2013 - 2014 

With Some Important Teachers



Sally White Graham

June 11, 1944 - November 29, 2014

Sarah “Sally” White Graham, 70, of Orange passed away November 29, 2014, at her residence. 


She was born June 11, 1944 in Altoona, PA. to the late Shelby White and Betty Creighton,was a lifetime area resident and a member of the Methodist Faith. Sally grew up in Lakeview Addition of Port Arthur and was married to Butch Graham in 1964. She raised three sons: Carl, Robert and Glenn in the Groves.

Sally was trained as an X-ray technician at St. Mary’s Hospital in Port Arthur and worked in the medical field her whole life.

Funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at Melancon’s Funeral Home, 1608 Avenue H, Nederland with Rev. Lance Faulkner officiating. Burial will follow at Oak Bluff Cemetery in Port Neches. Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at Melancon’s Funeral Home.

Sally was preceded in death by her parents, Shelby White and Betty Creighton. She is survived by husband, Charles E. Graham; sons, Carl Graham, Robert Graham and Glenn Graham; grandchildren, Abigail, Anna, Aly, Blake, Fallon, Sean, Ryan, Bailey, Shelby, Collin, Jake and Justin.

Sally dearly loved her family and her career in healthcare. She was also a lover of all animals, birds, dogs, cats, squirrels and fish. She also loved to sew and enjoyed baked goods and all kinds of food.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the humane society for animals or adopt or help an animal of any kind.

To send a memorial to the family of Sarah "Sally" Graham please visit!/TributeWall


From the Monthly Red Hussar Newsletter....


Sally White Graham, TJ class of 1962, passed away on Saturday, November 29, 2014. 


Sally was a longtime devoted RHAA member. She played the bass drum and marched with the corps in the Mardi Gras parades. Sally made and donated several of the quilts that were raffled off for previous RHAA fundraisers. 


Sally loved being a Hussar and you could see that “Hussar Love” in her beautiful smile. 


Sally is survived by her husband, Butch and three sons. 


Rest in peace, Sally. Your Hussar sisters will miss you very much.



Sandra Louise Ferris Ezzell

Sandra Louise Ferris Ezzell, born November 10, 1943, left her earthly home for her place in heaven on November 18, 2014.


Sandra was a native of Port Arthur, Texas and spent many years in Panama City Beach, Florida. She had a lifelong love of the Dallas Cowboys, U.S. Marine Corps, the great outdoors, Elvis Presley, pets, her beloved children and grandchildren as well as the many friends that made Florida her home.  


She is preceded in death by her parents, George Frank Ferris,Sr. and Francis Louise Ferris; sister, Marilyn Hickenbottom; nephews, Tanner Ferris and Sam Hickenbottom.


She is survived by her daughter, Debra Jenkins; son, J.R. Ezzell (Lorna); daughter, Charmaine Albert Trahan (Kevin); grandchildren, Taylor Louise Tolley and Cory Jenkins; brother, George Frank Ferris, Jr.; brother-in-law, Paul Hickenbottom; nephew, Marshall Ferris (Sloan); niece, Georgia Welch (Brian).


Funeral services will be held 10:00 A.M. Saturday, November 22, 2014 at Kent-Forest Lawn Funeral Home with Dr. Gregory E. George officiating.  Interment will follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery.


The family will receive friends from 6:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M.  Friday, November 21, 2014 at the funeral home.   


Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or expressed at   

Arrangements by Kent -Forest Lawn Funeral Home and Cemeteries




Some 20 or so years ago she worked at the old Walmart in Groves.  I used to see her there, she would say Hi.  I did not know her from high school and at the time I didn't know she was a classmate, not sure if she knew who I was.  Too bad there was no Website then.


She was a tall, agile woman who in reality still looked like her high school picture.  So very much wish I had talked to her more as we had a lot in common having been Marines.


