Obituaries for February 2023

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.)

Wanda Blanche (Bennett) Johnson

Wanda Blanche Johnson, 86, of Louisville, KY, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023.

Wanda was born on June 20, 1936 to Homer and Dixie Bennett in Chattanooga, TN, the youngest of a household of seven children.

She met the love of her life, Bob Johnson, a former Frankston resident, in Marshall, TX at East Texas Baptist College in 1955, and they married in 1957, recently celebrating 65 years of loving marriage. They raised their only child, Jeffry, in a number of cities in Texas, Arizona, Tennessee, Missouri, and other places, before landing in Louisville, KY, accumulating a wealth of friends and experiences along the way. Wanda treasured trips with Bob to England, Scotland, Turkey, Israel, and other shared adventures.

A lover of beauty in things and people, Wanda was an incredible interior designer, a wonderful and innovative teacher, and a talented cook/baker, among other talents and passions. She appreciated her friendships with curiosity and interest and made everyone feel special. Wanda was a proud Kentucky Colonel and an active member and leader within the P.E.O. women's philanthropic organization. Wanda and Bob have been active members of Broadway Baptist Church in Louisvillle for 32 years.

She was preceded in death by two brothers and four sisters.

She is survived by her husband Bob and son Jeffry; several nieces and nephews, including Zack Johnson and Cherie Orr of Frankston; and in-laws.

A Memorial and Celebration of Wanda's life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 15 at Broadway Baptist Church, Louisville, KY.

The family requests donations be made to the Alzheimer's Association.

(Information for this obituary was provided by local and immediate family, by email and Facebook)

Louise Williams Lade

A funeral service for Louise Williams Lade, 96, is scheduled at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023 at Frankston Family Life Center with Matt Thomas and Jerry Beard officiating. She will be laid to rest at Frankston City Cemetery.

Visitation will begin on Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Autry Funeral Home, Frankston.

She was born on Sept. 8, 1926, and passed away on Feb. 4, 2023.

Louise lived a servant’s life, always taking care of others. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University. She started her teaching career in 1945 as an elementary school teacher. She was a teacher for 37 years and retired in 1987 from the Frankston School District.

Louise was preceded in death by her parents, Robert Ennis Williams, and Fannie Faye (Baker) Williams; husband, James W. Lade Sr.; son, James W. Lade Jr.; and grandson, James Jason Lade.

Left to cherish her memory are her son, Dan Robert Lade of Frankston; daughter-in-law, Cherylyn Lade of Tyler; grandchildren, Jeremy Lade, Jamey Lade, Lindsey Line, Danielle Lade, Collin Lade, and Whitney Davis, eight great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.

Pallbearers will be W.T. Jennings, James Hefelfinger, Ronnie Clarkston, Mark Faulkner, Gavin Lade, Ethan Lade, James Beard, and Mark Bostick.

Rayford “Bo” Fisher

A graveside service for Rayford “Bo” Fisher was held at 2 p.m., Friday, Feb. 10, 2023, at Liberty Hill Cemetery. Pastor George Folmar officiating. He was laid to rest at Liberty Hill Cemetery.

Visitation began on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Autry Funeral Home, Frankston.

Rayford Allen Fisher, 66, of Frankston, passed away in Tyler on Feb. 6, 2023. Rayford was born Jan. 3, 1957, to Bill and Dorothy Fisher. Rayford worked hard all his life and knew many people because he delivered wood to many people. Rayford will be missed by so many. He would do anything for anyone and didn’t ask for a thing in return.

Rayford is preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Dorothy Fisher; brother, Billy Fisher; sister, Ruth (Fisher) Homan; and a niece, Tracy Renee Wheeler.

