Groveton News - Obituaries
For the Week of October 12, 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company

Weldon Bailey “Jim” Kethan and his wife Betty Marion Kethan of Deer Park, Texas died Wednesday, September 24, 2008 and Monday September 29, 2008, respectively. Just as they went through 62 and ½ years of life, we are certain  Jim and Betty entered eternity hand in hand. Jim was born July 4, 1920 in Thrall, Texas to Edward and Wylie Susannah Kethan. Betty was born December 15, 1921 to Hyrle and Bertha Humphries in Gaffney, South Carolina.  While attending college at Sam Houston State University, Jim volunteered for service in the United State Marine Corp. in 1942. After completing Officer’s Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia, Jim served with distinction in the Pacific Theater as a 2nd Lt. In the 6th Division of the Corp. until the end of World War II. Wounded at Okinawa, he was sent to the hospital at Camp Wallace where he met the love of his life, Betty, who had decided early on to serve her country by becoming an ensign navy nurse. After a whirlwind romance, the two married, and after  Jim completed his college degree, they moved to Deer Park, Texas. Once there, Jim began coaching high school athletics while Betty devoted her life to Jim and raising their five children as well as to the service of he community as a private duty nurse. She was happiest giving to others through  her culinary skills, her imaginative games she created for her grandchildren, or just generally making life better for all those around her. Jim was happiest at Betty’s side with their family, in his garden or woodworking shop, and as a coach on the football and baseball fields. As a coach, Jim led many teams to regional and state championships in both football and baseball. In 1967 Jim became Athletic Director for Deer Park ISD. In 1990 Jim was inducted into the Texas Athletics Directors Hall of Honor.
Jim graduated from Groveton High School in 1939 and was inducted into the Groveton Ex-Students Association Hall of Fame in 1988.
Jim and Betty are survived by their five children Betsy Reed and husband Cecil of Marietta, Georgia; James Donald “Jimbo” Kethan and wife Wendy of Woodville, Texas; Joe Kethan and wife Toni of San Antonio, Texas; Dena Oden and husband Carl of The Woodlands, Texas; and Elizabeth Gilliam-Wright and husband Scott of Arlington, Texas, as well as 11 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.
Funeral services were held Thursday, October 2, 2008 at 1:00pm at Deer Park United  Methodist Church. Interment followed in Grandview Ceme-tery.
Deer Park Funeral Home

Altha Mae Johnston was born on March 12, 1920 in Huntsville, Texas to Hubert Redding Barrett and Maggie Lou Alphin Barrett.  On July 25, 1946, she married Burl Thomas Johnston in Houston, Texas.  She was a longtime resident of Galena Park, Texas and Groveton, Texas, where she was a member of First Baptist Church, Groveton.  She has lived in the Katy area since 2003.
Altha Mae Johnston passed away on Monday, October 6, 2008 in Katy, Texas at the age of 88 years.
She was preceded in death by her husband of over 60 years, Burl Thomas Johnston on February 23, 2007.
She is survived by her children, Mike and Donna Johnston of Katy and Steve and Judy Johnston of Houston; her grandchildren, Russ and Cynthia Johnston of Katy, Paul Johnston of Katy, Staci Anderson of Houston, Kyle Johnston of Houston, and Deetra and Chad Hammett of Lumberton; five great grandchildren; and her brother, Roy Barrett of Danville, Virginia.
Funeral services were held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at the Schmidt Funeral Home Chapel, in Katy, with Rev. Lewis Jones officiating.  A graveside service was held at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at the Magnolia Cemetery, in Beaumont, Texas, with Rev. Lewis Jones officiating.
Those wishing to make memorial gifts may do so to the First Baptist Church of Groveton, P.O. Box 306, Groveton, Texas 75845.
Schmidt Funeral Home




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