Obituaries for October 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.)

Johnny F. Hatton

Funeral services for Johnny F. Hatton, 67, a retired Frankston logger, were conducted on Saturday, Oct. 1, in the Faith Temple Full Gospel Pentecostal Church in Frankston.

Officiating was the Rev. B. R. Whitehead with the eulogy by Pastor Johnny Ray Baker. Funeral arrangements were by John R. Harmon Undertaking Company of Tyler. Burial was in Pleasant Hill Cemetery of Frankston.

Mr. Hatton died suddenly on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011, after participating in an emergency drill for volunteer firemen and other responders.

Mr. Hatton was born to the late Eva Mae and Raymond Hatton Sr. on May 14, 1944, in Frankston. He was the youngest of seven siblings and attended George W. Carver School in Frankston. He joined Pleasant Hill Baptist Church as a young boy.

“From an early age,” the family said, “Johnny believed that the merit of a man was measured by hard work, commitment to family and faith in God. He lived his entire life by these principles.”

As a young man, he worked as a rock crusher before moving to the sawmill. He would later go into the logging business with his brother, Jody Hatton, which remained his profession until he retired.

In 1966, he married Dorothy Morgan, and they had four children.

He met Gracie Renfro-VanZandt in 1973 and shared 36 years together before they married on May 23, 2009. Together, they raised Roderick Renfro from infancy as their own child.

“Being a father and step-father was very important to him,” the family said, “and he cherished all his children.”

Mr. Hatton liked fishing, gardening and just being outside in nature, and his yard was always the gathering place for family and friends wanting to relax, laugh and enjoy the company of others.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Raymond Hatton Jr. and R. D. Hatton; and one sister, Dorothy Marie Hatton.

He is survived by his widow, Gracie Hatton; his children Angela Hatton and Melinda Hatton of Jacksonville, Eric Hatton, Michael Hatton (Tracie), Richard VanZandt (Bonnie) of Frankston, Loretta Moreland of Laneville and Roderick Renfro (Jessica) of San Antonio; one brother, Jody Hatton of Frankston; two sisters, Minnie P. Hatton of Frankston and Ocie M. Chancellor (Elgie) of Athens; eighteen grandchildren; friend Robert “Buddy” Kirby; and a host of great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

Pallbearers were Marcellus Allen, Kenneth Hawkins, Carlos Henderson, George Jenkins, Davis Paris and Maurice Scott.

Honorary pallbearers were Mark Allen, Jimmy Donnell, John Jefferson, Alfonso Lang, Mike White and Ricky Williams.

Among others participating in the funeral were Pastor Alice Cumby, Pastor Timothy Hatton, soloist B. J. Holloway, and soloist Doris Pellun, soloist Mary Patton.

Wanda Beth Barton Henderson

Funeral services for Wanda Beth Barton Henderson, 77, of Frankston were held Tuesday, October 4, 2011, at Autry Funeral Home chapel with the Rev. J. A. Griffin officiating.

Burial followed at Wofford Cemetery in Frankston.

Mrs. Henderson passed away Friday, Sept. 30, 2011, in Eunice, La.

She was born May 3, 1934, in Chandler.

Mrs. Henderson was a member of the Assembly of God Church and was a cook.

She is preceded in death by her loving husband Homer Jay Henderson, five half brothers and two half sisters.

Survivors include daughter Betty Henderson of LaRue; son George Henderson of Frankston; daughter Mary Hebert and husband Jimmy of Basile, La.; sister Ruth Nolan and husband Buddy of Frankston; sister-in-law Pauline Hollingsworth of Frankston; five grandchildren Frances Lallande of LaRue, Paul Abendroth of LaRue, Bryan Abendroth of LaRue, Nikki Hebert of Basile, La., Jim Hebert and wife Ashley of Basile, La.; six great-grandchildren Brittany Oldham of Palestine, Dawson Abendroth of LaRue, Cameron Hebert of Basile, La., Kara Hebert of Basile, La., Ellie Hebert of Basile, La. and Ridge Hebert of Basile, La.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers were Paul Abendroth, Bryan Abendroth, Frances Lallande, Mike Lallande, Jim Strange, and Gene Templin.