Left to cherish Rayford’s memory are his wife, Peggy Fisher of Frankston; daughter LeAnn Fisher of Palestine; son, Brian Fisher and wife Kasi Fisher of Jacksonville; stepchildren Brad Shotwell and Brandon Shotwell. His siblings are Johnny Fisher and wife Barbara of Frankston, Steve Fisher and wife Kay of Frankston, and Brenda (Fisher) Wheeler and husband Walter of Frankston. He is also survived by six grandchildren Devon Miller and Layla Hicks of Palestine, Chance Fisher of Jacksonville. Abel Pessink of Palestine. Kodi Shotwell & Kaitlyn Shotwell of Colorado; one great grandson Braxton Miller of Palestine. Rayford will be greatly missed by numerous nieces and nephews, who he greatly adored as well as his good friends, Mickey Kirkpatrick and Ricky Harley.

Pallbearers were Chris Fisher, Donny Wheeler, Lee Fisher, James Fisher, Ricky Harley, Jack Fisher, Bobby Homan and Robert Homan.

Dorris Houston

Dorris Houston, 85, of Frankston, was born on Nov. 6, 1937 and passed away peacefully at home on Feb. 12, 2023.

Graveside Service for Dorris has been rescheduled  for 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 24, 2033 at Frankston City Cemetery, according to the family.  

Dorris possessed a beautiful spirit that was both generous towards everyone and unselfish. Her love was very close to unconditional and originated from a big heart. Dorris was one of a kind and made people feel as though they were part of the family.

Dorris was preceded in death by her parents, Lee and Ruby McLane; husband of 49 years, John Edward Houston; brothers, Billy, Robert, Jimmy, and Morris McLane; sisters, Joann Baxter, Jennia-V McHale, and Jackie Forester.

Left to cherish Dorris’ memory are her children, John Mark Houston of El Campo, Jayne Fitzgerald and husband Drew of Frankston, and Staci Saunders of Frankston. Her sisters are Martha Hicks of Frankston, Mary Phillips of Tyler and June Brown of Frankston. She is also survived by three grandchildren Lynsie Fisher and husband Tim of Whitehouse, Ryan Fitzgerald of Frankston, and Jake Smith of Tyler; and one great granddaughter, Anna Grace Fisher.   (Information posted by Autry Funeral Home of Frankston)

Shirley Ann Walker

The Celebration of Life, Love, and Legacy Service for Shirley Ann Walker, 76, of Frankston was held Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023 at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, Chandler with Pastor James E. Jordan, II serving as officiant and Superintendent Gerald Johnson, eulogist.

She was laid to rest at Evergreen Memorial Park Cemetery under the direction of John R. Harmon Undertaking Co., Tyler.

On Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023 (Valentine’s Day), Shirley  peacefully transitioned into the arms of Jesus with family at her side.

Shirley Ann (Bell) Walker, the eldest child, was born April 25, 1946 in Henderson County to parents, the late Simon T. Bell and Harriet Davis Straughter.

Shirley received her primary education through Pleasant Ridge School and secondary education from Central High School in the Moore Station Community, graduating with the Class of 1964. She was a graduate of Trinity Valley Community College and furthered studies at the University of Texas at Tyler.

Shirley united in  marriage to Edward Louis Walker and to their union she was the wonderful mother of four children: LaVincent Charles, Jeffrey Don, Waylan Keith, and Erica Shanae; grandchildren: TraDerrin, Broderick, Jessica, Johntae, Jai, Keistan, Kahden, Michael, Brittanee, Cliston, Christopher, and Alexis; and great- grandchildren: Honey, Dariyn, Kensley, Trezur, and Addison.

Mother spent her life serving others. No matter who or where she met them, Shirley always served those in need. One of her greatest joys was spending time with family.

Shirley lived a life dedicated to serving God, her family, and her fellow man. Her Christian walk of faith began at Bethel A.M.E. Church, continued at Gentry Temple Church of God in Christ and Faith Temple #2 Church of God in Christ. She became the Sunday school teacher and church secretary, serving until the declination of her health. She worked with the Mission Department of the Jacksonville District under Supt. H. P. Jordan.  Mrs. Walker was a member of the Heroines of Jericho, Lily Fair Court #131 in LaRue, serving until her health began failing.

