In Memoriam

Lamar Class of 1962

As of 03/01/2005

 

Howard ABEL12/02/1998

We have learned that Howard ABEL died in Arizona on December 2, 1998.

John Franklin ALLEN – 4/21/2001

Franklin Allen died on April 21, 2001 at his farm in Schulenburg.  He was a graduate of Southwestern University in Georgetown. Throughout his career he was involved in banking, real estate investments and ranching.  He was an avid sportsman including hunting and golfing.  He was a longtime member of the board of Clarewood House and a member of Chapelwood Methodist Church.

Robert ANDERSON – 12/13/1985

Native and lifelong resident of Houston, died December 13, 1985.  He was president of Bob Robertson Chevrolet and was a member of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church.  He was a member of the Houston Country Club, and was a graduate of Trinity University.  He was involved in many civic and charitable organizations.

Jim ATWELL - 04/19/1995

Jim Atwell died April 1, 1994 in Wichita Falls.  He was vice president of sales for Coastal Transport Co, a graduate of the University of Texas and a member of the “T” Association, a member of the Baptist Church and of the San Antonio Gun Club, and he had served in the United States Army.

 

 

Jim BARNES 10/26/1999

Becky BEELEY Watkins – 12/11/1986

Rebecca (Becky) Beeley Watknis, 42, passed away December 11, 1986.  She was born May 6, 1944.  A native Houstonian, Becky attended River Oaks Elementary, the Kindaid School, and Lamar.  She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1967.  She was a member of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, where she taught Sunday School, sang in the choir and assisted in many activities.  She belonged to Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority and was active for many years in the Theta Charity Antique Show.  She was also a member at River Oaks Country Club.  Becky was a Texas Real Estate Broker for fifteen years and a longtime employee of the Children’s Collection.  She was a past president of the Friends of Briarwood School Organization and past chairman of the Briarwood School Benefit.  She participated for many years in the St Francis Episcopal Day School Parents Organization and St. Francis Day Benefit.  She also volunteered unselfishly of her time to the American Red Cross, The Museum of Natural Science and the Channel 8 Auction.  Becky was truly an Angel, a devoted wife and mother, and was beloved and admired by her family and many friends.

Mark BELTON – 8/03/2003

JOHN MARK BELTON, 59 passed away Sunday, August 3, 2003 at UTMB Hospital in Galveston.  He was born in Houston, Texas on January 13, 1944.  He graduated from Rice University in 1966, and then went on to get his masters from Emory University in 1977.

He taught for GISD for 33 years the majority spent at Ball High School, where he believed, "I Have thrived on the emotional energy which is generated by the connected processes of teaching and learning.  I have been fortunate to share the odyssey of discovery with hundreds of willing participants", including family, friends and students.

"Collectively and individually these people have contributed greatly to my development."

Although he felt this way, we who kenw and loved him felt that his contribution to our lives and development far outweighed what we gave him.

A scholarship fund has been established in John Mark Belton's name at Hometown Bank of Galveston (409) 763 1271.

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Aubry Fisk provides the following comments about Mark BELTON:

 

Mark Belton and I first met in the third grade at Roberts Elementary.  The friendship that developed continued for the next 50 years until his death in August, 2003.  During the course of the early years, Pershing Junior High, he and I had a fantastic time enjoying not only our athletic endeavors, of which he excelled, but the countless hours we spent riding my motorcycle through many parts of Houston.  The fun continued at Lamar as he excelled in athletics and I remained part of the program as a student athletic trainer; however, instead of a motorcycle the fun continued in my 1951 Plymouth.

 

Approximately three weeks before his death Mark, M'Lou, Priscilla, and I had a good visit during which we recalled a time when I was driving in the rain and the windshield wiper on my side quit working.  Mark was watching the curb side to make sure I didn't go in the ditch and I was looking out my side window for any large moving obstacles.  Mark decided at this time that he needed a chew of tobacco and as he was continuing to watch his side of the road the time came when he needed to spit, which he did.  The only problem was that he forgot to roll his window down.  We had a great time remembering this story as it was just as funny in 2003 as it was almost forty years ago.

