Matagorda County Obituaries

Helen Doucet Hairston

September 9, 1926 - December 13, 2014

Helen Doucet Hairston, 88, of Bay City, Texas, passed away December 13, 2014.

She was born September 9, 1926, in Evangeline, LA to the late Herbert Doucet and Hope Daigle Doucet. Helen married Charles R. Hairston on December 17, 1960. He fondly called her “Sport Model.” Helen moved to Bay City in 1948.

Helen attended school in Evangeline, LA and graduated in Iota, LA. She went to S.L.I. in Lafayette, LA. She was a former school teacher, owned and operated Helen’s Tot Shop and Hairston Real Estate in Bay City.

She loved playing Bridge and belonged to Bridge Clubs, Sorority Book Reviews, enjoyed attending symphonies and performing arts with friends and traveling and shopping.

Survivors include one brother, Chester Doucet and wife Agnes of Evangeline, LA; one sister, Marie Bailey of Bell City, LA; several nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews; and her dear special friend, Susie Milberger, whom she thought of as a daughter.

She was a wonderful sister and “Aunt Granny”, as she called herself, to grand-nephews, Niklas and Shadd Bailey, whom she referred to as her grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband; her brothers, Walter Trahan, Reggie, Fred and Henry Doucet; and a niece, Theresa Quibideaux.

The family received friends and relatives from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m., Tuesday at the funeral home.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m., Wednesday, December 17, 2014, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church with the Rev. Brad Sullivan officiating.

Interment will follow at Roselawn Memorial Park, Van Vleck, Texas.

Pallbearers will be Troy Bailey, Arthur Milberger, Gary Krenek, Lindsey Thompson, Dick Crow and Bruce Henson. 

Honorary pallbearers will be Niklas and Shadd Bailey.

The family would like to express thanks to Dr. Kahn and staff of Resthaven, and Brighton Hospice nurse, Ginger in Louisiana. A special thank you goes to Dr. Sacco and Bay Villa Nursing Home in Bay City.

Memorials in her name may be made to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 2200 Ave E, Bay City, TX 77414.

Online condolences may be share with the family by visiting

Arrangements are with Taylor Bros. Funeral Home in Bay City, 979-245-4613.

Palacios Beacon, December 17, 2014

Joanne Gyda Fossum Halvorson

May 27, 1935 – July 18, 2014

Joanne Halvorson, 79, of Universal City, TX, passed away on July 18, 2014.

She was born on May 27, 1935 in Meridean, WI to the late to John and Gyda Fossum.

Upon graduating from Durand High School in Durand, WI, she attended Eau Claire State University in Eau Claire, WI. She went to high school with and eventually married James A. Halvorson on Aug. 4, 1957. They would be blessed with three children.

Having studied to be a teacher in college, Joanne would spend her life as a mother to not only her own family, but all those who came in contact with her, including her children’s friends, as well as surrogate to many of the student pilots her husband taught from across the United States and from many of its allied countries. Hers was the house that everyone went to and was always welcome.

A private family ceremony is pending. Burial will follow at the Rock Creek Cemetery in Meridean, WI., at a later date.

Survivors include: her husband, Lt. Col. (Ret.) James A. Halvorson of Universal City; son, Barry J. Halvorson of Wharton; daughter, Shari Jensen and husband Dane of Schertz; and son, Dean Halvorson and wife LeeAnn of San Antonio; grandchildren Abby, Ashley and Amber Jensen of Schertz and Riley and Nicklas Halvorson of San Antonio; and her siblings, Carol and Richard Joles, Otis Fossum and wife Winifred, Eric Fossum, Nona Seem and husband Ervin and Peter Fossum; along with numerous nieces and nephews, all of Wisconsin.

Funeral arrangements through Porter-Loring Mortuary in San Antonio.

Bay City Tribune, July 20, 2014

Lois Munds Hamlett

November 22, 1924 - January 16, 2015

Lois Munds Hamlett, 90, passed away January 16, 2015, in Corpus Christi, Texas.

She was born November 22, 1924 in Smackover, Arkansas, to Jessie and Georgia Munds.

Lois was married to H.C. “Hammer” Hamlett, who preceded her in death.

She is survived by her loved ones, daughter, Rhonda Hamlett Sewell; Richard West, Ronald Adams, Charles and Eric Adams, Mark, Robin, Stephen and Erin Smith.

Services will be held 10 a.m. January 21, 2015, at Dobie Funeral Home Chapel, Mathis, Texas.

Graveside services will follow at 2 p.m. at Roselawn Memorial Park in Van Vleck, Texas.

She was an amazing wife, mother and friend to many. She will be deeply missed, and may she rest in peace in the glory of the Lord forever.

