Class of '57 Obituaries

Dr. Elliot Craig
Dr. Elliott Craig, went to be with his Savior, Jesus Christ, on Monday, July 23 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.
He graduated from French high school in Beaumont, Texas and received his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M on a basketball scholarship. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Texas A&M in 1963. He served his country as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. Dr. Craig completed his residency in veterinary surgery at Ohio State University in 1979. He had a referral surgery practice in Houston for 33 years. He was a member of Sugar Creek Baptist Church and golf member of Riverbend CC.
He is survived by: his wife, Carolyn, of 48 years, son Brad Craig and daughter-in-law Brandy Bresenhan Craig, daughter Alison Blom, son-in-law Del Blom, grandchildren Hudson, Abigail and Aubrey Blom and brother Rogers Craig and wife Jean.
The funeral service will be on Monday, July 30 at 2:00 p.m. at Sugar Creek Baptist Church in Sugar Land. The grave side service will be held on Tuesday July 31 at 11:00 a.m. at the Aggie Field of Honor in College Station. He loved well and was loved in return.

Donald Madden
Donald Paul Madden, 75, passed away Saturday, June 7, 2014 in his residence. Donald, a 50-plus year Sulphur resident, was a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church as well as a former Scout Master and baseball coach. He retired from W R Grace after 35 years of service. He loved to travel and had a passion for fishing, hunting and collecting arrow heads.
Survivors include his wife, Carol Lacasse Madden; son, Vance Madden of Alabama; daughter, Marla Madden Evans and her partner Sherry of Sulphur; two step-sons, Johnny Duhon and his wife Mona, and Randy Rayon and his wife Karen; four step-daughters, Marlene Fontenot and her husband Drew, Annette Evans and her husband Steve, Angie Duhon and her husband Gary, all of Lake Charles and Tammy Londerno and her husband Clint of Egan; sister, Phyllis Coston of Nederland; brother Larry Madden and his wife Ginger of Many; twenty-four grandchildren and seventeen great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents, Don "Daddy D" and Dorothy "Momma D" Madden and brother-in-law, Johnny Coston.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 2 pm Tuesday, June 10 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Sulphur. The Rev. Aubrey Guilbeau will officiate. Interment will follow at Consolota Cemetery in Lake Charles. Visitation will be held in Hixson-Sulphur Memorial Funeral Home Monday from 4 to 9 pm with a Scripture Service at 6 pm, and will resume Tuesday at 9 a.m. until time of service. Words of comfort may be shared with the family at

Helen Thornell Hoppess
Helen Thornell Hoppess won her eight year battle with Alzheimer's when she joyfully passed from this earth to her Lord on the 29th of August 2012.
Helen was born on the 15th of June 1939 in Port Arthur, Texas, and was the second of two daughters of Ralph Thornell and Herma Roth. She attended school in Beaumont, Texas, and in 1957, she graduated from French High School.
She is survived by her husband, Karl; her daughters, Debra Lynn Hebert and husband Troy, Diana Lea Lovett, Denise Rae Fregoelle-Burk and partner Christine; and by her sons, Graham Hoppess and wife Denise, and Thor Hoppess and wife Monique. Helen is also survived by her eight grandchildren, whom she spoiled with love and adoration, Jennifer Lovett, Ryan Newman and wife Christina, Rachel Newman Ayers and husband Jeremy, Kara Burk Roberts and husband Michael, Hagan Hoppess, Madison Hoppess, Reece George, and Thomas Walker Hoppess. Her two sisters, Herma Robinson and husband Kenneth, and Karen Ross and husband Jim; as well as her brother, Ralph David Thornell and wife Paula, also survive her.
Helen had a sense of family and community obligation that she remained committed to until the ravages of the disease overcame her. She will be remembered by her family and friends as a lady of southern grace and beauty, who openly acknowledged and accepted each blessing and each adversity given to her. As she slipped away from us over the past eight years, she expressed gratitude to her friends and employers for the opportunities she had been given in life. She was always thankful of her employment as a legal secretary at Cox, Evans, Packinham & Roady, and at Dyche and Wright.
After graduation from Houston Community College, she delighted in her position at Gulf Coast Bank. She cherished moments of service that the Houston and Kerrville members of The March of Dimes, the Houston Child Advocates (CASA), the Kerrville, Texas' Kids Advocacy Place and the Garden Clubs of Hearthstone and Crestwood gave her to serve as a either a participating court advocate for children, an officer for the organization, or a as board member. Helen was always actively involved, both by service and financial efforts in these charities. Besides her family, Helen's passions in life were the piano, her photography of children, and the development of parks, gardens, and unlimited beds of flowers. Helen was a rare person of gratitude, joy, compassion and tremendous tenderness. For their dedicated and professional care provided to Helen, the family desires to express their heartfelt gratitude to the Melba Altamirano family, the staff members at The Forum, and to Houston Hospice.
Arrangements in Houston and in Bryan are with Geo. H. Lewis & Sons - The Funeral Directors Since 1936, 713.789.3005, Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from five o'clock in the afternoon until eight o'clock in the evening on Friday, the 7th of September, in the library and grand foyer of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston. A funeral service is to be conducted at half-past ten o'clock in the morning on Saturday, the 8th of September, in the sanctuary of St. Luke's United Methodist Church, 3471 Westheimer Road in Houston, where Dr. Tom Pace, Senior Pastor, is to officiate. Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family during a reception in the adjacent Hines Baker Room. A sunset interment service is to be conducted at half-past six o'clock in the evening, also on Saturday, at the Coulter and Hoppess burial estate within the Bryan City Cemetery, 1111 North Texas Avenue in Bryan, Texas, where Rev. Jerry House, Senior Pastor at Christ United Methodist Church of College Station, is to officiate.
Following the interment, all are invited to gather with the family during a catered reception at a venue to be announced at the service. Honored to serve as casket bearers during Saturday's services are Barton Cromeens, Terry Forrester, Richard Hood, Graham Hoppess, Thor Hoppess, James McCullough, Joe Maida, and Harvey Zinn. Serving as honorary pallbearers are Eddie Marx and Roy Moore. In lieu of customary remembrances, contributions in Helen's memory may be directed to the Hill Country Crisis Council, Inc. (formerly the Kids Advocacy Place/KAP), P. O. Box 291817, Kerrville, TX, 78729

