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Obituaries


Lucyle Baker Block, 89, of Orange died October 8, 2005, at Pinehill Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Jefferson, Texas. Funeral services will be at 2:00 p.m. Saturday at Claybar Funeral Home Chapel in Orange. Officiating will be Mr. Samuel Otha Gandy of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Burial will follow at Evergreen Cemetery. Visitation will begin at noon prior to the service. Mrs. Block was born in Terry, Texas and was a lifelong resident of Orange. She was a retired nurse, an avid bible student and participated in bible study and witness work. She was also a great cook, baking cookies for her friends and family. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ted Block and son, Tommy Block. She is survived by her sons and daughters-in-law, Bill and Reba Block of Orange and H.R. “Lefty” and Jameye Block of Comfort; sister, Ellen Gandy of Austin; grandchildren, Ted Block of Sussex, NJ, Angela Burch and Terry Block of Orange, Jessica Beth Fuselier of Pearland, Brenda Simmons of Coleman, Bobbie Ratto of Bangs, Sherilyn Ferguson of Beaumont and Benton Block of Abita Springs, LA; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Claude Walles, 92, of Mauriceville, died October 10, 2005, at St. Joseph Dupuis Hospital in Houston. Funeral services will be at 10:00 a.m. Friday, October 14, 2005, at Claybar Funeral Home Chapel in Orange. Officiating will be Brother Leo Anderson and Brother Leon Anderson. Burial will follow at Linscomb Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5-9 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home. Mr. Walles was born in Oilla Community, Orangefield and was a lifelong resident of the area. He was a retired boilermaker for Gulfport Levingston Shipbuilding. He was instrumental in helping establish several churches in Orange County and held services in Oak Grove Nursing Home in Vidor for many years. He was a lover of gardening and music especially his guitar. He was preceded in death by his parents, Benjamin and Mary Walles and wife, Lenore (Jedry) Walles. He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Patsy and Mack McDonald of Mauriceville; sisters, Lula Peveto of Vidor, Adeline Hanks of Woodville, Ruby Waldrop of Orangefield, Rena Waldrop and husband J.C. of Orangefield and Rose Hancock of Mauriceville; one grandchild and four great-grandchildren.
Debbie Caswell Vercher, 54, of Bridge City died October 4, 2005, at the East Texas Medical Center in Quitman, Texas. Funeral services will be at 3:00 p.m. Friday at Claybar Funeral Home Chapel in Bridge City. Officiating will be Reverend Don Richey. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens. Visitation will begin at 5:00 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home. Debbie was born in Orange and was a longtime resident of Bridge City. She was preceded in death by her father, Taft Renshaw; mother, Opal Capps; brother, Mike Renshaw; and sisters, Becky Renshaw and Valerie Renshaw. She is survived by her son, Lucius John Caswell; daughter and son-in-law, Darlene and Robert Brown all of Bridge City; grandchildren, Valerie Brown, Gabrielle Brown and Christina Caswell of Bridge City and Gregory Miller of Basil, LA; honorary grandchildren, Hedrick, Madison and Kylie Deshotel of Basil, LA;sisters, Cynthia Bailey of Bridge City and Gloria Crochet of Bossier City, LA; brothers, Daniel Renshaw of Port Acres, Dale Renshaw of Bridge City and Ronald Renshaw and Keith Hartsfield of Port Arthur; lifelong friends, Diane and Lucius Crain and Carol Sterns; and numerous nieces, nephews and a large extended family. Serving as pallbearers will be Hedrick Deshotel, Wayne Martin, Gary Warren, Dallas Crochet, Scott Crumpler, Luke Smith and Donovan Weldon.
Kathleen Louise Hagner, 82, of Bridge City died October 9, 2005, at Memorial Hermann Baptist Hospital in Orange. A memorial service will be at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday at the Circle Drive Baptist Church in Bridge City. Cremation will be under the direction of Claybar Haven of Rest Crematory. Mrs. Hagner was born in Bogalusa, Louiaiana and was a longtime resident of Bridge City. She was a member of the Circle Drive Baptist Church in Bridge City. She is survived by her husband, Frank Hagner of Bridge City; brothers, Spec Dunaway of Cleveland, TN and Ira Dunaway of Bogalusa, LA; and sisters, Shirley Stephens of Crossroads, MS and Sylvia Spillman of Bogalusa, LA.