Wayne Taylor




Melvin Wayne Hebert


Mr. Wayne "Boo" Hebert, of Mid County, passed away on October 9, 2014 at home at the age of 71, surrounded by his family and friends. Wayne was born on June 21, 1943, to Melvin J. Hebert and Mavalena Foreman Hebert.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 49 years, Gale Soileau Hebert, and his children, Tina Balsamo (husband Ronnie) and Marc Hebert. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Karli Balsamo, Chase Balsamo, and Derek Balsamo. Also surviving him are his sister, Marlayna Bertrand (husband Eric) and brother, Stephen Hebert, as well as his uncles, Horace Hebert, Dennis "Peyank" Hebert and Ed Foreman. Wayne is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins and his dog "Oscar." Preceding him in death were his parents, Melvin J. Hebert and Mavalena Hebert and his brothers, Paul Hebert and David Hebert, and his grandparents, Adolph and Lorena Hebert.

Wayne retired from Darby Gas and Oil Company in 2001 and Texas Transeastern in 2005.

Wayne's family is grateful to River City Hospice, and all the health care providers who compassionately treated his physical needs. Special thanks are also extended to Sandy and Gary Miller for their love and support through the years and during Wayne's life and all of his children's friends and family who lifted Wayne and his family up in prayer during this most sad time.

Wayne's family request memorial contributions be made the Food Bank of Southeast Texas, in Beaumont, Texas.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. at Levingston Funeral Home in Port Neches with Rev. Charles Miller officiating. Burial will follow at Oak Bluff Memorial Park.

Visitation for family and friends will be from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Monday, October 13, 2014 at the funeral home.


The Guestbook can be signed at


Comments:  I had seen Wayne a few times over the years.  He was one of the guys who had one of the fast Dodge Coronets that were ruling the streets of Port Arthur in the 60's.




Francis Geoffrey LeBlanc, 70, of Nederland, Texas passed away peacefully at Lake Arthur Place on Saturday, October 4, 2014.

He was born on January 30, 1944 to Kathleen Adamthwaite LeBlanc and Eufis Francis LeBlanc in Port Arthur, Texas. He has been a lifelong resident of Port Arthur. Geoff received an Associate Degree in Instrumention from Port Arthur College. He retired from Equistar. Geoff was a member of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Port Neches.

Visitation will be on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Clayton Thompson Funeral Home in Groves. Funeral Service will be at 11:00 AM Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Port Neches with Rev. Cliff Rucker, officiating. Burial will follow in Memory Gardens in Nederland under the direction of Clayton Thompson.

He was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Judy LeBlanc of Nederland, Texas, his two daughters, Christy LeBlanc of Port Arthur, Texas, Tamara DeLeon and husband, Jimmy of Spring, Texas, his three grandchildren, Tristan Allison, Aidan Stinnett, Keaton DeLeon, his sister, Phyllis Mathewson and husband, John of Caldwell, Texas, two nephews, Greg Feemster of Nederland, Texas and Darryl Feemster of Port Neches, Texas, his aunt, Gwen McBride of Dallas, Texas.


Messages and condolences can be entered at





Wayne Alan Willson

Mr. Wayne Willson of Jasper passed away Saturday June 14, 2014 at a Beaumont Hospital.


He was born May 14, 1943 in Port Arthur, Texas and had reached the age of 71.


He was a retired Inspector with the Texas Dept of Transportation. He is survived by his wife Bonnie Willson, son Brian White and his wife Johanna, daughter Kelly Wolfford and husband Bert all of Jasper. Grandson Jacob Stuessy and wife Brittany of Clearlake, TX, granddaughters Heather White of Jasper, Kayla Morgan and husband Jacob of Kirbyville, grandson Tyler Wolfford of Jasper, granddaughter Ashley Wolfford of Jasper and great grandson Colt Morgan of Kirbyville. He was preceded in death by his parents Stewart Willson and Kathryn Roberts.


There will be a visitation Monday June 16, 2014 at Forest Oaks Funeral Home from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm and his funeral service will be at 10:00 am Tuesday June 17, 2014 at Hillcrest Baptist Church in Jasper with Rev. David Nugent and Rev Chris Houghton officiating. Burial will follow in West Oaks Cemetery.


Guest book can be signed and condolences can be made at

Comments:  I knew Wayne well in high school.  He was a funny guy who was like a bowl of jelly when he laughed.  He brightened up our days long ago.  I am so glad he attended our Reunions as we had the chance to say hi to him again before his time was up.  ...........Wayne Taylor


Barbara Ann Faucheux

Mrs. Jerry Faucheux nee Barbara Ann Wukasch of Fredericksburg passed away on Wednesday June 4th in the Methodist Hospital at the age of 69 years.