 

There were many fun stories and adventures from the third grade on but the most important thing to remember, especially for me, is that Mark was a giant of a man with an equally big heart and wonderful smile which he shared with all who knew him.

 

I can truly say that If it had not been for the warmth, kindness, caring, love and friendship of Mark Belton following my motorcycle accident;  I would not be here today.

 

 

Betty BORDAGES Bartlett 1/11/1998

Betty Bordages Bartlet was born in Dallas on July 23, 1944 and died on January 11, 1998. She was married to Craig Edsall Bartlett for thirty-one years. She graduated from the University of Texas where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta.  She served as past chairman of the Theta Charity Antiques Show and was president of the Kappa Alpha Theta Alumnae Association.  She was a lifelong member of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church.  She had been a realtor with John Daugherty and with Zarr and Company.  She belonged to the Daughters of the American Revolution.

 

Beeann BRAWLEY Morgan11/10/2001

Bill Morgan sends us the following about his wife, Beeann BRAWLEY Morgan:

“My wife, Beeann BRAWLEY Morgan passed away on November 10, 2001.  She was quite a lady--full of energy, love and compassion for all people.  Beeann devoted over thirty years of her life to the public school children of Texas, first as a teacher and for the last twenty five years as a counselor.  She spent the last decade of her life working solely with ‘at risk’ teenagers.  She rarely missed a day of work, and no matter how she was feeling, she always had a smile for those kids.  After leaving Lamar High School in 1962, Beeann went on to earn a master’s degree and over seventy post-graduate hours.  During her career she impacted the lives of literally thousands of people-- children and adults alike.  Since her death I have received numerous cards, phone calls and drop in visits from people who were total strangers to me, and they all came with essentially the same message—“You don’t know me, but Bee was my best friend!”  I do not want Beeann to be forgotten.  I was fortunate to be her husband for fifteen years.  She was truly an angel who walked this earth.  Thank you.  Bill Morgan.”

 

Carl BUTERA

Arthur BYRD

Gay CALDWELL Roper – 1/12/1991

Gay Caldwell Roper died on January 12, 1991.  She attended the University of Texas and was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority and a member of the First Baptist Church of Houston.

Nancy CARLISLE Dickerson – 11/17/1992

Flemming CARPENTER12/27/1993

Judy Ruth CLARKE Curry09/20/2001

We are informed that Judy Ruth CLARKE Curry died in 2001.  “She was a wonderful, loving person and mother who was always supportive when someone was in need.  She was the true definition of a special person.”

 

 

Dianne DEMME Woodward – 11/24/1989

Dr. Genevieve Diana Demme Woodward died in Media, Pensylvania on November 24, 1989.  She graduated in the Liberal Arts Honors Program of the University of Texas, received a degree of Master of Philosophy and Information Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Ph.D in Philosophy from Temple University in Philadelphia.  She was an assistant professor of Library and Information Science at Drexel University, teaching courses in philosophy, logic, ethics, information systems analysis, language processing and artificial intelligence.  She was a member of the American Philosophical Society, the Eastern Pennsylvania Philosophical Association The American Society for Information Science, the Instrument Society of America, the American Library Association, the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, the Society for the Study of Professional Ethics and the Fullerton Club.

 

Tom EARMAN – 1970s

Jim Earman informs us of the following about his brother, Tom EARMAN:

My brother attended UT in Austin for two years after graduating from Lamar. He joined the US Navy in 1964. He served on a destroyer out of San Diego. I don't remember the name of the ship. He made two West Pac cruises during the Vietnam days. I believe he was an Electronics Tech on the ship. After his enlistment was over he left San Diego and went to live with our mother and stepfather in New Jersey. He was attending Rutgers at the time of his death. He died of a self inflicted gunshot. He was a pretty troubled young man in the final year or so of his life. I don't think anyone really understood the reasons for his depression.