Bay City Tribune, January 21, 2015

Ruth Gertrude Hanzen
September 1, 1922 - March 2, 2015

Ruth Gertrude Hanzen, of Bay City, Texas, entered into her eternal rest on March 2, 2015, at 92 blessed years of age.

Ruth was born at a private residence in Bay City, Michigan, on September 1, 1922, to Elmer and Phoebe Steinbauer. Ruth had twin brothers, Bruce and Alan, whom she lovingly referred to as double trouble. She graduated high school and immediately attended nursing school in Lansing. She was an RN, upon completion of a 3 year nursing program. When her brother, Bruce was killed in Normandy, Ruth volunteered to serve in the Army, to take his place and to honor him, in June of 1945. Ruth served in Manila in a POW hospital during WWII, she was stationed there for a little under a year. While commissioned, she served as a 1st Lt. in the U.S. Army.

Ruth married Robert Allen Hanzen on February 2, 1951. Ruth and “Bob” had two children, Laurie Lynn and Bruce Alan. Ruth spent many years as a Girl Scout leader for Laurie and enjoyed the Girl Scout experience, as much as or more than the girls she lead. Bob and Ruth retired to Sargent, TX, in the mid ‘80s, and were very involved with their beloved “Creek” community. They traveled the world and made many wonderful memories over the years. Ruth was an active member of the Ladies Auxiliary, the VFW, and the Homemakers for many years. Ruth was also a member of Abundant Life Fellowship Church in Bay City, where she so enjoyed watching the children, even helping with VBS several years.

Ruth is preceded in death by her parents, Elmer and Phoebe; by her two brothers, Bruce and Alan; her devoted husband, Bob; and her beloved daughter Laurie.

Ruth is survived by her son, Bruce “Grumpy” Hanzen; her son-in-law, Bill Lubbers; her grandson, Nathan Lubbers and his wife Ashley of Bay City, and her granddaughter, Melanie Owens and her husband Eric of Cedar Park, TX. She leaves behind her dear sweet great-granddaughters, Bryce, Tristyn, and Jordyn Owens, who will miss their Nanny very much.

The family will receive visitors from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday, March 4, 2015, at the funeral home.

The funeral service will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, March 5, 2015, at Taylor Bros. Funeral Home in Bay City, Texas, with Pastor Greg McMullin officiating.

Interment will follow at Roselawn Memorial Park in Van Vleck, Texas.

Pallbearers will be, George Deshotels, Bobby Garcia, Thomas Gray, Kery Hallum, Marty Johnson, and Ray Taggart Jr.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a charity close to your heart, in her honor.

Arrangements are with Taylor Bros. Funeral Home, Bay City, Texas. (979) 245-4613.

Bay City Tribune, March 4, 2015

Sammie Sue Parish Harang

January 15, 1923 - February 7, 2015

Sammie Sue Parish Harang, 92, passed away in Lake Jackson, Texas, on February 7, 2015. 

She was born in Huntsville, Texas, January 15, 1923, and was the daughter of John Edward Parish Sr. and Jesse Pritchett Parish.

Sammie was one of seven children.  She attended the Demonstration School at Sam Houston Normal Institute, and later received her Bachelor’s Degree from Sam Houston, in primary education.  She taught elementary school in Freeport, Texas.  It was there, she met the love of her life, Furniss Pierre (Pete) Harang.  They moved to Bay City, Texas, in 1948, and were married fifty years.  Sammie’s husband worked for Phillips and Sammie worked as a substitute teacher in the Bay City schools, while raising her two daughters, Jo Ann and Carol.  Sammie and Pete were very active and long time members of the First United Methodist Church in Bay City.  She taught children’s Sunday school, Vacation Bible School, and held offices in the Women’s Society. Upon becoming a first time grandmother in 1970, she dedicated her spare time to babysitting her granddaughter.  Also, as the years advanced, many hours were spent enjoying the activities of her three grandsons

She is survived by daughters, Jo Ann Collier of Lake Jackson, and Carol Park and husband Mike of Huntsville; four grandchildren, Kelsey Brooks (Brad), Creighton Collier, Mance Park (Danielle) and Paul Park (Sarah); 10 great-grandchildren, and one on the way; one great-great-grandson; and one sister, May O’Neal of San Antonio, Texas.

Family graveside services were held at 2 p.m., Monday, February 9, 2015, at the Old Brazoria Cemetery.

Donations may be made to, The Stained Glass Window Fund, First United Methodist Church, 2300 Avenue H, Bay City, Texas 77414.

Bay City Tribune, February 11, 2015

Catherine Harris

Memorial services for Catherine Harris will be held Friday, January 30, 2015, at 7:30 p.m., in the chapel of Green’s Mortuary, Bay City, Texas. 979-245-3489.

