Billy Robinson Sr.
Billy Ray Robinson Sr. was the 13th of 15 children born to the late Rev. Albert “Buster” Sr. and Ruthie Robinson in Buna, Texas on February 13, 1952. He passed away August 19, 2013 at his home in Buna.
Funeral service was Friday, August 23 at Central Baptist Church in Buna under the direction of Robinson Funeral Home in Jasper with burial following in Springhill Cemetery in Magnolia Springs.
He received his primary and secondary education from Bessmay High School. He married Williet Mitchell January 14, 1972. To this union five children were born. As a young man he worked hard to provide for his family, but he had bigger dreams and desires than the normal work life. He realized that God had more for him, so after a lot of prayer and sacrifice he decided to enter college and completed his degree as a Licensed Mortician in 1976 from Commonwealth College of Science. As a man with strong business desires, he quit his job working nights with Central Freight Lines as a driver and decided to go into business full-time.
Billy Robinson Sr. was a great story of humble beginnings and the results of hard work. Among his business ventures, he was the owner of: 1) Robinson Bail Bonds, 2) Robinson Limousine Service, 3) Three funeral homes including Robinson Funeral Home in Jasper, Robinson Funeral Home in Silsbee and Moody-Harris Funeral Home in Port Arthur, 4) East Texas Logging Company, a logging/trucking business and 5) East Texas Home Builders, a home/church new building construction company.
As a wise and astute businessman, God was very good to him and honored him with great success. He not only was a source of blessings to his wife and children, but he was also a source of help for his extended family and friends as well. Pastor Billy Robinson Sr. loved all of his family and wanted to see his entire family become successful. He did many things for his extended family and friends that no one will ever know about because he was not a man looking for credit. He would say “if I bless you, God’s going to bless me”.
Billy was a devoted Christian, entrepreneur and hard worker who lived life to the utmost of his ability with encouragement and leadership from his parents. (Jeremiah 4:11) For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,” plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Billy’s business ventures began humbly, with a strong assist from the late Goree Davis whom we would like to acknowledge.
In January of 1974, Billy Robinson was saved and filled with the Holy Ghost at Welcome Tabernacle COGIC under the leadership of Pastor Leon Whitaker. He accepted the call into the ministry early in his walk with Christ and was a faithful member under Supt. Curtis Jones at Welcome Tabernacle COGIC. In March of 2000, he left Welcome Tabernacle and began to Pastor the New Deliverance COGIC in Kirbyville, TX., where he served and worked tirelessly. He loved his members and they loved him. As all true leaders do, he gave way more than he took from his congregation. He was a well respected giver and worker in the State Jurisdictional Department under Bishop Rufus Kyles Sr.
Not only was he a spiritual and business example in the community, but he worked as an advocate in the battle for equality and civil justice. He was a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and served as the President for the local Jasper, Texas, Chapter for 13 years. He actively took part and donated his time and resources for the cause of humanity. He was the trusted funeral director and mortician in the high profile and internationally known hate crime against the late James Byrd in 1994. He was widely trusted by federal, state, and local governments to handle final arrangements in other high profile criminal cases. He built relationships with high caliber leaders in the fight for justice such as Jesse Jackson, the leader of the National PUSH coalition. He was a pioneer for change. He gave of his time and resources to help fight for the cause of justice in many other high profile cases he believed were racially motivated.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father. He was also preceded in death by five of his brothers, Carl, Albert Jr., Harry, William, and James as well as three of this sisters, Ethel Mae Tyler, Jewel Gilder, and Iona Porter. He loved his adopted mother, Beatrice Collins, who preceded him in death.
Pastor Robinson is survived by his faithful wife of 41 years, Mrs. Williet Robinson; three daughters, Tenita Shantelle Robinson, Nikki Shanee’ Robinson, Demetrius Robinson Bush (Damian; two sons, Billy Robinson Jr. and Brandon Robinson (Kayla); 12 grandchildren including Shannon Robinson whom he raised; two great-grandchildren; two brothers, Charles Robinson (Lola) and Elvin Earl Robinson; four sisters, Mary Pearson, Emma Turk, Dorothy Robinson, and Sheila Rocquemore (Leroy); two brother-in-laws, Michael Mitchell and Gerald Mitchell; one sister-in-law, Carolyn Jones; mother-in-law, Mattie Gantt; two business stockholders, Mr. R.C. Horn and Mr. Booker T. Hunter; many employees and his faithful secretary of 19 years, Diana Brooks. There is also a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and other family and friends. Last but not least, he leaves to mourn his church family that he loved so much, The New Deliverance Church Of God In Christ family.
