Obituaries

In Remembrance of Class Family Members and Friends


Ray Baldridge, brother of Allen Baldridge

 passed away on Saturday, November 6, 2021, at Arden Place of Beaumont. He was 69 years old. Raymond was born in Port Arthur, TX, to Robert Powers and Maxine Bishop Baldridge on December 30, 1951. He grew up in Port Arthur but lived all his adult life in Beaumont. He never married. He graduated from Lamar University in 1975 with a degree in business, and he managed a motel in Beaumont for 20 years.
He is survived by two brothers, Robert Allen Baldridge, wife Wanda of Hideaway, TX, and Ronnie Gene Quick, wife Karen of Midway, TX. He adored his two nieces and two nephews—Ryan Baldridge, Amanda Quick, Kamrie Quick, and Kyle Quick. He enjoyed family gatherings and was always excited to hear of yet another great niece or nephew—a total of 10.
Raymond donated his body to UT McGovern Medical School in Houston.

Bruce G. Betar, husband of Shirley Moreau

 86, of Nederland, passed away on Wednesday, November 3, 2021 at The Medical Center of Southeast Texas in Port Arthur.
Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m., Monday, November 8, 2021, at Levingston Funeral Home in Groves. Officiating will be Reverend Trenton Stevicks of Mid-County Baptist Church of Nederland. Burial will follow at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Groves.
Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Monday, November 8, 2021, at Levingston Funeral Home in Groves.
Born in Port Arthur, Texas, on July 17, 1935, he was the son of Robert Betar and Angell Wickley Betar. Bruce proudly served in the United States Air Force. He had lived in Nederland for 20 years. He was a member of Mid-County Baptist Church. Bruce was never without a job, bread baker, milk truck driver, and butcher. Before becoming legally blind he worked at Ingalls Shipyard in Mississippi as a Ship Fitter, he helped build ships and submarines. He held top security clearance at the shipyard. After becoming legally blind he worked many odd jobs, sometimes as many as three at a time. Bruce was employed at Wal-Mart for 15 years before he retired. Bruce enjoyed fishing, cowboy movies and working in his yard. He loved a good bowl of gumbo, fried catfish, a piece of chocolate or lemon cake and oreo cookies.
He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Patricia Ann Betar; grandson, Brandon Lee Betar; sister, Cornelia Bourque; brothers, R.A. Betar, Jr.; Autry Betar; Buddy Lee Betar; and Lloyd Betar.
Bruce is survived by his wife of 52 years Shirley Moreau Betar of Nederland; son, Michael Betar and wife Erin of Nederland; grandchildren, Pamela Eide and husband Kenneth, and Bradley Betar and wife Sarah; great grandchildren, Kamerin Eide, Keely Eide, Hailee Petty, and Davian Petty.