Bay City Tribune, January 28, 2015

Emily Brister Harvey

Emily Brister Harvey left this earth to be with her heavenly father on December 27, 2014, at the age of 99.

She was one of fourteen children born in San Augustine, Texas, and raised in Palacios, Texas. Emily was from the generation that survived the ‘30s great depression and World War II. She was a devout Christian and lifelong member of the First Baptist Church of Palacios. She was a dedicated member of the Order of The Eastern Star. During the war years, 1941 to 1950, she and her husband, Ward S. Cook, ran and operated the renowned Green Lantern Inn Restaurant, on the bay shore of Palacios, where many of the officers and enlisted men stationed at Camp Hulen, chose to relax and dine on seafood and steaks. In the 1950s, Emily began her tenure with the United States Postal Service, from which she retired after 20 + years of service.

Emily was preceded in death by her parents, Henry J. and Charlsie Marshall Brister; husband, Ward S. Cook; husband, Dorsey Crockett Harvey; and grandson, Jack Cook.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Dr. Kathy Cook Shock and Clay of Bay City; her son and daughter-in-law, Ken Cook and Debra of El Campo; grandson, Kent Cook of Lewisville; granddaughter and husband, Taelor Brown and Taylor of San Antonio; great-grandson, Hays Andrew Brown of San Antonio; great-granddaughter, Callie Elizabeth Cook; and great-great-grandson, Jaxon Steele of McKinney; and grandson, David Slaughter of Lufkin.

Emily’s family was the center of her life. She looked forward all year to attending the larger than life “Brister Family Reunion”. Of the fourteen Brister children, she is survived by three sisters and one brother, Maggie Drawhorn of Zavala, Jean LeClair of Pearland, Melba McCrory of Palacios and L.J. Brister and wife Marilyn of Palacios.

Visitation by friends and family was held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday, December 29, 2014, at Palacios Funeral Home.

Funeral services were held at the First Baptist Church in Palacios, Texas, on Tuesday, December 30, 2014, at 2 p.m.

Interment followed at Palacios Cemetery.

Pallbearers were her grandson, Kent Cook, and nephews, Curtis Bagwell, Darrell Gibson, Walter Tosold, Jay Brister, and Justin Tosold.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Emily’s name can be made to the First Baptist Church, 202 Main Street, Palacios, Texas 77465.

The family would like to thank the nurses and staff at Matagorda Regional Hospital and Houston Hospice for taking exceptional care of our beloved Emily. A special thank you is extended to Emily’s personal care provider, Karen Rivas, for the many years of compassionate service that she provided.

Please share your memories of Emily online at

Bay City Tribune, December 31, 2014

Virginia Ann Hauff

July 19, 1941 - January 29, 2015

Virginia Ann Hauff, 73, of Bay City, Texas, passed away on January 29, 2015, in Bay City, Texas.

Virginia was born in Birmingham, Alabama, on July 19, 1941, to parents Oscar and Verna Quave Little.

Virginia was a homemaker and an active member of the Ladies Auxiliary of VFW Post 2438 in Bay City, where she chaired many committees, and led in several civic activities. She was also a member of First Baptist Church of Bay City.

Virginia is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Kenneth Hauff Sr.; a sister, Peggy Latimer; and brothers, George and Willard Little.

She is survived by daughters, Lisa Hauff and Beverly Franklin of Huntsville, TX, Sherry Wilson (Bill) of Port O’Conner, TX, Carla Glisson (Bobby) of Palacios, TX, Georgie Ledwig (Michael) of Wadsworth, TX; and a son, Kenneth Hauff Jr. (Vicki) of Bay City. She is also survived by 13 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren.

A visitation was held at the funeral home on Monday, February 2, 2015, from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, February 3, 2015, at 10 a.m., the Chapel of Taylor Bros. with Dr. Michael Zimmerman officiating.

Interment followed at Matagorda Cemetery.

Kenneth Hauff III, Kelly Phillip Hauff, Kevin Hauff Sr., Clyde Hauff Jr., Justin Mooney, and Larry Roe Jr. served as pallbearers.

Damion Miller, Devin Glisson, Anthony Mooney, Bill Wilson, Bobby Glisson and Michael Ledwig served as honorary pallbearers.

Online condolences may be shared with the family at

Bay City Tribune, February 4, 2015

Ida Belle Hawkins

Funeral services for Ida Belle ‘Billie Underwood’ Hawkins, 81, of Houston, who passed away December 21, 2014, will be held Saturday, December 27, 2014 at 11 a.m., at March Faith Church, 8201 West Broadway, Pearland, Texas. Burial will follow at Houston Memorial Gardens in Pearland.

Visitation and guest book register will be held Friday from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Funeral Home Chapel. Arrangements made with Duncan-Roberts Funeral Home, 2500 Avenue C, Bay City, Texas, 979-245-5197.