Barbara was born August 8, 1944 in Port Arthur, Texas to Gus and Clair Radusch Wukasch.

Barbara married Jerry Faucheux December 5, 1974 in Houston, Texas.

Barbara was a beloved wife, mother, and grandmother. She was a cancer survivor and showed so much compassion and support to anyone who needed it. She volunteered at church and would always lend a helping hand.

Barbara loved and enjoyed her grandchildren so much and was a very active part of their lives.

Barbara is survived by her husband: Jerry Faucheux of Fredericksburg Son and spouse: Chad and Autumn Faucheux Three grandchildren: Ellie, Parker, and Ava Faucheux Brother and spouse: Bobby and Loyce Wukasch Father-in-law: Malvin Faucheux

The body will lie in state in St. Paul Lutheran Church on Saturday June 7th from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. with Funeral services at 10:30 a.m. with Rev. Gary Mayer officiating.

Graveside services and interment will follow in St. Paul Lutheran Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made in her memory to the American Cancer Society, Zonta Club, or to the charity of one’s choice.

The Family will greet friends on Saturday June 7th from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in St. Paul Lutheran Church.

To leave a message go to.......





Photos I took at TJ Class of 68 Reunion last August

These may be among the last photos of Coach Hill


Former TJ Coach Smitty Hill Dies


May 16, 2014

Gabriel Pruett
The Port Arthur News


PORT ARTHUR — Smitty Hill, former head coach of the Thomas Jefferson Yellow Jackets, died Thursday night after battling with Alzheimer's for years.  He was born in El Paso on June 26, 1930 and was 83.


Hill coached the Yellow Jackets from 1966 through 1971 and was known for bringing in a great passing game to Port Arthur that led to a lot of Yellow Jackets points.


His record at TJ was 54-11-3 with his best season being in 1970. That year the Yellow Jackets started the season 13-0 and had outscored opponents 485-93. TJ eventually lost to Austin Reagan in the Class 4A state semifinals.


Nolton Prince graduated from TJ in 1969 and played two seasons under Hill on the varsity level. Prince went from always starting his first two years in high school to sitting the bench to start his junior year.

“He always told me my time was coming,” Prince said. “He was true to his word.”

Prince played all over the field for the Yellow Jackets. He returned punts and kicks, ran the football and even played on defense in the secondary.

“There were a lot of times I didn't come off the field,” Prince said. “Coach Hill knew though when I came running off the field with my tongue hanging out I needed a break.

“Smitty was just a great guy. He was a mentor to several guys and he was ahead of his time. He could tear a defense apart.”


Through the years Hill became not only a coach to Prince but also a friend. The same can be said for other players like Gary Hammond, Cotton Speyrer, Dennis Howell and Tighe Huber. The former players also took it upon themselves to help out once Hill became ill.

“He did the same for me,” Prince said. “My mother was sick with cancer my senior year and Coach Hill always made sure I had a way to get around from practice and to home because my father spent a lot of time with my mother at the hospital.”

Hill took his coaching skills to San Angelo but when he returned, Prince gained a companion.

“We would go to games together,” Prince said. “Then when he got sick, it was a bad situation. I always tried to shield him when he got Alzheimer's because he was embarrassed. He was so good to everybody. We knew this day was coming but it was still such a shock.”


Ronnie Thompson coached the Yellow Jackets from 1978 through 1981 and also had a four-year stint in the early 2000s. Thompson was filled with nothing but praise for Hill.

“Smitty was one heck of an innovator,” Thompson said. “DI colleges didn't see offenses like the one he ran at TJ. It was just so far advanced. He was just as good a person as he was a coach. He was a fine Christian man. I can't think of one vice that man had.”

Thompson described Hill's offense as a horizontal and vertical attack in an age when a vast majority of teams were happy with three run plays in a row to either pick up a first down or settle for a punt.

“I remember when I was playing in college and got injured I came down to watch them play in the playoffs,” Thompson said. “They had Brazosport in the bi-district and Brazosport had a huge team. They averaged 35 points. Well Brazosport got their 35 put Smitty and the Yellow Jackets put up 62 or 63 that night.”

Thompson called Hill a tribute to every community he spent time in through his years.

“He will definitely be missed,” Thompson added. “People will come from far and away to that funeral. He was a giant of a man. He always had talented players like Cotton and Hammond but it all worked because of Smitty.”