Joshua Kaleb “Mookie” Blalock, 28, of Lumberton, died Tuesday, August 20, 2013.
Funeral service was Saturday, August 24 at Woodcrest United Methodist Church in Lumberton under the direction of Broussard’s Mortuary in Silsbee with a Masonic graveside service following in Antioch Cemetery in Buna.
A native of Beaumont, he worked in industrial maintenance and was employed with Goodyear. He was a member of Lumberton Masonic Lodge #1430, A.F. and A.M.
Survivors include his parents, Karen Herrington Blalock and Joe Keith Blalock; brothers, Jacob Klay Blalock and Judd Kolton Blalock; and partner, Rachael Taylor and her son, Trace French.
Terry Jacobs, 66, of Silsbee, died Thursday, August 22, 2013. He was born on March 23, 1947, in Monticello, Arkansas, to Evelyn Cochran Jacobs and A.D. Jacobs. Terry served his country for three tours in the United States Air Force during Vietnam and afterward he worked as a machinist for Mobil Oil.
Survivors include his children, Kim Charlton and her husband, Billy and Tina Jacobs, all of Silsbee; and Joey Jacobs and his wife, Patricia, of Fred; grandchildren, Jessica Lee and her husband, William; Patrik Jacobs; Angel Jacobs; Kaleigh Jacobs; Baleigh Gray; Bryar Charlton; Jasmyne Jacobs; and Madison Jacobs; and siblings, Pat Cooper and her husband, Red, of Silsbee; Sandy Barber and her husband, John Ray and Fay Holden and her husband, Jerry, all of Sikes, Louisiana; Diane Carrier and her husband, Bo, of Sulphur, Louisiana; Barry Jacobs and his wife, Brenda and Tony Jacobs and his wife, Renee, all of Sikes, Louisiana; and Tammy Caballero and her husband, Alex, of Corrigan. He is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Patricia Howell Jacobs; and brother, Jerry Jacobs.
A gathering of Mr. Jacobs’ family and friends was from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., Saturday, August 24, 2013, at Broussard’s, 490 Cemetery Road, Silsbee. His funeral service was at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, August 25, 2013, at Broussard’s, with interment following at Franks Branch Cemetery, Fred.
Complete and updated information may be found at www.broussards1889.com.
A memorial service celebrating the life of Olliemay Heffner Ford will be held in the First United Methodist Church of Silsbee with the Rev. Dr. Dan C. Darby and the Rev. Nancy M. Ratchford officiating on Sunday, September 1, 2013, at 3:00 p.m., with a reception in McDonough Hall.
Olliemay Heffner Ford died peacefully on Monday, August 19, 2013, surrounded by her family at Baptist Hospital in Beaumont, Texas, a few days after celebrating her 94th birthday with all of her seven children.
Olliemay was born in Wells, Cherokee County, Texas, on Friday, August 15, 1919, the first of three children to May Gough Heffner and Oliver Daniels Heffner.
She was predeceased by her parents; husband, Robert Franklin Ford, Sr.; brother, John Lysius Heffner; brother-in-law, Richard Aloysius Murphy; and sons-in-law: Howard Eugene McDaniel, James Windell Broughton, Cameron Chapman Harris, Jr., and the Honorable Britton Edward Plunk.
Olliemay is survived by her children: Robert F. Ford, Jr., and his wife, Mary Jo, of Beaumont; Dannah Ford of Beaumont; Ellen Ford Baldwin of North Carolina; Jan Ford Plunk of Silsbee; Era N. Ford and her husband, Jaroslav Ryšavý, of Houston; the Honorable Erin O. Ford and his wife, Geneva, of Crockett; and Arthur Lee Ford of Silsbee; 15 grandchildren; 27 great-grandchildren; her sister, Dorothy Murphy of Wylie and Fulshear; her sister-in-law, Bennie Heffner of Gladewater; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews; and lifelong childhood friend Ellen Gaspard of McEwen, Tennessee.
A descendant of pioneer families, Olliemay enjoyed recalling stories that included as a teenager riding across Texas in a 1932 Model T Ford with her maternal grandfather, the Honorable Lysius Gough, to the Panhandle where he had served as the first mayor of Hereford in Deaf Smith County and the first County Judge of Castro County, as well as being a cowboy poet on early cattle drives, lobbyist and land developer. Her favorite memories were of Avoca near Rogers, Arkansas, where she spent summers with her paternal grandparents.
Her family moved to Beaumont in 1926 when her father joined her uncle, L.B. Gough, in working at the Magnolia Refinery. She attended Ogden Elementary, skipping the third grade, followed by David Crockett Junior High. She graduated from Beaumont High School in May 1936 at the age of 16. Activities included writing for the school newspaper, Choral Club, and the Pine Burr yearbook with plans to pursue a career in art.
