Obituaries

In Remembrance of Class Family Members and Friends


Geraldine “Gerry” DeCuir Landry, sister of Linda DeCuir

77, a longtime Bridge City resident, passed away peacefully on May 13, 2019 from Alzheimers disease. She was a loving wife, mother, sister and friend who lived a Christian life. Gerry, the first child of Denis “Dan” DeCuir, Sr. and Eula Hollier DeCuir, was born on August 17, 1941 in Port Arthur, Texas. She lived in the Lakeview area and was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church. She was educated at St. James School and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School, class of '59. She attended Port Arthur Business College where she studied to be a secretary while excelling in shorthand. She worked at various businesses over the years with CA Turner being the one that held the fondest memories. Gerry's passion in life was dancing. She loved listening to the golden oldies of the 50's and also cajun music. Over the years, she also enjoyed sewing, embroidery, cake decorating, tending the flowers and photography. She loved animals and got real pleasure being around children. Her enthusiasm, silliness and fun behavior made her a delight to be around. She had a heart of gold and was always thinking of others. She was an active member of St. Henry Catholic Church in Bridge City and helped with the social and decorating committees, CYO, attended the ACTS retreat and her most favorite, being in the church choir. Preceding her in death were her parents and her husband of 55 years, Theodore “Teddy” Landry, Jr. Survivors left to cherish her memory include her children Jeffrey Landry and wife, Debra of Greensburg, PA; Richard Landry and wife, Bethany of Rowlette, TX; and Laurie Landry DeRouen and husband, Brent of Spring, TX; siblings Denis “Danny” DeCuir, Jr. and wife Rosie of Friendswood, TX; and Linda DeCuir McFadden and husband Murphy of Lumberton; ten grandchildren and seventeen great-grandchildren. A graveside service officiated by Reverend Steven Leger will be held under the direction of Levingston Funeral Home of Groves on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at 9:00 am in the Tranquility Mausoleum at Oak Bluff Memorial Park in Port Neches, Texas. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to St. Henry Bereavement Committee, PO Box 427, Bridge City, TX 77611 or to a charity of your choice. The family would like to send our heartfelt thanks to those who devoted their time in making our “Gerry Berry” feel special in her last years: staff from Estia Care Assisted Living in Humble, TX; Krystle, Keara, Diane and George and also the staff of Altus Hospice.

Mack Ross Estes, Coach at Thomas Jefferson High School

of Ruston, Louisiana, went to see his Savior, Jesus Christ, with his passing, Sunday, June 2, 2019, surrounded by his loving family, wife Hilda Brazzel Estes and son, Stephen Clayton Estes of Houston, Texas. Funeral service will be held on Thursday, June 6, at 3:00 PM at Temple Baptist Church, 1515 South Service Road West, Ruston, Louisiana 71270, with visitation from 1:30 until time of service, followed by graveside services at Corinth Cemetery just outside of Dubach, Louisiana under the direction of Kilpatrick Funeral Home.
Mack was the son of the late Clayton Connard Estes and Nancy Jane Ross Estes. A native of Clyde, Texas, he moved to Orange, Texas as a teen and graduated from Lutcher Stark High School in 1946. He joined the Air Force, serving during the Korean Conflict. After an honorable discharge, he went to Sam Houston State University earning a bachelor of science degree and played football for the Bearkats. He married Margaret Jane Fisher, his wife of 19 years, by whom he was preceded in death.
Mack began a career in coaching that took him to Devine, Uvalde, Ingleside, Bridge City and Port Arthur, Texas. He served as both a head coach and assistant coach in football, baseball and other sports. He coached a literal all star cast of athletes and was proud of the many lives he was able to touch through coaching and teaching. He followed his coaching career with a successful career as a business man partnering with his brother Louis in Estes Sporting Goods and E & M Sports Center. Mack was a passionate supporter of sports of all kinds, traveling the globe to Olympic Games, Super Bowls, All Star Games and all manner of sporting events.
Mack was very engaged with his faith as a member of Temple Baptist Church. He enjoyed spreading the gospel and studying God’s word. Mack was an active Deacon at First Baptist Church in Port Arthur, Texas.
After retiring, he moved to Ruston, Louisiana. He was a member of Temple Baptist Church and was active in a number of charitable causes, too numerous to mention and was generous to a fault.
He is survived by his wife, Hilda Brazzel Estes, to which he was married to for 49 wonderful years. Her determination and love provided Mack great comfort and health in his final illness. Also surviving is his son Stephen Clayton Estes and wife Mary Colleen Estes and granddaughter Jill Estes Higginbotham and her husband Brian and two great-grandchildren, William and Hayes Higginbotham. Mack is also survived by his brother Louis Estes and his wife Marilyn and sister Betty Duhon.
He is also survived by his brother-in-law, Gene Brazzel and wife Carolyn and sister-in-law Murlene Benedict. He is also survived by a host of nieces, nephews and cousins across the country.
In addition to being preceded in death by his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother Connard Estes and his wife Mattie and sister Shirlee Estes McGann.
The family would like to express their gratitude to Mr. Estes’ caregivers Katherine and Bernice for their care and compassion throughout the year.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to Mr. Estes can be made to Alzheimer’s Association or the charity of your choice Pallbearers will be David Estes, Les Estes, Gary Brazzel, Eric Brazzel, Robert O’Neal, Jim O’Neal, Tim Estes and Barry Smith.
Honorary Pallbearers are The Turtle Creek Coffee Group, The Lions Club, The Temple Sunday School Adult One Class and all of Coach Estes’ former Athletes.