Jolene Louise Ross LaPoint, sister of Melanie Ross Labove and Gene Ross

 Our beloved wife and mother, Jolene Louise Ross LaPoint, passed away from this life peacefully on Sunday, September 19, 2021. Born in Port Arthur, TX, on April 6, 1946, Jolene Louise Ross was a spirited one from the get go. She spoke her mind, fought for what she believed in, and didn’t often back down. Jolene loved her family with a true passion and expected the very best from us. She didn’t hesitate to let you know if she felt you could do better. She took pride in her time at Bishop Byrne as a member of the Colleen Marching Band and playing in various bowling leagues, where she won many trophies. Jolene was known for making some incredible floats for Newton Homecoming parades, her craftiness, her fantastic cooking, and her love of the Lord. While Jolene became a marvelous cook, never passed up an opportunity to eat out and Mexican food and seafood were always a favorite of hers. She loved an adventure and was always ready to go.
She met the love of her life, Chester LaPoint, on a blind date that almost didn’t happen. They dated for 8 months and were married for 55 years. Though they both were from the Port Arthur area, they made a home in Newton, TX, where they raised their three daughters. Jolene and Chester loved dancing and were known to clear a dance floor a time or two.
Jolene worked alongside Chester to build their convenient store business for many years. She volunteered her time to support the PTO and oversaw the CCD program, the religious teaching program for the Catholic Church to prepare youth for the doctrine of the faith. However, when Jolene began substitute teaching, and eventually became a certified teacher’s aide, at Newton ISD, she found her passion. She adored working with the teachers to educate the youth of Newton.
Jolene and Chester left Newton in 2013 to move to Sour Lake, TX, to be closer to their children and grandchildren.
Jolene was preceded in death by her parents, Gerald Ross and Dorothy Hohne Ross and her precious Odie.
She is survived by her husband, Chester LaPoint, of Sour Lake, TX, her daughters Leslie Snider(Frank) of Sour Lake, Lisa Ciecwierz Roman) of Houston, and Leah Nelson (Chris) of Audubon, IA, siblings Cindy Dumesnil (Jim) of Mauriceville, TX, Melanie LaBove (Joe) of Spring, TX, Gene Ross (Jacque) of LaBelle, TX, and Ray Ross (Sharon) of Port Neches, TX, her grandchildren Devin, Victoria, Adrian, Carleigh, Jessica, Leann, Jake, Laci and Lance and her great-grandkids, Jenevieve and Theo and a host of nieces and nephews.

Cynthia "Cindy" Diana Dumesnil, sister of Melanie Ross Labove and Gene Ross

  78, of Mauriceville, passed away Monday, October 18th, 2021 at Christus Dubois Hospital in Beaumont. She was raised in Port Arthur but was a longtime resident of Mauriceville. Cindy took pride in her time at Bishop Byrne High School as a 1961 graduate and a member of the Colleen marching band and the Drum and Bugle Corps. She was a strong believer in the Christian faith and loved crocheting, cooking, fishing, going to casinos, and most importantly spending time with her grandkids and great grandkids. She would always speak her mind and tell you the truth. Cremation arrangements are entrusted with Memorial Funeral Home in Vidor and the family will have a memorial ceremony to celebrate her life on a later date. Cindy is survived by her husband of 43 years Jim Dumesnil of Mauriceville, TX, children: Kevin Soileau of Mauriceville, TX, Eric Soileau of Gist, TX, Kerry Soileau of Olalla, WA, and Amy Challie of Lumberton, TX, siblings: Melanie and husband Joseph LaBove of Spring, TX, Gene and wife Jackie Ross of Fannett, TX, and Ray and wife Sharon Ross of Port Neches, TX, 15 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents Gerald and Dorothy Ross, sister Jolene LaPoint, and one great grandchild Eliana Perez. The family has requested in lieu of flowers to make a donation to the charity of your choice .

Celia Trevino, sister of Joe Gongora

 77 was born on July 7, 1944, in Galveston, Texas and passed away peacefully at the home of her daughter on July 23, 2021 in Houston, TX. Celia was married to her beloved spouse, Ernesto Gonzales. Celia grew up in Port Arthur, TX and lived with her mother and 5 siblings, 2 sisters and 3 brothers. She is preceded in death by her parents Guadelupe Garza Gongora and Antonio Romo Gongora. She loved spending time with her siblings and cousins. She attended Thomas Jefferson High School and graduated in the early 1960’s. She married in Port Arthur and then moved to Houston in the mid 1960’s with her family where she raised her children. She loved to dance to tejano music and would attend the dances every weekend. She would wear her jeans and boots and sparkly beaded shirts. The highlight of her career was working for Foley’s until she retired. Celia had 4 children, 12 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. They all affectionately called her Nana.