Olliemay attended Lamar College during the Fall 1936 and Spring 1937 semesters, with the report cards found among her keepsakes. Despite starting the fall semester six weeks late with the dean saying that she could never make up the assignments, she surprised everyone.
She was an avid reader with an extensive vocabulary, compiling her own personal collection of quotations over the years. Her early interests included piano, gardening, needlework and hosting a monthly Sewing Circle, while her sense of humor and love of music sustained her throughout her life.
Olliemay and Bob were married on June 11, 1938, by Nolan R. Vance, Minister, and remained so for 68 years until his death on June 12, 2006.
Having moved many times during her childhood and early marriage, it is notable that the construction of a new home in Silsbee in the Britton-Cravens subdivision was completed on August 31, 1955, providing continuity for the next 58 years. With help from her children, Olliemay managed to remain in her home until her last year of life.
Her parents were founding members of the First Christian Church, both in Beaumont and Silsbee. The Ford family was active in the First United Methodist Church in Silsbee for decades. Olliemay had a quiet faith grounded in knowledge of Scripture from an early age, a love of God and Jesus Christ.
During World War II, she was employed by Magnolia Petroleum Company, and thereafter continued to use the original Social Security card issued then. She worked as a bookkeeper most of her life, first for Ford Electric Company in Silsbee, then in 1968 for five years for Apache Lumber Company, and finally for FECO, Inc. next to the Mobil Refinery in Beaumont.
Her qualities set her apart. She loved deeply and was steadfast. She was loyal and maintained friendships over the years. She worked tirelessly for her family and made celebrations special, when the extended families looked forward to the wonderful meals that she prepared.
Her legacy is her children who are fortunate to have known her into adulthood and to have been able to share their accomplishments with her. She instilled in her children a love of learning with all attending college. She also encouraged them to develop as individuals, with different strengths and imagination.
The family is grateful for care provided by the staffs of Beaumont Internal Medicine and Geriatric Associates, Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists, Golden Triangle Foot & Ankle Specialists and Texas Total Care.
Interment during a private family service was held on Wednesday, August 21, 2013, with the Rev. Nancy M. Ratchford officiating at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Beaumont under the direction of Broussard’s Silsbee.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to: First United Methodist Church, 670 North Fifth Street, Silsbee, TX 77656, (409) 385-5568; or Tyrrell Historical Library, 695 Pearl Street, Beaumont, TX 77701, (409) 833-2759.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: Ecclesiastes 3:1
Jim Bob O’Riley was born on April 18, 1934 and entered into eternal peace with his Lord on August 22, 2013.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Emmie O’Riley; his sister, Faye Stewart; and his son, Tim O’Riley.
He is survived by his wife, Mary O’Riley; daughter, Kim Clark and husband Rob Clark and grandchildren Sarah, Currie and Kate Clark of Houston and sister, JoAnn O’Riley of Henderson; step daughters, Wanda York of Colorado Springs, CO and Tammy Brown and grandchildren Maegan and Logan Brown of Silsbee and granddaughter Gabriella Alexander of Humble. In addition, he is survived by numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
A native of Pineland, he graduated from Pineland High School in 1950. He served his country in the U.S. Army from 1956-58 and had fond memories of the time he was stationed in Germany and the camaraderie he had with his fellow service men. He moved to Nederland in 1960 to begin a 34 year career with DuPont Beaumont Works. He had countless friends that he has remained in contact with from the many years he spent there.
He was a longtime and active member of Good Shepherd Baptist Church in Silsbee. His faith in God was an inspiration to others. For many years, he served as a volunteer for the Christian Care Center in Silsbee and took great joy in helping others.
He lived life to the fullest and enjoyed the outdoors more than anything. An avid hunter, fisherman and gardener, he always had a story to tell. He continued to do all of the things he enjoyed until recent weeks when he battled heart disease.
All who knew Jim loved him. His charismatic personality drew people of all ages to him. He will be greatly missed by his family who will seek comfort in many wonderful memories of a very special man.
Visitation was Friday, August 23 from 6-8 p.m. at Farmers Funeral Home in Silsbee. A celebration of his life was held at Good Shepherd Baptist Church in Silsbee on Saturday, August 24 at 11 a.m.. Interment followed in Fairmount Cemetery in Sabine County.
Funeral services for Oneda Faye Simspson of Fred were at 1 p.m. Wednesday August 28, 2013 at Farmer Funeral Home with interment following at Franks Branch Cemetery. Visitation was Wednesday from 10 a.m. until service time. Mrs. Simpson died August 25, 2013 at Silsbee Convalescent Center.
