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East Texas News - Obituaries
Groveton News - June 28, 2009 - July 5, 2009

OSCAR LEE EASTEPP
   Funeral services for Oscar Lee Eastepp were held Thursday July 2, 2009 at 9:00am at the First Baptist Church in Groveton with Bro. Lewis Jones officiating. Interment followed in East Prairie Cemetery.
  Oscar Lee Eastepp was the fourth son of Hiram Daniel and Eula Stewart Eastepp, born December 30, 1921 in Logan, New Mexico. His great-great grandfather Joseph Estep came to Texas around 1820 with his son Daniel Albert Estep, and were counted in the Mexican census of 1830. Daniel Albert Estep joined a small army raised by one of the signors of the Texas Declaration of Indepen-dence to go join General Sam Houston, arriving too late to join the actual Battle of San Jacinto, but assisted in rounding up the fleeing army of General Santa Anna. Daniel Estep later served in the Army of The Republic of Texas and, after Texas became a state, in the cavalry of the Army of the United States during the Mexican-American War of 1846. Along the way, the spelling of the family name changed to the current form. His grandfather Daniel Albert Eastepp was a Trinity County commissioner and his name is carved on the courthouse in Groveton that is currently undergoing renovation. Hiram Eastepp and three of his brothers moved to New Mexico and homesteaded land near Logan, New Mexico, where Oscar was born. They later moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas before finally moving back to Pennington, Texas.
    Oscar worked in San Diego during the first part of World War II, building aircraft. Then he joined the Army Air Corps and was stationed at Ellington Field near Houston. It was there that he met his wife, Harriet McDuffie Eastepp of Iola, Texas. During the war, he was hit by an auto in a non-duty accident that badly injured his leg, causing him to spend most of his time during the war in various hospitals. After the war, he and Harriett married on April 6, 1946, and began farming in Pennington, Texas. They had three children born at Pennington-Ronnie in 1947, Vernon in 1948, and Janice in 1949. In the early 1950’s they moved their family to San Angelo in West Texas where Oscar attended a building trades school on the G I Bill. Their daughter Barbara was born in San Angelo. During the severe drought of 1953, they moved back to Pennington and lived for a while in the log home where his grandparents had lived. They then moved to Houston where Oscar worked as a carpenter, building homes.  Their last child, daughter Rosaline Eastepp Takes was born in Pasadena, Texas in 1955. After that they moved to Pennington, where they resided until they became residents of the Stoneleigh Estates Nursing Home in Lufkin, Texas, where he died on Sunday June 28, 2009.
  Oscar was self-employed as a homebuilder for many years. Notably, he built homes for Deal Craven, Winfred Hathorn, T. P. Walton, Laveda and McAdoo Tullos, Lanier Gibson, Mary Nelms, Doug Tipton, Newt Hambrick and others in addition to his own home at Pennington. After 1967, he taught building trades at Groveton, Crockett, and West Hardin High Schools, retiring from West Hardin near Saratoga. His building trade students won many state-wide competitions and were represented in national competitions as well.
   He was an active part of the community, serving as deacon in the Baptist Church and on the Groveton School Board during the 1960’s. His was an “Air Force family’ since both he and his wife Harriett served during WWII in the Air Corps, son Ronnie served 20 years, including a tour in Vietnam and tours in Japan and England, daughter Barbara served as an air traffic controller during the Vietnam War era, daughter Janice served as a weather observer during the end of the Vietnam War era, and daughter in law Joyce, Ronnie’s wife, served during the same time in Japan and later in England and still is employed by the Department of Defense.
  His parents Hiram Daniel and Eula Stewart Eastepp; and brothers Carl Eastepp, Carroll Eastepp, Lloyd Eastepp, and Hoyt Eastepp precede Mr. Eastepp in death.
   Survivors include his wife of 63 years Harriett Louise McDuffie Eastepp; sons and daughters in law Ronnie an Joyce Eastepp of Pensacola, Florida and Vernon and Peggy Eastepp of Avery, Texas; daughters and sons in law Janice and Chris Burkholder of The Woodlands, Texas, Barbara Huitt of Kona, Hawaii, and Rosaline and Steve Takes of Ft. Worth, Texas; brothers and sisters in law Howard and Syble Eastepp, Mac and Peggy Eastepp, Norman and Zelda Eastepp all of Pennington, Texas, Jessie Lee Eastepp of Lufkin, Texas; Faye Eastepp of
Porter, Texas; and Annice Eastepp of Livingston, Texas; sister Mae Reynolds of Possum Walk, Texas; six grandchildren and spouses Derek Eastepp and Nancy Teague of Spring, Texas, Carla and Chad Ellison of Buna, Texas, Elliott and Deanna Eastepp of Borger, Texas, Sandra Huitt of Seattle, Washington, Anna and Fernando Garcia of Spring, Texas, and Emily Burkholder of Lubbock, Texas; twelve great-grandchildren; and numerous nephews, nieces, and cousins.
Groveton Funeral Home

FRANCIS EUGENE “GENE” BARRETT
   A Memorial service for Francis Eugene “Gene” Barrett was held Wednesday June 24, 2009 at 11:00am at Burning Hope Baptist Church with Rev. Jim Parrish officiating.
   Gene was born in Memphis, Tenn. on May 27, 1928 David Walter and Dovie Gladys Barrett and passed away after a courageous battle with cancer Saturday June 6, 2009 in Tyler, TX. 
   Gene served his country in the US Army during WWII. He is a lifetime member of VFW Post 6899 and he would call Bingo occasionally on Thursday and Friday nights.  Gene attended school to study how to become a smog detector. He was a self-employed auto mechanic and he had a gift to fix and repair most any item that would need to be repaired.
   His brothers David Walter, Jr., Paul Clifton, Billy Jay and Bobby Lee Barrett precede Gene in death.
   Survivors include his daughters Patty Carter and husband Doodle, Sue Chester-field; five grandchildren; one great-grandchild; sister Patricia Ruth “Pat” Bennett; and numerous other relatives and friends.
Waller-Thornton Funeral Home



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