Hal EDDINGS – 12/1985

Beth EVANS - 04/19/1996

Margie FRANKLIN Ross – 04/11/2004

Margie FRANKLIN Ross, age 60, native Houstonian, died Sunday, April 11, 2004 in Houston.

She was preceded in death by her parents Paul E. Franklin and Leta Margaret Franklin, and is survived by her husband Richmond W. Ross, daughter Daisy Ross Moreno and husband Rene; brother James Franklin, cousins Ann Brazzel, Mary Sue Wald, Chuck Britain and Bill Britain, nieces and nephews Cissy Stillman, Debbie Green, Bart Franklin, Mark Ford and Doug Ford.

She was a graduate of the University of Houston with a Masters Degree in Psychology. She was member of the St. Vincent De Paul Society and St. Francis De Sales Catholic Church. She was very involved in H.O.P.E., active in several church organizations and enjoyed traveling, painting and photography.

 

Bob GERNER – 04/1980

Bob Gerner died from a heart attack in April, 1980 while living in Springhill, Virginia.  He is survived by his only daughter, Sandra Marie Gerner Richardson, now of Orlando,Florida.

 

Mickey GREABER - 1987

Ronald GREENFIELD1/17/1992

Ronald H. Greenfield was born in Houston on November 1, 1943 and died on January 17, 1992.  He was a graduate of the University of Houston and was a member of Congregation Emanu El.

 

WICK GRETHER – 07/12/2002

Jan Wichert Grether

27 March 194412 July 2002

by Henry Guest, Classmate

 

    Wick Grether and I were in homeroom together through junior high and high school.  We knew each other well.  I celebrated Wick’s final passage in July 2002 but I remember an earlier Rite of Passage, when we were about 13 years old, a passage known as Full Blown Puberty. 

 

    One weekend, three of us stayed over at Wick’s house and we slept on pallets in the basement.  Actually it was a split-level house with the basement opening up on the downhill side in back.  At night, it would get pitch black with the lights off.  Well, Wick had invented this game where everyone puts on boxing gloves, turn off the lights and crawl around on your hands and knees to protect your vital parts until you ran into someone, and then slug it out.  Who else would think of a “Fun Game” like that?  Wick had 4 sets of boxing gloves.  I don’t know anyone else that had that many sets of gloves.  Wick was stocky and strong, so you tried to stay away from him.  During the Slug Fest, Garrett got too close to a concrete block wall, hit it and fractured his wrist.

 

    Either that same weekend or perhaps another, Wick had gotten the brilliant idea of egging the neighborhood.  His mother said later that she thought it was a little strange that he asked her to buy a couple of dozen eggs because the guys were coming over, but, she thought we were just hungry growing boys.  Wrong!  That night we went out and egged the neighborhood within a 50- yard semi-circular radius of Wick’s house.  Some hit windows.  Some hit brick walls.  And I remember at least one that hit a wood-louvered screen door.  Saturday morning, when neighbors went out to get the paper and discovered the mess, they also realized that the house at the center of the mess was untouched.  The epicenter was Wick’s house.  We were real smart.  We had been up till about 5 in the morning before we faded off to sleep.  About 8:30, Wick’s mother came down the basement stairs screaming.  I won’t go into what she yelled but it would put a sailor to shame.  After she got a few calls from neighbors, she checked the refrigerator, found all the eggs were gone and knew she had been had.  We came off our pallets half asleep, pleading, “Don’t tell our parents Mrs. Grether.  We’ll clean it up.  Please don’t tell our parents.”  Have you ever tried to clean dried egg off anything?  Took the half the day and no breakfast.  There wasn’t any breakfast.  It was all up and down the street.