Joanna-Schmidtke, sister of Fred Hollier, Jr's

66, of Port Acres, Texas passed away May 9, 2019. She was born in Port Arthur, Texas on August 27, 1952 to Fred Hollier, Sr. and June Louise Ross Hollier. Joanna was a nurse for over 40 years and a member of Fellowship Baptist Church in Nederland. She was a loving mother, daughter, grandmother, and friend. Those left to cherish Joanna’s memory are her father, Fred Hollier, Sr. of Erwin, TN; her daughters Hollie Beth Schmidtke of LaBelle and Brooke Ashlie McKinnon and her husband, Jeff of Port Neches; her step-daughters, Kemi Abell and her husband, Kyle of Seattle, WA and Erica Dean of Nederland; her brothers, Fred Hollier, Jr. and his wife, Sona of San Antonio, Paul Hollier and his wife, Kim of Erwin, TN, and Jeff Hollier and his wife, Clara of San Antonio; her sisters, Jan Hollier of Nashville, TN and Jill Leal and her husband, Bob of Sacramento, CA; her grandchildren, Ashlyne Havard, Caleb Havard, Allyson Alvarez, Zayne McKinnon, Aspen Dean, Maci Dean, Chase Hebert, Brittanie Bingham, Malorie Reed, and Savannah Abell; and her great-grandchildren, Kadence Bingham, Logan Reed, and Quinn Reed. She is preceded in death by her mother, June Hollier; her husband, Albert Joel Schmidtke; and her sister, Malinna Hensley. A gathering of family and friends will be held on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Melancon’s Funeral Home in Nederland. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at Melancon Funeral Home, Bro. Frank Hodges and Bro. Phil Webber officiants. Interment will follow at Memory Gardens of Jefferson County in Nederland.

Granville "Buddy" Landry, father of Randy Landry

89 of Crystral Beach, Texas and former resident of Bull Shoals, Arkansas passed away on Monday, April 29, 2019 at UTMB in Galveston. He was born on April 23, 1930 to his parents, Granville Landry, Sr. and Jessie Evans Landry in Port Arthur, Texas. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1948, where he proudly played football. Buddy lived most of his life in Port Arthur and after retiring, he and his wife, Rita moved to Bull Shoals for over 25years. He retired from Texaco as an operator in 1989 after 37 years of service. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Rita and his grandson, Shaun Landry. Buddy is survived by his three sons, Randy Landry and wife, Dianne of Crystal Beach, Keith Landry and wife, Brenda of Nederland, Brent Landry and significant other, Brenda Seaux of Port Arthur, one daughter, Connie Sue Hermsen and husband, Jeff of Nederland, one grandson, Klint Landry and wife, Chrissie along with numerous great grandchildren. Visitation will be on Thursday, May 2, 2019 from 2:00 PM till 3:00 PM at Clayton Thompson Funeral Home in Groves. Service to honor Buddy’s life will be at 3:00 PM Thursday in the Thompson Memorial Chapel at Clayton Thompson Funeral Home. Burial will follow in Greenlawn Memorial Park.

Shawn Soileau, brother of Mike Soileau

Shawn Soileau of Honey Island passed away on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, at his residence. He was 64. A service of remembrance is pending.




Lonie Gaspard, brother of Katherine "Katie" Gaspard

was born on April 27, 1944 in Abbeville, Louisiana to Lonie Lee Gaspard and Elvena Gaspard. He passed away peacefully at home on February 16, 2019, at the age of 74. Lonie grew up in Port Arthur, TX where he attended Thomas Jefferson High School and Bishop Byrne High School. At one time he owned his own auto parts store in Baytown, TX. He worked for Target for 10 years and then went back into the auto parts business for HiLo Auto Parts and O’Reilly Auto Parts for over 20 years. After working as a store manager for years, he went into the Store Installation Department where he retired in 2015. He thoroughly enjoyed traveling and meeting new people. While working at O’Reilly, he collected many cars which he has in his “O’Reilly” room.
He is preceded in death by his parents Lonie and Elvena Gaspard and son William Fest. He is survived by his loving wife of 33 years Cheryl Gaspard; children, Melissa Fest, Kristine Schaffner and husband Leo, Lonie Lee Gaspard, III and wife Lisa, Brandy Perkins and husband James, and Sunday Harper; brothers, Roy Gaspard and wife Gaile, Floyd Gaspard and wife Francine, Darrell Gaspard and wife Diane; sisters, Katie Gaspard, Maggie Joubert and husband Ray, Sharon Anderson; 11 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren; and in-laws, David and Colleen Britton, David Britton and wife Jaclyn, along with numerous nieces and nephews.

