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East Texas News - Obituaries
Polk County Enterprise - December 20, 2009 - January 11, 2010

Joseph Moody McKee
HUNTSVILLE Joseph Moody McKee, 84, died on Dec. 30, 2009, having lost his long battle with Dementia- Alzheimer’s. Joe was born on Dec. 4, 1925 to James Hollis McKee and Nora Peebles McKee in Livingston. He spent his formative years in Livingston and graduated from Livingston High School in 1943. He later attended Sam Houston State Teachers College in Huntsville. After college, Joe met and married Merle Solomon, now deceased. For several years, he managed and/or owned parts stores in Livingston and Liberty before moving to Huntsville. He opened McKee’s Auto Parts Store located on 12th street across from the Old Town Theater. He sold the parts store and in 1964 went to work for the Texas Department of Corrections, now known as TDCJ. He was the manager of the Prison Store for a while then transferred to Administration, where he stayed the rest of his tenure with TDC. Joe retired from TDC in 1990 as the personnel manager. He joined the board of directors of the Community Service Credit Union, where he was an active member until his health began to decline. In 1983, he met and married the love of his life, Joan Park Shelly McKee. They were happily married for 26 years. Joe was an avid fisherman, golfer and a lover of nature and bird watching. He never let his birds or squirrels go without food. His steady companions were his pet dogs, “Sadie”, “Doc”, “Dottie” and “Buzz”. He also liked spending time at their lake house on Toledo Bend, La. Joe was blessed with many friends and family members and was known as someone who always had a smile and handshake for everyone he met. He was active in service to the Lord, and held many positions at Cook Springs Baptist Church. Joe was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, James, Jack and Jerry and sister-in-law Lou Ciel. Joe is survived by his wife of 26 years, Joan McKee; sister, Joanne Westmoreland and husband Perry of Livingston; daughters, Gloria Rehrman and husband Carl of Oklahoma and Jodye Ryan of Nacogdoches; stepchildren, Melvin Shelly and wife Deana of Trinity, Randy Shelly, of Montgomery and Lee Ann Victery and husband Robert (Bobby) of Huntsville; numerous nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, it is requested that memorials be made in his name to Thee Hospice, P.O. Box 6548, Huntsville, TX 77342-6548. Visitation will be 4-6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010, at Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home. Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 4, at Cook Springs Baptist Church. Officiating will be Tom Cole and Robert Nichols. Interment will be in Brooke Cemetery. Memorial condolences for the family may be sent to www.shmfh. com.

Helen Sweetman
LIVINGSTON — Helen Sweetman, 78, of Livingston died on Jan. 2, 2010 in Waco. Graveside services were held Tuesday, Jan. 5, in Forest Hill Cemetery, with the Rev. Harold Isaacs officiating. She was born July 2, 1931 in Wynnewood, Okla., the daughter of Tommy Smith and Novie Lorea. Mrs. Sweetman is preceded in death by her husband, Louise Sweetman; daughters, Shelly Jo Taylor, Susan Hay and Tommie Sweetman; grandson, Richard Vandasselaar and brother, Ray Smith. She is survived by her son, Louis Sweetman of Waco; daughter, Vickie Tacker and wife Dwayne of Dayton; sisters, JoAnn Griffin of Florida and June Campbell of California; grandsons, Louis Sweetman of Waco and Robert Tacker of Killeen; great-grandson, Caine Tacker of Killeen; brother, Bobby Smith and daughter-in-law, Pam Sweetman of Waco. Cochran Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. To sign the online guestbook, go to www. cochranfh.com.

Jerry “Gene” Ketchey
LIVINGSTON — Jerry “Gene” Ketchey, 55, of Livingston died on Jan. 1, 2010 in Livingston. He was born Jan. 22, 1954 in Crockett, the son of Jerry Russell Ketchey and Jimmie Manning Ketchey. He was known as a loving and devoted family man to his wife, children, grandchildren and brother. He is survived by his wife, Linda Ketchey of Livingston; mother, Jimmie Ketchey of Seabrook; daughters, Sharon McClain of Baytown, Sherrie Willoughby of Vidor and Brandy Collins of Baytown; sons, Jason Olin of Spring and Chris “Bobea” Shoemate of Huntsville; his grandchildren, Kayla, Austin, Sean, Brent, Madison, Drew, Kyle, Bailey and Shelby, and his devoted best friend, his dog Kitty. Cochran Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. To sign the online guestbook, go to www. cochranfh.com.