 

    Wick was a likable, gregarious fellow and plenty smart or we wouldn’t have been able to get into the depth of trouble that we did.  At Lamar, Wick was a member of the PowWow service organization and Kachina drama club (Yep! “No business like show business” for Wick.  He was also an organizer of the famous/infamous off-campus fraternity called the ABC’s.  The ABC’s always did their best to keep the alcohol flowing by choice at weekend parties and, as a Spring ritual, they threw the famous Luau at Wick’s house off Memorial – two live bands, an exotic dancer, tables of catered food and one Tanglewood cop to please the city (although it wasn’t in Tanglewood).  15 bucks a couple.  There was soda and punch but mostly byob.  There were few, if any, tables or chairs for the partygoers.  You brought your own blanket and sat, rolled or wrestled with your date on the grounds and maybe the neighbor’s yard.  Cars lined both sides of Glenwood Street and spilled onto Memorial Drive.  Neighbors could hardly drive between them to get in and out of their driveways.  One neighbor was kicking couples out of his yard.  Good thing ‘62 was our senior year because the neighborhood got a court order banning future parties.

 

    After graduating in the upper quartile from Lamar, Wick thought he would teach the Methodist at Southwestern University, Georgetown, how to party.  Well, they had other ideas and Wick found himself a candidate for the draft.  The Vietnam War was going strong and, rather than be drafted, he joined the Navy.  Wick scored exceptionally high on qualifying tests and was put into Electrical Tech, Navigator-Bombardier training at Grumman Aircraft’s campus in Seattle.  Grumman made the big fighter-bombers used by the Navy.  Wick was no stranger to personal pain or death around him.  During his service, he was in an auto accident and they had to re-build his face. He knew the pain of recovery from multiple operations early in life.

 

    He was assigned to the 1st nuclear aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise (CVN 65), off the Vietnam coast and was on the flight deck a lot of the time attending the Grumman fighter-bombers.  Occasionally, he flew non-combat missions as navigator-bombardier when pilots needed to get in their flight hours.  You sat side-by-side with the pilot on the big Grummans and Wick talked about the rush you get from the “G” forces when being catapulted off the flight deck; how dangerous it was coming in and landing on a moving/tossing deck and the “G” forces coming to a halt in a couple of hundred yards after you hooked the cable arrestor.

 

    The USS Enterprise’s keel was laid February 1958, Newport News, VA.  She was launched September 1960 and commissioned November 1961.  She was powered by 8 nuclear reactors and 4 steam turbine driven propellers.  Overall length: 1,123 feet (almost 4 football fields).  Flight deck width: 257 feet.  Flight deck area: 4-1/2 acres.  Beam: 132.8 feet.  Draft: 39 feet.  93,500 tons displacement fully loaded.  Speed: 35 knots.  Planes: approx. 85.  Crew: Ship 3,200  plus Air Wing 2,480 (a floating city of approx. 5,700 people).  Homeport: Norfolk, VA.  From 1961 to 1972, she was the biggest warship in the world.          (http://navysite.de/cvn/cvn65.html)

 

    Wick was like a “Cat-with-9-Lives.”  On 14 January 1969, he just went down off the flight deck when a horrific accident happened.  To start the jet engines, they used a machine called a Huffer that they would place in front of the engines.  It blew hot air into the engine to help get it started.  Some how, a Huffer got too close to a Zuni missile mounted under a wing of an F-4 Phantom jet.  The missile detonated and a fire ensued.  Most of the planes on deck were loaded with bombs and missiles.  The F-4 blew up setting off a chain reaction, blowing up planes around it and, then, planes around them, killing any personnel around.  When the planes exploded, they blew up, out and down through the flight deck killing men below where Wick had just entered.  There were eight explosions.  In one day, Wick lost 27 shipmates with scores of others injured.  15 aircraft were destroyed of damaged.

 

    After his service in the Navy, Wick returned to Houston, entered the insurance business, and eventually formed a partnership named Grether/King Insurance, specializing in the business insurance market.  Wick married Susan and they had a daughter, Taylor, both now of Dallas.  After the marriage dissolved, Wick married Vonnie.  Wick sold his interest in the insurance business went into real estate, then foreign currency exchange.  Wick won a courageous battle over a cancerous tumor in the sinus area but succumbed to cancers of the lung and colon.

 

    It is said, “Pain is inevitable; Misery is optional.”  Wick always got up on his feet and went through life living it for all it was worth.  He was an adventurer.  And, understandably, on occasion, the “Cat-with-9-Lives” came home to a “Cat-of-9-Tales.”