Avid Nederland Bulldogs fan Russ DeVillier watched Hill coach and always admired the way the Yellow Jackets played during his tenure.

“As a Bulldogs fan, I can remember the absolute frenzy of Yellow Jackets fans when Smitty led his team onto the field,” DeVillier said. “And that was just the beginning. Tension was in the air all night trying to slow down Smitty's volatile offense.”

Visitation will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday at Levingston Funeral Home in Groves. A memorial service will take place at the funeral home starting at 6 p.m. Monday.

Hill is survived by his wife, Helen Hill, and his son, David Hill.

Port Arthur News -  Port Arthur, Texas

May 17, 2014

F. L. “Smitty” Hill

Smitty Hill, 83, former football coach at Port Arthur Jefferson, San Angelo Central, Angelo State University, SFA, and New Mexico State, died peacefully Thursday evening.

Born on June 26th, 1930 in El Paso Texas.  Smitty Graduated from Beaumont High in 1948. He attended Lamar Tech and graduated in 1953. While at Lamar, Smitty played numerous positions and lettered five years in football. He still holds the record for a 99 yard fumble recovery and return. While at Lamar he met and married Helen McCutcheon, his wife for over 60 years. After graduating he joined the Navy and attended Officers Candidate School. During the Korean War, he was chief engineering officer on the USS Wiseman.

Smitty began his coaching career at Port Arthur in 1956. He became Head Coach/AD in 1966 and enjoyed 6 successful seasons, before taking the same position at San Angelo Central in 1972. His Bobcat teams were very successful, winning 2 district titles in the legendary “Little SWC” and beating Odessa Permian 3 years in a row. In 1979 Coach Hill was Quarterback Coach for Angelo State’s National Semi-Finalist Team. Smitty became a successful Real Estate Agent in San Angelo for a couple of years. In 1981 Smitty went with head coach Jim Hess, where they enjoyed 8 successful seasons. In 1990 he went with Hess to New Mexico State as Assistant Head Coach/Recruiting Coordinator. Prior to 1990 NMSU had the longest losing streak in NCAA Division I. In two years they had a winning season.

Smitty was a member of the AFCA and THSCA, in which he held several positions including coaching the all-star team, and chairman of the all-star selection committee. Smitty is a member of the Lamar Cardinal Hall of Honor, Southeast Texas Coaches Association Hall of Honor and the Yellow Jacket Alumni Association Hall of Honor. In 1994 Smitty was Head Coach of the Texas Team in the Shriner’s California-Texas All-Star game. He was a member and deacon at First Baptist Church in Port Arthur. Smitty retired and moved back to Port Arthur in 1992. He spent the next 20 years enjoying retirement by travelling, working at the church, and spending time with family and friends.

Smitty is survived by his wife, Helen Hill of Port Arthur, son, David Hill of Port Arthur, and granddaughter Lacy Parker, and husband Eddy of Mabank, Texas. He is also survived by his sisters, Sister Lou Ann Hill of Houston, Barbara Trahan and husband, Clyde of LaMarque and sister in-law June Hill of Warren. Smitty also leaves three brothers, Vernon and wife, Severa of Carencro, LA., Richard and wife, Kim of Lumberton and Glen and wife, Kathi of Katy. He also leaves numerous nieces and nephews.

Smitty was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Arthur and Homer along with his sister Patsy Matthews.

Visitation will be at Levingston Funeral Home in Groves, Texas on Monday, May 19, 2014 from 4-6 P.M. A memorial service will follow at 6:00 P.M.

In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to the charity of your choice.


You can View/Sign the Guestbook at ......



John R. Lusk

December 24, 1943 – February 15, 2014

John R. Lusk, a long-time attorney, of Las Vegas, passed away Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, at Valley Hospital.


John was born Dec. 24, 1943, in Port Arthur, Texas, the son of Leon and Lewella Lusk. He graduated from DePauw University with a BA and went on to earn his Juris Doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin, and LLM from NYU.


John's speciality was in taxation and litigation. John is survived by his loving partner, Trudy Duncan; sister, Jean (Frank) Forsythe of Westerville, Ohio; and nieces, Wendy VanDyk of San Diego, and Tracy Garcia of Westerville; and nephew, Greg Forsythe of Cleveland Heights, Ohio; Also surviving are Trudy's sons, Barry Duncan of Reno, and Scott (Jennifer) Duncan of Las Vegas, and their daughter, Chloe.


