Obituaries

Wed
01
Jul

Vener Oliver John Barnes

Vener Oliver John Barnes, a cherished husband and father of six, passed away June 26, 2015 at the age of 86.
Vener was born in London, England on Nov. 12, 1928, to William and Alice Snelling Barnes. He immigrated with his family to Texas when he was only 2 and never thought of himself as anything but a Texan. He grew up in Corpus Christi and served in the Navy on the destroyer USS Cushing during the Korean War. After graduating from the University of Texas, he went on to earn an master’s degree in business administration from Michigan State University.
Vener spent most of his working career in the grocery industry and served as president of the Houston Retail Grocers Association. He and his wife, Elizabeth, were the owners of Barnes’ Westbury Minimax, where all of their six children worked and learned from them their values of life, love and family. In his retired life he was a proud volunteer for the Lake Mexia VFD and Caritas Mexia.

Mon
29
Jun

Eldon Blake ‘Ironhead’ Johnson

We sadly mourn the passing of a father, friend and father-in-law, and neighbor. Elson Blake Johnson, born Aug. 10, 1926 in Mexia, and passed away June 25, 2015 at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center in Waco.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, July 1, at 2 p.m. at First Assembly of God Church in Mexia, with Rev. Bryan Hallmark officiating. Interment will follow at Forest Glade Cemetery. Family visitation will be held Tuesday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Porter Funeral Home in Mexia.
Blake was a veteran and served proudly in the U.S. Army during World War II. He began work at a young age as a farmer, oilfield hand, heavy equipment mechanic and welder for many years.
Johnson was also a religious man and active member of First Assembly of God in Mexia, where he had many brothers, sisters and friends who will surely miss him. We will always miss you. God bless you, Ironhead.

Fri
26
Jun

Dana Alyson Thompson Russell

Funeral services for Dana Alyson Thompson Russell was held Friday, June 26, at 2 p.m. at Bowers Funeral Home in Teague. Brother Paul Gauntt will officiate. Interment will follow at Greenwood Cemetery in Teague.
Visitation was held Thursday with the family present from 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.
Russell, 60, passed away Tuesday, June 23, 2015, at her residence near Mexia.
She was born in Teague Dec. 30, 1954. She spent most of her youth in Mexico, but returned to Texas in the mid1970s and lived in Mexia where she operated an in-home day care for over 20 years. She helped raise numerous children throughout those years in her home as her own. Dana later worked for Walmart in Mexia for many years. She enjoyed traveling, going on cruises, listening to music and attending concerts. Ms. Russell loved her grandchildren and was dedicated to caring for her mother.

Fri
26
Jun

Anthony Goff Sr.

The angelic hosts came for Anthony Goff Sr. on Saturday, June 20, 2015 at his Teague residence, among loving family and devoted friends.
A viewing was held Friday, June 26, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Moore’s Angelic Funeral Home, 406 Monroe St. in Teague. Funeral services are 3 p.m. Saturday, June 27 at Moore’s Angelic Chapel with Rev. Jamal Henry officiating and Rev. Tas Betts serving as eulogist. Interment will follow at Grove Island Cemetery in Teague.
Anthony Leverne Goff was the third child of Leroy Goff and Ella Mae Charles Goff. He was born in Bronx, New York on Aug. 24, 1961. He grew up in Corsicana and attended the public schools in Mexia.
Anthony was baptized in 1971 by his father, Rev. Leroy Goff, in the Rising Star Baptist Church of Mexia.
He met Patrice Coleman in 1990 and they were married for more than 25 years.

Wed
24
Jun

Willard Earl ‘Uncle Pete’ Chambers Jr.

Funeral services for Willard Earl “Uncle Pete” Chambers Jr. will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 27, at Church of Christ, 203 S. Ellis St. in Groesbeck.
Visitation will be held Friday, June 26, from 10 a.m to 7 p.m. at Pearly Gates Funeral Home in Mexia. Officiant will be Rev. Tristan Hobbs; Pastor Nathaniel Bedford will serve as eulogist.
Willard Earl Chambers Jr. was born May 8, 1928 in Chickasha, Okla., to Willard Earl Chambers Sr. and Frances Marable. They moved to Thornton when he was very young. He united with Pleasant Grove Baptist Church and attended Thornton High School. Upon completion of high school, he enrolled in Tyler Barber College. Shortly after acquiring his barber’s license, he enlisted in the Army and served overseas tours in Japan and Korea. In 1957, Willard was hired as the barber for Marlin V.A. Hospital in Marlin.
In 1964 he met and married Mary Etta Parr. To this union four children were born. His wife preceded him in death.

