Swisher County Obituaries 2003



Carolyn Griffith
County Coordinator
Elaine Stone


Obituaries 2003

Nichols, John Will

John Will Nichols, 80, died Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2003.  Services will be at 2 p.m. Friday in Central Church of Christ with Trey Morgan officiating. Burial will be in Rose Hill Cemetery by Wallace Funeral Home.  Mr. Nichols was a long-time resident of Tulia and Dimmitt. He made a quiet transition at his home in Tulia after a lengthy battle with colon cancer.  John Will Nichols was born on March 24, 1923, in El Paso to Thomas Manning and Geneva Willson Nichols. The family lived a short time in Hatchita, N.M., before moving to Silverton where Tom was the manager of the local Willson & Son Lumber Co.  In 1935, the Nichols family moved to Tulia where John and his older brother, Jim Tom, attended Tulia public schools. John Will was encouraged to play the clarinet by Professor D. O. Riley, director of the Texas Tech band. He went on to win several tri-state music contests.  John Will was salutatorian of the Class of 1941 and was awarded the Balfour Award. He was offered music scholarships to Drake University and the University of New Mexico. He attended Oklahoma University and was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and the Sooner band. He taught clarinet in the music department.  In 1943, John Will entered the Army and on Aug. 7, 1943, married Floye Dell Carlile in Austin. Shortly after, he left with the 206th Combat Engineer Battalion, which was part of the 3rd Army under General George S. Patton. He trained under the then famous bridge builder, Guy Bailey, and built floating pontoon bridges used by the Allied forces to cross rivers while under heavy fire in their march across Eurpoe. He was awarded the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.  John Will and Flo moved to Dimmitt in 1946. They had two sons, Jack and Tom. He was the owner and manager of Willson & Nichols Lumber Co. and built many of the homes in Dimmitt. He was a member of Dimmitt Lions Club and a Bible Class teacher at Bedford Street Church of Christ. He and Flo were very active in the band and athletic booster clubs. John Will and Flo moved back to Tulia in 1967 where they both worked at First National Bank for the next 21 years, retiring in 1988. During this time, John Will was president of Tulia Toastmasters Club, Tulia Rotary Club, Tulia Industrial Foundation and Tulia Day Nursery. He was vice-chairman of Swisher County Library and parliamentarian for the Swisher County Historical Society. Unknown to most, he personally kept the Tulia Royale theater open for years.  During his presidency of the Tulia Rotary Club, the largest Interact Club in the world was formed. John Will held all offices in the Tulia Toastmasters Club and was District 44 Governor. He started six Toastmaster Clubs, was awarded the Presidential Citation and was a Distinguished Toastmaster.  John Will was a graduate of Fortune School of Training and was a Master Trainer. He presented seminars to government agencies, corporations and schools on executive telephone manners, effective business letter writing, writing the job resume, effective meetings, public relations and speech preparation without notes.   John Will was district and regional coordinator for SCORE. He was a member of Capital Resource Conversation and Development Council, which was selected from all SCORE organizations to staff the rural areas in the Baton Rouge area.  He was preceded in death by his brother, James Thomas.  Survivors include his wife; two sons, Jack of San Jose, Calif., and Tom of Lubbock; four grandchildren; eight nieces; a nephew; and seven great-grandchildren.  Amarillo Globe-News, 11 September 2003.

Payne, Dorothy

Dorothy Payne, 61, died Saturday, March 29, 2003.  Services will be at 2 p.m. today in Kingdom Hall in Canyon. Burial will be in Rose Hill Cemetery by Wallace Funeral Home.  Mrs. Payne was born Dec. 5, 1941, in Fairfield. She married Eugene Davis in 1978 in Tulia.  Survivors include a brother, Lee Aurty Moore of Las Lunas, N.M.  Amarillo Globe-News, 1 April 2003.

Payne, Rosanel

Rosanel Payne, 73, died Wednesday, May 7, 2003, in Olton.  Services will be at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Church of Christ in Happy with Rick Bloodworth, minister, and Mike Reed, minister of the Church of Christ in Olton, officiating. Burial will be in Rose Hill Cemetery of Tulia by Brooks Funeral Directors.  Mrs. Payne was born July 28, 1929, in Tulia to Elmo and Annie Speer. She married John A. "Tooter" Payne in Clovis, N.M., on March 26, 1946. She was a lifelong resident of Swisher County and was a member of Happy Church of Christ.  She was preceded in death by her husband in 1997; and a brother, Donald Ray Speer, in 2003.  Survivors include three sons, Larry Payne and wife Ann, Jimmy Payne and wife Becky, and Johnny Payne and wife Becky, all of Amarillo; two daughters, Elizabeth Bizzell and husband Gail of Olton, and Barbara Shipman and husband Thomas of Happy; a brother, Bob Speer and wife Jodi of Buffalo, N.Y.; 11 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. 