Bay City Tribune, December 24, 2014

Gary Haynes, Jr.

A memorial service for Gary Haynes Jr., 40, of Palacios, will be held at 7 p.m. Thurs. (July 17) at the Palacios ISD Fine

Arts Auditorium. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Sat. (July 19) at the First Baptist Church in Palacios.

Gary was born April 23, 1974 to Gary Haynes, Sr. and Gladys Faye Wilson in Palacios and passed away on Thursday July 10, 2014.

He was known as a hardworking, straight forward, honest and compassionate husband, father, coach and friend. He  believed by being fair and honest in everything, and that success would pay itself forward. He accepted Christ into his life at a young age and desired to follow the principles of God. He graduated from Palacios High School in 1993 after high school he went to Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, TX where he received numerous athletic awards hroughout

his collegiate career. He graduated from Trinity Valley with an Associate’s Degree in General Studies in 1995. At his passing, he was two months away from receiving his Bachelors of Science in Web Design & Multimedia from the University of Phoenix. He also played football for the University of Houston and the Indianapolis Colts.

On June 28, 2003 he married his best friend, La Shanda and from this union they had three children. Together they embraced his passion for teaching the fundamentals of sports to young athletes. He was President and coach for the Palacios Youth Football League for 3 years, Palacios Youth Basketball League coach for 3 years, Palacios Junior High and High School Athletic Coach since 2011 until his unexpected passing.

He was a strong pillar in the community and he was known for his dedicated service and he will be strongly missed.

He is survived by his loving wife La Shanda Haynes of Palacios, three sons: Da Wayne Haynes, Gary Haynes III and Cayden Haynes all of Palacios. Surviving parents are Gary Haynes Sr. (Tammy) of Canyon Country, CA. and Gladys Faye Wilson (Jose) of Palacios; father-in-law, Eugene Harris Sr. of Palacios and mother-in-law, Carolyn Davis of Bay City; brothers, Michael Correa, Chance Haynes and J’Mae Haynes of Canyon Country, CA; Garrett Ealy of Nashville, TN.; brother-in-laws, Eugene and James Harris of Bay City, TX; Charles Harris of Corpus Christi, TX; John Harris of Friendswood and Johnny Harris of Houston, TX; sister, Bleu Melvin of Canyon Country, CA; sister-in-laws, Michelle Harris of Houston, TX; Carolyn Delano of Scottsdale, AZ; niece, Artasia Harris of Missouri City, TX; nephews, Vincent and Tyson Delano of Scottsdale, AZ; and a whole host of aunts, uncles, relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by paternal grandparents, Jessie James and Johnnie Mae Haynes and aunt, Laquieta Joy Roberts; maternal grandparents, Cleveland Roy Sr. and Queen Ester Roy; uncles, Cleveland Roy Jr., Lawrence Roy, James Roy and Donald Roy; aunt, Mary Bess and Lois Roy.

Palacios Beacon, July 16, 2014


Minnie May Haynes

May 21, 1904 – June 17, 1926


Body of Mrs. Haynes Found

Discovered on Heap of Logs Two Miles Below Bridge


The body of Mrs. Dwight Haynes, 20 years of age, wife of Dwight Haynes, a painter, and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Brent Hatchett, was discovered yesterday morning on a heap of logs in the Colorado River, about two miles below where she jumped in the water Thursday morning from the county bridge, two miles west of the city, having been in the water for 72 hours.


As soon as Mrs. Haynes 15 month old baby girl was found in the river last Thursday morning by Ben Sweeney and Tony George numbers of men volunteered their services and began to search for the remains of the unfortunate woman. The vigil was constant, a day and night force working incessantly and employing every means to locate the body, to be rewarded yesterday, three days after the tragedy. This is one of the most heartrending and deplorable of tragedies to ever visit the city.


Mrs. Haynes, a very young woman, and a young mother, was reared in Bay City and became the wife of Dwight Haynes. There are, as is always the case, many ideas and theories of how and why she took her unfortunate step. There were no eyewitnesses to the tragedy and, of course, no rumor can be relied upon. Unhappiness and despondency is the only reason that can be ascribed.


Mrs. Haynes, it is reported, was seen to be going toward the bridge Thursday morning, carrying her baby in her arms. One party who met her remarked to his companions that she seemed to be in distress. Whether she jumped from the bridge with her baby or whether she put the baby on the bridge with a distracted mother’s hope that some passerby would pick it up, will never be known. The child was neatly and carefully dressed. Some think the young mother did put her baby on the bridge with the hope that someone would rescue it and that after the little tot missed her it crawled or toddled its way off the bridge and into the water.