There was a celebration of John's life at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at Desert Spring United Methodist Church, with Pastor Gerber officiating. Burial is pending in the columbarium at Alamo Heights Methodist Church, San Antonio, where his parents are inurned.


John will be long-remembered by family and friends for his dedication, generosity, strong work ethic and extraordinary wit and sense of humor. In lieu of flowers, donations in John's name may be made to the charity of your choice.



I was able to leave a message in the Guest Book at .....................



It saddens me  to report that John Lusk, a resident of Las Vegas, died of complications following surgery on February 15, 2014.  Ray Orrill was in Las Vegas when he received a call from John's sister and was able to attend John's memorial service on February 22.


Although I hadn't seen or heard from John in many years, I always considered him a good friend.


Kay Dartez Orrill





Deanie "Nana" Elam Mackan

August 26, 1944 - January 12, 2014

Deanie “Nana” Mackan, 69, of China, died Sunday, January 12, 2014, at Harbor Hospice, Beaumont. She was born on August 26, 1944, in Orange, to Geraldine Sanford Elam and Arnold H. Elam, and had been a longtime resident of the area.


Deanie had many talents such as, baking, crafting, painting, and even cutting hair, just to name a few. Her grandchildren and great-grandchild were always her top priority. You could feel the love she felt for her family as soon as you entered her home. She was the true definition of southern hospitality. Her legacy will continue to live on, and heaven definitely just gained one of the “craftiest” angels.


Deanie is survived by her husband of forty-nine years, Richard B. Mackan, Jr.; daughter, Dana Trahan and her husband, Charles; and son, Brandon Mackan and his wife, Ashley, all of China; grandchildren, Blake Trahan and his wife, Olivia, of Kemah; Lindsey Wright and her husband, Matt, of China; Maddy Mackan and Canton Mackan, both of China; and great-grandchild, Luke Trahan of Kemah.


She is preceded in death by her parents; brother, Tommy Elam; and sister, Judy Piggott.


A gathering of Mrs. Mackan’s family and friends will begin at 12:30 p.m., with her funeral service to follow at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 15, 2014, at Broussard’s, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont. Interment will follow at China Cemetery, China.


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tennessee 38105. 


Sign the Guestbook ......



E. Darlene Brown, 69, of Bridge City, passed away Tuesday, October 1, 2013, at St. Luke’s Hospital in Houston, surrounded by her loving family.

Funeral Services will be 10:00 a.m. Saturday, October 5, 2013, at Claybar Funeral Home Chapel in Bridge City. Officiating will be Reverend E. Dale Lee, pastor of Cowboy Church of Orange County. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens near Bridge City.

Serving as Pallbearers will be Clint Lewis, Ryan Gaspard, Tyler Smith, Tony Brown, Mark Smith and David Robertson. Honorary Pallbearers will be Gregory Lewis and Scott Lewis.

Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Friday, at the funeral home in Bridge City.

Born in Port Arthur on March 23, 1944, Darlene was the daughter of Lyman C. and Luella Mae (Kauffman) Foster. She was an administrative assistant at Chevron in Orange, Lorena Oates Elementary in West Orange and Lamar University in Orange.

Preceded in death by her parents, Darlene is survived by her husband, George W. Brown of Bridge City; daughter, Kimberly A. Dodson of Vidor; son and daughter-in-law, Vance E. and Teresa Comeaux of Houston; step-daughters and sons-in-law, Pam and David Robertson of Bridge City and Kristi and Mark Smith of Houston; step-son and daughter-in-law, Tony and Beth Brown of Orange; nine grandchildren; and sister and brother-in-law, Dianne G. and Charles Lewis of Port Arthur.

Can view obituary and sign guestbook at .....!/Obituary



Earline Guillory Touchet


March 2, 1944 - August 25, 2013


Earline Guillory Touchet, 69, of Nederland, died August 25, 2013, at her residence.  She was born March 2, 1944, in New Orleans, Louisiana, and was raised in Port Arthur.  In 1977, she moved to Nederland.


