PAISD Faculty Obituaries
Woodrow Wilson Jr. High
Malcolm Francis Lequeux, 90, Commander USNR (retired) passed away Friday, June 5, 2009. He was born to Albert Jean Lequeux and Agnes Pearl Moss Lequeux on January 14, 1919, on the family farm near Henry, LA. He married Velma Lou LeBlanc on June 25, 1944, in Port Arthur, TX. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Clyde Lequeux. Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Velma Lou LeBlanc Lequeux; children, Blayne Lequeux and wife Barbara, Diane Lequeux Van Kempen and husband Jay, Lydia Lequeux Dombrowski and ex-husband Donald, and Julie Lequeux Ewald and husband John David (J. D.); grandchildren, Karen Lequeux Pfeifer and husband Daren Pfeifer, David Lequeux and wife Elizabeth Foo Lequeux, Suzanne Lequeux, Tracey Van Kempen, Katherine Dombrowski and husband George McCullough, Elizabeth Dombrowski, John L. Ewald and wife Brigid Spackman Ewald, and Jennifer Ewald Green and husband Matthew; and great-granddaughters, Beth and Sarah Green. He graduated from Henry High School, Henry, LA in 1934, and received his BA in 1940 from Southwestern Louisiana Institute (University of Louisiana at Lafayette). Malcolm began his teaching career in Indian Bayou, LA, and completed his Masters of Education at the University of Houston. Malcolm completed US Naval Officer Candidate School at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL. One bitterly cold night, he recalled being awakened to stand watch on the roof of one of the university buildings. Only later did he learn the purpose of this assignment. The date was December 7, 1941 – the day Pearl Harbor was attacked. Malcolm served in the Pacific Theater during WW II and in the Korean Conflict. He remained in the US Naval Reserve for a total of 30 years of service, acting as the Commander of several USNR training centers. He served in Port Arthur, Austin, San Diego, Newport, RI, and Albuquerque, NM, giving his children great opportunities for summer adventures all over the U.S. Malcolm and his wife taught for many years in Port Arthur. At Woodrow Wilson Junior High, Mac served as teacher, student council advisor, guidance counselor, principal, and district administrator. Malcolm touched the lives of many students, helping them find employment and scholarships to make their college dreams come true. While living in Port Arthur, Malcolm and Velma Lou were active members of St. James Catholic Church. Upon their retirement in 1979, he and Velma Lou moved to Austin, TX. They used the city as their home base for extensive world travel. Always an active man, Malcolm enjoyed long walks, aerobics and yoga, well into his eighties. He had a grip of steel until the day of his passing. Malcolm was a kind and gentle man. He was the perfect husband, being a marvelous cook, carpenter, and a great "Mr. Fix-it." Malcolm had a green thumb and was an avid naturalist. His fascination with the outdoors was an inspiration to his family. His grandchildren have fond memories of eating his shrimp creole, playing marbles, picking wild grapes, building with his tools, and playing with creepy crawlers. A celebration of Malcolm's life will be held in Austin, TX and Erath, LA at a date to be announced. Burial will be in Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Cemetery in Erath.   
Travis and Franklin Elementary
Velma Lou LeBlanc Lequeux, 85, passed away on June 29, 2009, in Austin, TX. She was born to Julius Clersay LeBlanc and Stella Viator LeBlanc on March 20, 1924, in Port Arthur, TX. Lou married Malcolm Francis Lequeux on June 25, 1944, in Port Arthur. She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Malcolm, who passed away June 5, 2009. Survivors include her sister, Trilby LeBlanc Arceneaux; children, Blayne Lequeux and wife Barbara, Diane Lequeux Van Kempen and husband Jay, Lydia Lequeux Dombrowski and ex-husband Donald, and Julie Lequeux Ewald and husband John; grandchildren, Karen Lequeux Pfeifer and husband Daren, David Lequeux and wife Elizabeth Foo, Suzanne Lequeux, Tracey Van Kempen, Katherine Dombrowski and husband George McCullough, Elizabeth Dombrowski, John Ewald and wife Brigid Spackman, and Jennifer Ewald Green and husband Matthew; and great-granddaughters, Beth and Sarah Green. Lou grew up in Erath, LA. The first in her family to receive a high school diploma, she graduated from Erath High School in 1940, at the age of 16. Lou earned both Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education degrees. Lou left a legacy of learning and a passion for music. She was proud that all of her children and grandchildren earned college degrees. She encouraged and patiently endured her children's many hours practicing piano and band instruments. For 23 years, Lou was a dedicated music, P.E. and classroom teacher in the Port Arthur Independent School District—at Travis (1957-66; 1972-79) and Franklin (1943-44; 1970-72) Elementary Schools. Velma Lou and Malcolm were active members of St. James Parish in Port Arthur. In 1979, upon retirement from teaching, Lou and Mac moved to Austin. Lou was an avid photographer and dancer. Beginning with her first Kodak Brownie camera, Lou "recorded the moment," sending annotated prints to everyone in her photos. She and Malcolm were founding members of "La Clique," a couples' dinner-dance group in Port Arthur. Her philosophy was "If you can dance, you can have fun everywhere." She continued to dance and move with the music throughout her life. A memorial mass for Lou and Malcolm will be held on August 1, 2009, at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, in Erath, LA.    
PAISD/Lamar University
