Obituaries for March 2011

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.)

Albert J. ‘Mickey’ Boyd

Memorial services for Albert J. “Mickey” Boyd, 83, of Frankston, are scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday, March 13, at Frankston V.F.W. Post 5073.

Services are under the direction of Autry Funeral Home in Frankston.

Mr. Boyd passed away Monday, Feb. 28, 2011, in Jacksonville.

He was born June 20, 1927 in Sayre, Oklahoma.

Mr. Boyd joined the Merchant Marines in 1943 at the age of 16, then served in the United States Army in 1946-1947, was a member and past Master of the William Foster Lodge No. 312, a 32-year member of Scottish Rite in Waco, a member of the Sharon Shrine Temple in Tyler, the Masonic lodge No. 312 in Frankston, was the Past Post Commander, District Commander in 1991, All American District 19 Commander 1991-1992 of the VFW Post No. 5073 in Frankston and also a member of the Eastern Star.

He is preceded in death by his parents Jesse Wright Boyd and Georgie Mae Griffin Boyd; sister Vanota Mae Boyd Olson; and his first wife May Vaughn Boyd.

Survivors include common law soul-mate Tommy Joe Amburn of Frankston; son Michael C. Amburn of Water Valley, Miss.; daughter Tommie Amburn Nylin and husband Bart of McComb, Miss.; step son DeWitt Stidham and wife Sharon of Jacksonville; step daughter, Barbara Stidham of Kerrville, Linda Hatch and husband Dan, Teddy Denham and husband Doug of Amarillo; grandchildren Shelia Mays of Rockwall, Shane Amburn of Water Valley, Miss., Holly Amburn of Water Valley, Miss., Travis Nylin Hay of Starkville, Miss., Taylor Nylin of McComb, Miss., Carol Len Harrison, and Kenneth Wayne Stidham; step grandchildren Tammy Vierkant of Bullard and Debbie McKenny of Tyler, Jeremy Denham and wife Kelly, Ashley Hatch of Amarillo, Ami Hatch Odell and John Odell of Pawtucket, Road Island; and nine great-grandchildren, Erica Renee Fox, Christopher Beasley, Crista R. Beasley, Michael Charles Taylor, Chad Jeffery Taylor, Jayden Nylin, Caleb Vierkant, Jacob Vierkant, and Valerie Vierkant.

Bobby Earl Birch

Funeral services for Bobby Earl Birch, 65, of Frankston were held Saturday, March 5, 2011 at Autry Funeral Home chapel in Frankston with Jerry Payne officiating.

Burial was held at Frankston City Cemetery.

Mr. Birch passed away Thursday, March 3, 2011 in Frankston.

He was born December 18, 1945 in Palestine.

Mr. Birch had previously lived in Palestine, Lindale, and Chandler and had lived in the Lake Palestine area for the last 21 years.

Mr. Birch was a self-employed carpenter.

He is preceded in death by his son Damon Earl Birch Sr., father Walter James Birch and sister Eutonya Cortez.

Survivors include mother, Mildred Ingram of Chandler; sons, Donald Birch of Frankston and Daniel Birch and wife Nicholle of Frankston; daughter, Denise Birch of Frankston; sister, Davelyn Barton of Chandler; brothers, Troy Ingram of Bullard, Matt Ingram of Neches, Jay Ingram of Tennessee Colony and Tracey Ingram of Tulsa, Okla.; fourteen grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Pallbearers were Jacob Birch, Damon Birch, Jamison Paul, Sunny Snyder, Christopher Smith, Jay Ingram and Matt Ingram.

Johnny Garrett

Johnny Garrett passed away Saturday, March 5, in Cleburne, Texas.

He was born October 28, 1941, in Jacksboro, to John and Marie Garrett.

His father was a long-time pastor in East Texas, holding pastorates in Lufkin and the First Baptist Church of Frankston.

Johnny attended junior high school at Hudson, and graduated from Frankston High School in 1960.

He also attended Henderson County Junior College and Sam Houston State University.

Johnny had a long career in the transportation industry, and was a charter bus company owner and operator in the Dallas area for most of his life.