Shirley began working for Curtis Mathis Industries, Athens, but left and began working at Frankston Packaging Co. until 1978, when she began working with Frankston Independent School District. Continuing in elementary education, Shirley ended her career in the pre-Kindergarten area. Education was very important to Shirley, and she prayed and encouraged all children to get an education.  In 2004, she  retired but still managed to substitute teach and became an election judge for the City of Coffee City, serving many years, following in the footsteps of her mother.

Shirley is reunited with husband of 53 years, Edward L. Walker; parents: Simon T. Bell and Harriet Davis Straughter; siblings: Linda R. Tilley, LaKeythia Bell, Anthony Davis, and Regus Bell; five sisters-in-love, Bobbie, Katie Nell, Willie Mae, Marie, and Doris; two brothers-in-love, Buddy, and Robert; nephews, Bobby Murray and Edward McDaniel and great- nephew, K’Darius R. Stewart.

A legacy of precious memories will be cherished by her children: LaVincent C. (Alicia) Walker, San Antonio, Jeffrey D. (Ramona) Walker, Houston, Waylan K. (Bridigit) Walker, Woodville, MS, and Erica S. (Dwayne) Walker, Frankston; grandchildren: TraDerrin Walker, Frankston, Broderick Walker, Dallas, Johntae Walker, LaRue, Jessica Anthony, Montgomery, TX, Jai Walker, Houston, Keistan and Kahden Robert, both of Frankston, Brittanee Hollins, Cliston, Christopher, and Alexis Catchings all of Woodville, MS; great-grandchildren: Honey C. Walker and Dariyn C. Walker both of Corsicana, Kensley Walker, LaRue, Trezur and Addison of Woodville, MS; lasting memories will remain in the hearts of her siblings, Patricia Thompson and Lucy Bell both of Chandler, Marion (Dexter) Simpson, Tyler, Renaldo (Lerletha) Bell and Regina Bell both of LaRue, and Reginald (Anitra) Bell, DeSoto; one aunt, Alberta Bell, LaRue; sisters-in-love, Debra Davis, Athens, Isom M. (Willie) Wiley, Oakwood, Lillie Murray, Tucker, TX, Gladys Roberts and Dorothy (Edward) Purvis both of Oakwood; and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

Karen Lockhardt

A funeral service for Karen Lockhardt, 53, is scheduled for 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, at Autry Funeral Home in Frankston.

She was born on Nov. 11, 1969 and passed away on Feb. 19, 2023.

Karen was a caring and loving wife and mother who enjoyed the outdoors. She also enjoyed quilting, sewing, and various crafting.

Karen was preceded in death by her parents, Kenneth and Kathy (Dickert) Beasley.

Left to cherish Karen’s memory are her loving husband of 29 years, Robert Lockhardt of Coffee City; sons, Tyler Lockhardt of Springfield, Missouri, and Andrew Lockhardt of Coffee City; and stepdaughters, Angel Pica and husband Robert of Mansfield, and Celeste Lockhardt of Arizona. Her brothers are Danny Beasley and Bryan Beasley of Houston.

William Rayford Price

William Rayford Price, 86, a son of Frankston and a former Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, died peacefully on Feb. 21, 2023 at his home in Austin.

Rayford was born in Jacksonville Feb. 9, 1937. He grew up in  Frankston where his father, Quanah Price, was owner and publisher of The Frankston Citizen for 42 years, retiring in June 1973.

Price was the valedictorian of his class at Frankston High School in 1955 and then entered Lon Morris College, a two-year institution in Jacksonville. There, he participated in campus politics and was elected student body president.

Price had experience with printing because of his family newspaper background, so he worked as a printer to support his undergraduate studies at The University of Texas. He also attended law school at the university and was admitted to the bar in 1963.

Price won his first election to the Texas House of Representatives before finishing law school and represented Anderson and Cherokee Counties from 1961 to 1973. He held leadership positions on three House committees.

