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Polk County Enterprise - Obituaries
For the Week of January 13, 2008 - January 20, 2008
Copyright 2007 - Polk County Publishing Company

Lonnie Craig Battise
LIVINGSTON – Funeral services for Lonnie Craig Battise, 45, were held Friday, Jan. 11, 2008, at the Indian Presbyterian Church, with the Rev. David Brewer officiating.
Mr. Battise died Saturday, Jan. 5, at his residence in Houston.
He was born Dec. 29, 1962 in Houston, the son of Wyman and Lillian Battise. He was preceded in death by his father. He enjoyed playing softball, fishing and was a deacon of Indian Presbyterian Church.
Survivors include his mother, Lillian Battise of Livingston; sister and brother-in-law, Karen and Nathan Williams of Livingston; sister, Kerri Williams of Livingston; aunts, Maxine Silva and Marjorie Sylestine; uncle, Gerald Battise and nieces and nephews, Alexandra, Elise, Curtis, Natalie, Donovan and Mercedes Williams.
Pallbearers were Len Sylestine, Nathan Williams, Kevin Battise, Joey Silva, Peter Seahmer, Bradley Battise and Brian Battise.
Cochran Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Steve "Spike" Cordell
HUNTSVILLE – Steve “Spike” Cordell of Point Blank died on Jan. 10, 2008 in Galveston.
He is survived by three sons, one grandson, his mother, his father, two sisters, three nephews and numerous other relatives.
Viewing will be from 1-3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 14, with a memorial service following at Brooke Funeral Services, Huntsville.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to cancer research.

Laura Hazel Rhoten
GOODRICH -- Laura Hazel Rhoten died on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008.  She was 102 years old.
She was born March 19, 1905 in Rossville, Okla. Territory and proud to be able to claim that she was two years older than the state of Oklahoma.
She is survived by her sister, Wanda Kathleen Gordon and generations of nieces and nephews.
Mrs. Rhoten was the seventh child in a family of 12 kids (10 girls and two boys). She was raised in Oklahoma, graduated from Haworth High School at age 16 and then attended University of Arkansas, where she graduated prepared for teaching. She enjoyed a long career as a teacher, having taught in small towns around southern Oklahoma and over 30 years at the Sequoyah Indian Vocational School in Tahlequah, Okla. After she retired, she made her home in Ace, Texas, where she dedicated her life to her family, friends and church.
She was a long time member of Goodrich First United Methodist Church. She was known as someone around whom people could feel God’s presence and who spent her lifetime doing God’s work. She will be remembered for her big heart, her unconditional love for all people and her caring Christian attitude.
Funeral Services were held on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2008, at Goodrich First United Methodist Church. Interment followed at Brookside Cemetery in Houston. Expressions of sympathy may be made in Hazel Rhoten’s memory to Goodrich First United Methodist Church – Organ Fund, P. O. Box 609, Goodrich, TX 77335

Kate Hillhouse
LIVINGSTON -- Kate Hillhouse of Texas died on Jan. 3, 2008 in Rochester, N.Y.
She lived outside of Livingston from 1992 to 2006 in the home that she and her husband named “Redschance,” deep in the east Texas Piney Woods that she loved.  
She was born in 1934 in Kerrville to Harriet Elizabeth Tenney Neely and Roy Griffith Neeley. She was married 41 years to James D. (Jim) Hillhouse who died in 1998. She is survived by four siblings: Roy Neeley of Texas, Sara Beth Tennison of California, Barbara Ross of Oregon and Leota Goodney of Minnesota. 
Mrs. Hillhouse was an avid supporter of Texas native plants and wildlife. A master naturalist, she gave many speeches, lectures and demonstrations all across Texas on plant identification and on how important native plants are for future generations. She served as president of the Native Plant Society of Texas in 1992 and in 2004 was presented with an award of recognition and an honorary lifetime membership at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.  She remained an active and curious naturalist until her death. 
She was an active member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Livingston, where she held numerous leadership positions. Her faith in God and his creation fueled her enthusiasm for and interest in the natural world. 
Prior to retiring to Livingston, Kate and Jim lived in Houston for 30 years. There they raised five children: Jane Chronis of New York (married to Todd), Evelyn Judson of North Carolina (married to Richard), Ruth Mason of Washington (married to Chris), Carol Hillhouse of California (married to Steve Schoenig) and Dobbins Hillhouse of Texas (married to Jennifer). She also leaves 11 grandchildren: Griffin, Iolanthe, Catharine, Roy, Sam, Elliot, Andrew, Claire, Lyla, Jocelyn and Jackson. 
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Livingston. A reception will follow in the parish hall.  In lieu of flowers, contributions can be sent to the Native Plant Society of Texas Scholarship Fund (www.npsot.org) in her honor.

