Class of '51 Obituaries

Donald Morgan
Donald E. Morgan, 79, of Beaumont, Texas passed away Friday, November 23, 2012 at his home.
He was born in Beaumont, January 31, 1933 to Ernest and Lorena Daigle Morgan. Donald E. Morgan was his given name but you might have known him as Don (by his work buddies), Sam (by his army buddies), Buzz (by his high school friends), Uncle Donnie (by his nieces and nephews), Dad (by his three sons), Pop (by his grandchildren and great grandchildren), or if you didn't know his name but you were around him for just a little while, you would have called him "a good guy." He had an infectious smile and a great sense of humor. Those around him couldn't stop laughing when he started telling one of those jokes of his, not because it was so funny but because he could hardly tell the joke without laughing because he knew the punch line. There were times when the listener couldn't tell what the punch line was because Donald was laughing so hard, but they laughed anyway.
Donald graduated from French High School in 1951. He led the FHS Class reunions for the 1950/1951 classes. When it came to the French Buffalos, he bled orange and white. Donald lettered and was the captain of the football team. He made All- District as a sophomore in football and as a senior in basketball. In basketball, he was top scorer in three playoff games his senior year. The amazing thing was that he had a sprained ankle and was not even supposed to play in any of those games. He also lettered in baseball and track. Donald received a football scholarship to Texas A&M but was unable to complete his degree because of financial issues.
Donald was a member of the United States Army. He enlisted in 1952. While he never saw combat, he performed duties on behalf of his country in many places both stateside and in Europe. He was Honorably Discharged in 1954 and was a strong supporter of Veterans rights. Donald was a member in good standing of the International Brotherhood of Ironworkers, Local Union 125. He joined the union in May 1952 until he enlisted in the United States Army. Upon his return to civilian life, he helped construct many of the buildings and refineries in southeast Texas and around the country. He even spent one year with his family in California pursuing the Ironworking trade. Donald volunteered his time as a Little League baseball coach. As a matter of fact, he and his brothers built the original Vidor Little League baseball park including bleachers. He spent many hours teaching young players the right way to do things in the game of baseball. He loved coaching the different teams over the years and even won a championship.
Donald was a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He held the position of Trustee and Entertainment Chairman, for which he was extremely well- suited. While a member of the Elks, he became proficient at square dancing and he and Lillian danced competitively around the area with others as the Belles and Beaus.
In 1984, at the age of 52, Donald suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed. That never slowed him down. He and Lillian travelled the world. They went to China, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Japan, Egypt, Greece, England, Spain, Portugal and Mexico to mention a few.
When it came to family, Donald was always there. If one of his sons asked for a little money to go to a movie, he gave it. Even though it may have been his last dollar until the next payday, he didn't want his family to do without. He wanted his family to have more than he had as he was growing up and worked hard to accomplish that goal. It didn't matter how many grandchildren there were or how many games or programs they had, he was always there, always encouraging, listening and praising their efforts, regardless of the outcome. Donald married Lillian McConnell in the early 1950's. After spending 24 hours a day together since his stroke, he still loved doing things with his bride of almost 60 years. They took cruises, world tours, family trips and weekend visits to the beach. They were always together. Just a few months ago Donald was diagnosed with Lymphoma. He handled the news with dignity. He didn't suffer and was able to spend time with his family and make sure they understood what he wanted for them and how he thought they should handle the situation. All in all, when considering Donald's life and trying to summarize him and all that he was, one would have to say, "He was a good guy."
Donald is survived by his wife, Lillian Morgan; sons, Glen Morgan and his wife, Teri, Daniel Morgan, and Harold Morgan; grandchildren, Carmen Millican, Matthew Morgan, Amy Morgan Pyburn and her husband, Ryan, and Michael Morgan; great-grandchildren, Adelyn Millican, Aidan Millican, Ava Millican, and Alyse Millican; and sisters, Daisy Morgan, Doris Robinson, Bessie Wardwell and Jeanette Mazzolo. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Cecil Morgan Vernon Morgan.