She is survived by three sons, James Touchet and his wife, Sindi, of Beaumont; John Touchet of Nederland; and Michael Touchet of Beaumont; daughter, Cammie Maier and her husband, Jason, of Nederland; five grandchildren, Christian Jordan and her husband, Jason, of Nederland; Joseph Maier (U. S. Army); Chelsea Maier and Jeremy Maier, both of Nederland; and Cheyenne Touchet of Lumberton; five great-grandchildren, Blaiden and Jaxon Jordan, Brielle Smith, Aniyah and Nikolai Moore; four step-grandchildren, James White V, Jessica White, Jesus Cruz and Aaron Mouton; foster son, Mark Mason; foster daughters, Shirl Jackson, Rene White, Claire Hammer, Sarina Miekelson, Dara Weatherly and Lynette Mason; fourteen foster grandchildren; Goddaughter, Sharon Pipes; three brothers-in-law, P. E. “Sonny” Pipes, Craig and Troy Touchet; eight nieces and nephews; and nineteen great-nieces and nephews.  Earline was preceded in death by her husband, Frank J. Touchet; sister, Geraldine “Gerry” Pipes; two nieces; and a nephew.


Cremation arrangements are being handled under the direction of Broussard’s, 505  North 12th Street, Nederland.


Special thanks to Marie Thibodeaux, Debra Gregory and Wanda Phelps, for a lifetime of friendship.


To view obituary and sign the guestbook-----



May 29, 2013

Frances Hons Devall - Teacher

PORT ARTHUR —    Mrs. Frances Hons Devall, 97, of Port Arthur, Texas, died Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at Calder Woods in Beaumont, Texas.

Frances was born on October 30, 1915 in Sabinal, Texas to John Leigh Hons and Lola McGehee Hons.

She was a graduate of Southwest Texas State University, with a Master’s Degree in English. In 1945, she and her husband, Lonnie Devall, moved to Port Arthur. Both were involved in teaching and school administration. She taught English and served as Director of the Department, being associated with the Port Arthur Independent School District for over thirty-five years.

Frances was an active member of the United Methodist Temple and a member of the Cullen Hamilton Bible Class. She was also the first woman to serve on the church Administrative Board.

Funeral services will be at 3:00 p.m., Friday, May 31, 2013 at The United Methodist Temple under the direction of Levingston Funeral Home in Groves. Burial will follow in Greenlawn Memorial Park.

A visitation for family and friends will be Friday from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. at the church.

Serving as pallbearers will be Kent Koerth, Clay Koerth, Bernie Brown and Neil Burrell. Honorary pallbearers are Joel Levingston, Ronald Amuny, and Mark Blanton.

Frances is survived by her son, John Marshall Devall and wife, Nadine Sloan Devall of Belton, Texas, and two grandchildren, Madeleine Leigh Devall and Zachary Sloan Devall, also of Belton, Texas.

Many thanks to her longtime provider and friend Nancy Fontenot.  Also thank you to Buckner Hospice nurses, Wendy and Sheri and to her other providers Claudette, Camellia, Tamekia and Marilyn.

Friends wishing to make memorial contributions may send them to: The Methodist Temple, 4101 Hwy 73, Port Arthur, TX. 77642.


Dear Class of "62,

I am so sorry to hear of Mrs. Devall's passing.  The English language has lost a giant.

For those of you who may not recall her, she was, when all of us were young, a very no-nonsense English teacher at Woodrow Wilson Junior High.  I had her for ninth grade English.  She was the single best teacher I ever had in my life.  She was the one who taught me, finally, how to write.  I give her full credit for my later ability to earn my living as a lawyer for thirty-five years in Houston.  Every time I searched for just the right word in a brief, every time I questioned the syntax of a sentence, every time I struck out an entire paragraph and started over, I paid homage to Frances Devall.  She wanted it just right and insisted that nothing else would do.  She came from an age when perfectionism was not an embarrassment, but a goal.  I shall be forever in her debt.

My most abiding recollection was her incredible, perfect, diction and enunciation.  She did, she really did, pronounce every single syllable and every single letter of every single word.  Her enunciation was so perfect that you almost could see the words hanging above her head, like the words in a balloon over the head of a cartoon character.  The court reporter always could follow me, no matter how fast I spoke, because I always tried to sound out every letter, just like Mrs Devall.