Bobbie Slayton

Funeral services for Bobbie Slayton, 72, of Jacksonville, were held September 30, 2011, at Autry Funeral Home chapel in Jacksonville with the Rev. David Hallum officiating.

Burial was held at Still Waters Memorial Gardens in Jacksonville.

Mrs. Slayton passed away Monday, September 26, 2011, in Tyler.

She was born October 26, 1938, in Van Zandt County.

Mrs. Slayton was a member of Afton Grove Baptist Church, Jacksonville, member of Professional Women of Jacksonville and she worked in the accounting department as a collections manager for Bealls.

She is preceded in death by her parents Johnny and Florence Walker, a sister Florence Works, a brother D.R. Walker, and a granddaughter Chelsea Cook.

Survivors include husband Doyle Slayton of Jacksonville; one son Jimmy Slayton and wife Luann of Jacksonville; two daughters, Elaine Tarrant and husband Nicky and Carolyn Page and husband John, both of Jacksonville; four brothers, Floyd Walker of Gilmer, Dewey Walker of Beckville, twin brother Billy Ray Walker and wife Willa of Eustace, and Dale Walker of Alamogordo, New Mexico; three sisters, Neva McKinney of Canton, Joyce Vick and husband Wayne of Canton, and Connie Bradley of Eustace; nine grandchildren, Leslie McDaniel, Robin Sunday, Matt S. Tarrant, Alann Melenbacher, Michael Slayton, Stacey Alexander, John Cook, Daniel Cook, and Rachel Cook; and eleven great grandchildren, Tarrant, Tennyson, and Talon Sunday, Madeline and Sophie McDaniel, Macy Melenbacher, Cooper Cummins, Brantley Slayton, and Julie, Asa, and Elias Cook, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers were John Cook, Matt S. Tarrant, Daniel Cook, Michael Slayton, Bryce McDaniel, Troy Sunday, and Matt Melenbacher.

Lula Mae (Ned) Perry

Funeral services for Lula Mae (Ned) Perry, 92, of Frankston were held Saturday, Oct. 1, at Mt. Olive Sand Flat Baptist Church with the Rev. W.D. Brown officiating.

Burial was to follow in Mt. Olive Sand Flat Cemetery. Services were under direction of Williams Funeral Home.

Mrs. Perry died Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011, in Frankston.

She was born Dec. 25, 1919, in Bullard. She attended public school in Smith County.

She was preceded in death by her parents Andrew and Annie Thomas Dean, one son, one sister, and two uncles.

She is survived by her son, George (Marion) Perry, Jr. of Hammond, La.; a daughter, Patricia (Billy) Washington of Frankston; a daughter-in-law, Barbara Williams of Corsicana; 15 grandchildren; 35 great grandchildren; 10 great great grandchildren and many other relatives.

Pallbearers were Charles Betts, Nichel Nealey, Edward Conley, Miro Thomas, Twain Barnes and Reginald Taylor.

Honorary pallbearers were George Perry, Jr. and Billy Washington.

Wallace Eugene Taylor

Services for Wallace Eugene Taylor, 61, of LaRue were held Wednesday, Oct. 5, at First Baptist Church in Poynor with the Rev. Jim Boyte officiating.

Burial followed in Myrtle Springs Cemetery under direction of Carroll-Lehr Funeral Home.

Eugene died October 2, 2011, in Tyler.

He was born September 28, 1950, in Tarrant County to the late Wallace Otto Taylor, Jr. and Imogene Gordon Taylor.

Following graduation from LaPoynor High School in 1970, Eugene enlisted in the United States Army. After being discharged, he married, started his family and began a 30-year career in the oil, gas and water well drilling industry.

There was a five-year interval where he worked for the Frankston Independent School District in the transportation and maintenance division.

He served tenures with Petrofac in Tyler, East Texas Drilling, Ark-La-Tex, Boring Pinnergy and finished his career with Scruggs, Inc. at Joaquin and Buffalo as a water well technician and salesman.

A sister, Belinda Taylor preceded him in death.

Survivors include his wife Janette D. Taylor of LaRue; son Eric Taylor and wife Leah of Hughes Springs; daughter Regena Calcote and husband Brandon of Hughes Springs; sisters Barbara Tucker of Frankston, Claudia Taylor of Ft. Gibson, Oklahoma, Marla Garber of Frankston; and grandchildren Austin Calcote, Kali Calcote, Trenton Taylor.