Robert M. “Bob” Clary, 86, of Orange, Texas died Thursday, October 6, 2005 at Methodist Hospital in Houston. Funeral services will be 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 11, 2005, at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. Officiating will be Reverend Sally Anderson from Drake Memorial Presbyterian Church. A Masonic graveside service and burial will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens in Orange under the direction of Masonic Lodge #126 AF & AM. Visitation will begin at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, at the funeral home in Orange. Bob was born on June 26, 1919, in Taylor, Arkansas. He was the son of James W. and Mae (Williamson) Clary. He attended Louisiana Polytechnical Institute in Rustin, Louisiana and Southwestern Diesel School in Houston, Texas. Upon graduating from Southwestern Diesel in 1938, Robert tested for and was awarded a Chief Engineers license from the U.S. Coast Guard. He was the youngest person in the U.S. to ever receive this license. During World War II he joined the Army Transportation Corps and, through the war years, delivered 16 vessels for military purposes from U.S. ports to various destinations in the world serving as Chief Engineer or First Assistant Engineer. Robert was especially proud of his diesel engineering knowledge and his ability to apply that knowledge to aid in the war effort. He kept his Chief Engineer’s and Officer’s Licenses current until his 8th issue expired in 1986 and the Coast Guard balked on issuing further licenses due to age and eyesight issues. After World War II, Robert started the first of several marine related businesses’ in 1946 which included Clary & Paysee Seafood Co. and Clary Seafood Co. In 1957, was partner in Clary & Plaisance Towing Co. with the late Herman Plaisance. In 1963, started Clary Towing Co., Inc. In 1974, he founded Orange Shipbuilding Co., Inc. from which he retired in 1993. Professional associations that Robert belonged to included the American Waterways Operators Association, The Gulf Intracoastal Waterways Association, The Texas Shipyard Association, Orange Rotary Club, The Propeller Club of the United States, The El Mina Shrine-Galveston and The Orange Shrine Club. In 1990, he was named the “Propeller Club Man of the Year”, Port of the Sabine. In 2000, was awarded the “Golden Trowel Award” by the Madison Lodge-Orange Shrine Club. Robert served on the Board of Directors of the Orange Bank from 1969-1986. He was an Elder of the Drake Memorial Presbyterian Church. Robert was preceded in death by his two brothers, Everett and Tom Clary and sister, Lois Sandlin. Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Laura Hughes Clary of Orange; sons and daughters-in-law, Tommy and Ava Clary, David and Donna Clary, George and Candace Clary all of Orange; daughter and son-in-law, Julie Clary Ford and David Ford of Houston; seven grandchildren, Amy Clary McIlwain, Christiana Ford Eddy, Grant Ford, Kevin Ford, Alison Clary, Alexia Clary, Madison Clary; four great-grandchildren, Cameron McIlwain, Hannah Eddy, Colton McIlwain, Emma Eddy and sister-in-law, Roberta Clary of Junction City, Arkansas. The family would like to say a special Thank You to Fannie Richard for her total devotion and loving care she gave Bob. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Drake Memorial Presbyterian Church building repair fund, 4647 16th St., Orange, Texas 77632. Due to the aftermath of Hurricane Rita, a Memorial Service honoring Robert will be held at a later date, casual attire welcomed.
Mildred S. Eatman, 91, of Orange died October 4, 2005, in Bonham, Texas. Funeral services will be at 2:00 p.m. Monday at Claybar Funeral Home Chapel in Orange. Officiating will be Reverend Damon Bickham, pastor of Deweyville Baptist Church. Visitation will begin at 3:00 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home. Mrs. Eatman was a former resident of Atlanta, Texas and resided in Orange for the past 70 years. She was a retired clerk for Bealls and Sears. She was a member of Old First Orange Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by her husband, William L. Eatman; parents, Belvin and Martha Steed; three brothers and one sister. She is survived by her daughter, Wanda Henderson and husband Steve of Mauriceville; sons, Jerry Eatman and wife Judy of McLewis and David Eatman of Orange; one sister; ten grandchildren; eighteen great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.