Louis Havens, husband of classmate, Christi Kirkland, and brother of classmate, Jeanette Havens

of Nederland, TX passed away under hospice care at Harbor Hospice Hospital in Beaumont, TX on February 1, 2019.He was 71 years old.
Louis was born November 8, 1947 in Port Arthur, TX. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High school in 1966 and attended Lamar University in Beaumont, TX. He was a member of Lakeview Methodist Church. Depending on which family member or friend he was with at the time,he was either called Louis, Louis Charles (mostly on those occasions where he agitated someone – usually his mother, his wife, orone of his sisters), L.C. or Big Lou (although “Little Louie” outgrew “Big Louie” a long time ago).
Louis was hired by Texaco Refining in 1968, but was soon drafted into the United States Army. He proudly served our nation for six years. Much of his service time was spent in Germany during the Vietnam War era.. He returned home and resumed work at Texaco. He experienced the modernization of the petrochemical industry andsurvived its many strikes and ownership changes. He retired in 2010 from Afton after 43 years of service. He was a proud and dedicated union member of the OCAW and later PACE and then the USW. He stressed the importance of union membership and working class values to his children, both of whom carried on his legacy of union involvementin their respective professions as a Port Arthur Firefighter and Port Arthur Police Officer.
Louis loved the beach and in his youth proudly helped his father, uncles, and grandfather build the family beach cabin located in Port Bolivar, Texas. He grew up fishing, crabbing, beach combing and swimming with his two sisters and several cousins. He shared his love for the beach with his own family and friends. He taught his children and their friends to water ski, fish, shrimp and crab. He always shared the catch of the day with whomever was in the boat.
Louis enjoyed hunting in his early years with friends and family in East and South East Texas. He passed along that love to his children and grandchildren. He also enjoyed collecting coins and patches and was a CB and Ham Radio enthusiast. Louis was both a craftsman and a mechanic. Coming from a long line of carpenters and the son of an expert mechanic and woodworker, Louis carried on the long family tradition of “you break it, you fix it!”
Louis Havens was preceded in death by his parents Robbie and Muriel Havens, Father-in law and Mother-in-law John and Signora Kirkland, and grandson Reagan Louis Havens. He is survived by his wife of 51 years Christi Kirkland Havens of Nederland, TX, son Robert Louis Havens and wife Judy of Port Neches, TX, daughter Wendy Havens Billiot of Nederland, TX, granddaughters Kristen Sonnenberg of Nederland, TX, and Lindsey Havens of Port Neches, TX, great-granddaughter Harper Crocker of Port Neches, TX, sisters Jenny McCormac and husband Lee of Rowlett, TX, andKitty Havens of Port Bolivar, TX. He is also survived by several cousins, nephews, and nieces.

Dorothy Day, TJ Faculty

was born August 10, 1927, in Brookhaven, Mississippi to Dorothy Wade Day and George Nusom Day. After the family moved to Texas, Miss Day graduated from Texas Women’s University completing both her Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Arts degree in education.
A lifelong educator, Miss Day was a master teacher improving the lives of students for three years at Saint Mary’s Hall in San Antonio, Texas, ten years at Baytown Junior High School, and three years at Texas City High School. Dorothy spent summers continuing to educate students by participating in the Rice University Master Teacher program where she taught and inspired student teachers. She also taught five summers at the Cimarincita Ranch Camp for girls in Eagles Nest, New Mexico. She completed her professional career in Port Arthur, Texas, for nine years at Thomas Jefferson High School while serving as the sponsor for the Red Hussars. Her final fifteen years of teaching were spent as an elementary physical education teacher at Sims Elementary and Sam Houston Elementary.
After 40 years of professional service to education, Miss Day retired, but refused to slow down. While staying active helping her friends and family, Dorothy remained involved in a dizzying array of local and national clubs and societies. Dorothy represented education as a member of the Retired Teachers Association as well as being a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International for over 50 years. Locally, she contributed by serving as a member of the Neighborhood hibiscus Club. Dorothy’s love of history was demonstrated by her membership in the National Association of Parliamentarians and her charter membership with the World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana. Perhaps Dorothy’s greatest passion was the preservation of the history and culture of the IAIA Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and as a charter member of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indians. Miss Day’s name is engraved on the 4th honor wall at the museum in Washington, D.C.
Dorothy’s passions and spirit will forever be remembered by her loved ones: Donna Spencer, Billings, Montana; Meg, Orr, Connor and Tucker Adams, New Orleans, Louisiana; Nancy Mize, Ayden, North Carolina; Steve and Katie Stainback, Mandeville, Louisiana; Donna and Keith Lawhon, Baytown, Texas; Dr. J.E. Little, Laura Westmoreland and Susan Risher, Crystal Springs, Mississippi; Kenneth and Cindy Day, Baytown, Texas, and countless friends who loved her dearly. She was an inspiration and a mentor to so many students, family members and friends through the years and will be terribly missed.
A memorial gathering will be held at Levingston Funeral Home in Groves, Texas at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, February 22, 2019. Graveside services will take place in Hazlehurst, Mississippi.