Obituaries

In Remembrance of Class Family Members and Friends


Katherine Loraine McCorkle Gaston Blanton, mother of Kathy Gaston and Sam Houston faculty member

of Cypress, Texas, was born December 20, 1920 in Jennings, Louisiana to Henry W. McCorkle and Ethel Geyman McCorkle. She spent most of her life in Port Arthur, Texas.
Katherine and her first husband, G. Ellis (Bubba) Gaston, Jr. were parents of daughter Kathy Gaston Riddile Hartzog and sons Kenneth Andrew Gaston and George Ellis Gaston.
Katherine was a graduate of Lamar University with a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in counseling. Katherine taught at Sam Houston Elementary School for 26 years. She was a life-long member of The United Methodist Temple where she was a member of the Wesley Class and United Methodist Women. Upon retirement, she served as a counselor for the United Board of Missions. Katherine was active in the AT chapter of the P.E.O. She was a good friend and teacher to many and will be dearly missed.
Preceding Katherine in death were her parents, first husband Bubba Gaston, her second husband Robert (Bob) Blanton, Jr., sister Christine M. Crochet and brother John A. McCorkle. She is survived by her daughter Kathy RiddileHartzog (Jim) of Cypress, Texas, son Ken Gaston of Santa Barbara, California, son George Ellis Gaston (Merianne) of Cedar Park, Texas. Grandchildren John (Sarah) and Kenny Riddile, Andrew and Leah Gaston and Robyn Riojas (Rigo). Great grandchildren Caroline, Andrew and Isaac Riddile and Roman and Risa Riojas, and many nieces and nephews.
Services will be held Monday, June 1, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. at Clayton Thompson Funeral Home, 5200 39th Street, Groves, Texas, with a gathering of family and friends from 1:00 pm until service time. Burial will follow at Greenlawn Memorial Park.

Inez Joy Matlock, mother of Ronnie Campbell

96, of Port Arthur passed away on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at Community Retirement Center.
Inez was born on November 6, 1923 in Port Arthur, Texas to parents Anthony Nicholas Akery and Mary Botary Akery. She was a lifelong resident of Port Arthur and a member of United Methodist Temple. She worked at both Texaco and Gulf Refineries as a stenographer and clerk for 20 plus years. Inez was President of the L'Manar Lebanese Club, and a member of United Methodist Temple Choir and United Methodist Women. Inez was a loving person who will be missed dearly.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Rudolph Matlock, her son, Douglas Matlock, her sisters, Ruth Emery, Doris Gibson, and Carole Dittmier. Inez is survived by her son, Ronald Campbell and son in law, Lindsay Harris of Port Arthur, TX, her daughter, Laurel Johnson and son in law, Arthur Johnson of Pearland, TX, her grandchildren, Alex Johnson and Kayla Johnson, both of Pearland, TX, her brother, Robert L. Akery and sister in law, Peggy Akery of Reddington Beach. Fla.
The family will hold a private graveside service on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Arrangements were entrusted to Clayton Thompson Funeral Home in Groves.

Louise Schenkewitz, principal of Terrell School and other school faculties

entered the gates of Heaven on November 20, 2019. She was born October 9, 1933 to parents Tony and Lula Mae Fontenot in Port Arthur, Texas. She was a graduate of Stephen F. Austin High School. She worked for the Port Arthur ISD for 33 years, serving as secretary At Stephen F. Austin, Pease Elementary, Woodrow Wilson Jr. High and the PAISD Administration Building. She attended Lamar University at night and summers while working as school secretary. She graduated with honors with a degree in Elementary Education, a Master’s degree in Supervision and certification in School Administration. Louise taught intermediate levels at Dick Dowling Elementary. She was named American History Teacher of the Year in 1977 and 1978. She supervised instruction at several Port Arthur schools and was Principal at Sims and Tyrrell Elementary Schools. She retired from Tyrrell Elementary. Following her retirement, she taught at Lamar University as an adjunct instructor in the Education department. During her career, she was awarded an Honorary Life Membership to the Texas Congress of Parents and Teachers as a parent and also as a teacher. She has been a member of the Alpha Omega chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma since 1976 and served as Alpha Omega Chapter president from 1990-1992. She was awarded the Chapter Achievement award in 1996. Other past professional memberships include Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Assn., Phi Delta Kappa and International Readers Assn. After retirement, Louise volunteered as a counselor at United Board of Missions and was a member of the Hibiscus Garden Club, and served as president from 1990-1992. She was a member of First Baptist Church of Port Arthur for many years, where she loved teaching the Adult Ladies Sunday School class. She was also a long-time member of the Texas Artists Museum. Louise loved painting with oils and watercolors, as well as collecting art. She loved travelling with a group of friends and also loved spending time at their lake house on Toledo Bend. Her greatest joy was spending time with her sons and their families. Louise was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Otto Schenkewitz, parents Tony and Lula Mae Fontenot; brothers Jay Maxey, Jim Fonteno, Bobby Fontenot and Donald Joe Fontenot; sisters Margaret Bell, Manon “Blue” McFarland and Gladys Walsh. She is survived by her sons Brad Schenkewitz (wife Freda) of Moss Point, MS and Jay Schenkewitz (wife Patsy) of Carrollton, TX; brother Kermit Fonteno (wife Ouida) of Red Oak, TX; six grandchildren: Dr. Kyle Schenkewitz (wife Jean) of Waverly, IA, Anna Mayfield of Hurley, MS, Laura Schenkewitz of Pascagoula, MS, Sarah Dubose (Tyler) of Edmond, OK, Ryan Schenkewitz of Houston, TX and Molly Louise Schenkewitz of Carrollton, TX; seven great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. Funeral services are scheduled for 2:00 PM on Saturday, November 23, 2019 at Levingston Funeral Home, 5601 39th Street, Groves, TX. Visitation will be held from 12:00 to 2:00 prior to the funeral. Graveside service will be held at Greenlawn Memorial Park following.