Pallbearers were Chris Carr, Frank Tucker, Craig Kelly, Bobby Taylor, Randy Williams, Dan Taylor, Don Holloway and James Eddington.

Honorary pallbearers were Jason Stinson, Keith Westbrook and J. M. Richardson.

People may sign the guest register or leave a message of condolence for the family at

Marie Morgan

Funeral services for Marie Morgan, 84, of Frankston, were held Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011, at the First Baptist Church in Frankston with the Rev. Scott Wiley and the Rev. J.A. Griffin officiating.

Burial was held at Liberty Hill Cemetery in Frankston.

Mrs. Morgan passed away Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011 in Tyler.

She was born January 29, 1927 in Houston.

Mrs. Morgan was a retired accountant with the State of Texas and a member of the First Baptist Church in Frankston.

She is preceded in death by her parents L.M. and Elma Florence Bruno; husband W.T. Morgan; brothers Bonard Bruno and Wayne Bruno; and sister Doris Bruno.

Survivors include two daughters Elaine Voigt and husband Scott of Trophy Club, Texas and Shirley Smith and husband Wayne of Frankston; two sisters Joyce Rabel of Willis, and Kathy Gore and husband Robert of Frankston; brother Michael Bruno, Sr. of Groves, Texas; granddaughter Carmen Ryals and husband Mark of Frankston; grandson Daniel Smith of Brenham; great grandchildren Cynthia Ryals, Daniel Ryals and wife Courtney, Brian Ryals, and Timothy Ryals, and several nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers were Mike Goodman, Mark Ryals, Robert Gore, Scott Voigt, David Powell, David Wayne Riley, Daniel Smith, and Michael Bruno III.

VonDelle “Nickie” Smitherman

Funeral services for VonDelle “Nickie” Smitherman, 62, of Coffee City, were held Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011, at Autry Funeral Home in Frankston.

Burial followed at Frankston City Cemetery.

Mrs. Smitherman passed away Tuesday, Oct. 4, in Tyler.

She was born December 28, 1948, in Hassel, Texas.

Mrs. Smitherman was a waitress and a member of the Baptist Church. She will always be remembered for saying, “I love you and God bless you.”

Survivors include her husband Bobby Smitherman of Coffee City; two sisters Doris Milam of Montpelier, ID and Mary Ingram of Cheyenne, Okla.; brother Don Butler of Leedy, Okla.; and brother-in-law Jerry Spearman of Brownwood.

Willie Bernice Ruff

Funeral services for Willie Bernice Ruff, 92, of Frankston, were held Monday, October 10, 2011, at Autry Funeral Home in Frankston with Bro. J.A. Griffin and Bro. Michael Griffin officiating. Arrangements were under the direction of Autry Funeral Home.

Burial was held at Liberty Hill Cemetery in Frankston.

Mrs. Ruff passed away Friday, October 7, 2011 in Frankston.

She was born May 4, 1919, in Frankston, to Willie and Jewel Campbell.

Mrs. Ruff was a charter member of the VFW Post 5073 Ladies Auxiliary and was a member of the Assembly God Church in Frankston.

She is preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, Rosco Ruff; parents Willie and Jewel Campbell; son-in-law Kenneth Shackelford and a sister, Margee Burt.

Survivors include daughter Janice Shackelford of Frankston; sisters Jo Ann Ivie of Frankston, Betty Irvin of Oklahoma and Linda Warkentin of Oklahoma; brothers Durwood Campbell of Frankston, Charles Campbell of Frankston and W.E. Campbell of Hurst; three grandchildren Kevin Shackelford and wife Rejane, Kirk Shackelford and wife Vicki and Kristi Wagley and husband Mark; six great grandchildren Grace Wagley, Maegan Howell, Colten, Cooper, Colby and Hannah Wagley.

Pallbearers were Kevin Shackelford, Colten Shackelford, Cooper Shackelford, Colby Shackelford, Keith Campbell and Don Shepherd.

Steven Kraig Wheeler

Graveside services for Steven Kraig Wheeler, 56, of Jacksonville, formerly of Houston, were scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011, at Corine Cemetery under direction of Boren-Conner Funeral Home in Jacksonville.