In 1972 Rayford Price was elected by the House to serve as Speaker. As Speaker, Price initiated a set of reforms in the House rules.

Ending his political career in 1973, he moved to Dallas and partnered with Ray Hutchison to form the law firm that eventually became Hutchison, Price, Boyle & Brooks. There, he specialized in municipal bond law. In 1982 he moved to Austin and founded the law firm of Rayford Price & Associates.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Quanah and Vaye (Baker) Price, and his brother Grady.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Barbara (Ashley) Price, his two sons Brandon and Brett Price and his daughter in-law, Diana Martinez.

In addition to his immediate family, he had a number of relatives, friends and acquaintances in Frankston and vicinity and elsewhere.

A memorial service will be held at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin on Friday, March 3 at 11 a.m.

The family suggests a memorial donation to the following organizations: American Lung Association, The MD Anderson Cancer Center, or The University of Texas School of Law.

(Much of the information and the photo for this obituary was posted on the website for Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, Austin, and other information obtained from local sources)

Ruben M. Beard

Ruben M. Beard, lifelong resident of Frankston, passed away on Feb. 23, 2023. He was born to Ruben and Clara (Lavassar) Beard on April 1, 1936.

Ruben was often found doing what he loved — fishing, playing cards and golfing. His passion for golf led him, along with his brother Garnett, to develop and own Piney Woods Golf Course and Elkhart Golf Club.

He was preceded in death by his brothers, Max Beard Sr. and Garnett Beard Sr.; daughter, Kathryn Rene; son, Vince Beard and daughter-in-law, Susan Burks Beard.

Ruben is survived by his son, Kevin Beard and mother of his children, Trina Beard, both of Frankston; grandchildren, Lauren Wright and husband Brent of Springtown; and great-grandchildren, Harper, Marshall, Nolan and Braydon Wright. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 2 p.m. March 19 at the Bank-quet Room,126 West Main, Frankston.

(Information posted by Autry Funeral Home of Frankston)

Velma Opaline McDonald

A funeral service for Velma Opaline McDonald, 91, of Frankston, is scheduled for 2 p.m., Friday, March 3, 2023, at Autry Funeral Home in Frankston with Rev. Jimmy Allen officiating. She will be laid to rest at Frankston City Cemetery.

Visitation will begin on Thursday, March 2, 2023. Friends and family are cordially invited to visit with Opaline’s family from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Autry Funeral Home, Frankston.

She was born on June 7, 1931 to Reed and Eva Smith in Frankston and passed away on Feb. 27, 2023.

She attended Frankston High School and worked for many years at The Frankston Citizen weekly newspaper, where she was a linotype operator and printing press operator and did commercial printing. She also gathered news items and did page layout for the newspaper as well as other duties. Later she also worked for Berry’s Country Store in Berryville as a cashier.

Opaline was a member of the Frankston Assembly of God Church.

Those who knew her will remember her as a loving wife, mother, and grandmother (Nan), known for her generous heart and love for family and her love of friends and also as a valued employee.

She will also be remembered for her love of sitting on her front porch and visiting with her neighbors and anyone who dropped by.

Opaline loved to give, and she was always giving away things to people.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband of 61 years, Troy Lee McDonald; her brother, Elton Smith; and her sisters, Pauline Hollingsworth and Mildred Tilman.

Left to cherish her memory include her daughter, Kathy Rogers and husband Alan of Bargersville, Indiana; grandson, Harold Rogers and wife Tina of Greenwood, Indiana; granddaughter, Jennifer Shriver and husband Jim of Plainfield, Illinois; and four great grandchildren.

Pallbearers will be Opaline’s nephews, Jason Hollingsworth, J.P. Hollingsworth, Michael Blake, Brian Smith, Chase Smith, and Chance Smith.

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

Wanda Blanche Johnson


Louise Williams Lade


Rayford “Bo” Fisher


Dorris Houston


Shirley Ann Walker


Karen Lockhart


William Rayford Price


Ruben M. Beard


Velma Opaline McDonald



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