Fred Masters, of Thornton, passed away Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, at Limestone Medical Center.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 12, in the Groesbeck Funeral Home Chapel. Ministers Sedric Thomas, Tracy Sims, Randy Ayres and Billy Anderson will conduct the services, and burial will follow in Thornton Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Steven Dale Masters, Mason Keith Masters, Larry McKenzie Masters, Michael Shane Masters, Dustin Joe Masters, Chesley Kane Sullivan, Kristopher Keith Masters, Randal Craig Masters, Mason McKenzie Masters and Michael Brandon Noey. Honorary pallbearers will be Bobby Ward, James “Bubba” Pollard, Marcus Ray Hanna, Joel Thomas, Grady “Butch” Masters, Ty Austin Pagel, William Heath Masters, John Kyle “Bubba” Sullivan and Jimmy Rucker.
A luncheon will be served for family and friends at the Central Baptist Church in Thornton after the services.
Fred was born June 9, 1923, to Chester Arthur Masters and Delilia McKenzie Masters, at Coolidge, and grew up attending school in Shiloh and Mexia.
Fred was united in marriage with Betty Jo Pollard on July 8, 1943, at Point Enterprise. They lived and farmed cotton at Shiloh for ten years, and then lived in Thornton the rest of their lives. Fred was a truck driver most of his life and was one of the oldest cattle truck drivers still left. He had driven cattle trucks from local auction barns to feedlots in California (with off-loading for overnight stays in Arizona). Later in life he drove furniture trucks for Abrant, and retired when he reached age 62.
He also enjoyed time spent on his riding mower. Fred had the good fortune in his lifetime to have twice survived being hit by a freight train, first as a young person in a car, and again in his 70s, when he crossed the track on his riding mower, and not only survived but refused the ambulance sent for him. Fred was a great gardener, who raised his big gardens with the enjoyment of sharing with everyone. He also enjoyed time spent camping and fishing, with Betty cooking for the big gang of friends. He and Betty had many friends both locally and from other towns, spending happy times together, as well as with big family gatherings. He loved everyone, and was known as Pa to all, from family to friends to the staff in the nursing home (and as G-Pa to the grandchildren). There were 81 in the immediate family and when they got together, they had to rent a building. Fred would say to Betty, with pride in his family, “Look what we caused.”
Fred was preceded in death by his parents; seven brothers and sisters; granddaughter, Tina Lynn Masters; son, Larry Joe Masters; and great-grandson, Bradley Reed Noey.
He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Betty Jo Masters; four sons and daughters-in-law, Gary Fred and Brenda Masters, William Chesley and Billie Masters, Mason H. and Debra Masters, and Michael Wayne and Deborah Masters; daughter Dianne Masters and her partner, Scarlett Toliver; and daughter and son-in-law, Deborah Lynn and Dennis Minchew. He also leaves behind 19 grandchildren, 32 great grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren; and one sister.
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