Carol HAMIL Callaway01/08/1998

Michael Callaway informs us that his wife, Carol HAMILL Callaway died on January 8, 1998 from cancer.  Carol graduated from Mills College and married Michael in 1967 while she was getting her Master’s degree in art history at Tulane.  She taught art history in various colleges for over twenty years.  After their children were in elementary school, she returned to the University of Maryland to pursue a Ph.D. which she completed in 1993.  She and her family spent numerous summers in Oaxaca, Mexico, where she did the research on her dissertation.  At the time of her death, she and Michael were residents of Washington, D.C., where she served as a curator of the pre-Columbian collection of the Dumbarton Oaks Museum, a research institution which is part of Harvard University.  In 2000 Harvard dedicated a colonial Mexican mask in her memory.

 

John HEAD08/02/1988

John William Head died August 2, 1988 at John Sealy Hospital in Galveston.  He was born in Houston on January 9, 1945.  He attended Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School and Texas City High School before graduating from Lamar.  He received a BBA degree from the University of Houston where he was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity.  He served as a First Lieutenant in Intelligence in the U.S. Army in Viet Nam and received the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Air Medal, two overseas Service Bars and the Bronze Star.

 

Jay HEARD – 3/1989

 

Martha JENNINGS Guentzel – 03/1985

Don JOHNSON08/07/1994

Donald Gene Johnson died on August 7, 1994.  He was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon at the University of Texas and served in the Air Force Reserves at Ellington Air Force Base.  He was executive vice president of Johnson Comer Company. He was a member of the Houston Yacht Club and the Galveston Bay Cruising Association.

 

Gaither JONES4/2/1963

Gaither L. Jones, III, died on April 2, 1963 in an automobile accident near Laredo, Texas. He was a freshman at Southwest Texas State Teachers College in San Marcos.

Marcia KENDRICK Gilchriest – 06/1987

Gary LAMBERT – 4/23/65

David LAND

Laura Louise LaPRELLE 01/31/1985

Jack LOVE12/18/1998

Karen McCONNELL10/14/1993

Mary PORTER Montgomery

Sara Ellen NORMAN Edman07/11/2000

Sara Norman Edman was born in Houston on December 9, 1943 and died July 11, 2000.  She attended Texas A & M University.

 

Gary O’BRIEN12/03/2001

Patricia O’Brien, the wife for twenty five years of our classmate, Gary O’BRIEN, reports from Simonton, Texas that Gary passed away from a heart attack at his office on December 3, 2001.  Gary was dearly loved and is greatly missed.  He leaves behind two sons, Ricky (36), and Shawn (23), a daughter, Kelly (20) and three grand children.  Two more grand children (twins) are expected in August, 2002.

Ricky ORR – 02/1982

Larry PENNEY – 1/23/04

Larry Edward PENNEY died in Houston on January 23, 2004.  He was born on November 3, 1943 in Evansville, Indiana and moved to Houston at six weeks of age.  He always said:  “I got to Texas as fast as I could.”   He was a founding Board Member of the Lamar Alumni Association.  He attended the University of Houston for two years and enjoyed his career as real estate broker and loan officer.  He was an active member of the Houston Realtors Association, National Association of Realtors and the Houston Area League of PC Users.   Larry was also proud to be a crewman on the Tall Ship Elissa based in Galveston.  He was a skilled pianist and played for many years.  He religiously read the daily paper and was very interested in politics, history and continuous education.  Larry was proud of his country and of his time as a U.S. Marine.

Larry Attended Second Baptist Church since birth and was enrolled in the Basic Training Sunday School class.  He was always regular in attendance until he became too ill with Lymphoma Cancer to be present.  He thanks the many people who befriended him during his last months.

 

Brooke PHELPS03/03/1996

Bill PITTMAN03/26/1999

Bill Pittman was born in El Dorado, Arkansas, on February 18, 1944 and died on March 26, 1999.  For many years he served as the director of medical photography at The Methodist Hospital.