Johnny was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Gerry. He is survived by two sons, Craig and Todd; his sister, Joann Jennings of Lufkin; as well as eight grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be forwarded to Emergency Student Assistance, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, 3939 Gentilly Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70126.

Horace Burnard ‘H. B.’ Halbert Jr., M.D.

Horace Burnard “H.B.” Halbert, Jr., M.D., 77, of Round Rock, passed away March 11, 2011, at the scene of a one-car collision near Jewett.

He was born April 25, 1933, in Frankston to H.B. Halbert, Sr., and Mattie Petri Halbert. He began his first job at age seven, when Mr. Jeff Austin hired him to sweep the floor of the bank daily after school.

At age 12, he became the man of the house when his father died. After H.B.’s graduation from Frankston High School in 1950, an athletic scholarship led him to Schreiner College in Kerrville.

Then his appointment to the United States Military Academy took him to West Point, NY, for two years — the only time this proud Texan lived outside the state.

Deciding to pursue a medical degree, he transferred to the University of Texas at Austin to complete his undergraduate studies.

He graduated from UT Southwestern Medical School, including residency at Parkland Hospital, in 1958. Before leaving Dallas the following year, he also did an internship at Methodist Hospital.

His medical specialization was family practice, arguably the most difficult credentials to acquire and maintain—but a small-town doctor must have a wide range of expertise.

For over 30 years, he served the community of Rosebud, providing care from cradle to grave at the facilities he established — Halbert Clinic, Halbert Hospital, and Heritage House nursing home.

It is estimated that during this time, he delivered about 3,000 babies.

Patients of this era will remember his standard wardrobe: green scrubs and red socks.

A pediatric patient brave enough to receive an injection would be rewarded with a Dum-Dum lollipop.

While self-employed, Dr. Halbert extended his generosity beyond his family to include his patients, at times agreeing to accept chickens, tomatoes, etc. as compensation toward medical bills if the client could not pay.

After leaving Rosebud, he practiced medicine in Whitney, Burkburnett, Frankston, Huntsville, Sealy, and Pasadena.

Over the course of his 48-year career, his medical skill saved many lives and his compassionate ways touched many hearts.

Numerous people in crisis have received the benefit of his advice and encouragement.

Perhaps his sincere empathy for those in trouble resulted from his own experiences. His mischievous streak was evident from childhood; two of his early escapades included cutting off his sister Jean’s curls and dropping a lit match into the gas tank of the family car.

When he was a toddler, a near-drowning incident required emergency treatment that left a significant scar on his back—he would later tell children that he’d survived an Indian bow-and-arrow attack. H.B. could never resist embellishing a good story to add drama.

Highly competitive, he took pleasure in many sports and games. Although an avid fan of the Longhorns and the Cowboys, he always held a keen interest in high school football as well.

H.B. was deeply honored when Rosebud-Lott High School asked him to return as team doctor for their state championship game in 2002, which the Cougars won.

He enjoyed playing golf, and he followed the pro careers of the Bryant brothers, having known the family in Rosebud.

An enthusiastic hunter, he typically had a bird dog. Anyone who played bridge or 42 with him soon learned that he could count cards and see through dominoes.

His excellent memory also served him well as a history buff as he could recall facts and narratives in great detail.

Dr. Halbert is survived by his wife, DeAnn Halbert of Round Rock; his sister, Lynne Halbert Orr of Jacksonville; and nine children: Leslie Higgins and Laura Halbert of Austin; Robin Polk of Rosebud; Adrianne Charfoos of Chicago, IL; Richard Halbert and Elizabeth Thigpen of Chilton; Kristen Ryder of Oakwood; and Will Halbert and Kirill Halbert of Trinity.

Big Pawpaw had eight grandchildren.

Patriarch of the Halbert clan since 1983, his memory will be cherished by scores of nieces and nephews as well.

H.B. was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Eddie Halbert and Gaylon Halbert; and three of his sisters, Irene Tatum, Virginia Saunders, and Jean Baron.

A celebration of H.B.’s life will take place at Central Baptist Church in Jacksonville on Thursday at 10 a.m., led by Dr. Darin Wood, Pastor. Those attending are asked to wear something colorful.