Vories W. Roccaforte, brother of Anthony Roccaforte Jr

  also known by family and friends as “Brother”, has gone to be with the Lord on Tuesday, September 7, 2021. He was born on January 3, 1953 in Port Arthur to Mabel and Camille Roccaforte. Everyone that knew Brother, knew how much he loved his family, music, watches, and the Dallas Cowboys. He was a United States Army veteran, serving his country for seven years. He retired from Gulf/Chevron, where he was a systems analyst. He is preceded in death by his father and mother; his grandparents, his nephew, Christopher Roccaforte; and niece, Tara Roccaforte. Survivors include his wife of 33 years, Jolene Roccaforte, his step-children Linda Morvant (Kenneth) and Jason Achee. He also leaves behind his precious dog, Lulu. He is also survived by his 4 brothers, Anthony (Marilyn), Camille Jr (Sharon), Ronald (Patsy) and Gary, and one sister, Nicki Roccaforte; seven step-grandchildren; seven step-great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Brother had such a kind soul and a huge heart full of love for all of his family.

Fred Hollier Sr, father of Fred Hollier Jr

 97, of Erwin, passed away on Sunday, September 12, 2021 at his home. A native of Port Arthur, TX, Fred is the son of the late O’neil and Mestaia (Bourque) Hollier. He was of the Baptist faith. Fred was a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He served during World War II and was awarded two Purple Hearts as well as the Governor’s Tri Star Award. Fred enjoyed reading, drinking coffee, watching baseball and watching over the neighborhood from his porch. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his wife, June Louise (Ross) Hollier; daughters, Malinna Hensley and Joanna Schmidtke; and granddaughter, Chloie Collins.
Fred Hollier, Sr. leaves behind to cherish his memory: Sons: Fred Hollier, Jr. and wife, Sona, Dr. Paul Hollier and wife, Kim, Jeff Hollier and wife, Clara; Daughters: Jan Hollier, Jill Leal and husband, Bob; Grandchildren: Jake Collins; Hollie Schmidtke, Allyson Garven, Meghan Hollier, Brooke McKinnon, Paul Hollier, Jr.; Great-grandchildren: Ashlyne Havard, Caleb Havard, Allyson Alvarez, Will Collins, Cole Collins, Isaac Garven, Elliot Garven, Zayne McKinnon, Lily Hollier, Bo Hollier, Meghan Corrine Hollier; Great-great-grandchild: Jolee Havard.
The family would like to offer special thanks to Dr. Vinodini “Vini” Krishnan for her excellent care. The family respectfully requests the honor of your presence as we offer tribute and remember the life of Fred Hollier, Sr.in a funeral service to be held at 6:00 pm on Friday, September 17, 2021 in the chapel at Valley Funeral Home. Reverend Laura Tracy and Chaplain Karl Gasser will officiate. A visitation period to share memories and offer support to the family will begin at 4:00 pm on Friday, September 17, 2021 and will continue until service time in the chapel at Valley Funeral Home. A graveside committal service will be held on Saturday, September 18, 2021 at 11:00 am in Evergreen Cemetery. Those attending should meet at Valley Funeral Home by 10:30 am on Saturday to go in procession to the cemetery. Serving as active pallbearers will be Fred Hollier, Jr., Dr. Paul Hollier, Jeff Hollier, Jake Collins, Paul Hollier, Jr., Will Collins, Doug Brewer, Charles Garven and Clint Campbell. Honorary pallbearers will be Isaac Garven, Elliott Garven, Bo Hollier, Gene Ross, Ray Ross, Billy Johnson, Bob Ayers and Gerald Burnette.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in Fred’s name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Pl, Memphis, TN 38105
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family and viewed at www.valleyfuneralhome.net

Mickey Breaux, Class of 1964

 My beloved brother-in-law Mickey Breaux passed away Friday, August 20th at The Medical Center of Port Arthur after being diagnosed with Delta variant six days previously. We are all still in In shock due to the fact that he was fully vaccinated and was very active up until that time. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson high school in 1964, attended Lamar University, served in the United States Army and was a safety man and representative of his local union at Fina before accepting a position as a international representative for The Oil Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union. He was a member of St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church, a volunteer at the Museum of the Gulf Coast, a long time board member and past president of the Golden Triangle Credit Union and a loving husband and father. Funeral arrangements at Livingston funeral home in Groves are pending at this time. Feel Free to post remembrances and Funny Stories, irreverent or otherwise, I'm sure he would not mind.