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2007 Obituaries page2

Homer Eugene Franks  AC5CI


Born in Ridge, Texas on Aug. 26, 1935
Departed on Mar. 17, 2007 and resided in Caldwell, TX.
Services: Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Homer Eugene Franks, 71, of Caldwell, died Saturday, March 17, 2007 at his residence.  Mr. Franks was born August 26, 1935 in Ridge, Texas the son of Homer Elbert and Floral Murlean Gray Franks.  Homer was a graduate of A & M Consolidated High School and attended Texas A & M University, where he was a member of the Corp. of Cadets.  He was retired from the Houston Fire Department and was a Master Carpenter, Ham Radio operator, enjoyed fishing and loved to play music with the local bands.  Mr. Franks was a past Master Mason, Scottish Rite, of Caldwell Masonic Lodge #56.  His family described him as a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

On January 2, 1956 he was married to the former Emma Jean Pennington in Hugo, Oklahoma.  

Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Jean Franks, three sons and a daughter-in-law: Homer (Bimbo) Jr., James Alan (Frog), and James Robert (Bobby) and wife Dianne, three daughters and sons-in-law: Teresa (Ressie) and Grady Warner, Nancy (PeeWee) and Ronald Sebesta and Paige (Pumpkin) and Phil Bamberg.  He is further survived by his brother James Lee Carter and wife Pamela, eleven grandchildren and one great-grandchild as well as numerous other relatives.

The funeral service will be Tuesday, March 20, 2007 at 2:00 p.m. at Strickland Funeral Home in Caldwell with the Rev. Rick Mitchell officiating.  Burial will follow at the Masonic Cemetery in Caldwell.

Visitation will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, March 19, 2007 at the funeral home with the family present from 6"00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The family has requested that Memorials be given to the Calvary Baptist Church, Caldwell, Texas. 

Serving as pallbearers will be; Cody Yenger, Ethan Sebesta, Jarrod Franks, Joshua Franks, Tommy Novosad and James Beaty.  Honorary pallbearers are Alec and Aidan Bamberg.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Strickland Funeral Home, 530 Hwy. 36 South, Caldwell, Texas 77836.


William Dean Davis  W5BGE 


Born in Shrevport, LA. on Aug. 31, 1913 

Departed on May 25, 2007 and resided in San Antonio, TX. Service: Saturday, Jun. 16, 2007

Dean was born August 31, 1913 in Shreveport, Louisiana and passed away at age 93 on May 25, 2007 at Hill Country Memorial Hospital in Fredericksburg, Texas. He grew up in Dallas where he had a paper route from age 10. He attended Forest Avenue High School where he was in the Leaders Club and won a state Latin contest.

He was interested in radio from an early age and after high school, moved to Beaumont to attend radio school. Upon graduation during the depression, he was unable to find work in the field, but earned 50 cents a week to sleep in a fire station and hang his radio operator’s license on the wall. He supplemented his income by repairing radios door-to-door. He continued to fix radios and TVs for friends throughout his life.

He eventually found work in the newspaper industry as a printer and worked in numerous cities throughout the South and Midwest to earn journeyman status.

Dean met his wife, Maybelle Lowry, in Beaumont and married on February 10, 1940. They had two sons there before moving to San Antonio in 1948 for a job at the San Antonio Light newspaper. There he worked in the composing room for nearly 30 years, much of that time setting up the front page and main section of the paper. Early in his career he trained on a new Linotype machine and retired just as computers were taking over the printing department.

He maintained his interest in radios all his life as an amateur (Ham) radio operator, W5BGE. In early years he sought contacts around the world. More recently, he participated in communication nets and talked almost every day with friends across Texas. He managed to put his experience to work during WW II installing radios on ships in Port Arthur. He was active in maintaining readiness for emergency communications and was recently recognized for 75 years of participation by the Quarter Century Wireless Association.

Dean enjoyed camping and Scouting with his sons and served as a scout leader with Troup 46 at Los Angeles Heights Methodist Church. He was a Counselor for Merit Badges in Radio and Printing. 

After retiring, he and Maybelle spent 18 years making friends with other RVers around the country, often combining camping trips with amateur radio conventions. He had a ready smile and had met everyone in the RV park before dinnertime. Trips to California and Branson were inspired by their love of dancing to big band music. RV trips often included fishing as well, a lifelong pleasure of Maybelle.

 Dean had been a member of Beacon Hill Presbyterian Church since 1948. He served as Deacon and Elder, and again applied his experience to help with recording and amplification equipment. He was a Mason for over 50 years with the Blue Bonnet Lodge and was also a member of the Alzafar Shriners.  

He was preceded in death by his parents Buford and Elma Jones Davis and his sister Ruby Davis Tillery and his beloved wife Maybelle. He is survived by his sons Dean Lowry Davis and Dale Malcolm Davis and wife Marlyn; his much adored grandchildren, Christopher Wendel Davis, Lissa Lowry Davis and her husband Rusty Tchernis. He is also survived by nieces Marion Moses and husband Jerry, Jean Rambo and husband Bill and nephew Robert Lowry. 

The family extends heartfelt thanks to Dr. Kimberly Heller and her staff at Jefferson Family Practice for many years of loving care for both Dean and Maybelle. In addition we would like to thank Dr. Yvonne Haug, the staffs at Knopp Assisted Living Center, Knopp Nursing Home, and Hill Country Memorial Hospital for their exceptionally kind care during recent months.

Memorial services will be held at Beacon Hill Presbyterian Church, 1100 Woodlawn Ave. on Saturday, June 16, at 2:30 PM with a reception to follow at the church. Memorials may be made to a charity of choice, the American Heart Association or Beacon Hill Presbyterian Church.