Joe Dan Taylor
Joe Dan Taylor, 80, passed away November 16, at home, surrounded by loved ones. Dan was born in Winnsboro, TX, on April 12, 1933, to Hazel and Wayne Taylor. He was a 1951 graduate of French High School in Beaumont, where he culminated friendships that have endured until his passing.
He enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and was stationed in San Diego, CA. There he met his beloved and devoted wife of 60 years, Dolores Ganem Taylor. He loved family, football, friends, Taylor family Thanksgivings, the Rockets, and poker nights at the lake. He was known to cry at family functions, so extra tissues were always at the ready. His famous words Now, Honey will forever be in our hearts. Dan is preceded in death by his grandchildren, Keith Walters, Lauren Douglas, Jessica Homfeld and great grandchild, Jacob Day.
He is survived by his wife, Dolores, daughters and their families: Karen and Gordon Walters, Leslie Taylor and Carol Metzger, Donna and Ken Homfeld, Joan and Jeff Dugan, Elizabeth and Mitch Douglas. 19 grandchildren: Danny Taylor-Homfeld, Timothy Douglas and Ryan Norris, Jessica Morgan, Michelle Mingarelli and Harry Harris, Lance and Lyndsy Walters, Nicole and Blake Day, Megan Dugan, Austin Homfeld, Bryce Lynd, Blake Lynd, Jeffrey Dugan, Taylor Douglas, Travis Walters, Taryn Douglas and his little protector, Brady Dugan.; 4 great- grandchildren, Rory Walters, Hudson Harris, Kyleigh Day and Liam Magness; his siblings and their spouses, Charles and Jane Taylor, Gary and Carolyn Taylor, Jan and Andrew Droptini and Mike and Maritza Ganem; numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. A heartfelt thank you to Dr. David Buescher, his staff, and hospice nurse Donna Olsovsky, RN and Wanda Gates, CNA.
A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 2590 Hwy 190W, Livingston, TX, on Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 11:00 am with Father Labbe officiating. Inurnment will be at a later date at Grand View Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, the family wishes donations to be made to the Wounded Warrior Project. - See more at:

Joy Ruth Freeman
Joy Ruth Freeman, 76, of Nederland died Saturday, October 23, 2010, at her residence. She was born November 5, 1933, in Manning, Texas to Timothy and Eula (Flowers) Laird, Sr. She grew up in Beaumont but had lived in Nederland since 1968. A 1951 graduate of French High School.
Joy worked several years at Judice's French Market as a cashier. She was a longtime member of Calvary Baptist Church in Nederland.
Survivors include her husband, Bradford E. (Brad) Freeman of Nederland; daughters, Linda Estes and her husband Doug of Nederland, Janet Swearingen and her husband Steve of Silsbee and Wanda Lovelady and her husband Mike of Nederland; grandchildren, Jennifer Tucker and her husband Ryan, Rachael Craigen and her husband Jason, Kyle Swearingen and his wife Amanda, Kevin, Jason and Ashley Lovelady; and great grandchildren, Hailey Craigen, Kyler, Kethan and Konner Swearingen, and Cade and Ayden Tucker. Joy is preceded in death by her parents; daughter, Rhonda Faye Freeman; sisters, Lillie Traugott and Tess Archer; brothers, Timothy Laird, Jr. and James Laird.
Funeral service will be 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at Broussard's, 505 12th Street, Nederland with Reverend Donald Bean and Ryan Tucker officiating. Burial will follow at 2:00 p.m. at Baker-Bell Cemetery in Fred. A gathering of family and friends will be from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 26, 2010, at Broussard's. The family would like to extend a special thanks to Odyssey Hospice Staff for their loving and compassionate care of Joy. Complete and updated information may be viewed at -

Mary Ann Jones
Mary Ann Jones 75, of Fannett, died Wednesday, October 14, 2009, at Dubuis Hospital in Beaumont. She was born February 8, 1934, in Beaumont to Mary Etna Davis Chriswell and Charles Red Chriswell. Mary Ann was a member of ETA XI Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi-Sorority and a 1951 graduate of French High School.
She was a retired secretary at Hamshire-Fannett High School in Hamshire. Survivors include her children, Linda Espinoza and her husband Gerardo in Pasadena, Michael W. Jones and his wife Donna of Cypress, Julie Melancon and her husband Rocky of Hamshire, and Kim Jones of Sour Lake; ten grandchildren, Tasha Cockrell and her husband Casey, Robert Espinoza, Tiffany Espinoza, Eric Espinoza, Curtis Jones, Carey Jones, Neal Melancon, Matt Melancon, Austin Melancon, and Skyler Melancon; two great grandchildren, Drake Espinoza and Claire Cockrell; brother, Charles Chriswell of Beaumont; sister, Peggy Peacock of Beaumont; sister-in-law, Mary Berger of Florida; brothers-in-law, Cecil Cain of Silsbee and Randy Jones of Vidor; and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family members. Her husband of forty years, Robert E. Sonny Jones preceded her in death. Mary Ann was a wonderful mother, loving grandmother MawMaw to all of her grandchildren and devoted friend to everyone she touched. She was known for her love of life, running the roads and having fun.
Her funeral service will be 2:00 p.m. Saturday, October 17, 2009, at Broussard's, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont with burial to follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park with her grandsons serving as pallbearers. A gathering of her family and friends will begin at 6:00 p.m. Friday, October 16, 2009, at Broussard's. Memorial contributions may be made to Hope Lutheran Church, 9th and LeBlanc, Winnie, Texas 77665. Complete and updated information may be viewed at

