Houston County Courier - Obituaries
For the week of July 20, 2008 - July 27, 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company

Mr. Billy Royce Burton, age 77 of Conroe, passed away Wednesday, July 16, 2008 in Odyssey Healthcare in Peoria, Arizona. Mr. Burton was born December 11, 1930 in Crockett, Texas and had lived in Conroe for over 30 years. Mr. Burton was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. Mr. Burton was a truck driver.

Survivors include his sons Gregory Royce Burton and wife Cindy, and Rodney Dean Burton, all of Conroe; twin sister Betty Whisenhunt; sister Sue Lundy; brother Joe Burton; grandchildren Rodney D. Burton, Jr., Ashley Stockman, David Bennett, Brittany Schreckengost, Lori Johnson and Chase Burton; and five great-grandchildren.

Preceded in death by his wife June Burton; niece Betty Sue Dodd; and nephew Grady Earl Rollo.

Funeral Services for Mr. Billy Royce Burton were held Wednesday, July 23, at 2:00 p.m. in the Callaway-Allee Memorial Chapel with the Rev. Gerald Davis officiating.  Interment followed in the Rockland Cemetery.

Callaway-Allee Funeral Home

Mr. George Phillip Speaker, age 93, of Crockett, passed away Thursday, July 17, 2008 in the Houston County Nursing Home in Crockett. Mr. Speaker was born January 21, 1915 in Galveston, Texas to Frederick and Alice Speaker the fifth son of seven children. Mr. Speaker served in HQ 3rd Battalion, 349th Infantry of the U.S. Army during WW II from Oct. 12, 1942 to Oct. 23, 1945 as a jeep driver. Mr. Speaker served in the Rome-Arno, North Appennies and Po Valley campaigns as a jeep driver. This was a very dangerous job during WW II. Fortunately, George was never wounded. Mr. Speaker saw Mussolini hanging in the square in Rome, Italy. 

Mr. Speaker was extremely proud to be an American and that he had served his country in her time of need. He was very patriotic. Mr. Speaker often talked of things that happened or things that he had witnessed during the war.

Everyone always enjoyed hearing his interesting stories.

Mr. Speaker grew up in Hitchcock, TX and became fluent in Italian. At that time Hitchcock was populated by many recent Italian immigrants and their children. The parents of his friends were learning English but the children picked it up rapidly.

Mr. Speaker quickly learned German while serving in the Army.  He was captured once by German soldiers and held overnight. He was asked why he was not fighting for Germany since Speaker is a German name. He told them that he was an

American and that he was fighting for his country. His grandfather had come to Texas as a young boy of 14 and he had been very proud to be an American.

The German soldiers told him that since he was a jeep driver and was not shooting at them that they had no quarrel with him. They released him the next day. 

Mr. Speaker married Louise Tolbert on Nov.  28, 1945 in Galveston County, Texas and he worked for the Hitchcock ISD in Hitchcock, TX from about 1955 until his retirement in about 1977. The last six years he had been a resident at the Houston County Nursing Home where he truly was treated like a King. 

 Survivors include his wife Louise Tolbert Speaker, of Crockett; children Alice and Derry Jones, of Crockett, George Wesley Speaker, of Houston, Tina Hulsey, of Santa Fe; grandchildren Bobby Wayne Hulsey, Kari Hulsey, both of Santa Fe and Allison Alvarez, of Pearland; great-grandson Adrian Wesley Alvarez; numerous nieces and nephews, mostly in Houston County and Galveston County; in-laws: Marie and James Driskell, Anna and Harold McKenzie, James Blakeley, Carolyn and John Level, Ruby and Billy Sexton, all of Lovelady.

Preceded in death by his son John Ray Speaker of Houston; brothers; sister and his in-laws Claude and Helen Blakeley of Lovelady.

Funeral Services for Mr. George Phillip Speaker were held Monday, July 21, at 10:00 a.m. in the Callaway-Allee Memorial Chapel with the Rev. Ottis Byers officiating. 

Interment followed in the Lovelady Antioch Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers please make your contribution to: American Legion Auxiliary, Care & Share Program, Post # 134, P. O. Box 43, Crockett, TX 75835, Attention: Donnita Patrick. They send boxes of goodies to our soldiers fighting in Iraq.

Callaway-Allee Funeral Home

Mrs. Iva B. Smith, age 83 of Crockett, passed away Friday, July 11, 2008 in the East Texas Medical Center-Crockett. Mrs. Smith was born April 5, 1925 in Lovelady, Texas to Albert J. and Cora Roberson Baker and was raised in Houston County. Mrs. Smith had worked for many years at the Crockett Hotel. Mrs. Smith moved back to Crockett in 1982 with husband James A. “Smitty” Smith and together they opened Smitty’s Bar-B-Que, which is still in its original location today.  After the death of her husband in 1987, Mrs. Smith continued to operate and handle all of the daily operations of the business until sometime in 2005. Mrs. Smith was a member of the American Legion Ladies Auxillary and of the Elks Lodge Ladies Auxillary. Mrs. Smith was also a member of the Church of God. Mrs. Smith was known as Memaw to all who came in contact with her and she will be missed by all who loved her and held her dear, however we all know that she is at the big dance in Heaven as we speak, no longer in pain and suffering.