Ray Adam Cormier, 78, of Orange died Wednesday, October 5, 2005, in Pineville, Louisiana, where he had evacuated from Hurricane Rita. Born on December 26, 1926, to Pierre Amadee and Hilda (Courville) Cormier in Lacassine, Louisiana, he lived in Jennings, Louisiana before moving to Orange in 1954. Ray was a World War II veteran serving in the U.S. Navy, member of the Masonic Lodge and the United Pentecostal Church both in Bridge City and was a retired chemical operator with Dupont in Beaumont. Funeral services will be 2:00 P.M. Sunday, October 9, 2005, in the Family Life Center of the United Pentecostal Church in Bridge City, with Reverend J. W. Harrell, officiating. Interment will follow in Autumn Oaks Memorial Park in the McLewis community under the direction of Dorman Funeral Home. Visitation will be 5:00 P.M. until 9:00 P.M. Saturday, at the funeral home. Mr. Cormier's parents preceded him in death. Survivors include wife, Velma Cormier, Orange; sons Ray Allen Cormier, Pamona, California and Bryan Adam Cormier, Orange. Sisters, Bell Huguet, Florida and Linda Ray Cassell and husband Tommy, Lake Charles and brother, Edward Allen Cormier and wife Mildred, Corpus Christi.
Marlene "Sally" Smith, 73, of Orange, died Tuesday October 4, 2005, in Little Rock, Arkansas, where she had evacuated from Hurricane Rita. Born in Iowa to Frank and Edna Anna (Miller) Wagner, she was an Orange resident for 61 years and a member of the First Church of the Nazerene in Orange. Graveside services and interment will bew 2:00 P.M. Saturday, at Jett Cemetery with Reverend Steve Vaughan officiating under the direction of Dorman Funeral Home. Mrs. Smith's parents, her first husband, Ralph Gravett and great granddaughter Makayla Bacon preceded her in death. Survivors include husband, Jack W. Smith, Orange; sons Jerome Gravett, Orange and Michael Gravett, San Antonio; daughter Sherry Harris, Mauriceville. Grandchildren, Tracy Bacon, Rodney, William, Donnie, Andrew, Patrick, Gregory, Chris and Mark Gravett and Lee Harris. 4 great grandchildren.
Joseph Mason Hebert, Jr., 53, of Orange died October 3, 2005, in Spring, Texas. Funeral services will be at 10:00 a.m. Friday at Claybar Funeral Home Chapel in Orange. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home. Mr. Hebert was born in Abbeville, Louisiana and was a longtime resident of the area. He was a mechanic for Dupuis’ Chevron and specialized in brakes and front end alignments. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph, Sr. and Edmae Hebert; son, Shaun William Hebert; and brother, Arval Hebert. He is survived by his wife, Nola Hebert; daughter, Maggie Hebert; step-children, Sarah McElroy, Michael McElroy all of Orange and Amanda Billings of Port Arthur; sisters, Gloria Frey of Seagoville and Betty Sue Diabo of Bridge City.
Eleanor Edwards, 79, of Orange, died October 6, 2005, at Seabreeze Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Texas City. A graveside service will be at 11:00 a.m. Monday at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens. Officiating will be Reverend Barry Bradley, pastor of First Baptist Church in Orange. Visitation will begin at 9:00 a.m. at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange prior to the graveside service. Miss Edwards was a longtime resident of Orange and a member of the First Baptist Church. While attending high school she was a member of the Stark High Bengal Guards. She was a longtime employee of Levingston Shipbuilding Co. where she was the executive assistant to the president of the company. On October 28, 1955, she christened “The Eleanor,” a tugboat built by Levingston and named for her. She is survived by her friends and care givers, Susan and Tom Simar, Laura and Herman Bowler, Vernon Pennington, Clinton and JoAnn Smith, Emma Jean Ericson and many other friends.