Robinson, Anna Bee

Anna Bee Robinson, 84, died Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2003, in Amarillo.  Services will be at 10 a.m. today in First United Methodist Church with the Rev. Curtis House, pastor, and Mike Kuhlman officiating. Burial will be in Happy Cemetery by Brooks Funeral Directors.  Mrs. Robinson was born Dec. 17, 1918, in Swisher County to Bee and Alpha Huckabee. She married Dr. Glen Robinson in Happy.  She was a member of First United Methodist Church of Happy, where she served on numerous committees and taught Sunday School. She was a community leader and helped raise funds for charities. She also served as den mother for the Cub Scouts. She was a longtime columnist for the Tulia Herald.  She was preceded in death by her husband in 1974.  Survivors include a son, Dr. Bob Robinson and wife, Cleo, of Canyon; a brother-in-law, Ed Vornsand of Rosenburg; and a niece, Paulette Maehara of Chevy Chase, Md.  Amarillo Globe-News, 11 September 2003.

Rodriguez, Rebecca Corina

Rebecca Corina Rodriguez, 26, died Sunday, March 30, 2003, in Kress.  Services will be at 3 p.m. today in Wallace Funeral Home Chapel with Gilbert Del Toro officiating. Burial will be in Rose Hill Cemetery.  Mrs. Rodriguez was born Sept. 11, 1976, in Tulia. She grew up in Tulia.   Survivors include three sons, Christopher Rodriguez, Saul Torres and Juan Ricardo Carbajal; a brother, Ricky Rodriguez of Tulia; two sisters, Diana Ortiz of Amarillo and Dora Smity of Tulia; and her parents, Cruz and Luisa Rodriguez of Tulia.  Amarillo Globe-News, 1 April 2003.

Thompson, Francis

Francis Thompson, 87, died Sunday, Jan. 12, 2003.  Services will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Central Church of Christ with Trey Morgan, minister of Childress Church of Christ, officiating. Burial will be at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in Johnson Memorial Cemetery in Munday with Adrin Fletcher, minister of Munday Church of Christ, officiating. Arrangements are by Wallace Funeral Home.  Mrs. Thompson was born Feb. 26, 1915, in Munday. She grew up in Munday and graduated from Munday High School. She went to Amarillo College for two years. She married Hershel "Red" Thompson on Dec. 7, 1935, in Munday.  She moved to Swisher County in 1954. She worked as a grocery checker for Bob's Supermarket for 18 years. She worked as a cashier and in the office at Joe Bob's Supermarket from 1982 until 1995, where she retired at the age of 81. She was a member of Central Church of Christ. She was also a member of the Women's division of the Chamber of Commerce, RSVP and senior citizens. She also took part in the Home Demonstration Club in Munday and Tulia.  She was preceded in death by her husband on April 9, 1991.  Survivors include a son, Joe Bob Thompson and wife, Sharon, of Tulia; two grandchildren, Jacob Thompson and wife, Angela, of Farwell and Jennifer Smith and husband, Jeff, of Merkel; and a great-grandson, Derek Smith of Merkel.  Amarillo Globe-News, 14 January 2003.

Tucker, Lillie Mae Muncy

Lillie Mae Muncy Tucker, 91, died Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2003.  Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in Central Church of Christ in Tulia. Burial will follow in Rose Hill Cemetery. Trey Morgan and Eric Creel will officiate. Arrangements are by Wallace Funeral Home.  Mrs. Tucker was born on Jan. 8, 1912, in Payden, Okla., to Elbert and Augusta Gilbert. She married Alonzo Muncy in 1926 in Canadian. He passed away in October of 1953. She married John R. "Chink" Tucker in October 1955 in Tulia. He passed away in 1995.  She worked as a nurse and retired in 1976. She had worked for Swisher Memorial Hospital, for Dr. Childress as an office nurse and as a school nurse for Tulia ISD.  She was preceded in death by her husbands, a brother, Leroy Gilbert, and a sister, Ann Danes.  Survivors include a daughter, Mary K. Tucker of Tulia; a son Elbert Wesley Muncy of Boulder City, Nev.; seven grandchildren, David, Danny and Daryl Tucker of Tulia, Dianne Crowley of Lubbock, Edward Muncy Jr. of Barstow, Calif., James Muncy of Valdosta, Ga.; a step-granddaughter, Kathy Harcourt of Gilbert, Ariz.; 19 great-grandchildren; and 16 great-great-grandchildren.  Amarillo Globe-News, 29 August 2003.

Special thanks to Zoe Smith for her many contributions and to Elaine Stone for her many submissions.  Ladies, without you, this page would be blank.

Swisher County Obituary Index



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