, TX.; and her continued loving family of Larry Croom and his wife Katherine.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Albert and Georgia Grimes, her nephew Michael Kiefer and her son Mark Smith.

The family will celebrate Lola’s wonderful life and receive friends from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., with the service beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday Dec. 5, 2015, at the Katy Funeral Home Dignity Memorial.

Chaplain Bill Cork of the Katy Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9182 will be officiating. Interment will be at Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Houston at a later date.

The family would like to thank the following for their compassionate care of Lola during her journey: Dr. Mark Bing, Dr. William Curry, Dr. Cheng-Huai Ruan, the nurses of Memorial Hermann of Katy Hospital and the staff of Vantage Hospice.

The family asks that you contribute to the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease ( or the charity of your choice.

Howard ‘Hank’ Robinson, III

Chapel services for Howard “Hank” Robinson, III, of Frankston, were held Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, at Autry Funeral Home with Bro. Wes Bynum officiating.

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

Mr. Robinson passed away Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Frankston.

He was born Feb. 10, 1957, in Minden, Louisiana to Howard and Labanda Thornton.

Howard worked in construction and was a member of Brownsboro Assembly of God.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Survivors include his wife Brenda Robinson of Frankston; sons Howard Robinson IV of Royce City, Joshua Gilbert and wife Haley of Palestine; daughters Suzanne Robinson of Tyler, Rachel Stevenson of Royce City; sister Millie Frizzelle and husband David of AR; six grandchildren, one great-grandchild and several nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers were Jeff Helm, Ken Cook, Jim Macwhirter, Landen Booth, Buddy Quijas, and Tommy Farmer.

Billy W. Cramer

Funeral services for Billy W. Cramer, 77, of Poynor, were held Monday, Nov. 30, 2015, at LaPoynor Church of Christ with Steve Handley and John Haffner officiating.

Burial was at Poynor Cemetery.

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

Mr. Cramer passed away on Nov. 26, 2015.

He was born May 22, 1938, in Summerfield, Louisiana, to Norman and Daisy Cramer.

Billy was a member of the Jal Masonic Lodge No. 65.

He was preceded in death by his parents and stepdaughter, Sharon Huntley.

He is survived by his wife JoAnn Cramer of LaRue; son J.D. Cramer and wife Kim of Mertzon, Texas; daughters Twyla Pruett and husband Eddie of Tulsa, OK, Tanya Owen and husband Johnny Mack of Jal, NM, Trisha Rounds and husband Johnny of Charlotte, AR; stepdaughter Lee Ann Cecil of Menominee, MI; sister Carolyn Peoples and husband Frank of Mobile, Al; 14 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers were Bob Blythe, Steve Johnson, Jimmy Gracey, Craig Gutermuth, John Mark Reynolds, Carol Dyson and honorary pallbearers were Lloyd Hanks and Gene Morris.

Memorial may be made in honor of Billy Cramer, to Lila Lane Outreach Ministries, 101 Lila Lane, Athens, Texas 75751.

Vernon Newton ‘Whitey’ Marrs

Vernon Newton “Whitey” Marrs, 87, of Galena Park, Texas, passed away on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015, while celebrating Thanksgiving with his family.

He was an Army Veteran of the Korean War, a member of the Galena Park Methodist Church, Galena Park Masonic Lodge #1290, The Hilltoppers, and the Fun Club.

He was preceded in death, by his wife of 52 years, Earline Marrs.

He is survived by his son Robert Marrs; daughter Vicki Jones; grandchildren Ashley Bradshaw, Bill Hanna, Wendy McDonald, Natalie, Ray, and Ricky Cardenas; 10 great grandchildren; 4 great great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.Also, in the Frankston area, he had many longtime time friends, including Billy Bacon, his closest friend for over 74 years.

Funeral Services were held at Monday, Nov. 30, 2015, in the chapel of Advantage Howard-Glendale Funeral Home.

Arrangements were under the direction of Advantage Howard-Glendale Chapel, Houston, Texas.

Phyllis Faye Pierce Fredieu

A memorial service for Phyllis Faye Pierce Fredieu, 81, of Prosper, Texas, was held on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015. The service took place at Christian Chapel Assembly of God, with Pastor Glen Gabbard officiating.