Hooks Roberts, Jr., 84, passed away on October 3, 2005, in Marshall, Texas, after being displaced to Pine Hill Terrace. He fought a courageous battle with cancer and Parkinson’s disease. Hooks was born in Kountze, Texas, on July 10, 1921 to Lou and Hooks Roberts, Sr. During high school, he was an outstanding basketball player. He served in the U.S. Air Force during WWII. On March 8, 1947, he wed Martha White of Gary, Texas, with whom he celebrated 58 years of marriage. Hooks retired from DuPont Sabine River Works as a process operator with 36 years of service. He was a member of the NRA and TRA. Hooks was a devoted husband and father, avid gardener, and lover of the outdoors. He was always so generous and took great pride in sharing his produce with all. His courage, determination, and strength of character was an inspiration to all. He continued to lead his family during the last days with his unwavering sense of humor and devotion. Hooks truly lived the saying, “Home is where the heart is.” The family has truly been blessed to have him these 84 years. Left behind to cherish his memories are his wife, Martha (Scottie) Roberts; sons, Ron Roberts and wife Shelley of Vidor, TX and James (Buck) Roberts and wife Dana of Orange, TX; daughter, Missy Roberts Certa of Huntsville, TX; grandchildren, Tandi Certa and fiancee’ Kyle Keeland of Huntsville, TX, Brandi Certa Myers and husband Ryan of Temple, TX, Justin Roberts of Houston, TX and Jacob Roberts of Austin, TX. Hooks was preceded in death by his parents and four sisters, Madge Golden, Wynette Salter, Mary Broussard and Jacque White Harding. Funeral services will be at 2:00 p.m. Sunday at Claybar Funeral Home Chapel in Orange. Officiating will be Reverend Danny Gilliam, pastor of McDonald Memorial Baptist Church. Burial will follow at Orange Forest Lawn Cemetery. Visitation will begin at 1:00 p.m. prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association and The Parkinson’s Foundation. Serving as pallbearers will be Justin Roberts, Jacob Roberts, Ryan Myers, Kyle Keeland, Keith Certa and Steve Moore. The Roberts family would like to extend their heartfelt appreciation to all the medical staff at Memorial Hermann Baptist Hospital in Beaumont and to the staff at The Orange Villa for providing such loving care. Due to the aftermath of Hurricane Rita, casual dress is welcomed.
Robert Earl Kendrick, 54, of Bridge City died September 27, 2005, in Terrell, Texas. Funeral services will be at 2:00 p.m. Friday at Claybar Funeral Home Chapel in Orange. Officiating will be Reverend Damon Bickham, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Deweyville. Burial will follow at Orange Forest Lawn Cemetery. Visitation will begin at noon prior to the service. Mr. Kendrick was born in Beaumont and resided in Bridge City for the past 25 years. He was a machinist for Standard Alloys and was a U.S. Navy veteran. He is survived by his wife, Bonnie Landry Kendrick; daughters, Lyndsay Murchison and Amy Kendrick all of Bridge City; and five grandchildren.
Wilson John “Poon” Prejean, 90 of Port Arthur, Texas, died Monday, October 3, 2005 at St. Joseph Hospital in Houston. Funeral Services will be at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 8, 2005 at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. Officiating the service will be Father Joseph P. Deleo of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Orange. Burial will follow at Orange Forest Lawn Cemetery. Visitation will begin at 9:00 am on Saturday morning at the funeral home in Orange. Mr. Prejean lived in Orange 55 years and moved to Port Arthur the last few years of his life. He was an electrician by trade and was a part of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. He played semi-pro baseball and was instrumental in starting the youth baseball programs in Orange. He also loved hunting and fishing during his free time. He is preceded in death by his wife Maurine Thomas. He is survived by his daughters; Sidney Broussard and her husband Joe of New Orleans, LA., Jennette Moore of Hockley, TX. and grandchildren; Brett and Dean Manceaux, Kent and Russ Broussard and Kelly Jason, 9 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren and sister; Gertrude Thom.