The story related by Ben Sweeney, who, with Tony George, took the child from the water while it was still limp and warm is the nearest to an eyewitness narrative that is reliable. Mr. Sweeney was on the bridge in his car and some distance ahead of him saw an object and speeded to see what it was. Just before reaching the place he saw the object fall from the bridge, hence the almost immediate recovery of the baby. Whether the object was the mother and the baby or only the baby Mr. Sweeney cannot say, but the fact that the baby was floating when the body was recovered and the mother could not be found leads to the partial conclusion, at least, that the mother went off the bridge sometime before the baby, or the object, was seen, by Mr. Sweeney to fall.


The entire town was shocked when the sad news began to circulate and anxious ones spent many anxious hours in the search. The sympathy of everyone is extended to the bereaved ones in this dark hour of affliction and sorrow. The funeral of mother and babe was held yesterday (Sunday) afternoon at 6 o’clock. (Cedarvale Cemetery)


The Daily Tribune, June 25, 1926                                 Obituary courtesy of Susie Adkins                            Marker photo courtesy of Betty Crosby



Valeria Haynes

April 25, 1924 – June 17, 1926

Year and Half Old Child Fished from River this Morning


Just as he was approaching the river bridge this morning at about 10 o’clock, Ben Sweeney saw a baby playing on the bridge across the Colorado River near here, but before he could reach it the little one had crawled off the bridge and fallen into the water below. Mr. Sweeney says he could have saved the baby but it got caught in the whirlpool just below the bridge. He was trying to reach it when it fell and one minute more would have been sufficient time for him. He and Tony George took the child from the water and brought it to town. A pulmotor was applied, but life was extinct. The child was a little more than a year old, the baby daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Haynes.


Just before this occurred a party of men were returning to town from work at the intake and said they had met a woman carrying a child. The belief is that the mother, Mr. Haynes’ wife, and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Brent Hatchett, put the child on the bridge, hoping someone would pick it up, and then jumped into the river, as she has completely disappeared.


A searching party headed by father and husband are making a vigorous search for her in the vicinity of the bridge, but up to press time no trace of her has been found.


The Daily Tribune, June 11, 1926                                       Obituary Courtesy of Susie Adkins


Alice Clemmie Head


Alice Clemmie Head, 79, Rt. 1, Bay City, Texas, died at St. Luke’s Hospital in Houston, Texas, on Saturday. Services are set for Monday at 4:00 PM at Taylor Brothers, with the Rev. Ferman Weedon officiating. Burial will be in Cedarvale Cemetery, Bay City.


Survivors include daughter, Mrs. Alice J. Chandler; three stepdaughters, Mrs. H. S. Mosley, Misses Florence and Ether Head all of Bay City; two sons, Elbert Bass and Hugh E. Head, both of Houston, Texas.


The Daily Tribune, June 22, 1959                          Obituary courtesy of Susie Adkins           Photo courtesy of Betty Crosby



John E. Head


John E. Head Dies Suddenly Here Sunday


Mr. John E. Head, 75, a farmer of Matagorda County and resident of the city for 37 years, died at the Matagorda County hospital Sunday afternoon at 5:00 PM. Death came as a result of a heart attack.

He is survived by his wife Mrs. Alice Head, and by four daughters, Miss Esther Head, Miss Florence Head, Miss Alice Head, and Mrs. Harry Mosley, all of Bay City. One son, Edward, and two brothers, W. H. and A. B., all of Bay City, also survive.


Funeral services were this afternoon at 4 from the Matchett-Newman Funeral Home. Reverend Horace Goodman of the Baptist Church officiated. Interment was in Cedarvale Cemetery.


The Daily Tribune, October 1, 1945                          Obituary courtesy of Susie Adkins           Photo courtesy of Betty Crosby



Ellenora Marburger Heidrich


Herretta Herndon

Herretta Herndon, the wife of the late Louis Herndon.

Her transition to Life Eternal came on Sunday evening, January 4, 2015.

Services will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, January 10, 2015, at Mt. Ararat Baptist Church, 5801 W. Montgomery Road, Houston, TX.

Bay City Tribune, January 7, 2015

Hazel Marie Jackson Herring
December 9, 1922 - February 8, 2015

Hazel Marie Jackson Herring, age 92, of Austin, Texas, passed away on Sunday, February 8, 2015, after a brief stay at Westminster Healthcare Center.

She was born on December 9, 1922, in Queen City, Texas, to her parents, Charles Alfred Jackson and Gladys Milton Hunt Jackson.

Hazel is predeceased by her parents; sister, Ruby Jackson Gunther; and husband of 62 years, Jack Herman Herring.

