Polk County Enterprise - Obituaries
Posted for September 30, 2008 - October 12, 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company

Lillie Edith
Shepherd CORRIGAN — Lillie Edith Neal Shepherd, 93, died on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008 at The Clairmont in Beaumont. She was born Oct. 12, 1914 in Chester. She was the tenth child of Thomas W. and Nettie Boyette Neal. In 1934, she married her husband of 54 years, Robert M. “Bob” Shepherd. In 1943, they became the legal guardians of her nieces, Nina Lois and Barbara Sue Neal, ages 5 and 3. They became, in her heart and mind, her first two little girls and remained so for the remainder of her life. Two years later, after 12 years of marriage, she gave birth to her third little girl, Rebecca. In addition to caring for three children, she cared for her mother, in their home, until her death in 1952. She was a retired bookkeeper and, after retirement in 1966, she spent several years as a babysitter for children of family and friends. She and Bob became “Mama Lillie” and “Daddy Bob” to not only their grandchildren but, to the numerous other children that were in their care over the years. After Daddy Bob’s death in 1979, she continued to live independently in their home in Chester, enjoying the companionship of her church friends at Chester Baptist Church and her extended family in the area. She particularly enjoyed the company of her cousin, Aline Barclay, and the many road trips they made together when they were both too old to be driving but too stubborn to give up, according to family. In spite of numerous serious health problems, her will to live prevailed. At age 85 she underwent a very successful mitral valve surgery. Family members say that at 6:30 a.m. the next morning while still in ICU, she was asking for her hairbrush; she always wanted to look her best regardless of the circumstance. In 2004, at age 89, she moved to Beaumont to Dowlen Oaks Assisted Living to be close to her doctors and to her daughter, Becky. She had never intended to leave he r home in Chester but graciously accepted this change as being in her best interest. She made friends quickly at Dowlen Oaks and particularly enjoyed their bingo games where she was a regular winner. Of all the joys in her life, her family was the greatest. She had grown up in a large, loving and close knit family. And, being the last of her generation, she felt it her responsibility to assume the role of matriarch and make sure that her nieces and nephews, who had lost their parents, still had someone to go to for love and comfort. She was determined to keep this large family that had spread out all over the country in close contact with each other. The highlight of every year for her was the annual Neal Family Reunion. She spent hours each year calling and sending reminders to be sure no one forgot. She was preceded in death by her father, mother and husband; brothers, Willie, Carlton, Turner, Richard, Joe, John Buster and Stokes Neal; sisters, Nettie Barnes and Nannie Myers; her niece and first little girl, Nina Lois Marlin; and numerous other nieces and nephews. She is survived by her daughter, Rebecca “Becky” Ford and husband Paul of Bevil Oaks and their children: Cindy Seamans, Kimberly Brown and husband Wayne, Ray White, Cindy McCroskey and husband Mike, Paul Ford, Jr. and wife Kathleen and Phillip Ford and Jessica; her “second little girl, Barbara Sue Baird and husband Don of Colmesneil and their children: Benita Citrano, Pamela Loftin, Jeanie Johnson, and Chyrl Pounds; and great-grandchildren, Dylan DeVersa, Elizabeth and Emma Brown, Erin and Emily Ford, Kate and Meghan McCroskey Funeral services were held Friday at the Chester Baptist Church, under the direction of Corrigan Funeral Home, Corrigan, Texas. Burial followed in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Chester. Pallbearers were her nephews, Everett Neal, Preston Barnes, David Neal, Wilburn Neal Tommy Myers and Ray McKnight. Memorial Contributions may be made to Mt. Hope Cemetery Fund, C/O Mary Cryer, Rt. 1 Box 354, Chester, Texas 75936 or to Chester Baptist Church, P.O. Box 37, Chester, TX 75936.

Lavelle Dear
LIVINGSTON — Funeral services for Lavelle Dear, 89, of Livingston were held Friday, Oct. 3, 2008, in the Cochran Funeral Home Chapel in Livingston, with Bro. Bill Jackson officiating. Interment followed in Peebles Cemetery. Pallbearers were Roy Wilkinson, Greg Wilkinson, Ernie Rush, Brent Alexander, John Mullins and Claude Mullins. She is survived by Ola Faye Franklin, daughter; Beth Mullins, daughter; Wales P. “Bubba” Dear Jr. and wife Darla, son and daughter- in-law; Patricia Dear Thompson, daughter; Dan and Bobbie Franklin, extended family; Jimmy Strawn, extended family; John Mullins III, extended family; Mike Bryant, grandson; Lisa Clickner, granddaughter; Michelle Millican, granddaughter; Joel Foster, grandson; John Mullins IV, grandson; Justin Mullins, grandson; Cambria Dear, granddaughter; Trey Dear, grandson, and Dee and Velma Wilkinson, brother and sister-inlaw. She was born March 24, 1919 in Livingston, the daughter of Doyle and Dora Turner Wilkinson, and died Tuesday, Sept. 30, in Memorial Medical Center in Livingston. She is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Wales Dear; her sons, Bobbie Bryant, Jack Bryant and Robert Donald Franklin; granddaughter, Emily Mullins and brothers, Gilbert, Carmen and Carnie Wilkinson. To sign the online guestbook, go to www.cochranfh.com.