Anyone wishing to remember H.B. with a charitable contribution may support the nonprofit endeavor most near and dear to his heart, a residential ranch for adolescents and adults having cognitive disabilities: Inspiration Village, P.O. Box 667, Trinity, TX 75862-0667. Visit for details about the organization.

Vay Dell Ellis Cook

Graveside services for Vay Dell Ellis Cook, 88, of Center were held Saturday, March 12, in the Frankston City Cemetery.

Vay Dell was born in Frankston Jan. 16, 1923, to Charlie and Rosa (Dabbs) Ellis and married to J.C. (Joe) Cook in 1943.

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

She was preceded in death by her husband, and granddaughter Scheri Willoughby Leeth.

She is survived by her four children, Sheila Varwig of Tioga, La., Mary Gwen Willoughby and husband Kenneth of Deridder, La., Charles Cook of Center, Texas, and Rhenee Flores and husband Joe of Dry Prong, La.; 10 grandchildren, Christena Davis and husband Casey of Pineville, La., Michael Emanis and wife Jennifer of Longview, Daniel Emanis and fiancée Monique Love of Center, Jaceson Willoughby and fiancée Wendy Maddox of Deridder, La., Chad Varwig and wife Yvonne of Chattanooga, Tenn., Lisa Culpepper and husband Cary of Carrier, Miss., Terry Varwig of Sheveport, Christy Lee and husband Bryan of Valrico, Fla. And Teddy Varwig and wife Kerry of Henderson, NV; 14 great grandchildren; three great great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Mary Allen

Funeral services for Mary Allen, 83, of Frankston, were held Saturday, March 19, 2001, at the Frankston United Methodist Church with the Rev. James Roberts officiating.

Burial was held at Frankston City Cemetery.

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

Mrs. Allen passed away Wednesday, March 16, 2011, in Frankston.

She was born January 7, 1928 in Buffalo, Arkansas.

Mrs. Allen was a member of the Frankston United Methodist Church. She was the retired owner/operator of Mary’s Beauty Shop in Frankston and was a member of Ladies Auxiliary of Frankston V.F.W.

She is preceded in death by her husband James Allen and granddaughter Elaina Bell.

Survivors include son David Matthews and wife Lynda of Mansfield; daughter Dana Smith and husband Dennis of Frankston; step daughters Sharon Roberts and husband James of Giddings, Dana Clifford of California and Lisa Richey and husband Mark of Arkansas; step son James “Butch” Allen of Georgia; 13 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; one great-great grandson; eight step grandchildren; and four step great-grandchildren.

Pallbearers were Chance Richbourg, Michael Kephart, Chris Kephart, Bo Bennett, David Matthews and John Paul King.

Mary Geeslin

Mary Marguerite McKinney Geeslin, 85 of Athens, Texas and formerly of Hamersville, Ohio died Thursday, March 17, 2011 at the Park Highland Nursing Home in Athens, Texas.

Mrs. Geeslin was a homemaker and a member of the Hamersville Church of Christ in Hamersville, Ohio. She was born on July 18, 1925 in Poetown, Ohio the daughter of the late Vern and Zella (Richey) McKinney. She was also preceded in death by her husband – Vernon Geeslin in 1993.

Mrs. Geeslin is survived by one son Kenneth Geeslin and his wife Katherine of Athens; one brother Carroll McKinney and his wife Johanna of Leesburg, Ohio; two sisters Alice McIntosh of Hillsboro, Ohio and Venus Kusnerus of Wichita, Kansas; two grandchildren John Geeslin and his wife Alisha of Richardson, Texas and Jennifer Geeslin Piggott and husband Russ of Fresno, California; one step granddaughter Malia James of Los Angeles, California; one step grandson Matt Freeman of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; two step great granddaughters Sidney and Sarah Freeman; two sisters-in-law June Pittenger of Georgetown, Ohio and Velta Benham of Versailles, Indiana; one niece Patricia Ramler of Highland Heights, Kentucky and one nephew Wendell Kusnerus of Portland, Oregon.

Following cremation, a memorial graveside service was held March 26, 2011 at the Bethel – Tate Township Cemetery in Bethel, Ohio.

The Rev. Thomas Friskney officiated.