Ramsey Searcy
RYE -- Ramsey Searcy, 84, died Tuesday morning, Jan. 8, 2008, in San Jacinto Methodist Hospital in Baytown.
Funeral services were held Friday, Jan. 11, in the chapel of Hayes Funeral Home, with the Rev. Ronald Macey officiating. Entombment followed in Grace Memorial Park in Hitchcock.
Mr. Searcy was born Dec. 9, 1923 in Desha, Ark.  He came to Galveston in 1945 and lived there until 1980.  After retiring in 1980, he and his wife made their home in Rye.  Mr. Searcy was a heavy
equipment operator, having retired from the Operating Engineers Local 450 in Texas City and was a veteran of the U. S. Navy, serving during World War II. He was a life member of VFW Post 880 in Galveston, a life member of AMVETS
Post 13 in Rye, and a member of American Legion Post 20, Elks Lodge 126, and past president of the Sons of Hermann Gulf Lodge 126, all in Galveston.
Mr. Searcy was preceded in death by his parents, Adlai and Addie Searcy; three brothers, Jim, Charles and Dale Searcy; brothers-in-law, John and Dewey Johnston and a sister-in-law, Margie Holifield.
Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Aubrey Faye Searcy of Rye; a daughter, Sharon Kaye Searcy of Houston; sisters-in-law, Mary Johnston, Birdie Brantley, Kyleine Scales and Bo Lohec and husband Ronald; brother-in-law, Leo Johnston and wife Mamie; numerous
nieces and nephews and many friends.
Pallbearers were Johnny Rost, Bradley Owens, Joe Parker, Kevin Holifield, Mike Owens, Donnie Mayville, Clint Douglas and Ted Green.  Honorary pallbearers
were Leo Johnston, Ronald Lohec, Don Griffin, John McDowell, Virgil Cranford, Shep Green, and Bob Besaw, Buck Myers, Kyle Johnston Jr. and Kristopher Johnston.
Memorials may be sent to the charity of your choice, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, attn. Tributes and/or Ronald McDonald House, P.O. Box 1045, Galveston, TX 77553.

Naomi Adams
LIVINGSTON – Funeral services for Naomi Adams, 89, of Livingston will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 14, 2008, in the Cochran Funeral Home Chapel. Interment will follow in Bluff Creek Cemetery.
Mrs. Adams died Jan. 10.
A full obituary will be published at a later date.

Lonnie Lee Lockhart
LIVINGSTON – Funeral services for Lonnie Lee Lockhart, 83, were held Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2008, in the Cochran Funeral Home Chapel, with the Rev. Frank Hood and the Rev. Eric Garrett officiating. Burial followed in Carmona Cemetery in Carmona. Military honors were provided by VFW Post 8568.
Mr. Lockhart died Sunday, Jan. 13, at his residence in Livingston.
He was born Aug. 31, 1924 in Carmona, the son of John and Lula McCarty Lockhart. He was one of 18 boys who lettered in 1942 when Corrigan won district co-champions in football.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Johnnie Mae Lockhart; his son, Jutt Lee Lockhart; his first wife, Beatrice Lockhart and sisters, Mary Mullican, Margaret Tidwell, Marie Riley and Ira Nelson.
Survivors include his sons and daughters-in-law, John Perry and Patsy Lockhart of New Caney and Robert and Jessica Lockhart of Onalaska; daughters and son-in-law, Loni Lockhart of Stephenville, Johna Lockhart of Livingston, Pearlene and Jay Hensley of Onalaska, Maudine Thompson and Ann Michaels of Pasadena; sisters, Opal Kenner of Livingston, Francis Lowe of Livingston and Faye Nelson of Livingston; grandson, Chason Phillips of Livingston; granddaughters, Loudon Lockhart of Livingston and Kaitlin Lockhart of Onalaska and a grandchild on the way.