The Rev. Larry Smith officiated.

Mr. Wheeler passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011.

He was born Jan. 10, 1955. He lived in Jacksonville for more than 10 years and has friends and family in the Frankston area.

Survivors include his mother Billie Joyce Wheeler of Houston; sisters Diana Brooks of Jacksonville, Debra Garrison of Houston, Kathy West and husband James of Houston; brothers Walter Wheeler and wife Brenda of Frankston, Jim Wheeler and wife Rosia of LaPlata, Mo.; and several nieces and nephews.

C. E. (Gene) Dickerson

Funeral services for C.E. (Gene) Dickerson, 83, of Frankston, were held Monday, Oct. 17, 2011, at First Baptist Church in Frankston with the Rev. Scott Wiley and the Rev. George Folmar officiating. Burial was held at Frankston City Cemetery.

Mr. Dickerson passed away Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011, in Tyler.

Services were under direction of Autry Funeral Home, Frankston.

He was born June 15, 1928, in Poynor, Texas.

Mr. Dickerson was employed by Carrier Corporation for 30 years and retired in 1987 as a supervisor. He was an Airman 1st Class in the U.S. Air Force, and a member of First Baptist Church in Frankston.

He is preceded in death by his parents Farris C. and Bessie Dickerson; wife, Mary Ann Dickerson; two grandchildren Jennifer Ann Tarrant and Charles Jason Tarrant, son-in-law Grady Ellis; sister Lucille Taylor and brother-in-law Doyle Taylor; brother Preston Dickerson, and sister-in-law Fayrene Dickerson.

Survivors include four daughters; Sandra Jean Ellis of Jacksonville, Denise Ann Tarrant and husband Roger of Frankston, Janet Sue Wilson and husband Mike of Bucyrus, KS, and Judy Kay Hyde and husband James of Frankston; brother Jimmy L. Dickerson and wife Nelda of Poynor; nieces, Alana Moore of Frankston and Debbie Edmonson of Frankston; and nephews, Mike Taylor of Kansas, Johnny Taylor of Frankston, Robert Dickerson of Frankston, James Dickerson of Poynor, and Jeff Dickerson of Dallas; grandchildren John Ellis and wife Brandy, Alicia Eubanks and husband Brad, Cole Wilson, Matthew Wilson, Jason Wilson, Jamey Tarrant and wife Jennifer, Justin Tarrant, Josh Tarrant, Lynzee Witherspoon and husband Ryan, Jarrod Hyde, Kim Schrock and husband Kent and Cristy Hutton and husband Mark; and 14 great grandchildren.

Pallbearers were his grandchildren.

Irma Orene Horton

Irma Orene Horton went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011.

She was born March 3, 1922.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 47 years, Sheriff Allen Horton, grandson Brian Bridges and son-in-law, Paul Bridges.

She is survived by her daughter Teresa Bridges, grandsons Billy Bridges and wife Melissa of Frankston, Paul Bridges Jr. of Macon, Georgia, Robert Bridges and wife Sonya of Whitehouse; granddaughters Penny Prince of Tyler and Paula Willis and husband Eric of Frankston; 16 great grandchildren and several great great grandchildren.

The family received visitors at the home of Teresa Bridges in Frankston on Friday, Oct. 14.

Carl Alsobrook

A memorial service celebrating the life of Carl Alsobrook, of Poynor was held at the United Methodist Church of Frankson, on Friday, Oct. 21 with the Rev. Roland Alsobrook, the Rev. Douglas Howell and the Rev. Bill Hauck officiating.

Services were under the direction of Boren-Conner Funeral Home of Bullard.

Carl was born to Ray Alsobrook and Mary Edna Underwood Alsobrook on October 3, 1918, in Burkburnett, Texas and passed away at his home in Poynor, on October 18, 2011, at the age of 93.

After reading western novels, becoming a cowboy was appealing to him. At age 14 he worked on the Andrews Ranch with his Grandad moving some cattle to another ranch. That’s when he decided a cowboy’s life was not for him.

Carl had his roots in West Texas, having lived in Rochester, Texas from 1922 until 1937, graduating as Valedictorian of his class at Rochester High School in 1935.

