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Groveton News - Obituaries
For the Week of January 27, 2008 - February 3, 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company



BESSIE MAE KEE
    Miss Bessie Mae Kee walked into the Garden and met her Savior on Sunday afternoon, January 20, 2008. She was one hundred three years and four days old.
    Miss Kee was born in Keltys, a sawmill town of East Texas on January 16, 1905 to Mary Jane Wheat Kee and James Taylor Kee. She was raised in Nogalus Prairie, Texas on a farm with her five siblings and a large extended family. She graduated from Groveton High School earning her high school certificate and began teaching in small country schools some-times riding a horse to school from home, other times boarding with families in the community. By teaching during the winter term and attending Sam Houston State Teachers College during the summer term, she graduated in 1934 and began to teach in earnest in small communities around East Texas. She earned a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Texas at Austin in 1943.
    She began a long and dedicated career at Alvin High School in Alvin, Texas in 1942. Always a lover of words and literature, Miss Bess taught her students how to think and write and an appreciation of English and American Literature. Her high standards and expectations for her students were legend and they loved her. She retired from active teaching in 1971.
   She had a remarkable memory and amazed her family with her recollections of her ‘former students’. Her students returned the affection to her and she was the centerpiece of many class reunions. Still tutoring high school students at 100, Miss Kee set a high standard for her profession. In a crowning moment of a long and dedicated career, the Alvin Independent School District named the main building at the high school in her honor in 1995.
   In 2005 Miss Kee was named as Outstanding Alumna of the School of Education at Sam Houston University.
   Miss Kee was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, first initiated by Dr. Annie Webb Blanton, the founder of the organization, in Palestine, Tx in1934, later joining the Brazoria County Chapter. She served as President of the Alvin Delta Delta Chapter from 1976 through 1978. She was a charter member of the American Association of University Women Alvin Branch, President 1955 - 57, and a founder of the Alvin Retired Teachers Assoc-iation.
   Church attendance was always of utmost importance to Miss Kee. She was a founding member of South Park Baptist Church where she taught Sunday school and served as Director of the Sixth Grade Sunday School Class for twenty-five years. She also sang in the choir and was most recently a member of the Keenagers and the Fidelis Sunday School Class.
    She was Aunt Bess to sixteen adoring nieces and nephews. She encouraged us, cared for us, and corrected our English. She could peel a whole apple without breaking the skin and she could bait a fish hook without sticking her finger. She attended our graduations, our weddings, and kept pictures of all of our babies on her wall. For all of her adult life she lived independently taking care of her own business. Her life is an example to us all.
    She was predeceased by her parents James Taylor Kee and Mary Jane Wheat Kee, her brothers Jim Wheat Kee, Morris Kee, and Vernon Kee and her sister, Dorris Kee McClain. She is survived by her beloved youngest brother Leland Kee of Angleton and her nieces and nephews James McClain of Livingston, Sam Kee, Frances Kee Arreguin, Phil Kee, Marcy Kee Irwin, and Paula Kee Robinson of Houston, Carl Kee of Elgin, Janice Kee Yiengst of Dripping Springs, David Kee and Barry Kee of Austin, Susan Kee Endendyk of Dallas and Nancy Kee Patterson of Liverpool, in addition to a host of friends and former students around the state and the nation.
   Burial was at Bennett Cemetery, Groveton, Texas, Friday, January 25 at 1 pm, Reverend Bruce Peterson officiating. A Memorial Cele-bration of the life of Bessie Mae Kee was held at South Park Baptist Church at 2 pm on Saturday, January 26, 2008. Honorary Pallbearers will be her nephews.
    The Family requests that memorials be made to the Bessie Mae Kee Scholarship Fund in care of Alvin ISD Education Foundation, P.O. Box 2342, Alvin, TX 77512-2342 or the Library at South Park Baptist Church, 1718 S. John-son Drive, Alvin, TX 77511.

JAY SCOTT HENRY
   A private memorial service for Jay Scott Henry, 59, was held for close friends and family.
   Mr. Henry was born July 24, 1948 in Chicago, IL to Joe and Polly Henry of Huntsville, Texas and passed away on Thursday January 24, 2008 in Trinity, Texas.  He was preceded in death by his parents.
   Survivors include his wife of 23 years Kay Henry; son Scott Henry and wife Shannon of McKinney, Texas; grand-children Adison, Ryan, and Maya Henry; son Jeremy Henry and wife Sarah of St. Paul, Texas;   grandson Joshua Henry; son Jacob Chandler and wife Lucrecia of Huntsville, Texas; brothers Jody Henry of Huntsville, Texas and Todd Henry of Tyler, Texas; 3 horses; 4 dogs; and 5 cats.
   He was employed by Lone Star Community College as a truck-driving instructor and he worked actively with the Special Olympics of Texas.
   He was a loyal, kind, and generous man whose joy and zeal for life was contagious. He was well loved and will be missed by his many friends, family, and extended family.
    In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Special Olympics of Texas on his behalf. Donations can be arranged by contacting Mary Parris at 800-876-5646 (ext. 2924) or sent to: Special Olympics Texas State Headquarters, 7715 Chevy Chase Dr. Suite 120, Austin, TX 78752.
Waller Thornton Funeral Home

NANCY MATTHEWS
07/28/29  -  01/24/08  
   Nancy Matthews, 78 died Thursday, January 24, 2008 at Lafayette General in Lafayette, La.
    She served as an EMS employee in Groveton and loved to read and volunteer at the Groveton Library.
   Survivors include her husband, Tommy Matthews, Sr. of Groveton, Texas; one son Tommy Matthew, Jr. and his wife Carolyn of Morgan City, LA./Groveton; her daughter Conni Welch and her husband Dr. Mark Welch of Lafayette, LA.; one brother Dr. Harry Whipp of Fort Worth, Texas; two grandchildren, Jennie Welch Owens and Carley Welch Lange; and two great grandchildren.
   She was preceded in death by her parents; Harry and Mary Catherine Hill Whipp and one sister Mary Sue Hubbard.
   In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Association, 312 Guilbeau Rd., Lafayette, LA.  70506

 

 


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