John Michael "Mike" Kelley
TOMBALL – John Michael “Mike” Kelley of New Waverly died on Jan. 10, 2008 at the age of 64. He is survived by his wife, Edith; daughters, April and Hannah; sister, Kathy Nicholson and other family members and friends.
A graveside service was held Tuesday, Jan. 15, at Forest Hill Cemetery in Livingston.
Klein Funeral Home, Tomball, was in charge of arrangements.

George Wayne Coker Sr.
LIVINGSTON – George Wayne Coker Sr., 74, was born in Livingston on Feb. 14, 1933 to Garland and Myrtle Coker and died on Jan. 14, 2008.
He graduated from Livingston High School in 1951, before serving four years in the United States Air Force. He married Lois Miller of Baytown in 1953, from which three children were born: George Wayne Jr., Gregory Lloyd and Terri Michele. It was in Baytown that Wayne began providing food services for high school and college sporting events, a business which he loved and made many friends for over 46 years. He also owned and managed the West Main Cafe, which became a local institution in Baytown in the late 60s and 70s.
He later married Betty Joyce Pennington, celebrating 35 years of marriage on Nov. 30, 2007. Betty brought with her three children of her own: Sherry Lynn Eaton, Joe Paul Eaton and Curtis Lloyd Eaton. Family members say it was a testament to the strength of their marriage that they survived six teenagers under the same roof. Sherry, Joe Paul and Curtis joined the rest of the kids working in the family food business, along with almost every other relative Wayne could muster up for concerts and sold out basketball games at the University of Houston.
Being the only son and a big brother to four sisters, Wayne became a patriarch to his family, including a large number of nieces and nephews that he loved as his own. He was known as someone whose biggest joy in life, though, were his grandchildren.
He lived the last 30 years of his life in Goodrich, where he is survived by his wife, Betty Coker. Survivors also include his son, Wayne Coker Jr. and wife Sterle of Cypress; son, Greg Coker of Houston; daughter, Terri Bogie and husband Mike of Old River; daughter, Sherry Crochet and husband Mark of Goodrich; son, Joe Paul Eaton of Goodrich; son, Curtis Eaton and wife Kathryn of Highlands; sisters, Delma Hamilton and husband Jerry of Groesbeck, Lou Ellen Jackson and husband Rodney of Livingston, Faye Barnum and husband Bob of Baytown and Jean Ancelet and husband Don of Crosby; aunts, Dorothy Coker of Livingston and Lois Warren of Baytown; 15 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Mr. Coker served on the Goodrich ISD Board of Trustees from 1989-1992 and was a 27-year member of Chesswood Baptist Church.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, at Chesswood Baptist Church in Livingston, with Bro. Howard Daniel and Bro. Frank Hood officiating. Interment will follow in Restland Memorial Park, Livingston.
Pallbearers will be grandsons, Joel Coker, Nick Coker, Corey Krumnow, Willie Eaton, Chris Eaton, Dusty Eaton, Aaron Eaton, Eric Bogie and Jason Vasquez. Honorary pallbearers will be his nephews and great-grandsons.
Cochran Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Carl E. Rayburn Jr.
LIVINGSTON – Funeral services for Carl E. Rayburn Jr., 58, of Jayess, Miss. were held Monday, Jan. 14, 2008, at Powell’s Grove United Pentecostal Church. Graveside services were held Tuesday, Jan. 15, at Magnolia Hill Cemetery in Segno.
Mr. Rayburn was born June 13, 1949, the son of Carl E. Rayburn Sr. and Marion Odelia Rayburn, and died Jan. 11 at his residence. He had been employed as an oil field trucker and served in the U.S. Navy.
Survivors include his wife, Rhonda Dianne Hickman Rayburn; his parents; sons, Carl Eugene Rayburn III of Victoria and Dallas Ray Rayburn of Jayess, Miss.; granddaughter, Sarah Caitlyn Rayburn of Victoria; brothers, Douglas Ray Rayburn, Larry Wayne Rayburn and Gary Lynn Rayburn, all of Jayess, Miss. and sisters, Marion Odelia Oliver, Vickie Elaine Tucker and Tammy Gay Babin, all of Ruth, Miss.
Hathorn Funeral Home in Columbia, Miss. and Cochran Funeral Home, Livingston, were in charge of arrangements.