The family would like to offer a heartfelt thank you to the medical and care-giving people, who were so very kind to Hazel, offering their tender care. They are Dr. Michael Pellegrini, the Seton Hospital ER and Sixth Floor staff, Westminster Healthcare Center, the numerous care-givers with Health at Home and Brookdale Personalized Living, and Hospice Austin. Spiritual care was offered through Westminster Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William Clark, Pastor, and the fellowship of Westminster Presbyterian Church. The family also thanks the friends, who are residents of Westminster Manor, who were so faithful in their visits to Hazel.

Hazel grew up in the Rio Grande Valley, graduated from Lyford High School, where she met Jack Herring, her future husband, and attended Texas College of Arts and Industries, Kingsville. Her working years were as the Chief Deputy in the Willacy County Clerk’s Office, Raymondville, and as a secretary in the Texas House of Representatives, Austin.

Hazel was married to Jack Herman Herring on February 5, 1943. He predeceased Hazel on February 21, 2005. During their years together, they lived in Bay City, Texas, Houston, Texas, Findlay, Ohio, and retired to Austin, Texas. Two children, daughter, Judith Ann Herring Winter, married to William C. Winter, and son, David Robert Herring, were born in Bay City. The children both reside in Austin.

Hazel’s spiritual life was centered on her church and mission trips. Her memberships included First Baptist Church, Bay City, Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church, Houston, First Presbyterian Church, Findlay, Ohio, and Westminster Presbyterian Church, Austin, where she served as a Deacon and Elder.

Hazel thoroughly enjoyed being a participating member of all the social organizations in which she was affiliated. She was a National President of Women’s National Farm and Garden Association and through WNFGA, she was a delegate to the Associated Country Women of the World, a UNESCO group, and represented WNFGA at the U.S. National Arboretum, where they planted a dogwood tree in her honor. Hazel was a member of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America, Beta Sigma Phi, Findlay Country Club, Findlay Square Dance Club, Austin Country Club, Onion Creek Club, Tarry House, Austin Woman’s Club, Docents of the Texas Governor’s Mansion, Austin Symphony Guild, The University of Texas Chancellor’s Council, and the English-Speaking Union.

Travel occupied Hazel’s time, when family and volunteer commitments, did not require her attention. She was a world traveler and so enjoyed meeting the people of different cultures, and seeing all of the varying flora and fauna. Favorite events were her swim in the Amazon with some residents, sitting with curious penguins in Antarctica, and riding an elephant in India along a flower strewn path.

A Memorial Service will be held at 2:30 p.m., on Monday, February 16, 2015, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3208 Exposition Blvd., with the Rev. William F. Clark Jr. officiating.

In lieu of flowers, those desiring, may make memorial contributions to Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3208 Exposition Blvd., Austin, TX 78703; The Friends of the Neill Cochran House Museum, National Society of Colonial Dames of America, 2310 San Gabriel, Austin, TX 78705; or Women’s National Farm and Garden Association, The Hazel Herring Award, Corresponding Secretary Audrey Ehrler, 5004 Harbour Dr., Oxford, FL 34484; or a charity of their choice.

Arrangements by Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, (512) 452-8811.

Obituary and memorial guestbook available online at

Bay City Tribune, February 15, 2015

Eldon Luther Hill

Eldon Luther Hill, known to most as “El”, passed away peacefully at the age of 95, in Dallas with his daughter Jane at his side, Monday morning, April 21st following a very brief illness. He was born on the river ten miles north of Palacios, Texas, on May 13, 1918, to Donie Ellis and Luther Orr Hill and welcomed by his older sister, Margaret, who would forever be known to him lovingly as “Sis”. In addition to his sister and daughter, other survivors include his grandchildren, Joshua Hill Bell, Colin Alexander Cook and Caton Kathleen Cook, all of Dallas.

Eldon grew up on the family farm and as a teen rode his horse each day to his uncle’s store where he would catch the bus to high school. Upon graduation in 1936, he attended Southwest Texas Teachers College at San Marcus and graduated in 1939. He then went to work for future President Lyndon Baines Johnson, teaching shop to boys in the National Youth Administration in Houston, Texas. Although he was exempt from enlistment, he entered military service in March, 1941, and served in the Army-Air Force. While assigned to Shepherd Field, Wichita Falls, he met his future bride, Mary Ann Alexander, the lovely secretary in the Colonel’s office. They were wed December 1, 1942, in Seymour, Texas, the bride’s home. Eldon was immediately assigned overseas duty and served in the Pacific until beyond the end of the war. He was honorably discharged in February, 1947 at Lackland Air Force Base.

El and Mary Ann would welcome their daughter Jane Ann on February 21, 1947, in Dallas, Texas, and eventually make their home in Austin. He would remain for the rest of his years a devoted husband and father. This meant staying by Mary Ann’s side throughout her 16 year struggle with Alzheimer’s, which ended her life in 1994. He was, until his dying breath, devoted to his beloved daughter and grandchildren.