Jerry Carl Bell
LIVINGSTON – On Sept. 8, 1952 in Crockett, a baby boy was born to the late Carl Washington Bell and Magnolia Bell. Jerry Carl Bell attended public school in Crockett until they moved to Houston, where he then attended M.C. William High School. After high school, he enlisted in the United States Army, where he served in Vietnam from 1970 until 1973 when he was honorably discharged. Jerry is preceded in death by his parents; sister, Doris McCullough and two brothers, Lewis and Tony Bell. Survivors include the love of his life, Bertha (Bea) Bell; sisters, Shirley (Alphonse) Phillips and Cynthia (Marvin) Stewart; brothers, Michael (Carolyn) Bell, Bruce (Cassandra) Bell, David Bell and Vicky Bell; daughters, Kita (Will) Hartwell, Josette (Lorenzo) Dale, Arlease Graves, Bessica Hensley and Delphia Hunter, all of Houston; sons, Elton Miles and Brandon (Christina) Miles of Livingston and Willie Kensely of Washington, D.C.; four sisters-in-law, Arma (Leveal) Roberts, Essie (Otis) Harrell, Carrie (Russell) Myatt and Arlene (John) Van Lieshout; two brothers- in-law, Tommie (Tyler) Bookman and Joseph Ray Bogany Sr.; 23 grandchildren; a host of nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends and special friends, Mitchell and Brenda Bryant of Round Rock. A celebration of life for Jerry will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010 at New Hope Baptist Church, FM 2969 in Goodrich, with burial to follow in New Hope Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 8, at Pace Funeral Home. Pace Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Ruby Lee Bates
ONALASKA — Ruby Lee Bates, 76, of Onalaska died on Monday, Jan. 4, 2010. Memorial services will be held for family and friends at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, in the Canyon Park Clubhouse. Ruby was born Aug. 8, 1933 in Van, the daughter of William Wade Cotton and Odessa Collect Cotton. She is preceded in death by her parents and sister, Louise Scoggins. She is survived by her husband, Harold Bates of Onalaska; daughters, Sandy Otsman and husband David of College Station and Brenda Ramirez and husband Rene of Dallas; sons, Ricky Phelps and wife Judy of Sunset, Jimmy Hayes of Dallas and Tommy Hayes of Dallas; six grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Cochran Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. To sign the online guestbook, go to www. cochranfh.com.

Walter Eugene Peters
LIVINGSTON — Walter Eugene Peters, a long time beekeeper of Livingston, died on Jan. 1, 2010 from a long battle of lung cancer. He leaves behind his wife of 33 years, Kara Lynn (Flory) Peters; Melissa Karimian (Shawn), Stephanie Phillips (Jandy) and Jennifer Peters.

Melvin Louis Holle Jr.
ONALASKA — Melvin Louis Holle Jr., 72, of Onalaska died on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2009. Memorial services are pending at Cochran Funeral Home. Cochran Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Edna Faye Blackwell
LIVINGSTON — Edna Faye Blackwell, 89, was born in Nashville, Tenn. on Sept. 7, 1920 and died on Monday, Jan. 4, 2010, in Livingston. Edna loved sewing, craft work; she belonged to the Polk County Extension Club in Onalaska and Canyon Park Auxiliary Club. She was a member of the Methodist Church in Decatur, Ala. She was in marketing with Southwestern Bell for many years. She is survived by her husband of 54 years, Sidney Blackwell; sisters- in-law, Janis Jones and Marcell Jones and many nieces and nephews. Preceding her in death are her parents, Sam and Nettie Jones. A celebration of Edna’s life will be held at a later date. To sign the online guestbook, go to pacefuneral.com.

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