Kenneth Reeves Lee, 66, of Nederland, passed away on Sunday, August 23, 2009 in Port Arthur at The Medical Center of Southeast Texas. Kenneth was born on March 1, 1943 in Angleton, Texas, one of 3 children born to Z Boaz and Hazel Reeves Lee. He attended the University of Texas in Austin where he received his degree in education. He met and married the love of his life Shareen Crawford on July 23, 1963. They moved to Port Arthur in 1966 where they raised their two sons. Kenneth enjoyed 35 years of teaching in the Port Arthur ISD where he taught math and computers. He also taught 10 years at Lamar University. Kenneth loved spending time with his family and was a man of few but profound words. He loved wood working and made beautiful works of art from stained glass. He spent, many years diving and in later years Kenneth developed a love of cooking. Mr. Lee was a great teacher, wonderful man, friend, husband, father, and grandfather. Survivors include his loving wife of 46 years, Shareen Crawford Lee of Nederland, sons, Ben Lee and his wife Fran of Nederland, Aaron Lee and his wife Candy of Key Largo, Fl, grandson Robin Tolar-Lee of Nederland, sister, Dana Jerrene Garoutte of Coldspring and a brother Sandford Wayne Lee of Waller. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents. Funeral services will be today at 3:00 p.m. at Heritage Funeral Home, Nederland, with Pastor Scott Wallace, officiate. Arrangements entrusted to Heritage Funeral Home, April Stewart, Funeral Director. Entombment will follow at Oak Bluff Memorial Park, Port Neches.
Woodrow Wilson Jr. High
Wilma Fulbright Richey was born in Lufkin, Texas to Reverend William A. Montgomery and Maude Ragan Fulbright on April 19, 1915.  Until her death on September 2, 2009 she was the only surviving child of that union.  She was preceded in death by brothers Elwood Fulbright, Nathan Carouthers, and William Fulbright, husband Edward Lee Richey, and sisters Elva Kraft and Edna Sanders.  She is survived by brothers Kenneth and Clifford Fulbright, sister Valle Fulbright, sons Edward Richey and his wife Roma, William Richey and his wife Rhonda and Tillman Richey and his wife Cheryl, seven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Wilma graduated from Batson High School in 1932, and then earned a B.S. in Mathematics from Northeastern State Teachers College in Tahlequah Oklahoma in 1935.  In 1967, she was awarded a Masters in Education from the University of Houston. Wilma taught mathematics in the Daisetta, Port Neches, and Port Arthur, Texas school systems, retiring in 1975 as head of the mathematics department at Woodrow Wilson Jr. High School in Port Arthur.  Through thirty plus years of work, she remained a devoted teacher, friend and advocate for all students. Along with her family and her vocation, her church and its work were foremost her efforts throughout life. Wilma and Lee Richey were founding members of Aldersgate Methodist Church in Port Arthur, Texas. She spent many hours preparing lessons for her Sunday school classes as well as those for the Wesleyan Service Guild in which she filled various leadership roles.  In retirement she continued this service and dedication with Pineland United Methodist Church in Pineland, Texas. Funeral services will be 10:00 AM Saturday, September 5, 2009 at Broussard's in Nederland with Rev. Mark Pedersen officiating. Graveside services will follow at the Guedry Cemetery in Batson at 2:00 PM. A gathering of family and friends will be from 5 to 8 PM Friday at the mortuary. The family acknowledges the four years of comfort, care and outstanding service provided by the Oakwood Manor Nursing Home in Vidor, Texas and the support and visitation of the congregations of Aldersgate Trinity, Pineland and Vidor First United Methodist Churches. The family requests any memorials be designated for Aldersgate Trinity United Methodist Church of Port Arthur, Pineland United Methodist Church of Pineland, or First United Methodist Church of Vidor
Lee Elementary School
Frances Cornelia White, 91, of Groves, Texas passed away peacefully January 8, 2010. Frances was born in Jacksonville, Texas October 11, 1918 to Cullen and May White. She was a resident of Port Arthur for 73 years and a retired Teacher with the Port Arthur Independent School District, where she was the Librarian at Lee Elementary School. Frances was also a member of the Parent Teacher Association and served as Parliamentarian for many years, and was a member of the National Association of Parliamentarians. She served as President of the City Council P.T.A., Life member of the P.T.A., National Member, recipient of Special Advocate Award. She was also a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International for over fifty years, and member of Port Arthur Association of Retired Personnel. Frances was a member of the United Methodist Temple and the Cullen Hamilton Bible Class where she was a Sunday School Teacher. She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star Chapter #262. Funeral services will be held Tuesday January 12, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. with Reverend Jesse Brannen officiating at Levingston Funeral Home in Groves. Burial will follow at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Groves. Visitation will be held Monday from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Frances was preceded in death by her sister Kathryn White Key and brother William L. White. She is survived by two nieces; Pam Duplechian and husband Buddy of Groves and Linda Crossland and husband Clay of Basalt, Colorado. one nephew W.L. "Buddy" White, Jr. and wife Donna of Groves. 5 Great nieces and 2 Great nephews.
Travis and Franklin Elementary School
Thelma Christine Savage Parker, 95, of Port Arthur passed away on Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at Dogwood Trails Nursing Home in Woodville.
She was born February 28, 1914 to Ida Harris Savage and William B. Savage in Joaquin, Texas. She earned a Masters Degree in Music Education from Stephen F. Austin University. Thelma was a resident of Port Arthur since 1925 and moved to Lufkin in 2005 due to Hurricane Rita, living in Woodville for the last year. She retired from P. A. I. S. D. as a Music teacher at Travis and Franklin Elementary School after 35 years of Service. She also taught Music at her home for over 35 years. Thelma was a longtime member of St. George Episcopal Church.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister, Bernice Kirkland, her brothers, Curtis and Leo Savage, her husband, Virgil J. Parker, Sr. and her grandson James David Parker.
She is survived by her son, Virgil J. “Jim” Parker, Jr. and wife Ruth Ann of Nederland, Texas and her sister, Winnie Smith of Lufkin, Texas along with several nieces and nehews.