Wed
24
Jun

Wesley Ray Taylor

Wesley Taylor, 62, of Mexia, passed away Sunday, June 21, 2015 at the Mexia LTC. Graveside services will be held Friday, June 26, at 11 a.m. with Rev. Bill Wright Sr. officiating. Family visitation will be held from 9 a.m. until service time at the Porter Funeral Home.
Taylor was born June 16, 1953 in White Plains, Mo., to Lewis Wesley and Sarah Johnston Taylor.
He was preceded in death by his parents; grandson, Timothy Robinson Jr.; and sister, Sarah Ann Jackson.
Wesley is survived by his daughters, Sabrina Staton of Mexia and Leslie Price of Waco; son, Tim Robinson of Brownwood; stepmother, Lois Taylor of Missouri; sisters, Cora Garcia of Duncanville and Daisy Copeland of Goodlettsville, Tenn.; half-sisters, Shirley Taylor, Lois Shockey and Alta of Missouri and Vivian of Arkansas; half-brothers, Fred, Marvin and Joe, of Missouri; step-brother, James, of Missouri; and nine grandkids, Lewis, Chris, Lane, Sarah, Tiffany, Crystal, Mariah, Alexander and Alexis.

Wed
24
Jun

Beverly Ann Smith

Beverly Ann Smith was born Feb. 29, 1946, which was a leap year. However, her birthday was celebrated March 1. She was the fifth of seven children born to Edgar “Ben” Jackson and Lee Edwin Tatum-Jackson.
Beverly graduated from Blackshear Washington High School. She was a dedicated student and received the highest of honors in her high school career. During that time, she met the love of her life, Frankie Lee Smith.
The two were wed in Limestone County on July 26,1964. To this union four children were born: Paulette Elaine Smith, Karen Louise Smith, Frankie Lee Smith Jr. and Timothy Dewayne Smith.
Beverly graduated magna cum laude from Paul Quinn College in 1991, with a bachelor's degree in education, while maintaining full-time employment at Mexia State School. She worked in Recreation and Volunteer Services for over 30 years. After her college graduation and retirement she taught English at Carver Middle School in Waco for three years.

Fri
19
Jun

Wanda ‘Jeanne’ Bradley

Graveside services for Wanda “Jeanne” Bradley, 82, will be Sunday, June 21 at 2 p.m. at Shiloh Cemetery in Mexia, with Steve Craig officiating.
Jeanne went to her heavenly homecoming Wednesday, June 17, 2015 in Longview.
Jeanne was born Sept. 20, 1932 in Longview, to Willis and Marie Bradley. She was a member of Woodland Hills Baptist Church. Jeanne was a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She will be deeply missed by her family and friends.
Jeanne was preceded in death by her parents.
She is survived by her daughters, Kim Hall and husband Billy, and Jan Craig and husband, Steve; nine grandchildren, Jason Craig, Megan Wells, Justin Hall, Josh Craig, Morgan Richards, Mallory Fowlke, Hannah Hall, Zac Craig and Will Craig; two great grand-children, Reese Richards and Gracie Wells; and several nieces and nephews.

Fri
19
Jun

Margaret Echols

Margaret Echols, 86, of Mexia passed away Tuesday, June 16, 2015 in Dallas. She will always be remembered as a loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt and friend to all who knew her. Visitation will be held Sunday, June 21, from 4 to 6 p.m. at St. John A.M.E. Church, 308 W. Milam St. in Mexia. Funeral services will be held Monday, June 22 at noon at First Baptist Church, 500 E. Carthage St. in Mexia. Those who will cherish her memory most are her children: Jerry (Joyce) Echols of DeSoto, Beverly Gerald of Desoto, and David O. Echols Jr.

Fri
19
Jun

Johnny Mack McClure

Johnny Mack McClure, 61, of Mesquite, passed away peacefully June 16, 2015 at his home, surrounded by loved ones.
Visitation will be held Saturday, June 20 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Mesquite. The services will follow beginning at 11:00 a.m., with Pastor David Weber officiating. Interment will follow, with Mesquite and Plano police departments honoring his service, at at 2:30 p.m. at Mexia Cemetery.

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