Glen A. French
Glen French, 78, of Beaumont, died Wednesday, August 8, 2012, after a long battle with kidney failure. He died peacefully with his loving wife of fifty-six years, Doris, by his side. He was born on February 21, 1934, in Panhandle, Texas, to Alean French and Woodrow Wilson French, and had been a lifelong resident of the Beaumont area. Woodrow and Alean moved to Beaumont in the early 1940ís. Glen attended French High School and graduated in 1951.
He married Doris Rose Etheredge, the best thing that EVER happened to him, on August 11, 1956. Glen was the love of Dorisí life. They both attended North End Baptist Church when they were younger and are still members today. Glen received his Bachelor of Science degree from East Texas Baptist University, his Master of Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, his Master of Education degree from Stephen F. Austin University, and later went on to receive his Doctorate of Education from North Texas State University.
Glen spent his entire career in public education dedicating much of that time to improving early childhood education. When he wasnít working, Glen was either spending time with his family or playing golf. He loved the game and loved making people laugh. Glen will be missed by so many. Glen is survived by his wife of fifty-six years, Doris; sons, Mike French of Austin; Mark French and his wife, Beth, of Nacogdoches; and Todd French and his wife, Brandy, of Houston; sister, Betty Jo Best of Fort Worth; brothers, Jim French and his wife, Betty, of Friendswood; and Jack French and his wife, Janet, of Arlington; seven grandchildren, Drew, Collin and his wife, Lydia, Logan, Dylan, Saydie, Taylor, and Leighton; and two great-grandchildren, Braden and Parker.
A gathering of Mr. Frenchís family and friends will be from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., Thursday, August 9, 2012, at Broussardís, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont. His funeral service will be 2:00 p.m., Friday, August 10, 2012, at Broussardís, with interment to follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Beaumont. Memorial contributions may be made to Southern Texas PGA, Junior Golf Program, 21064 Cypresswood Drive, Spring, Texas 77373, or to North End Baptist Church, 5115 Eastex Freeway, Beaumont, Texas 77706. We have so many people to thank for their kindness, support, and care during Glen's illness; we would like to particularly thank Nikki Gipson, Geri Reid, Cheryl Guillory, and Brandon Durio. Without their care and true loyalty to Glen and Doris we don't know how we could have weathered the past year without their help. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Jo Ann Cain
Jo Ann Cain, 75, of Silsbee, died on March 30, 2009. She was born February 8, 1934 to Charles Red and Mary Etna Chriswell. A native of Beaumont, she had lived in Hardin County most of her life. She was a 1951 graduate of French High School and married her childhood sweetheart, Cecil Cain, on January 11, 1957.
Jo Ann worked for Allen Peavey Lumber Company in Kountze for twelve years and later for the Hardin County Health Department, where she was the County's Health Inspector for eleven years. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Silsbee, and one of the first volunteer to begin the Christian Care Center in Silsbee. Jo Ann was a devoted wife, a loving mother to two children, and a fun and adoring MawMaw to three grandchildren and a great-granddaughter. Jo Ann is survived by her husband of 52 years, Cecil Cain; daughter, Cindy Fredrick and her husband Brian of Lumberton and son, Ed Cain and his wife Sonia of Silsbee; grandsons Brandon Crow and his wife Kassie of Plano, Derrick Cain of Austin and Dillon Cain of Silsbee and great-granddaughter, Allie Crow of Plano. She is also survived by a twin sister, Mary Ann Jones of Fannett, a brother Charles Chriswell of Beaumont, sister Peggy Peacock of Beaumont, numerous nieces, nephews, and special friends.
She will be greatly missed by all. Funeral services will be held at Farmer Funeral Home, 415 North 4th Street in Silsbee on Wednesday, April 1 at 10:00 am, with burial following at R.S. Farmer Memorial in Silsbee. Visitation is on Tuesday, March 31 from 5:00-7:00 pm, at the funeral home. Pallbearers will be grandsons, Brandon Crow, Derrick and Dillon Cain, son-in-law Brian Frederick, Brian Hawthorne and Richard Nelson. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to The Christian Care Center, a charity of your choice or your church in Jo Ann's honor.

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