El became a partner with his brother-in-law, Bud Smith, in Austin Chemical Company which served businesses throughout the central Texas area. An active member of the community, he belonged to the North Austin Exchange Club and was a longstanding member of the Tarrytown Methodist Church. He was a Mason and a Shriner for over 50 years and worked to help raise funds for their many charities, including Scottish Rite Hospitals; his membership was active at the time of his death. By donating his body to medical science, even in death he found a way to help his fellow man. It is his remarkable life that we celebrate and his absence that we mourn so deeply. Memorials may be made to Scottish Rite Hospital, Alzheimers Association, or an organization of your choice.

Palacios Beacon, July 2, 2014

William Joe Hooper

William Joe Hooper was born March 20, 1940 and peacefully passed away on September 26, 2014 in Corinth, MS surrounded by family. Joe was born in Booneville, MS and lived there until he joined the Navy in 1957, where he traveled the world as a Navy cook. He retired from the Navy in 1975.

He then had various jobs until moving to Palacios in 1984. There he opened a small store named S&K and ran the  business until 2006. He then moved to Mississippi to retire to fishing.

He is survived by his wife, Linda Hooper of Holcut, MS.; sons Randy (Renee) Michael of Woodstock, GA, Darron (Amy) Michael of Plantersville, MS; Kevin (Sheri) Hooper of Van Vleck; daughter Sally Morrison of Palacios; brothers, Charles Hooper, J.W. Hooper; sisters Sylvia Trufencheck, Betty Sue Stacey, Brenda Shouse, Glenda King and Edith Davis; grandchildren Joey, Andera, Ashley, Krena, Kayla, Jon, Joshua, Rachel, Chase, Nick, Trey, Sydney and Ryan; numerous great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents Henry Grady Hooper and Lois Hooper; brothers Billy Hooper, Hilton Hooper and Jimmy Hooper; and sister Linda Mae Holley.

He donated his body to science as his last act of kindness.

He will be missed by many.

Palacios Beacon, October 8, 2014

Raphael Tyrone Hopes

Funeral services for Raphael Tyrone Hopes, 44, of Bay City, Texas, will be Saturday, January 10, 2015 at 11 a.m., at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church with the Rev. Murray G. Martin officiating, and the Rev. T. L. Richardson, pastor.

Viewing will be Friday, January 9, 2015 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., in the chapel of Green’s Mortuary.

Burial will follow immediately after services at Eastview Cemetery. 

Left with precious memories are his loving and devoted mother, Eugenia Hopes; wife, Jessica Medina; five children, Chastiny Wyche, Aaliyah Hopes, Mariyah Hopes, Raphael Hopes Jr., and Ja’Daveon Hopes; one grandchild, Ariyah Olonade; seven siblings, Alvin Bishop (Ruthie) of Texas City, Lethridge Callis (Lisa) of Freeport, Marchelle Walker (Michael) of Bay City, Manvel Hopes of Bay City, Hilliard Fields Jr. of Houston, Audrey Joshua of Bay City and Phyllis Cooper of Houston;  and a host of nieces, nephews, friends and lifelong friend, Remale Green of Bay City. 

He attended public schools at Bay City Independent School District.  Later in life, he became a faithful employee of the district.  Ty was a big Dallas Cowboys fan.

Final arrangements are entrusted with Green’s Mortuary, Bay City, Texas. 979.245.3489.

Bay City Tribune, January 7, 2015

William Holliday Horton

Died on Monday morning, William Holliday, oldest son of Col. A. C. Horton, aged 13 years 7 months.

Matagorda Bulletin, September 6, 1837


Roxanne Sue Thompson Hozdish

Roxanne Sue Thompson Hozdish, 58, passed away on June 1, 2014 surrounded by her family after a long battle with diabetes.

She was born March 16, 1956 to Richard and Mary Gibson Thompson. Roxanne was a Lutheran and attended Christ Lutheran School and graduated in 1970. She grew up in Houston and graduated from North Shore High in 1974. She worked at McDonalds, Harris County, Fulbrigh Jaworski’s Law Firm for 27 years and retired in 2012.

While growing up she cherished the summers she spent in Palacios with Mama and PaPaw Gibson and never forget them, as well as a number of cousins. She will be deeply missed by all including her two little puppies.

She is survived by her mother, Mary Bierbaum, of Galena Park; daughter Mollie and Husband Jason and granddaughters Alexandrea, Oliviana and Emma of Kingwood; Sister Margo and husband Dr. Jeff Davis and their three kids Haylie, Karsen and Garrett of Kilgore; brothers Wendell and wife Teri Bierbaum and their kids Lacey and James and their two kids Jordan and Tyler; and Dutch Bierbaum, all of Canyon Lake; brother Bill Thompson of Galena Park.

She was preceded in death by her son Andrew Hozdish, father Richard Thompson, and Kenneth Biermbaum.