Bennie R. Stuard
LIVINGSTON – Bennie R. Stuard, 93, died Sunday, Jan. 13, 2008, in Memorial Medical Center -- Livingston.
Survivors include his wife, Pennie Stuard of Goodrich; daughter, Opal Ormsbee of Canfield, Ohio; daughter and son-in-law, Fay and Ronald Rutzen of Highlands; son and daughter-in-law, Larry and Billie Stuard of New Caney; sister, Aline Wilson of Bronson, Fla.; granddaughters, Pam Ellis of Canfield, Ohio, Melissa Mace of Montgomery and Ashton Gaines of Plymouth, Ind.; grandsons, Larry Stuard II of The Woodlands, Tony Stuard of New Caney and Aaron Gaines of Plymouth, Ind.; nine great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; stepdaughters and sons-in-law, Settie and Jerry Johnston of Cleveland, Fern Wilkerson of Cleveland and Anna Jane and Dennis Hundl of Livingston; stepsons and daughters-in-law, Eugene Sherman of Cleveland, Kenneth and Mandy Sherman of Goodrich and Calvin and Debbie Sherman of Votaw and numerous step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren.
He was born on Sept. 19, 1914 in Lindsay, Okla., the son of Benjamin Stuard and Manerva Harrell Stuard, both of whom preceded him in death.
Funeral services were held Wednesday, Jan. 16, in the Cochran Funeral Home Chapel, with the Rev. Mike Chapman officiating. Burial followed in Peebles Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Larry Stuard II, Tony Stuard, Troy Stuard, Kenneth Sherman, Calvin Sherman and Dewayne Corley. Honorary pallbearer was John Ellis.

Kathryn Jean Wright
Memorial services for Kathryn Jean Wright, 77, of Moscow, Texas, will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, January 19, 2008 in the Moscow Baptist Church in Moscow, Texas with Robert Jones officiating.
She was born October 11, 1930 in Houston, Texas and passed away Friday, January 11, 2008 in Lufkin, Texas.  She was a homemaker and a member of the Moscow Baptist Church.  She is preceded in death by her husband: Ralph Wright; parents: Herbert John and Grace Elizabeth (Pifer) Beinhorn; son: Rodney Ragsdale; grandsons: Christopher Ray Ragsdale and Christopher Paul Rosenberger.
She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law: Gerald and Peggy Ragsdale of Needville, Texas; daughter and son-in-law: Janet and Leslie Rosenberger of Onalaska, Texas; step-sons: Jimmy Wright & Rex Wright; brother and sister-in-law: Leroy and Linda Beinhorn of Lufkin, Texas; grandchildren: Tracey Thomson, Melanie Thornton, Timothy and Jenny Rosenberger, numerous great-grandchildren and other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were arranged by Corrigan Funeral Home, Inc.

Naomi Lorain Adams
Funeral services for Naomi Lorain Adams, 89, were held Monday, Jan. 14, 2008 at 11 a.m. at Cochran Funeral Home. Bro. Harold Isaacs officiated. Burial will be in the Bluff Creek Cemetery in Livingston.
She died Thursday, Jan. 10, 2008 at Pineridge Health Care in Livingston, Texas. She is survived by Beverly Ann Wade & Benny (daughter & son-in-Iaw) of Livingston, daughter Ima Jean Melcer of Livingston, son and daughter-in-law James Lloyd Adams & Marge of Dayton,  grandson Donald Holeman, Jr., granddaughter Leslee Lorraine Owens, grandson Richard Avery Wade, grandson David Wayne Wade, granddaughter Debra Jean Carter, granddaughter Domia Kay Reidel, grandson James Nathan Adams, granddaughter Bridget Adams, 12 great- grandchildren, 4 great-great-grandchildren, brother James Thomas Murphy of Santa Maria, CA, sister Helen Irene Roberts of Honolulu, HI, and numerous nieces & nephews.
She was preceded in death by her father General Adams, her mother Erma Malone Adams, sons Richard Roy Adams, & John Adams, her sister Johnnie Lucille Phillips, and her brothers Raymond Murphy & Lloyd Murphy.
She was born April 29, 1918 in Livingston, Texas.
Pallbearers were Richard Wade, David Wade, Jon Reidel, James Reidel, Jimmy Adams & Kevin Smith.
Honorary Pallbearers will be Don Owens, Don Holeman, Jr., Daniel Bedell, Trey Phillips & T.J. Mitchell.

Cochran Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.







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