He served in the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged. After leaving the service he went to Houston to look for work and found work at Peden Iron and Steel eventually becoming the pay master and head of the accounting department.

He met Ellene Gambrell on a blind date in December of 1941 and married her on March 27, 1942, and cherished her for 67 years until her death in January 2010.

In May 1943, Carl successfully completed a course in advanced accounting and received a diploma from the International Accountants Society.

He later worked for Luke Johnson Ford in Houston as its head financial officer and a few years later moved his family to Austin where he worked for Wilcox Elliott Grain and Feed as the company’s bookkeeper and also worked out of his home preparing taxes and keeping books for several clients.

Carl and Ellene found a church home at Koenig Lane Christian Church where they formed many lasting friendships.

Carl and Ellene moved to Poynor in August 1997. They became “good neighbors” to his oldest son, Ray and his wife, Susanne. They developed many special relationships with their church family at First Christian Church in Athens, where they were members of the Genesis Sunday School class. He served as one of the class’ rotating teachers.

The move to East Texas proved to be something that they would never regret as they got to know many good people and got to spend a lot of time with their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Carl was a poet, a philosopher, inventor and a quiet, humble and very respectful gentle man. He enjoyed telling stories about his youth and the interesting people he would meet. He would write down a lot of these stories for his children and other family members to enjoy and remember him by.

He wrote down little sayings he called “Pearls of Wisdom” which he submitted to the local Frankston Citizen newspaper.

One was printed each week in a column called, “Poynor Common Sense and Humor” and was something he was very proud of.

Carl was preceded in death by his wife Ellene; son Craig; father and mother Ray and Mary Edna Underwood Alsobrook; his step-mother Lola Alsobrook; his brother Cole and wife Dorothy Alsobrook; sisters Frankie Lee Edwards and Lynda Huneke; brother-in-law Louis B. Gambrell; brother-in-law George “Jelly” Gambrell and wife Virginia; brother-in-law James Gambrell; brother-in-law Doug Gambrell; sister-in-law Helen “Mossy” Jowers and husband Aubrey; and sister-in-law Blanche Stephenson and husband Len.

He is survived by son Ray Alsobrook and wife Susanne, of Poynor and son Clint Alsobrook and wife Danica, of Taylor; sister Clara Beth Miller and husband Robert, of Ballinger; and sister Glenda Sherrard and husband Jay of Lubbock; brother-in-law J.R. Edwards of Austin; sisters-in-law Catherine Gambrell of Spring and Florine Gambrell of Huntsville; 9 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; and many close friends.

If desired, memorials to Carl may be made to The Rainbow House Food Pantry, United Methodist Church of Frankston, P.O. Box 355, Frankston, TX 75763; to The Disciples Clinic of Athens, First Christian Church, P.O. Box 788, Athens, TX 75751; to either Church’s general fund or to the charity of your choice.

Henry Marion

Funeral services for Henry Marion, 90, of Frankston, were held Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011, at the Church of Christ in Frankston with Don Canter officiating.

Burial was held at Wofford Cemetery near Frankston.

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

Mr. Marion passed away Friday, Oct. 21, 2011, in Frankston.

He was born March 30, 1921, in Trinidad.

Mr. Marion was a member of the Church of Christ in Frankston; served in the United States Air Force during World War II, and was a watch maker.

He was also known as the “Fruit Man” in Frankston.

Suvivors include two nieces, Mary Fields Mullins of Winona and Mary Marion Cooper of Richmond, Ind.

William Richard Bilotti

Mass for William Richard Bilotti, 80, of LaRue will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Mission in Frankston.

Mr. Bilotti, a retired social worker, died Sept. 3, 2011, at Hospice of East Texas in Tyler.

Born in Los Angeles on July 28, 1931, Mr. Bilotti went to Cal-Poly in Pomona and worked for 15 years for Los Angeles County Social Services. He later became a field engineer and salesman for NCR Corporation before retiring and moving to LaRue in 1996.

He married Kathie Soderberg in 1957 in Los Angeles.

Survivors include his widow of LaRue; daughter, Linda Ballow of LaRue; son, Richard Bilotti of Las Vegas; and many nieces and nephews.

(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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