Dorothy Marie "DoeDoe" (Becker) Turner, mother of Mike Turner

92, passed away on June 24, 2020. She was born on May 14, 1928 to Meindert “Mike” and Carrie Fett Becker.
In scripture, the Lord inspired in the heart of King Solomon a question, “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies…”; though she would never have claimed, in the gentle, sincere nature of Dorothy that question was answered. She was always caring, faithfully loving, and unconditionally proud of the loved ones that God had given her, devoting herself to constant stewardship of whatever this life brought her way. She was blessed with two sons, but in her heart was an inexhaustible sense of motherhood. After losing her sister, Rudell, she took in her two children and raised them as her own. To “DoeDoe”, her four children were her pride and joy, and she worked hard to provide and encourage each of them always. Her motherly nature extended to countless others, concerning herself with countless needs, good causes, and opportunities to help whoever needed it. She was an antiquing expert, especially with her best friend, Dorothy Gouner. Following the example of her mother, she became the hardworking matriarch of her family, working hard and progressing constantly throughout her career. Family gatherings and events were a joy, because it meant having her loved ones together, especially at Christmas and other special times, and she always included her entire family, near and far. Truly, the strength of her character was only rivaled by the love that she had for her family. She was always there for those that needed her most. “For her price is far above rubies”, Dorothy’s generous giving, not of earthly goods, but of her love, made an immeasurable impact on many hearts and defined for her family the meaning of unconditional. As she ended her visit on this Earth and passed into the arms of the Lord, she will forever be missed by all those that saw her for what she unfailingly was: an unwavering Christian, a true friend, and the definition of mother.
Left to honor her memory are her son, Michael Turner and wife, Linda; nephew, Stephen Rutherford; niece, Stacey Kehtel and husband, Kenny; daughter-in-law, Elizabeth “Liz” Turner; grandchildren, Chad Turner, Jason Turner and wife, Rachel, and Lisa Rutherford; great-granddaughter, Sydney Turner; and a host of extended family, friends and loved ones.
Preceding Dorothy in death are her parents; son, Gregory Lynn Turner; sister, Rudell Pauline Smith; and cousin, Johanna Petra (Henny) Seeuwen.
Visitation for family and friends will be on Saturday, June 27, 2020 from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m., at Wildwood Baptist Church, 101 Wildwood Dr, Village Mills, TX 77663. Dorothy’s life honoring funeral service will follow at 10:00 a.m, also at the church, with Bro. Jimmy Linn officiating, and a private family burial at Greenlawn Memorial Park, 3900 Twin City Hwy, Groves, TX 77619.

Murlin Fortune Lough, father of Kathy Lough

93, of Port Neches, Texas passed away Thursday, June 18, 2020 at April’s House of Angels in Port Neches. He was born February 3, 1927 to parents, Franklin Joseph Lough and Leah Fortune Lough in Port Arthur, Texas.
He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1945. Murlin got a draft notice, but decided to join the United States Army Air Corps. He trained in Scottsdale, Illinois and served two years (1945-1947) in Takanawa, Japan which he enjoyed and talked about for many years. He always wanted to go back to Japan one day. He attended Lamar State College in Beaumont, Texas and also worked at the Texas Company for a short while. Murlin began his career at DuPont Sabine River Works in Orange, Texas in 1947 and retired on April 30, 1985 with 38 years of service. On July 22, 1949 Murlin married Betty J. Guidroz.
They have three children, Kathy Hoffman, Beryl Miller and husband Mark and Kurt Ray Lough and wife Karen. Later they were blessed with six grandchildren, Jolee Hoffman Griffin and husband Kirk, Chet Alan Hoffman, Ashley Miller Valka and husband Craig, Brooke Miller Chandler and husband Russ, Ryan Chase Miller and wife Ashley, and Lauren Lough Weber and husband Brian. Then came fourteen great grandchildren, Emma Kate Griffin, Koen Luke Griffin, Brendon Alan Hoffman, Mattie Diane Hoffman, Hudson Levy Hoffman, Madelyn Grace Valka, Mason Cole Valka, Cameron Luke Chandler, Sadie Lyn Chandler, Noah Brooks Chandler, Ryann Elise Miller, Raegan Christine Miller, Jack Davis Weber and Eli James Weber. Murlin is also survived by his sister, Janet Freyou and brother, Phillip Lough and wife Donnie.
A visitation for family and friends will begin at 10:00 a.m., Monday, June 22, 2020 at Levingston Funeral Home in Port Neches. Funeral services will follow at 11:00 a.m. with Reverend Rick Shreve of Providence Church officiating. A Military graveside service will be held in Greenlawn Memorial Park. Friends wishing to make memorial contributions may send them to: St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis,TN 38105 or Parkinson Research Foundation, 5969 Cattleridge Blvd., Suite 100, Sarasota, FL 34232.