Ernestine “Tina” Christian
LIVINGSTON - Ernestine “Tina” Christian died on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008, just a few days shy of her 89th birthday. She was born in Kirvin, in Freestone County, to William I. Goolsby and Ella Teer Goolsby. She attended Kirvin High School. As she grew up in Kirvin, Tina attended Kirvin Baptist Church where she later wed her husband, the late A. B. Christian. The funeral services honoring her life and memory were also held at Kirvin Baptist Church on Saturday morning. She was married to A.B. Christian for 41 years until his early death in 1980. They briefly served as editors of the Streetman, Texas newspaper and then moved to Houston. There, while A.B. worked as a longshoreman at the Ship Channel and then at Hughes Tool, Tina raised their three children and was a homemaker. She and A.B. were active members of First Baptist Church Galena Park and later First Baptist Church Jacinto City, both in Houston. After A.B.’s death, Tina resided in a picturesque spot on Lake Livingston, the site of many family gatherings over the years. Tina was known to friends and family as high-spirited, fun-loving, and strong-willed. These qualities made her a fierce competitor and athlete through the years. She played city league volleyball, earned numerous bowling trophies with a high game of 260+ and a high series of 600+, was an excellent bass fisherman, and loved to play an intense game of 42, Canasta, Skipbo or Bingo. She spent much of her life enjoying and creating beautiful music, a gift and passion she has passed on to children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She sang in the church choir and ladies’ trio, and even sang in a women’s gospel quartet in her high school and young adult years that was featured at the regional Gospel Singing Convention, where the quartet was broadcast on the radio and accompanied by the pianist for the famed Stamps Quartet, Marion Snider. Family members say her tenacity has enabled her to persevere in the face of various trials in her lifetime. She faithfully stood by her husband as he battled cancer, she conquered the new challenges of living alone and independently after his death, and she comforted her dear friend, Bill Chenault, through his struggle with cancer, as well. More recently, she survived the loss of her Livingston home to fire in 2005, and has endured a number of serious health problems. Above all else, the legacy of strong Christian faith and moral convictions that Tina and her husband A.B. have lived and have impressed upon their family stand as a tribute and testimony to her life, according to family members. She is survived by her son, Dennis Christian and wife Radene of Mabank; her daughters, Beverly McLean of Livingston and Delania Potcinske and husband Dan of Houston and five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, who know her as Granny and GiGi. Funeral services were held at Kirvin Baptist Church, Saturday Oct. 4. The service was officiated by her niece’s husband, the Rev. Johnny Layton, and her granddaughter’s husband, the Rev. Dr. Todd Still. Special music was provided by her granddaughter, Shelley Jennings and the other grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given in Tina’s name to the American Heart Association or American Cancer Society.

Bonnie Lou Woods
LIVINGSTON — Funeral services for Bonnie Lou Woods, 74, of Livingston were held, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2008 Cochran Funeral Home in Livingston, with the Rev. Fred Alford officiating. Interment followed in Peebles Cemetery. Pallbearers were Cody Kirkpatrick, Darien McKee, Randy Woods, Allen Woods, Kevin Veal and Darrell Woods. Mrs. Woods died on Monday, Sept. 29, 2008 at her residence in Livingston. She was born July 24, 1934 in Sioux City, Iowa, the daughter of Charles and Josephine Vlasik Blanchard. She is survived by Rod Woods, husband; Tammy Kirkpatrick, daughter; Kevin and Janis Binkley, son and daughter-in-law; Randy Binkley, son; Darlene and Darien McKee, son and daughter-in-law; Allen and Becky Woods, son and daughter-in-law; Rodney and Michelle Woods, son and daughter- in-law; grandchildren, Danny Kirkpatrick, Cody Kirkpatrick, Shae Kirkpatrick, Brandi and Kevin Howton, Misty and Rusty Pollard, Michael and Kelley Harrison, Richard, Randy and Carisa Woods and Curtis and Cody Woods; greatgrandchildren, Anna Kate and Kaden Howton, Dawson and Darick Pollard and Mason and Emma Harrison; and sisters-in-law, Millie Blanchard and Janice Blanchard. She was preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Josephine Vlasik Blanchard; Jared Harrison, grandson; Marian Hine, sister; Verlyn Blanchard, brother; Laurence Blanchard, brother, and Lorraine Murphy, sister.

Lorna Kay Cochran
LIVINGSTON — Lorna Kay Cochran of Onalaska died on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008, at her residence. She was 67 years old. Funeral services were held Friday, Oct. 3, at the First United Methodist Church in Onalaska. Burial followed in West Tempe Cemetery in Blanchard. Mrs. Cochran was born July 25, 1941 in Longmont, Colo. to Maurice and Golda Cochell. She is preceded in death by both her parents; her husband, Donald Cochran on Nov. l, 2001 and her twin brother, Loren Ray Cochell on Jan. 20, 2004. Mrs. Cochran was an active member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the American Legion. She is survived by her sister, Marilyn Bunnell and husband Clarence of Denver, Colo.; her daughters, Jerri Morris and husband Michael of Broomfield, Colo., Jo Ellen Martin of Madison, Tenn., Jacqueline Martin of Dacono, Colo. and Joy Johnson and husband Jim of Onalaska; son, David Martin and wife Lisa of Rawlings, Wyo.; daughter, Sgt. Kelley Archer and husband SFC Todd Archer of Fort Bragg, N.C.; 13 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. Pace Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. To sign the online guestbook, go to www. pacefuneral.com




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