Elizabeth Dianne RICHARDS – 11/05/2001

Elizabeth Dianne Richards died November 5, 2001 after a long illness.  She attended Trinity University and graduated from the University of Houston and South Texas School of Law.  She was a past member of the Executive Committee of the Texas State Democratic Party, a past board member of the YMCA and a candidate for the U.S. Congress in the 1980’s.

 

Byron Campbell RIPPY – 01/07/2000

Rob ROBERTSON – 12/13/1985

Sharon ROE McLemore03/19/1980

Rique Carson tells us the following about Sharon Ann ROE McLemore (1944-1980): 

Sharon will always be remembered for her beautiful smile and her unique personality.  Before coming to Lamar, she had a great circle of friends at Rogers and Pershing. After graduating from Lamar, Sharon attended Baylor University where she met and married Frank McLemore.  They had three wonderful sons-John, Steve, and Frank.  During the great times that they had together, they lived in Little Rock, St. Louis, and Houston.  In the late 70's, Sharon found out that she had cancer and she started her treatments in Houston.  She was so courageous and was such an inspiration to everyone that knew her.  She fought a gallant battle and always carried herself with grace and honor.  Unfortunately, after a short time, she passed away on March 19, 1980.  She will be remembered for her kindness and loyalty to others.  Her three sons honor her in the lives that they live today.  Thank you Sharon for the unforgettable memories!” 

Ronnie ROTEN09/29/1969

Elizabeth SAFFORD Elliot01/10/2001

Donald SCHMIDT – 01/13/2003

Donald Schmidt was born in Houston on October 18, 1944 and died on January 13, 2003.  He was a graduate of the University of Texas.  His career began at Weyerhauser, where he worked as an accountant and salesman.  His success in sales led him to open his own businesses, Triangle Packaging and later D.S.E. which became the largest stock box provider in Texas.  He sold D.S.E. in 1996 and retired to Lake Tahoe, Nevada.  In 2000 he moved to Katy, Texas.  He was an accomplished accordionist.  He enjoyed conversation, music, reading and his daily laps in the pool.  He took pleasure in good food and had barbecuing down to an art.

 

 

Ric SCHUBERT – 01/20/1999

David SCOTT – 12/09/1988

David Scott graduated from Southwestern University at Georgetown and was a member of Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church.  He was Sales Manager for Security Couriers, Inc., and was a Veteran of the U.S. Army during the Vietnam Conflict.  He was a former member of the Houston Grand Opera Chorus.  His surviving mother, teacher Mabel Scott, died in Houston on February 27, 2002.

 

Suzy SHIPPEE Sheppard – 02/17/1980

Claire SINGLETON Craft10/29/1969

We have learned that Claire SINGLETON Craft was a school teacher in Galveston I.S.D. at the time of her death.

Carol SPAW Droker04/09/1997

Carol Dianne Spaw-Droker was born in Houston on December 31, 1943 and died at her home in Seattle on April 9, 1997.  She was a graduate of Rice University and in 1982 was awarded a M.T.A. degree in Biology at the University of Washington.  In the process of earning her degree and working with faculty and staff at the Burke Museum for Ornithology, she became a Curatorial Assistant and Preparator of Birds, and became involved in collection of bird specimens in Washington, Alaska, the Cook Islands, Russia and the Soviet Republics.  She was a leader in field research and participated in writing of articles for publication.  She was a member of Cooper Ornithological Society, Washington Ornithological Society, and Society for Northwestern Vertebrate Biology.

 

Winston STELTER –11/04/1993

Winston H. Stelter died peacefully on November 4, 1993 after a three year battle with cancer.  He was a life long resident of Houston.  He loved racing motorcycles and would like to be affectionately remembered as number 88N.