If desired, memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warriors Project, 7020 AC Skinner Parkway, Suite 100, Jacksonville, Florida 32256. The Cahall Funeral Home in Georgetown, Ohio handled the services.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

Kay Tippett

Katherine Pearl (Kay) Whitten Tippett, 69, of Frankston died Wednesday, March 16, 2011 in Frankston.

Graveside services were held Sunday, March 20, at Frankston City Cemetery with Brother George Folmar officiating. Services were under direction of Boren-Conner Funeral Home in Jacksonville.

Kay was born Jan. 4, 1942, to Howard and Johnnie (Bradley) Whitten in Burkburnett, Texas.

She married Leroy Tippett April 7, 1960, in Dallas. She was a wife, mother, and homemaker. She and her husband moved to Frankston 30 years ago to be close to her parents.

Kay is survived by four children, Jeff Tippett of Frankston, Gina Wofford of Frankston, Charlotte Tippett Owen of Dallas, Evelyn Tippett of Dallas and 10 grandchildren, Marc, Justin, Melissa, Amanda, Josh, Clint, Cody, Shane, Chad, Kristi and Brian all of Frankston, 7 great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Howard and Johnnie Whitten; husband Leroy Tippett; son Christopher Tippett; and brother James Whitten all of Frankston.

James T. Johnson

(By Bob Johnson)

It was a time he looked forward to with growing anticipation: James T. Johnson entered his eternal destiny on Thursday, February 24, 2011.

Typical of James’ inquisitive thinking, he stated in recent times that he wanted to go on to heaven to see if the preachers he’d heard were right in their assessment of the place.

From his faith perspective, it was a time of the gathering of what God had planted in him to be transformed into a heavenly being.

He was ready to be free of the usual frailties besetting those who live to be 90 years old.

James expressed his faith in a variety of ways. He was a member of the First Baptist Church in Lake Jackson at his death.

During the time he and Wilma lived in Frankston, he was an active member of the First Baptist Church. He applied his faith outside of the church venue also.

He served as a member of the Masonic Lodge, reaching the position of Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge in Texas in 1984.

He also served as the Past Master of both the William Foster Lodge in Frankston and the Lake Jackson Lodge.

James served his country during World War II in the Army Air Corps (now Air Force). Upon his discharge, he entered civilian life as an employee of Fred Boston Lincoln-Mercury, Enid, OK.

In 1957 he moved to the Brazosport area and continued his career with Curry Motor Company.

At his retirement he was the owner of Superior Motors in Freeport, Texas.

To help him keep focused on his life as a believer first, and a businessperson second, he always quoted Galatians 2:20 as he drove to work each day. Many attest that he did keep his focus.

Two daughters survive James: Carolyn Moody of Jacksonville, Texas and Barbara Beddingfield of Kerrville, Texas. Grandchildren are Kevin Moody of Sugarland, Texas, Deidra Crumrine of Lake Jackson, Texas, and Michelle Hunt of Kerrville. There are eight great-grandchildren.

Wilma, his wife of 46 years, survives James. Her two children, Judy and Denny, as well as their offspring considered James as their father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He filled an important role in their lives and is fondly remembered as embracing them as his own. They joyfully remember James as the family’s Santa Claus at Christmas time.

James was born on September 2, 1920 in Waxahachie, Texas to parents William Franklin and Emma Lee Turk Johnson. He was one of five sons and two daughters.

Preceding him in death are brothers W. F. (Billy) Jr., Harold and sisters Clyde and Ruth. Surviving brothers are Roland of Nacogdoches, TX and Bob of Louisville, KY.

A celebration service, conducted at his home church on Tuesday, March 1, was led by his brother, Dr. Bob Ivan Johnson and musician nephew Dr. Jeffry Blake Johnson of Pittsburgh, PA.

Those who wished to speak gave various testimonies to the life of James. Expressed were profound influences on individual lives and well as humorous references to James’ involvement in the automobile business.

The congregational singing of “Victory in Jesus” climaxed the service. James would have enjoyed it all.

Those wishing to honor James in a tangible manner are asked to consider a gift to the American Diabetes Association P.O. Box 11454 Alexandria, VA 22312.

(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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