Phyllis was born on May 9, 1934, in Taylor, Nebraska, to Muriel and Harve Pierce. Phyllis is survived by husband Jack; son Michael Fredieu; daughter Trayce King and her husband, Brian; grandchildren Corey and Jacob Fredieu, Emily, Mason, and Matthew King; and great grandchildren Mya and Zoe Fredieu.

In the early 1970s, Jack and Phyllis moved their family from California to Texas.

They settled in Frankston for almost 20 years, spent a few years in Dallas, then later moved and spent 15 years in Longview.

It was only recently that Jack and Phyllis moved to Prosper to be near Trayce’s family and receive needed medical care.

Phyllis loved her family and was an excellent cook. She enjoyed watching old western movies and had a special talent to crochet and embroider beautiful dishtowels.

She loved attending church and cheering on her Nebraska Cornhuskers during football season.

Donations in Phyllis’s memory can be made to Christian Chapel, 1100 E. Frontier Pkwy, Prosper, TX 75078.

To convey condolences, or to sign an online registry, please visit

Nan Welch

Funeral services for Nan Welch, 85, of Frankston, were held Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015, at Assembly of God in Frankston with the Rev. J.A. Griffin and the Rev. Vernon Groce officiating. Interment was at Garden Oaks Cemetery in Berryville. Services were under the direction of Autry Funeral Home, Frankston.

Mrs. Welch passed away Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, in Tyler.

She was born Oct. 12, 1930, in Greenville, Mississippi, to Thomas and Ida Pyburn..

Nan was a pastor’s wife and a loving mother.

She was preceded in death by her parents; sister Janice Vasquez; four other sisters and two brothers.

Survivors include her husband of 68 years, the Rev. Elmer Welch of Frankston; son Bobby Welch and wife Retta of Athens; daughter Dianne Summo and husband Bill of Calif., brother James Williams and wife Charlene of Calif.; six grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren; and multiple nieces and nephews.

Jesse Curtis Vermillion

Jesse Curtis Vermillion, 89, of Clute, Texas, passed away Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, after a short illness.

He was born Dec. 21, 1925, to Jesse Cleveland and Minnie Florence (Bizzell) Vermillion in Frankston. Jesse, also known as “J. C.” or “Sonny”, served during World War II in the U.S. Army 78th Infantry Lightning Division.

After the war, he attended college and graduated from Sam Houston State University. Jesse worked for Dow Chemical for 35 years until his retirement in 1982, and was a member of Wesley First United Methodist Church of Clute for over sixty years.

Jesse was preceded in death by his parents, his wife of 51 years Mary Ann (Campbell) Vermillion, two sisters Rosemary Carrington and Hazel Bourland.He is survived by three children: Jacque Matula and husband Steve of Lake Jackson, Curtis Vermillion and wife Vickie of Humble, Suzanne Carter and husband Rick of Sante Fe; 7 grandchildren Drew Van Cleave, Michael and Hunter Matula, Melissa and Chase Vermillion, and Jeb and Seth Carter; 7 great grandchildren Tyler Van Cleave, Cade Vermillion, Cody Sute, Hailey Vitols, Jeb Carter, Jr., Kaylee Carter, and Seth Carter, Jr.; 2 brothers Bill Vermillion and Bobby Vermillion; sister June McClintock; and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives.The funeral service was Monday, Dec. 7, 2015, at the Lakewood Funeral Chapel with the Rev. Michael Caldwell officiating. Graveside services were Tuesday, Dec. 8, at Frankston City Cemetery with the Rev. J.A. Griffin officiating.

Online condolences may be made to family wishes to thank the staff at Carriage Inn for their kindness and care of their father.Jesse was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather who will be greatly missed.

Barbara Ann Christopher

Barbara Ann Christopher, 76, passed away Monday, Dec. 21, 2015.

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 28, in Skyvue Victoria Chapel in Mansfield, Texas.

Burial will be in Skyvue Memorial Gardens.

Christopher was preceded in death by her husband, C. H. Christopher, and daughter Vickie Guhl.

She is survived by her daughters Amy Christopher and Mark Rice and Stacy Blair and husband Marc, her brother Jack Brandon and wife Jeanne, seven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

A visitation is planned from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 28, at Skyvue.

(Obituaries posted contain information posted by funeral homes and/or families. Families may request changes or additions, if appropriate or required.).


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