Ralph STERNBERG11/20/1999

Ralph M. STERNENBERG, 57, passed away on November 20, 1999 after a brief illness.  He was reared in Houston and received a Bachelor of Art’s degree from the University of Houston studying languages and psychology.  Soon after graduating, he traveled extensively throughout Europe where he fell in love with Germany and its language.  After attending the Universitat Berlin in Berlin, Germany, he pursued a second career teaching German in Houston at Rice University’s Continuing Education Department.  Years later he found himself in the hotel business in Houston working for large corporations as an outside consultant in management and accounting.  His true love remained the classics-music and languages, particularly Latin, Shakespeare and his favorite composer, Mozart.  He was deeply compassionate for the less fortunate and took great pride in his ability to offer encouragement and hope to those in need.  Ralph had the uncanny ability to see the innocence of the world through the eyes of a child and to express his thoughts to others through his wit and is keen sense of humor.  Anyone who was lucky enough to know Ralph and to experience his delight with life will never forget his vulnerability and sensitivity, which also was part of his charm.  He will be sorely missed for his quick wit, his untamed spirit and his unwavering loyalty to family and to friends.  He was truly an angel from Heaven that God shared with us for too brief of a moment.

Troy STOKES11/24/1992

Troy STOKES, long time gay rights activist, died  November 24, 1992, of AIDS related complications. Troy was born in Houston on July 17, 1944.  He graduated from Rice University in 1966.   Troy's battle against HIV had lasted eight years.  Always a fighter on the side of socially important,  if controversial causes, Troy participated in the Selma Civil Rights March while attending Rice University.  Troy began his gay rights activism as one of the founding members of the Gay Liberation Front at the University of Texas at Austin in the late sixties.  He continued the struggle for gay rights until his illness prevented him from further efforts.  His activities included being active in the Gay Switchboard in San Antonio and Gay Community Services of Austin in the seventies and as a co-director of Gayline in the late seventies and early eighties.  Often a pariah even among the gay "community,"  Troy always stood by his principles.  In one instance he steadfastly pressed for the inclusion of people with AIDS in a buddy program of the AIDS Project until the exclusionary policy was changed.  He was also a strong proponent of early testing for HIV before it became popular among early AIDS activists.  Troy's activism extended to religion too.  He was the first, and only, openly gay person elected to the board of the Southwest Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.  He fought many years trying to get the United Methodist Church to treat its gay and lesbian members decently.   The causes for which he fought have yet to see a successful completion, but the struggle is considerably farther along than it would have been had Troy not been with us.  Always a defender of the underdog and always ready to give a gentle, listening ear to the troubled, Troy will be sorely missed.

 

Sandra SWANLAND3/7/1984

Sandra Lee SWANLAND, 39, died March 7, 1984.  She was a native and life long resident of Houston and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin in 1966.

Tommy TAYLOR – 4/21/03

Tommy Taylor was born in Houston on October 31, 1944.  He attended school at St. Johns, Grady, Lanier, Lamar and Texas Tech University.   He enjoyed all sports, playing Little League as a youth and later golf at Lamar.  He served in the U.S. Army Reserves and was a longtime member of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church.  He was President of Capital City Mortgage.

 

A NOTE FROM TOMMY PRIOR TO THE 40TH REUNION:

Tommy TAYLOR reports from Houston that “After leaving Lamar, I attended Texas Tech University, in Lubbock (during the week) and THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, in Austin (on the week-ends).  I had a lot of fun.  In 1969 I joined the 4005th U.S. Army Hospital Reserve Unit in Houston.  I served six years and was happy to get out alive.  In 1979 I married my wife, Linda, and have been happily married ever since.  In 1981, we had a daughter, Allison, who is presently a student at Stephen F. Austin StateUniversity.  In 1995 we moved to Katy, Texas. Linda owns and operates Taylor Insurance Agency, and I own and operate Capital City Mortgage, Inc. Both companies are in Houston.  In 2001, it was discovered that I have cancer.  I had surgery on December 20, 2001 and just recently, September 17, 2002 had a second surgery.  I am presently taking treatments at M.D. Anderson Hospital. I still play golf and shoot in the 70's, ‘when my putter is hot’".