Woodrow Wilson Faculty member
Mrs. Frances Hons Devall, 97, of Port Arthur, Texas, died Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at Calder Woods in Beaumont, Texas.
Frances was born on October 30, 1915 in Sabinal, Texas to John Leigh Hons and Lola McGehee Hons.
She was a graduate of Southwest Texas State University, with a Master’s Degree in English. In 1945, she and her husband, Lonnie Devall, moved to Port Arthur. Both were involved in teaching and school administration. She taught English and served as Director of the Department, being associated with the Port Arthur Independent School District for over thirty-five years.
Frances was an active member of the United Methodist Temple and a member of the Cullen Hamilton Bible Class. She was also the first woman to serve on the church Administrative Board.
Funeral services will be at 3:00 p.m., Friday, May 31, 2013 at The United Methodist Temple under the direction of Levingston Funeral Home in Groves. Burial will follow in Greenlawn Memorial Park.
A visitation for family and friends will be Friday from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. at the church.
Serving as pallbearers will be Kent Koerth, Clay Koerth, Bernie Brown and Neil Burrell. Honorary pallbearers are Joel Levingston, Ronald Amuny, and Mark Blanton.
Frances is survived by her son, John Marshall Devall and wife, Nadine Sloan Devall of Belton, Texas, and two grandchildren, Madeleine Leigh Devall and Zachary Sloan Devall, also of Belton, Texas.
Many thanks to her longtime provider and friend Nancy Fontenot.  Also thank you to Buckner Hospice nurses, Wendy and Sheri and to her other providers Claudette, Camellia, Tamekia and Marilyn.
Thomas Edison Faculty member