John Allen "J.T." Travis, Class of 1969

of Austin, TX, passed away Saturday morning, May 9, 2020 at the age of 68. J.T. was born to parents Oscar and Frances Travis on August 30, 1951 in Port Arthur, TX.
He attended Thomas Jefferson High School in Port Arthur, after which he moved to Austin, TX. J.T. possessed a passionate love for sports and music and was a die-hard New Orleans Saints and Willie Nelson fan. Known for his quick wit and sense of humor, J. T. is fondly remembered by family, friends, golf buddies and patrons of his favorite spot and former employer, Deep Eddy Cabaret. J.T. is survived by his nieces and nephew, Karrie Stefflen, Michelle Carter and Michael Stefflen; his great niece and nephew, Julia Gros and Jesse Carter; his cousins, Darla Guidry, Don Travis, Larry Travis, Paul Travis, Fletcher Travis, Skyla Herford and Latice Fontenot; and his close friends, Mark and Janie Murphy, Inger Olsen, David Pratt and the rest of J.T.'s "Austin family," who are too numerous to name.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Oscar and Frances Travis; his sister, Carol Stefflen and his cousin, Patricia Mahlen.
The family is grateful for the condolences and requests that in lieu of flowers memorial contributions be made to the Carol Stefflen Scholarship Fund at First Baptist Church Port Neches. J.T.'s ashes will be scattered in Austin at a memorial service to be scheduled at a later date.

Robert “Bob” Hollier, brother of Ronnie and Donnie Hollier

75, passed away on May 13, 2020, following difficulties with his heart.
Bob was born in Jacksonville, Florida, on September 23, 1944, during World War II, but grew up in Port Arthur, Texas.
He was graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1963, and afterwards attended Texas A&M on a football scholarship, graduating in 1967 with a B.A. in History, to be followed by receiving an M.A. in History from Lamar University. Bob was a history teacher and a coach at Bridge City High School from 1967 until his retirement in 2000. He loved rooting for “his” Aggies and for the Astros. He collected baseball cards and loved playing golf.
Bob was preceded in death by his younger twin brothers, Ronnie and Donnie Hollier, and by his parents, Ivan and Jean Hollier. Bob is survived by his loving wife of 47 years, Amelia Votti (Mimi) Hollier; his only son, Robert Foxwood Hollier and his wife Amber, and her children Sierra, Dylan, and Tori and her husband Bradley Gray; his grandson, Gavyn Edward Hollier; his brother-in-law Carl Wood Votti, his wife Lisa, and their sons Carl and Cuyler Votti; his two nephews Ronnie Hollier, Jr., and Bryan Hollier; his three nieces, Lori Ortiz, Jennifer Cardinas and Jaime Hollier. Following cremation, he will be interred at the Memorial Garden at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Orange, Texas.
A memorial service at St. Paul’s will be tentatively scheduled for late June. Contributions in his memory can be made to the Humane Society of Southeast Texas, to the Gary Sinise Veterans Program, to the Shiner’s Hospital for Children, or to the Danny Thomas Research Hospital for Children. “And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:7

Roy Gaspard, brother of Katie Gaspard

78, of Groves, Texas passed away Sunday, May 3, 2020 surrounded by his family.
Roy was born July 25, 1941 in Abbeville, Louisiana to Lonie Lee Gaspard and Elvena Trahan Gaspard. He was a 70 year resident of this area and retired from the Port Arthur Police Department after 30 years of service. He proudly served in the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve.
Roy was preceded in death by his parents, and brother, Lonie Gaspard, Jr. Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Gaile Gaspard of Groves; daughters, Paige Molbert and husband David of Groves, and Cristi Martinez and husband John of Groves; son, Ron Gaspard and wife Kim of Groves; sisters, Katie Gaspard of Port Arthur, Maggie Joubert and husband Ray of Orange, and Sharon Anderson of Wichita Falls; brothers, Floyd Gaspard and wife Francine of Port Arthur, and Darrell Gaspard and wife Diana of Groves; sister-in-law, Cheryl Gaspard of New Caney; grandchildren, Brittany Sanchez, Ryan Molbert, Chastin Martinez, and Mason Martinez; great-grandchildren, Kyler, Jack, Bryson, Chloe, Amelia, and Lucy.
A visitation for family and friends will begin at 12 noon, Thursday, May 7, 2020 at Levingston Funeral Home in Groves followed by the funeral service at 2:00 p.m. Burial will be at Greenlawn Memorial Park.