Obituaries for March 2024

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.)

Sandra (Earp) Pope

Sandra Pope, 85, passed away peacefully on March 24, 2024, in her home in Frankston. She was born to Fogle and Hettie (Langford) Earp on Oct. 16, 1938, in Fairmont, West Virginia.

Sandra was a member of Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler and Living Faith Church in Franklin, WV. She had a professional organizer business and was a member of the National Assn. of Professional Organizers. Sandra had a passion for genealogy and published two books on the Pope and Cowger Families. In West Virginia she volunteered documenting cemeteries with the Fort Seybert Heritage Society. Sandra contributed to a documentary on water-powered Mills of Pendleton County.

Sandra is survived by her beloved husband, Larry Pope, of 65 years; children, Steven (Leigh) Pope, Cynthia Pope (Ken) Adams, and Christopher (Becky) Pope. She is also survived by her sister, Sally Earp (Gary) Niezgoda; and sister-in-law, Bonnie Snyder Earp. She was blessed to have 10 grandchildren and 12 nieces/nephews.

Sandra was preceded in death by her parents; and brothers, James and Gary Earp.

(Services under arrangement by the Autry Funeral Home in Frankston)

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

Sandra (Earp) Pope



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Scotty M. Thomas

Funeral Services for former Henderson County Commissioner Scotty Thomas, 72, of Cross Roads are scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 3, 2024, at First Baptist Malakoff with Bro. Scott Wiley officiating. Interment will follow at Post Oak Cemetery near Cross Roads.

A visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday April 2, 2024, at the Hannigan Smith Funeral Home in Athens.

Scotty went to be with his Lord and Savior on March 29, 2024, in Cross Roads surrounded by his family.

Scotty Marvin Thomas was born April 29, 1951, in Naples, Texas the son of James Cecil and Claudine (Ranes) Thomas. Scotty attended Paul H. Pewitt (Omaha/Naples, Texas) School all 12 years where he was a graduate of the class of 1969 and later attended Kilgore Junior College.

From 1975-1978 Scotty was Director of Security for HCJC, Henderson County Junior College in Athens. He then served 33 years in the energy industry starting in 1978 with Basic Resources, before moving to Texas Utilities Fuel Co, TXU Pipeline services and retiring from Atmos Energy in 2011 as an Environmental Specialist. After retirement, he served six years as County Commissioner for Henderson County.

Scotty enjoyed spending time outdoors playing tennis, ping pong, attending classic car shows, driving his red El Camino, and riding bikes. He also enjoyed the Texas Rangers and high school football. You could find him at every local high school playoff football game and at the State Track meet in Austin every year. None of these activities compared to the commitment he had to his grandchildren. He never missed an event and was passionate about supporting them and their interests.

He was a servant and good Samaritan, the true meaning of loving your neighbor as yourself. He enjoyed helping others and was an amazing role model to the young men in the community. He lived a wonderful life and was impactful to everyone who came across his path. He was caring, positive, genuine, and always made you feel significant in his presence. His positive outlook on life enabled him to see the good in everyone, and in every situation.

He was proceeded in death by his parents; infant daughter, Matti Brinkly Thomas; sisters, Sharon Thomas Moore, Sandy Thomas Wells; and brother Gary Cecil Thomas.

Scotty is survived by the love of his life, wife of 40 years Patti Barnett Thomas of Cross Roads; three daughters, Jensy Bizzell and husband Ryan of Frankston, Kaci Lyford and husband Robert of McKinney, Tessie Cain and husband Casey of Bullard; grandchildren, Brink Ryan Bizzell, Bandy Leigh Bizzell, Brody Scott Bizzell, Charli Elizabeth Geatches, Matti Brinkly Cain, Teddi Eleanor Cain; sisters-in-law Lori Daniel and Dot Barnett; along with numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Ryan Bizzell, Robert Lyford, Casey Cain, Brink Bizzell, Brody Bizzell, Jerry King, Cecil Sims, Chris Hope, Randy Monroe, Richard Reimann, and Bobby Bankhead will serve as pallbearers.

Rick Giles, Jim Norris, John Chaddick, Dwayne Allen, John Kennedy, Wade McKinney, Denny Sims, and Billy Lee were named honorary pallbearers.

The family is asking that memorial donations be made to the First Baptist Church of Cross Roads or Post Oak Cemetery.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Hannigan Smith Funeral Home family.

Billy Frank Bussey

A funeral service for Billy Frank Bussey, 92, of Frankston, is scheduled 2 p.m., Saturday, March 30, 2024, at First Baptist Church of Frankston. Pastor Scott Wiley will officiate. He will be laid to rest at Frankston City Cemetery.

Visitation will be held on Friday, March 29, 2024, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Autry Funeral Home, Frankston.

Billy was born and raised in Frankston where he graduated high school in 1948. He graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business. He proudly served in the Air Force in the Korean War and was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.

Billy was an avid woodworker and enjoyed making cabinetry; he was a longtime member of the East Texas Woodworkers Club. After he retired and moved to Frankston, he became a math substitute teacher and drove a school bus. Billy worked for Armco Steel in Houston and retired after 29 years as the Raw Materials Supervisor and Buyer. He was a 3rd Degree Mason and a member of First Baptist Church of Frankston.

Billy was preceded in death by his parents, Olvan and Alice Bussey; wife, Florence “Flo” Bussey; brother, Donnie Edward Bussey; sister-in-law, Lamand Bussey; and a number of cousins.

Left to cherish his memory are his son, Alan Bussey of Frankston; daughter, Diana Lynn Dugan and husband Mike and his two sons, Mike Dugan Jr., and Dusty Dugan of Quitman; brothers, Richard Bussey and wife Freida of Frankston and Bobby Bussey of Chandler; niece, (daughter of Richard and Freida Bussey) Stacy; and nephews, (sons of Bobby Bussey) James and David Bussey. He is also survived by two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Family members will serve as pallbearers. ( More information at the Autry Funeral Home website.)

Billy Frank Bussey


Scotty M. Thomas