Palacios Beacon, July 2, 2014

Claude Hudson

August 20, 1952 - January 2, 2015

Claudie Lee Hudson (Claude), 62, went to be with the Lord on Friday, January 2, 2015, after a long hard battle with heart and kidney disease.

He was born on August 20, 1952, in Port Lavaca, Texas, to Edward Harvey and Barbara Aline Williams Hudson. He graduated from Sweeny High School in 1970. He married Linda Janssen on May 26, 1972. He retired from Conoco Phillips, after 27 years of service. Claude loved to hunt and fish, and camping was a passion of his. He got much comfort and pleasure from his little dog, Tessa, during his illness.

Claude was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, David Kenneth Hudson; and his sister, Patricia Hudson Sellers.

He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Linda Janssen Hudson; three daughters, Laura (Christy) Hudson of Bay City, Shelly Hudson of Clearfield, Utah and Traci Hudson Myers and Lynn of Harker Heights. Also, he leaves behind two brothers, Edward Hudson Jr. and Brenda of Montgomery, and Robert Hudson and Cassandra of Van Vleck; one sister, Theresa Hudson of Bay City; along with one grandson, Erik Myers of Harker Heights; and numerous nieces, nephews, and brothers and sisters-in-law.

The family will receive friends and relatives on Sunday, January 4, 2014, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., at the funeral home.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m., Monday, January 5, 2014, at Taylor Bros. Funeral Home in Bay City, Texas, with Pastor Greg McMullin and Steve Malone officiating.

Interment will follow at Roselawn Memorial Park in Van Vleck, Texas.

Pallbearers are Charles Bass, Simon Zalman, Mike Talasek, Tim Young, Ernest Reyes and Joe Williams.

The family would like to express thanks to the doctors and nurses , especially Dr. Torre and Dr. Estep, at Methodist Hospital, for their efforts and exceptional care.

Online condolences may be shared with the family by visiting

Arrangements are with Taylor Bros. Funeral Home. Bay City, Texas. 979-245-4613.

Bay City Tribune, January 4, 2015

Esperance Hutchison

October 24, 1920 - January 26, 2015

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Esperance Hutchison’s most cherished passage of scripture was the guiding principle of her life. Born Dora Esperance McElwrath in Purdon, TX, on October 24, 1920, to Exie Gertrude Harris McElwrath Brannon and George Joseph McElwrath, “Mema” lived an unconventional life, compared to most women of her generation. She loved the poem “The Road Not Taken,” by Robert Frost, and would quote it frequently when faced with an important decision. Esperance lived in Alice, Texas, for the majority of her life, where she designed and supervised construction of her family home, while praying for her husband, Earl, to return from World War II. She taught Sunday School at the First Baptist Church, served her community as a member of Beta Sigma Phi, and spent many decades as the bookkeeper for Hill’s of Alice. As a survivor of the Great Depression, “Guard your pennies, and the dollars will take care of themselves,” was an expression she was known to repeat, although few of her offspring were as disciplined as she was in applying it.

Mema left us on January 26, 2015, at the age of 94, although she said she would have preferred to flip the numbers.

She was preceded in death by the love of her life, husband, Earl Hutchison; and her elder daughter, Erin Keys of Bay City, TX.

Esperance is survived by her younger daughter, Earlene Hopkins of Fulshear, TX; her sister, Peggy Porter of Angleton; and her brother, JC Brannon of Pearland. She was a loving and devoted grandmother to Laura Keys (Los Angeles, CA) and husband Marty Sader, and Randy Keys (Van Vleck, TX) and his wife Blanca, from daughter Erin and son-in-law John Keys (Ft. Smith, AR), and Jennifer Epstein (Santa Clarita, CA) and Mark Hopkins (Katy, TX) from daughter Earlene and son-in-law David Hopkins. Esperance’s great-grandchildren are Natalie and Matthew Epstein from granddaughter Jennifer and husband Darren Epstein, and Paige and Kate Hopkins from grandson Mark Hopkins and wife Valerie.

During her time with us, Mema loved to zip through town in her signature light blue Chrysler, and could whip up an incredible batch of homemade fudge, but those who held her most dear recognized that in her silence - in all the things she chose not to say - one could find the most profound displays of strength, wisdom and integrity. She stood by her family, no matter what, and each day she walked with them in faith that their actions were in keeping with God’s plan, hope that the values she tried to instill in them would guide their decisions, and unconditional love, regardless of her personal feelings about the choices they made with their lives.

Perhaps she understood better than most of us, that love is the only thing that matters. It passes from generation to generation in ever increasing ways. Love truly is stronger than the grave. Because God is love.

Bay City Tribune, February 8, 2015



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Apr. 5, 2014
Apr. 5, 2014