Obituaries

In Remembrance of Class Family Members and Friends


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.

Ned Cole, Woodrow Wilson Faculty

of Port Arthur passed away peacefully on December 15, 2018 in Brenham, Texas. He was 89 years old. Coach Cole was born Ned Cole to Bessie Lee Gist Cole and Robert Bishop Cole in Zephyr, Texas. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree and from McNeese State University with a master’s degree in Education. Coach Cole retired from PAISD in 1989. He was proud of the many athletes and students whose lives he touched while coaching at Woodrow Wilson Junior High School. He also was retired from the US Air Force as a Senior Master Sergeant.
Coach Cole is survived by his wife of 66 years, Jean Johnson Cole, formerly of Port Arthur, now living in Brenham. Also, his son, Dr. Steven Cole of Kemah, Texas and granddaughter, Chandler Cole of Baybrook, Texas. Daughter, Joanna Cole Mayle and husband, Robert Mayle of Schertz, Texas. Granddaughter Ashley Mayle Stenoien and her husband, Dr. Gregory Stenoien of Temple, Texas. Also, granddaughter Lindsay Mayle and grandson Matthew Mayle of Schertz. Daughter, Lisa Cole of Houston, Texas. Daughter, Dr. Janet Cole Baker of Brenham, Texas. Granddaughter, Dr. Kristen Baker Bates and husband Clinton Bates of Spring, Texas. Great grandsons, Wyatt Cole Bates and Dylan Craig Bates, also of Spring. Granddaughter, Dr. Catherine Baker Kristynik and husband Stanley Kristynik of Conroe, Texas Daughter, Kristy Cole Jorgensen and husband Jeff Jorgensen of Orange, Texas.

F.J. Schexnayder, brother of Jimmy Schexnayder

A note from FJ Schexnayder’s daughter, Shelly: As many of you know that my dad, FJ Schexnayder, passed peacefully into the arms of Jesus.
Dad was very specific and asked there be no funeral nor Celebration of Life gathering.
He wanted people to remember him as he was.
In lieu of flowers we are asking donations be made in his honor to HeartsWay Hospice located in Carthage, TX.
Mom and I thank you all for your prayers over the last 3 months. We have felt and continue to feel them all. God is good and blessings continue ~

Melvin Earl Rector, father of Brenda Rector

May you Rest In Peace and walk along side Mawmaw once again for all eternity. I know how deeply you missed her. ❤
On Sunday December 2, 2018, Melvin Earl Rector passed away at the age of 91. Melvin was born in Jasper, Tennessee on December 14, 1926 to Earl Rector and Nellie Conway Rector.
He loved to tell stories of his experiences growing up with his cousin Rooster and the Rector clan on Sequatchie Mountain in Tennessee. Their hilarious antics provided us with many entertaining stories. At the age of 10 years the family moved to Birmingham, Alabama and then moved to Charleston, South Carolina at age 13. At age 14 he remembered in vivid detail a neighbor rushing thru the neighborhood reporting that Japan had bombed Pearl Harbor. He wanted to the join the Navy but his father had served in the infantry during WWI and because of his experiences would not sign for him. In 1944 he joined the Merchant Marines. He escorted many Navy ships to the European war. Many ships were lost during those times but he made it back and was in Times Square in New York City when every horn in the city started blaring the news of Victory. That was a sight and sound he never forgot.
Dad worked for one year on land at the steel mills in Birmingham, Alabama when his first daughter was born. But the call of the sea was in his heart and he returned to marine work. About 1950 he moved his family to Port Arthur Texas which was one of the busiest shipping ports in the country. Dad sailed for Texaco out of Port Arthur for many years and acquired second engineer status. Later he sailed with MEBA also out of Port Arthur until his retirement on January 1, 1991. The stories of his travels and experiences while traveling around the world were endless and vicariously took us to many exotic places. He brought back exciting gifts from around the world. In 1953 he went to Japan and brought back gorgeous silk kimonos. In 1954 be brought back dresses from New York City. In 1964 he went to France and brought back bottles of Chanel No. 5, Joy, Christmas Night and other fragrances to his perfume addicted teenage daughter. On a trip to Brazil he returned with serving trays adorned with beautiful butterflies. On a trip to South Africa he returned with amazing pictures of exotic animals and an offer to purchase a wife from a Zulu chieftain (an offer he refused!). A fellow shipmate was an artist that painted a picture of his youngest daughter on silk. Many of these gifts we still treasure today.
After retiring from actual sailing, he still worked on the ships occasionally doing relief engineer work. After finally retiring from all ship work, he and Mom spent many happy times in North Alabama surrounded by Mom's large extended "Thornton" family. To all the many nieces and nephews he was described as "the favorite uncle". He thought every person was important and valuable regardless of age, social standing or number of accomplishments. He never met a stranger. Brand new acquaintances immediately felt like they had always known him and would look forward to the next visit with much anticipation to hear about his many experiences and hilarious, fascinating stories.
He was married to the breathtakingly beautiful Helen Ruth Thornton on January 3, 1949. Their first child was daughter Brenda Darnell born on November 23, 1949. Their second child was daughter Marguerite born on February 27, 1955. They were married for 63 years until his beloved life's companion passed away on April 3, 2012. He stated that life would never be the same and missed her everyday. When daddy wrapped his arms around mama and she looked up into his eyes it was obvious the love and care that was felt between them. That love lasted for 63 years. His one explicit request was to rest beside his beautiful wife and he will.
Our earliest memories revolved around Mama informing us of daddy's next arrival. The time in port was always much too short but we enjoyed and savored every second. He was the kind of father that would let his two daughters tag along on trips to the gas station or even the barber shop (always interesting) or to the lake to fish. It really didn't matter where he was going - we just wanted to tag along to be in his presence. And even more importantly, he wanted us with him.
Daddy was of good character and a faithful supporter of his family. At 6'2" with jet black hair and hazel green eyes he was the epitome of a handsome southern gentlemen. He never aged physically according to actual years lived. The last week of his life while checking into the hospital, the nurse asked his age and when he responded with 91 she was astonished. His daughter overheard her conversation at the nurses station relating that the 91 year old man might have looked 70! This was a common experience everywhere he went and he loved it! Daddy was unique, original, one of a kind, a family treasure and an unforgettable man. We will miss him everyday and treasure our memories more acutely than ever before. He has gone from our earthly presence but will never be forgotten. Those left behind to treasure those memories are his daughters, Brenda Hammer and Marguerite Usey. His grandchildren are Terry Jay Cook, Jr., Melissa Coleman, Jonathan Coleman, Leah Coleman, and Daniel Usey. His great grandchildren are Nathaniel Williams, Matthew Williams, Emerald Byrd and Joshua Coleman.
The family request no flowers but instead desire prayers for his loved ones at this time of great loss.