Frances Culver Linthicum
Frances Ruth Culver Linthicum, 73, passed away 4/4/13 from cancer, compounded by the additional trauma of a hip fracture. She was the daughter of Vernon and Bernice Culver. Both have passed. Her late husband was David Bruce Linthicum of Port Arthur.
She was a delight as Drum Major at French High in 55, 56, & 57. She earned a Bachelor's in Literature and a Master's in Library Science, then taught for almost 3 decades. After retirement, she focused on her favorite pastime, fishing, while living near Sam Rayburn Lake, then later at Bennett Springs, Mo. She was Wonder Woman - so talented at seemingly everything.
Everyone loved her and she will be deeply missed by all including: her children, David Bruce Jr.; Jennifer; and by her care-giving daughter, Rachel; son-in-law, Carl; grandchildren, Kasey, Jason, and Emily; as well as by her last living brother, Lee Culver. Frances will also be missed by her many nieces and nephews, cousins, and friends. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in her name to the American Cancer Society . God will place her under His angel's wings and she will be at peace in heaven forever. There is a memorial website at: where information, pictures, celebration, and tales of old can be shared.

Richard Smith
Richard L. Smith, 73, of Prosper, passed away peacefully on March 3, 2013. The son of Theda Cobb and Raymond Smith, Richard graduated from French High School in Beaumont in 1957, joined the Army Reserve, and attended Lamar Tech University. After his father passed, Richard assumed control of the family design business, winning national awards for his department store window displays.
A passion for the outdoors led to a successful career in competitive shotgun shooting sports that spanned 50 years. Richard lived in the moment, following his dreams, traveling the world, winning international events, and inspiring everyone he met. A mentor, teacher, and beloved friend, Richard was a true champion. Richard was preceded in death by his father, Raymond Smith. Survived by his mother Theda Cobb of Burleson; children: Morgan Smith of Houston, Richard Smith JR & Steven Smith of Topanga,CA; Siblings: Roland (Connie) Cobb of Vancover, WA, Candice (Eddie) Castillo of Burleson; Grandchildren: Evan Campos & Conor Compos of Houston. A gravesite service to be held in Beaumont, Fri March 8th at Forrest Lawn Funeral Home 2pm, 4955 Pine St.

Patricia Ray St. Clair Gordy
Patricia began her journey to Heaven, on Wednesday, March 21, 2012, just three days after her 73rd birthday. Born on March 18, 1939, Patty was a beautiful, Christian woman with a heart of gold.
She graduated in 1957, as a part of the first graduating class of French High School. On February 13, 1965, she married her husband of forty-seven years, Kirk Gordy. Her first job was in medical records at Baptist Hospital. She later went on to work with children at a day care facility, but her most important role was that of a loving wife and mother of two. Patty believed whole-heartedly in the bible and was a member of Wesley Methodist Church in Beaumont. She always took pride in her family, and she never met a stranger. She would go out of her way to lend a helping hand to anyone in need.
Survivors include her son, Danny Shannon; her daughter, Tammy Edelmon and her husband, Barry; her grandchildren, Abby, Aaron, and Allan Edelmon, all of Sour Lake; her brother, Jerry St. Clair and his wife, Concetta of Lumberton; her sisters, Flo Nobles and Susan Lognion and her husband, David of Kountze; and numerous nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents; and her husband, Kirk Gordy. Patty's family would like to thank the staff of New Century Hospice for taking such great care of her in her final stages of life, and for all of their help and support throughout the past six months.
A gathering of her family and friends will begin 9:00 a.m., with her funeral service to follow at 11:00 a.m., Friday, March 23, 2012, at Wesley United Methodist Church, 3810 North Major Drive, Beaumont, with interment to follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Beaumont, under the direction of Broussard's, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont. Complete and updated information may be found at:

James Earl Smith class of '57
James Earl Smith, age 70, of Coldspring, Texas, passed away Wednesday, October 28, 2009. He was born in Shreveport, Louisiana on September 4, 1939. Jimmy grew up in Beaumont, Texas and graduated from French High School.
He retired from DuPont Beaumont Works after 35 years of service. Memorial services were held Friday, November 6, '09 at Coldspring United Methodist Church, Coldspring, Texas; Pastor David Green and Pastor Mariann Wallace presiding.
In lieu of flowers, the family ask donations be made to one of the following: Coldspring United Methodist Church, Building Fund, Hwy 150, P.O. Box 1520, Coldspring, TX 77331; Paul Horton United Methodist Church, Building Fund, P.O. Box 1428, Coldspring, TX 77331-1428; Women's League of San Jacinto County Schlorship Fund, P.O. Box 352, Coldspring, TX 77331. Pace-Stancil Funeral Home 303 E. Crockett Cleveland, Texas

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