Joel O’Neal Soileau, 81, of Port Neches, Texas died Friday, November 14, 2014 at The Medical Center of Southeast Texas. 

Joel was born on June 19, 1933 to Ariel and Melicia Soileau in Ville Platte, Louisiana.   

After graduating high school and one year at Hinds Junior College in Raymond, Mississippi, Joel served two years in the Marine Corps. 

In 1956 Joel entered Louisiana College in Pineville, Louisiana and graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor Degree in Education. 

He then moved to Port Neches with his wife, Freddie where he had a very successful coaching career at Thomas Edison Jr. High, Thomas Jefferson High School, Vidor High School, Hebert High School, and West Brook High School.  He retired in 1999 after forty years of coaching. 

Joel is survived by his wife of 57 years, Freddie Boyd Soileau of Port Neches, Texas; daughter, Diane May and husband Vic of Port Neches, Texas; two granddaughters, Lauren Abbott and husband Kyle of Port Neches, Texas;  Victoria May and finance’ Cxadi Angus of Lake Jackson, Texas.  He is also survived by sisters, Jeanette Polson and husband Buddy of Many, Louisiana; Geneva Limoges and husband Jim of Ville Platte, Louisiana. 

Funeral services will be held Monday, November 17, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Port Neches with Dr. David Mahfouz officiating under the direction of Levingston Funeral Home Port Neches.  Burial will follow at Oak Bluff Memorial Park.

Thomas Edison Faculty member

Ann Solley Bearden, 93, of Houston,passed away Monday, December 12, 2016.

A choral music teacher for 28 years, she was dedicated to bringing song to her students. She was born in Comanche County, the daughter of Marion Oah and Rosie Myrtle Kerley Solley. Raised on a farm in Oklahoma, Anne joined the women's Army Air Corps during WWII and served her country as a staff sergent, working the flight line and air traffic control tower at Enid Air Field. She held both bachelor's and master degrees in music education from the University of North Texas and was a classically trained vocalist whoperformed onstage in comunity operas and other musical events. She began her teaching career in Port Arthur, where she taught at DeQueen Elementary and Edison Junior High. She also taught choir at South Park High and at Vidor Junior High. Anne spent her retirement years in Colorado Springs and returned to Texas in 2008 to be near her daughter, Paula. She was married for 31 years to the love of her life, Bernie Paul Bearden, who passed away in Colorado in 1977. She is survived by her daughters and their husbands, Paul and Paul Berry of Houston and Pamela and Edward deSteiguer of Tucson, Arizona, and her grandchildren, Amanda, Judson, and David Berry and Laura and Philip deSteiguer. She is also survived by a brother, Bob Solley and many cousins, nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be made in her memory to the College of Music at the University of North Texas.

back to top (2013)       Thomas Jefferson High School,   Port Arthur, TX