 

Bill TURNEY – 08/25/2002

Mary Turney reports from Rusk, Texas, about her husband, our deceased classmate, Bill TURNEY:

After Lamar, Bill Turney attended and then graduated from Texas A&M in the class of 1966. He ran track for the University. Upon graduating, we moved back to Houston where he worked first at American General Insurance and then served as Employee Benefits Administrator for Houston Natural Gas. In 1978, we decided to move to a less stressful environment and came to Rusk where he then went into advertising for the next twenty-two years. Bill was a wonderful Christian man, husband, father and grand dad.  He had served as City Manager for Rusk for a year and a half. During that time, he successfully completed many projects and gave good beginnings to others.

He still ran as often as he could and still loved it.  He taught a Sunday School Class at the First United Methodist Church in Rusk and ran the radio broadcast. We would have celebrated our thirty-fifth anniversary on September 2, 2002, a week following his death in a car accident while returning from a church retreat on August 25, 2002.  We have a daughter, Amy and son, Ben and three grand daughters, Sierra, Savannah and Hannah.  Bill had looked forward to the reunion and enjoyed the information he received on classmates.  He was the best and will be so missed. 

Peter VANDERMARK

John (Skipper) VAUGHN - 11/02/1999

Skipper Vaughn was born in Norman, Oklahoma on June 12, 1944 and died at Seton Hospital in Austin on October 2, 1999.  He attended the University of Texas until losing his sight at age nineteen, but returned between illnesses for several years.  In his youth he was a competitive swimmer, Boy Scout and DeMolay.  He was a member of the Founders Lion Club of Austin.

Michael VICK – 10/20/87

Michael Vick received a B.A. in Art as a graduate of the University of Houston, and attended Bering Memorial Methodist Church.  He was a long time educator in the field of art, creative dance and special education.

 

Robert VINCENT09/02/1974

(Robert) John WALTER

Terry WHITE – 07/1985

I would like to contribute some notes about Terry White. 

 

 Terry died in 1985 leaving two children and his wife Jamie after a short illness with heart disease.  Terry moved to Houston from Lulling, Texas in the second grade and that is when we became the best of friends. I think the fact that we were both being raised by widowed mothers gave us a lot of common experiences etc.  In fact, I can say he was the best friend I ever had. When one of us was dating and the other was not, the one that had a steady would always get the other one set up with somebody.  This lasted all the way to college until we both met our spouses.  Terry attended UT for two years after graduation and then transferred to the U Of H.  He met Jamie at the U of H and I believe he graduated with a business degree.  Throughout his career he worked in some form of sales or he managed a retail facility.    Terry attended Wilson Elementary and Lanier Jr. High before attending Lamar.  He was a real "stand - up guy" that many people called a friend. 

 

Tommy Baccaro

 

Kenny WOOD06/02/2001

Kenny Wood was born in San Antonio on September 30, 1944 and died at his home on South Padre Island on June 2, 2001.  He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force.  He served in Viet Nam and was awarded the Bronze Starr.  In 1977 he moved to South Padre Island and became involved in the restaurant industry, beginning with Cappuccino’s.  In 1978, he established Blackbeard’s Restaurant which he still owned at the time of his death.  He loved the sea and enjoyed the time he spent deep sea fishing in Mexico and Costa Rica.  He traveled extensively in search of new species of birds.  He was an avid golfer, tennis and racquetball player.

 

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Robert Rieke provides the following regarding Kenny WOOD:

“Kenny Wood and I had a lot of fun in high school.  Our friendship began in junior high school when he was trainer for the basketball team.  It continued in high school again because of sports, but we also were in major works classes where our grades were consistently a buoyancy to others.  The truth is we rarely studied as hard.  We had fun.  More than once we were caught having lunch away from campus – a “no-no” unless the enforcing faculty member was Coach Sandy Sanderson.  I think that we skipped school as well to attend the first game of the “Colt 45s.”  We never fully understood the lecture we received about the importance of missing math class.  I was especially thrilled when Blackbeard received his appointment to the United States Naval Academy well before I understood the honor in its entirety.  I lost track of Blackbeard until I learned that he had left the Navy, journeyed to South Padre Island, and opened Blackbeard’s – a great restaurant but an even greater bar!  It was always fun.”