Maxine “Max” Johnson, 70, of Orange died October 1, 2005, at MD Anderson in Houston. Funeral services will be at 2:00 p.m. Saturday at Claybar Funeral Home Chapel in Orange. Officiating will be Reverend Jeff Bell, pastor of Cove Baptist Church. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be from 11:00-2:00 Saturday prior to the service. Mrs. Johnson was born in Carthage, Texas and was a longtime resident of Orange. She was a legal secretary for Sanders & Sanders law firm. Preceded in death by her parents, Lewis and Dollie Ritter Williams; four brothers and two sisters, she is survived by her husband, Elroyce Johnson; daughter and son-in-law, Gayle and James Stegall; son, Randy Johnson all of Orange; sister and brother-in-law, Joy and Webster Denton of Carthage; grandchildren, Melani and Shane Woodruff of Bridge City, Michelle and Kris Flanakin of Rockwall, Wayne and Cristy Stegall of Bridge City; great- grandchildren, Madison, Mia and Marlee Woodruff, Mikaela, Mathew Slade and Maddox Stegall and Amanda and Kellie Flanakin. Serving as pallbearers will be Michael Sparks, Danny Denton, John Kelley, Stevie Johnson, Kenny Johnson and Rusty Peveto. Honorary pallbearer will be Steve Williams.
Joseph Mason Hebert, Jr., 53, of Orange died October 3, 2005, in Spring, Texas. Funeral services will be at 10:00 a.m. Friday at Claybar Funeral Home Chapel in Orange. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home. Mr. Hebert was born in Abbeville, Louisiana and was a longtime resident of the area. He was a mechanic for Dupuis’ Chevron and specialized in brakes and front end alignments. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph, Sr. and Edmae Hebert; son, Shaun William Hebert; and brother, Arval Hebert. He is survived by his wife, Nola Hebert; daughter, Maggie Hebert; step-children, Sarah McElroy, Michael McElroy all of Orange and Amanda Billings of Port Arthur; sisters, Gloria Frey of Seagoville and Betty Sue Diabo of Bridge City.

Royce William Hoffpauir, 62, of Orange died September 30, 2005, at his residence. A graveside service will be at 4:00 p.m. Saturday at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens.

Jackson Ryan "Jack" Holdridge, two year old son of Derek and Amanda Holdridge of Merkel went to his eternal home on Monday, October 3, 2005, wrapped in the arms of his loving saviour. Jack was born on October 6, 2002, in Great Bend, Kansas. He will be laid to rest beside his Nanny and Pappy, Gloria and Jack Kerbow, at 10:30 a.m. Friday, October 7 in the Sonora Cemetery. Kerbow Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. He is survived by his parents of Merkel, his sister, Abby Gail Holdridge of Merkel, his paternal grandparents, Kay and Robert Kibbe of Bridge City, Don and Johnnie Holdridge of Odessa, and his maternal grandparents, Linda and Pat Lynch of Clyde. The family requests memorials to the Gloria Kerbow Memorial Scholarship fund at First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 675 Sonora, Texas 76950. "But Jesus called them unto him, and said, "Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not; for of such is the Kingdon of God." Luke 18:16

Helen Dorinda Wade, 67, of Orange died September 29, 2005, in Roswell, Georgia. She was in Roswell due to the evacuation during Hurricane Rita. A graveside service will be at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, October 6, 2005, at Evergreen Cemetery. Officiating will be Pastor Steve Vaughan of Orange First Church of the Nazarene. Visitation will begin at 8:30 a.m. Thursday at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange prior to the graveside service. Mrs. Wade was born in Oak Grove, Louisiana and resided in Orange since 1945. She was preceded in death by her parents, Lloyd and Mamie Welborn; brothers, William “Buster” Welborn and Raydon Welborn; and sister, Beverly Watts. She is survived by her husband of 46 years, William “Bill” Wade; son and daughter-in-law, Van and Kelly Wade; granddaughter, Emily Wade all of Orange; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Beeman and Bernice Wade; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Zemma and Jim Stark; brother-in-law, Bob Watts and numerous nieces and nephews. Serving as pallbearers will be Slade Watts, Cale Watts, Ross Watts, Todd Wade, Chuck Peet and Drew Peet.