John Douglas Leitch WA5VUX

Doug Leitch was born September 16, 1918 in Mount Airy, NC and passed away on June 30, 2007. 

In 1943, he married his childhood sweetheart, Nora Binder Leitch. Mr. Leitch served in the U.S. Army in World War II and received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University in 1948. He moved to Beaumont in 1949 where he began his career with Mobil Oil at the Beaumont refinery.

Mr. Leitch was a registered professional engineer in Texas. Mr. Leitch was an active member of Calder Baptist Church where he served as a deacon and Boy Scout Master. He was president of Do-Si-Do Club in the early 1950's. Mr. Leitch served in every elective office of the Sabine Section of ASME, was president of the Gulf Coast Engineering and Scientific Society, was active in the Scottish Society, and the Amateur Radio Club (WA5VUX). In 1979 he was selected by the Sabine Section of ASME as Engineer of the Year.

Mr. Leitch was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Nora Binder Leitch and his parents John and Mary Bette Davis Leitch, his three brothers and his sister. He is survived by his son, Dr. J. Douglas Leitch, Jr. and his wife Ranelle of Hunt, Texas; his daughter Mary Ann Henry of Lone Tree, CO; two granddaughters, Elizabeth Mardesen and her husband Troy of Centennial, CO and Caroline Henry of Lone Tree; and two great grandchildren, Cullen and Meredith Mardesen. Mr. Leitch is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. 

Funeral services were at Calder Baptist Church on Monday, July 2, 2007 at 11:00 a.m. with Dr. James R. Fuller officiating. Interment followed at Haven of Rest Cemetery. Serving as pallbearers were Mr. Mark Henderson, Dr. Gene Wright, Mr. Bud Leonard, Mr. Mac Fulbright, Dr. Fred Turner, Mr. Ronnie Platt, and Mr. Mike Baker. Honorary pallbearers are Mr. Jim Goodson and Mr. Dan Hallmark. 

The family requests that memorials be made to the Appel ALS Clinic, 6560 Fannin, Suite 802, Houston, TX 77030 or Calder Baptist Church Building Fund. 1155 N. 11th Street Beaumont, TX 77702 (409)892-3456 

 Albert Lee "Al" Long – N5AL

Born on Saturday, November 17, 1928, in Nacogdoches, Texas, Al was living in Dallas when he passed into God's heavenly kingdom on Saturday, November 3, 2007, after a prolonged illness.

Al was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. Arthur Lee Long and Mabel Wilson Long, and his loving wife of 59 years, Rose Mary Crawford Long. He is survived by his daughter Mary Long Davis and her husband Weldon Davis of Dallas, his daughter Lila Long Pond and her husband Paul Pond of Dallas, his son Tony Long and his wife Sharon of Dallas, his son Lee Long and his wife Charlotte of Fort Worth, fifteen grandchildren and their spouses, fifteen great grandchildren,his niece Shirley Ann Holloway and her husband Tom of Houston, and his cousin Virginia Hannah of Marshall.

In 2004, Al and Rose Mary moved from Groves to Dallas to be near their children. A professional musician and music educator, Al gave his life to nurturing children in his positions as a school band director and school principal for 52 years, serving as band director at Groves Junior High School from 1951 - 1961, band director at Port Neches-Groves High School from1961-1981, band director at Aztec New Mexico High School from 1982-1985, and band director and principal at Cathedral in the Pines Christian School in Beaumont from 1985-2000. In addition to teaching and directing the musical interests of students, Al was an avid musician throughout his life, playing both the trumpet and french horn in church orchestras, symphonic orchestras and jazz ensembles in East Texas and Southeast Texas; and, Al continued in this venue when he moved to Dallas, by becoming an active member of the New Horizons Concert Band and Upswing, New Horizon's Stage Band, and by becoming a member of the brass section of the orchestra at First Presbyterian Church of Dallas.

Always active in his church, Al was a member of First Presbyterian Church of DallasTexas at the time of his death. Al was a past member of First Methodist Church of Nacogdoches, First Methodist Church of Groves and Cathedral in the Pines in Beaumont. As a music educator, Al always expected the best of himself and his students, resulting in innumerous State level competition sweepstakes and first division awards fo rhis bands and individual band members. Al held lifetime Texas Education Agency Certificates in all levels for Music, Secondary Math, Superintendent, Principal and Supervisor. Al was a Charter member of the Texas Music Adjudicators Association, a lifetime member of the American Radio Relay League, a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, a member of Phi Beta Mu International School Bandmaster Fraternity and a 32nd degree, 50 year member of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Groves Lodge No. 1315, Groves, Texas. In earlier years, Al attained the rank of Master Sergeant in the Texas Army National Guard.

A kind and gentle man, passionate about his vocation and avocations, low-key and laid-back in all other things, God fearing and God loving, Al…, Dad to his children, Poppa to his grandchildren and great grandchildren, and Uncle Albertto many, many ex students, will be loved, missed and remembered by all. Lookout Gabriel, you now have competition for first chair on that horn!

Visitation will be from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Friday, November 9, 2007, at Levingston Funeral Home, 5601 39th Street, Groves, Texas.  Services will be at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, November 10, 2007, at First United Methodist Church of Groves, 6501 Washington, Groves, Texas, with interment following at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Groves. In celebration of Al's life,donations may be made to First Methodist Church of Groves or Cathedral in the Pines ChristianCenter, in Beaumont,in honor of Al Long.

Thanks to W5HX and the QCWA for this obituary

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