Faye was a native of Fred, lived in Mid-County for many years before moving back to Fred. While living in Mid-County she worked at Rodney’s Food Mart in Port Neches.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth William Simpson; parents, Dick and Pearl Callaway; brother, Leo Callaway; and two sisters, Mildred Yawn and Betty Smith.
Left behind to cherish her memories are sons, Wayne Simpson of Fred, James Simpson and wife Carolyn of Groves, Johnny Simpson and wife Sharol of Colmesneil; sisters, Dolly Gordon and Carolyn Hoffman, both of Silsbee; grandchildren, Kerri May, Kristi Dupuis, Jered Simpson, Kayla Cutter; great grandchildren, McKenzie May, Olivia Dupuis, Owen Dupuis and was expecting a new grandson in October.
Funeral Services for Leona Pauline Gibson Wharton, 94, of Kingwood, Texas will be at 2 p.m. August 29, 2013 at Farmer Funeral Home in Silsbee, interment following in R.S. Farmer Memorial Cemetery also in Silsbee. Visitation will be August 29, 2013 from 12 p.m. until service time.
Mrs. Wharton passed away August 26, 2013 at her residence in Kingwood. She was a native of Miami, Oklahoma and a longtime resident of Silsbee. During World War II she worked at the Dickson Gun Plant and was a homemaker.
She was preceded in death by her father, R.J. Gibson; mother, Loretta Bourassa Lee; husband, George F. Wharton Sr.; brothers, Virgil and Daniel Lee; sister, Ollie Mae, Barth; and son-in-law, Jerry Carrol Donalson.
Survivors include son, George F. Wharton Jr. and wife Suzanne of Cypress, Texas; daughter, Becky Wharton Donalson of Kingwood; sister, Ernestine Beasley of Magnolia, Texas; six grandchildren, nine great grandchildren and one great great granddaughter.
Funeral services for Selvin Samuel Colvin, 83, Silsbee, Texas will be at 10 a.m. August 30, 2013 at Farmer Funeral Home in Silsbee, with interment following in R.S. Farmer Memorial Cemetery, also in Silsbee. Visitation will be Thursday August 29, 2013 from 5-9p.m. Mr. Colvin passed away August 27, 2013 at his residence. He was a native of Ingalls, Arkansas and longtime resident of Silsbee.
He was married to his wife Martha for 57 years. Mr. Colvin was a veteran of the United States Air Force and was a retired Process Operation Supervisor with South Hampton Refinery where he had been employed for 42 years.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Willie Lee and Estelle Rayburn Colvin, and brothers, Hansel and Edward Colvin.
Survivors include his wife, Martha Maroney; sons Samuel Lee Colvin and wife Kelly and Gene Frederick Colvin and wife Carol, all of Silsbee; daughter, Mary Lou Gordon and husband Ronnie of Fred; sisters, Emma Jean Vickers of Pensacola, Florida, and Charlene Clanton and Tasha Scoby, both of Warren, Arkansas; and seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
Ervine Charles Wilson, 58, of Silsbee, died Monday, August 19, 2013 at Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont. Funeral service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, August 31 at New Hope Church of God in Christ in Silsbee under the direction of J.B. Coleman Memorial Mortuary, also in Silsbee with burial following in Kirby Cemetery.
Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to 12 noon Saturday before the service at the church. A native and lifelong resident of Silsbee, he worked at Kirby Lumber Company before it closed.
Survivors include his wife, Linda Wilson of Silsbee; son, Ervine Charles Wilson Jr. of Silsbee; sisters, Verline Lewis and Vickie Farnell, both of Florida and Veronica Wilson of Atlanta, Georgia; brothers, Jerry Wilson, George Wilson III, and Tony Wilson, all of Silsbee, Alvin Wilson of Tyler, Troy Wilson of Dallas and Terry Wilson of Arlington; and three grandchildren.
Funeral services for Sarah Addie Eason, 77 of Silsbee will be at 2 p.m., Friday August 30th at Farmer Funeral Home in Silsbee with interment to follow at Cunningham Cemetery, also in Silsbee.
Visitation will be Thursday August 29th from 5 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home. Mrs. Eason died August 27, 2013 at her residence. A native and lifelong resident of Silsbee she was a homemaker.
Survivors include husband, Johnny Leon Eason; son, Wade Eason; daughter, Sabrina Dodd; granddaughter, Cathryn Dodd; brother, Dick Jenkins; and several nieces and nephews, all of Silsbee.