Shelby County News

Week Ending May 12, 2011

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The Shelby County Historical Society will hold its monthly meeting at 6:30 P.M. on May 17, 2011 at the Shelby County Museum.  The guest speaker this month will be Tem Morrison.  He will speak on the Caddo Indians and will demonstrate how the Indians made arrowheads from flint rock.  Everyone is invited.



Benna Dell Russell, age 92, passed away May 5, 2011 in a Lufkin hospital. She was born February 18, 1919 in Bronson, Texas to Matthew Hamilton (Hamp Stephens) and Dovie Smith Stephens. Interment will be at the I.O.O.F. Cemetery. She is survived by four children and their spouses: Charles Ray and Suzanne Russell, Lynda and Bob Melton, Carlyn and Duncan Garner, all of Lufkin, and Deborah and Alan Webb of Vidor. She is also survived by her ten grandchildren and spouses: Craig and Melissa Russell of Austin; Robin Melton Allen, and Bob Melton, Jr. and Mona of Lufkin; Carl Russell, Houston; Cathy and Mark Kettering of Diboll; Angela and Ismael Monroig, Pembroke Pines, Fla.; Tamara and Phillip Adamo, Cannonsburg, Penn.; AIC Alan David Webb, Moody AFB, Ga.; Tammy and David Miller and Amy and Allen Rush, all of Lufkin. She also had 21 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild. She is also survived by her sisters: LaFaye Perkins, Sue Farris, and Maxine Malnar and brother-in-law, Harold, all of Lufkin. Also brother and sister-in-law, Steve and Margie Stephens and sister-in-law Murel Thomason, all of Center.
Memories and condolences may be added at
Carroway Funeral Home, Lufkin, directors.

Betty Jean Merrill, 63, of Shelbyville formerly of Huxley and Louisiana, passed away Monday, May 9, 2011 at her residence. She was born February 18, 1948 in Vivian, LA to James Richard Graves and Jonnie Ruth (Moore) Graves. She is preceded in death by her Husband, Billy Merrill, Father, James Richard Graves and Sister, Rita Schmidt. She is survived by: Mother: Jonnie Graves of Shelbyville, Children: Tonya J. Black & husband, Doug of Derry, NH, James A. Merrill & wife, Tanya of Atlanta, TX, Larry P. Merrill of Tulsa, OK, Grandchildren: Robert J. Black of Derry, NH, Kyle C. Black of Derry, NH, Tiffanie M. Merrill of Shreveport, LA, Jon R. Merrill of Shreveport, LA, Sister:
Sandra Garren & husband, Johnny of Blanchard, LA., Two great grandchildren.
You may sign the online registry book at
Services are under the direction of Mangum Funeral Home Center, Texas

Harry J. Surginer, 79, of Tenaha, passed away Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at Willis Knighton North in Shreveport, LA. Burial will follow at Old Center Cemetery. He was born April 10, 1932 in Longview to Gilliam Henry Surginer and Kate “Bea” (Soape) Hoard. He was retired from the US Airforce. He is preceded in death by his Parents, Kate “Bea” Soape and Gilliam Surginer and Brother, J.P. Surginer. He is survived by:  Wife: Betty Surginer of Tenaha, Children: Linda Spencer of Springdale, Ark, Gwen Maxwell of Shreveport, LA, Patty Harantcavage of Diana, TX, Kathy Bounds of Carthage, Roy Surginer of Tenaha, Grandchildren: Brandy Beasley of Carthage, Amber Isbell of Carthage, Randall Behrens of Shreveport, LA, Ryan Bailey of Longview, Brandon Bounds of Carthage, Alexia Ford of Henderson, Gregg Spencer, Jr. of Springdale, Ark, Haley Landtroop of Carthage, Garrett Spencer of Springdale, Ark,
10 Great Grandchildren.
You may sign the online registry book at
Services are under the direction of Mangum Funeral Home Center, Texas.

Brenda “B.” Kay Fournier, 57, passed away Sunday, May 1, 2011 in Pensacola, Florida. She was born in Meridian, Mississippi on July 6, 1953. She was preceded in death by her mother, Ora Lee Mott and her father, Lonnie James Mott. Survivors include her husband, Captain Dean-o Fournier USN (Ret.) and children, Dean James Fournier and Emmalee Rebecca Fournier; her sister, Ada Rebecca Arrigo and many loved nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.
HARPER-MORRIS MEMORIAL CHAPEL is in charge of Arrangements.
Alan Charles Williams, age 59, of Carthage, TX, passed away on May 8, 2011 at his home in Carthage. He was buried in New Hope Cemetery in Milam, TX. He was born on Feb. 28, 1952 in Center, TX to A C Williams and Jimmie Opal Williams. Mr. Williams is survived by his wife, Marlene Williams of Carthage; two step-daughters, Heather Allen and husband George of the Woods Community and Allison Charles of Carthage; two step-sons, Warren Noble and wife Angela of Little Rock, AR and Colin Noble and wife Shay of Marshall; six step-grandchildren, Devoni Allen, Rebecca Galloway, Ben, Nikki, Connor, and Cannon Noble; one step-great-grandchild, Elizabeth Galloway; two brothers, Wayne Williams and wife Frances of Lumberton and Martin Williams and wife Debbie of Brazoria.
A guestbook may be signed online at

John Ray Cooks, Sr, 64 of Tenaha passed away April 28, 2011. Interment was in Pleasant Grove Cemetery, Center, Texas. He was born to James Cooks and Evelyn Ford in Gloster, LA. He is survived by his wife, Lula May Cooks, Son, Johnny Ray Cooks, Daughters: Jarhonda Cooks, Isharicka Roland, Brothers: C.L. Cooks, Willie T. Cooks, Sister, Pearlie B. Boykin Cooks, Eight Grandchildren. He is preceded in death by Son, John Ray Cooks, Jr.; brothers, Harvey Lee Cooks and Jessie James Cooks.
Arrangement are under the direction of Community Funeral Home, Center, Texas.
Donnie Ester (Joe Boy) White, age 75, of the East Liberty Community passed away Monday, May 2, 2011 at Lufkin Memorial Hospital. He was born October 16, 1935 to Donnie White and Lillie Ratcliff. Interment will follow at Thompson Cemetery, Shelbyville, Texas. He is survived by: Wife, Betty White of San Augustine, Texas, Daughter, Machelle Lathan of Center, Sons: Donald White of Center, Joe Nathan White and wife Sue of Center,Two grandchildren and four great grandchildren, Brother, Lorenzo White of Anderson, AL, Sisters: Verna Smith of Dallas, Texas, Roena White of Center, Texas.
Raymond McCollister, 90 passed away April 30, 2011. Burial will be in Westview Cemetery. He was born November 25, 1920 in Center to Rector and Nettie McCollister. He is preceded in death by a son, Kenneth McCollister, Sisters, Othella McCollister and Eloise Fountain, and a brother, Evans McCollister. He is survived by sons, Ray Dean McCollister of Lufkin and McArthur McCollister of Oklahoma; daughter Charlotte Box of Decatur, GA., 13 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren, and a number of nieces and nephews.
Arrangements were by Hicks Mortuary.

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