Frances Devall, and her husband Lonnie (whom many of you may remember as assistant principal at Thomas Jefferson), were my friends, confidants and advisors though high school, until I went off to college.  I owe them much from that anxious, adolescent time.  In later years,  I always tried to look her up when I was back in Pt. Arthur, but that wasn't often.  The last time I saw her was several years ago.  The years had not dimmed her intelligence or the love of life she exuded.

Mary and I are leaving tomorrow for an overseas trip, so I can't make the funeral.  I hope that one of you who is there will touch the coffin and tell her that Ron Robins offers a grateful and heart-felt "Thank You." 

Ron Robins

Class of 62


I had her for English in the 9th Grade, remember her well.  She was a tall, stately lady, very stern.  But I learned a great deal from her, she made me a better English student.


Wayne Taylor



Carolyn "Kay" Ingo Tomplait

December 24, 1943 - May 26, 2013

Kay Tomplait, 69, of Nederland, died Sunday, May 26, 2013, at Sabine County Hospital, Hemphill. She was born December 24, 1943, in Port Arthur to Johnie Johnson and Felix Ingo, and had been a lifelong resident of the area. Kay was employed with Bruce’s Market Basket, Groves for over twenty years, before retiring from the pharmacy department.  She was a member of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, Nederland.


Kay is survived by her husband of fifty years, James Tomplait, Sr. of Nederland; son, Jerry Tomplait and his wife, Dona, of Fresno, Texas; daughters, Susan Yarbrough of Groves, Misty Ledoux and her husband, Jeremy, and Terri Eldridge and her husband, Doug, all of Nederland; and sisters, Donna Gonzales of Port Arthur and Sue Simon and her husband, Mike, of Groves. She was also survived by her thirteen grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren, who knew her has “MawMaw” and “Granny”; and numerous other nieces, nephews and family members.


Kay is preceded in death by her parents; and son, James “Jimmy” Tomplait, Jr.


A Rosary will be recited at 6:00 p.m., with a gathering of family and friends to follow, Thursday, May 30, 2013, at Broussard’s, 505 North 12th Street, Nederland. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m., Friday, May 31, 2013, at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, 211 Hardy Avenue, Nederland.


A private family committal will be held at Broussard’s Crematorium, Beaumont.


Memorial contributions may be made to St. Charles, Borromeo Catholic Church, 211 Hardy Avenue, Nederland, Texas 77627.





March 28, 2013

Mary Bess Burch

(Former Teacher at Tyrrell)

The Port Arthur News

A funeral service for Mary Bess Burch, 83, of Tyler will be held on Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at the Stewart Family Funeral Home with Dr. Steve Simmons officiating.  

Visitation will be held preceding the service at 1:00 p.m. at the funeral home.  Following the service, burial will take place at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Tyler under the direction of Stewart Family Funeral Home.

Mrs. Burch went to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on March 25, 2013 at the Hospice of East Texas in Tyler.

Mary Bess was born on July 20, 1929 in Rusk, Texas to Edwin D. and Alma Lewis Guinn.  She grew up in Rusk, graduating from Rusk High School in 1946.  

She then attended the University of Texas at Austin where she was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority.  

After graduating from the University of Texas in 1950, she went to Port Arthur, Texas, to teach school.  There she met Charles Burch, and they were married on June 16, 1951.  They lived in Port Arthur, Texas, Arlington Heights, Illinois, and Beaumont, Texas, before retiring to Tyler in 1991.

Being a committed Christian, Mary Bess served as a Group Leader in Bible Study Fellowship for many years.  After moving to Tyler, she joined Fifth Street Presbyterian Church.  She was also a member of The Tyler Garden Club for many years.

Pallbearers will be Brian Burch, Leo Hebert, Gary Hopkins, Lynn Moore, Shannon Vale and Shawn Bryant.

She is survived by her husband of over 61 years, Charles O. Burch of Tyler; daughter, Beverly Burch of Arlington, Texas; son, William Guinn Burch and wife, Donna, of Tulsa, Oklahoma; two grandchildren, Brian and Julie Burch, also of Tulsa; her sister, Beverly Kanewske and husband, Joe, of Tyler; her brother, Robert Guinn and wife, Mary, of Lancaster, Texas; and her brother-in-law, Ralph Burch and wife, Dorothy, of Port Arthur, Texas.