Survivors include her daughter Marilyn Harrison and husband Don, of Crockett; son Jesse Stephens and wife Wanda, of Kennard; son Jerry Stephens and wife Phyllis, of Navasota; daughter Paula Jones and husband Earl, of Amarillo; daughter Dyanna Jennings and husband Steve, of Huntsville; grandkids which she held close to her heart Sherri Hazlett, of Crockett, Lori Novak, of Caldwell, Stephen Harrison, of Centerville, Gaylene Allen, of Crockett, Marshall Stephens, of Conroe, Leslie Doughet of Nome, Kevin Stephens, of Navasota, Darrell Griffith, of Crockett, Susan Griffith, Pam Lomas, both of Amarillo, James Frost, of Friendswood, Jacob Frost, of Va. and Krystin Feole, of Lockhart; 18 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Preceded in death by her husband James A. “Smitty” Smith; parents Albert J. and Cora Roberson Baker; six sisters; and one brother.

Funeral Services for Mrs. Iva B. Smith were held Monday, July 14, at 2:00 p.m. in the Callaway-Allee Memorial Chapel with the Rev. John Goss officiating. Interment followed in the Lovelady Antioch Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Lovelady Antioch Cemetery Association, c/o Mrs. Joan Little, 4846 C. R. 3455, Lovelady, Texas 75851.

Callaway-Allee Funeral Home

Mrs. Mary Anna Taliaferro, age 69 of Weeki Wachee, passed away Sunday, July 20, 2008 at her residence under the loving care of her family and Hernando-Pasco Hospice. Mrs. Taliaferro was a native of Silsbee, Texas and a resident of this area for the past year, coming from Houston, Texas. Mrs. Taliaferro was a retired Interior decorator and a member of Spring Hill Baptist Church. Mrs. Taliaferro enjoyed playing bridge, canasta and tennis, and loved cooking.

Survivors include her husband of 50 years, Robert; four daughters Theresa Anderson, of Waco, Mary Slattery, of Houston, Susan Pidek, of Weeki Wachee and Peggy Dickinson, of Littleton, Colo.; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A Memorial Service for Mrs. Mary Anna Taliaferro was held Tuesday, July 22, at Pinecrest Funeral Chapel with the Rev. Ray Rouse officiating.

Pinecrest Funeral Chapel

Mr. Robert Lee “Babe” Wilson, passed away Tuesday, July 22, 2008. Mr. Wilson was born November 18, in Creath Community in Houston County to Lee Richard Wilson and Ruth Driskill Wilson.

Mr. Wilson, “Babe,” as he was affectionately called by his family and close friend because after being “Baby Lee,” his name was shortened to “Babe” was proud to serve his country during World War II in the Army and was in Rhineland Battles as a Gunner when his company was captured and he spent the last part of the War in a German Prison Camp which was liberated by the English at the end of the War.

Mr. Robert (Babe) Wilson was a teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. He went to Case Western Reserve in Ohio for training when Texas had no programs for training teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing. Mr. Wilson spent the first years of his career as a teacher at the State School for the Deaf in Austin, and then in the Houston School District. Mr. Wilson then became a CPA and spent the rest of his career in accounting. He was an internal auditor for the Weingarten Grocery Stores.

Survivors include his widow of almost 43 years, Maurice Russell Wilson; two step-children who were his children Russell Lee Page amd Judy Page Maynard, both of Houston; three grandchildren Elizabeth Page Hall, of Mt. Morris, Mich., Merideth Maynard and Thomas Russell Maynard, both of Houston; step-grandchildren William Maynard (Sonny), of Dallas and Jason Foreman, of Mich.; two great-grandsons; two step-great-granddaughters; and special niece Mellanie Wilson, of Houston.

Preceded in death by his mother and father; a sister; three brothers and a step-grandchild Jared Wayne Maynard.

Funeral Services for Mr. Robert Lee “Babe” Wilson were held Friday, July 25, at 7:00 p.m. in the Geo H. Lewis & Sons Jasek Chapel with the Rev. John Binford officiating.

Because of his interest in hearing loss, and since he was always so supportive of his wife’s hearing loss, the family ask for donations in lieu of flowers to be directed to the Hearing Loss Association of America’s Rocky Stone Endowment Fund, 7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 1200, Betheseda, Maryland 20814, or to the charity of your choice.

Geo. H. Lewis&Sons

Mr. Norman Gibson, age 81 of Houston, passed away Tuesday, July 22, 2008 in Houston. Mr. Gibson was born November 22, 1916 in Slocum, Texas and was a resident of Houston most of his lifetime. Mr. Gibson was retired having worked as a welder and was a member of the Cottage Grove Baptist Church in Houston where he served as deacon.

Survivors include his wife Bertha Gibson, of Houston; daughter and son-in-law Sue and William D. Hamman, of Spring; son and daughter-in-law Don and Pat Gibson of Spring; grandchildren Cheryl Williams and husband John, of Va., Dwayne Schoellkopf and wife Teresa, of Tenn., Scott Hamman, of Calif., Judy Banks, of Houston, James Banks and wife Tammy, of Pearland, Misty Kelly, of Houston, Suzanne Cain and husband Dennis, of Spring, Crystal Koch and husband Stephen, of Houston and Mandy Campbell and husband Dennis, of Spring; 18 great-grandchildren; seven great-great-grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives.

Preceded in death by his daughter Shirley Banks in 2008.

Funeral Services for Mr. Norman Gibson will be held Monday, July 28, at 2:00 p.m. in the Callaway-Allee Memorial Chapel. Interment will follow in the Guiceland Cemetery. 

Callaway-Allee Funeral Home


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