January 2024 Obituaries


Obituaries

From January 2024


Obituaries listed chronologically by date of death or funeral service.)


Gerald L. “Jerry” Burks 

Gerald L. “Jerry” Burks passed away on Jan. 26, 2024, in Tyler after a brief illness surrounded by family.

Jerry was born to J. Louie and Mary Lee Burks on Jan. 7, 1934, in Frankston..

He attended Frankston schools and graduated from Frankston High School in 1952 where he was active in football, basketball, track, and baseball. He continued his education at Baylor University in Waco, Texas where he graduated in 1956 from the Hankamer School of Business with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree with a major in accounting and minors in Economics and Finance.

Gerald L. “Jerry” Burks

1934-2024

After graduation from Baylor, he joined a “Big 8” accounting firm, Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. in Dallas as a forensic accountant. In 1958, he joined a local CPA firm in Dallas, Gilbert L. Bright & Associates. His ambition to open his own firm brought him to Jacksonville where he began his practice in July 1960.

On August 12, 1960, he was married to Barbara Jean Henley of Frankston, and they established their home in Jacksonville.

In June 1966 Jerry joined Travis Clinic as Comptroller. The Clinic soon grew into Travis Clinic Association and Travis Clinic Foundation composed of a medical staff of 21 multi-specialty physicians and moved to a new location on Loop 456 East in Jacksonville. Jerry then became the administrator of the clinic interests.

In November 1980, he joined 3 Beall Brothers 3 at their general offices in Jacksonville as Corporate Accounts Payable Manager. He remained employed there until October 1989 when he joined Nan Travis Memorial hospital as Director of Finance. In 1997, Nan Travis merged with ETMC Regional Healthcare Systems where he was promoted to Vice-President of Finance & Accounting. He retired from ETMC-Jacksonville in December 2007.

Jerry served as Treasurer of Cherokee Southern Baptist Association for 37 years until its dissolution in 2009. He also served as Treasurer of Central Baptist Church in Jacksonville for 20 plus years.

Jerry was preceded in death by his loving wife of 56 years, Barbara; his parents; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Fred L. and Burtis M. Henley of Frankston, Texas; and his sister, Barbara Westbrook Carter of Poynor.

He is survived by his sons, Dr. Scott Burks and wife Carrie of Hattiesburg, MS, and Tim Burks of Frankston; grandsons, Jonathan Burks and wife Morgan of Houston, Dr. Andrew Burks and wife Dr. Peyton Burks of Jackson, MS; brother, Johnny Burks and wife Judy of Frankston; nephews, Dr. Bill Westbrook and wife Rhonda of Hallsville, Steve Westbrook and wife Sandra of Brenham, Spencer Beard and wife Janisue of Frankston, Greg Beard of Frankston, and Gary Beard and wife Margo of Athens; niece, Stephanie Brink and husband Mac of Dallas; a special cousin, Sonny Perry of Frankston; and a host of cousins, great-nieces and great-nephews.

Pallbearers will be Scott Burks, Tim Burks, Jonathan Burks, Andrew Burks, Johnny Burks, Bill Westbrook, Steve Westbrook, and Jesse Smith, Jr.

Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Goodfellows Bible Class of Central Baptist Church, Frank Waggoner III, Dr. Charles and Jeanette Creed, Sonny Perry, Tony Murray, Gina Ginsel, Spencer Beard, Greg Beard, Gary Beard, Ronny Lee, John Cundieff, Sherrel Miles and the late Willard Baker, Dan Moody Haynes and Susan Burks Beard.

Services will be held Friday, Feb. 2, 2024, at Central Baptist Church in Jacksonville with Rev. Steve Edwards officiating. He will be laid to rest at Frankston City Cemetery. Services are under the direction of Autry Funeral Home in Jacksonville.

Visitation will begin on Friday, February 2, 2024, and friends are cordially invited to visit with the family from 1 p.m. to 2  p.m. at Central Baptist Church.

Rather than customary condolences, it is suggested that contributions be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105; Central Baptist Church “Building For The Future Fund” or the Larry Ramsour Evangelistic Assn. P.O. Box 68, Winnsboro, TX 75784.


Douglas G. Garber

A memorial service for Douglas Garber, 76, is scheduled for 10 a.m., Sat., Feb. 17, 2024, at First Baptist Church in Poynor with Bro. Marion Coon officiating.

Douglas Garber

1947-2024

Douglas was born on May 15, 1947, and passed away on Jan. 23, 2024. Douglas, also known as Doug, Dad, PaPa Doug, and Pawpaw was a man of many talents. To describe Doug as “Capable” is definitely an understatement; he was a “Jack of All Trades”. He was passionate about his Harley and took advantage of every opportunity to hit the road. Doug also enjoyed his time in the rig. He was proud of the 5 million miles he travelled over the roads of the United States and Canada. He gravitated to Super loads, and anything oversized. Doug also looked forward to his next deep sea fishing trip. More than anything else, Doug loved and adored his family. He will be dearly missed by his family and friends.

Doug was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Nellia Garber; brother, Gary Garber; and sister, Sharron Maxey.

Left to cherish Doug’s memory are his loving wife, Marla Garber of Frankston, Texas; 2 daughters, Desireé Tomlinson and husband Brian of Sandy, Utah and Lenea Fisher and husband Robert of Cottonwood, California; 4 sons, Matthew Garber of West Valley City, Utah, James Garber and wife Stacey of Frankston, Texas, Michael Garber of Euless, Texas, and Robert Garber and wife Shelly of Kilgore, Texas. He is also survived by 24 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews, extended family, and loving friends.


Chris L. Moore

A memorial service for Chris L. Moore, 59, is scheduled for 2 p.m., Sat., Feb.10, 2024, at First Baptist Church in Frankston with Matt Sims officiating.

Chris was born on September 8, 1964, in Dallas, Texas to Billy and Carolyn Moore and passed on Jan. 6, 2024.

Chris L. Moore

1964-2024

The life of Chris Moore can be characterized in so many ways, all centered on dedication to service and sacrifice. He proudly served in the U.S. Army for well over a decade. His service continued as he became an accomplished firefighter, serving in the Southlake Fire Department as well as the Westside Volunteer Fire Department in Chandler. Before his passing Chris spent 16 years as the Fire Chief of Coffee City; eventually becoming Fire Chief of neighboring municipalities of Berryville and Moore Station Volunteer Fire Departments. He acted as president of the Henderson County Fire Chief Association, and previously held office with the North Texas Fireman’s and Fire Marshall Association, and East Texas Medical Center EMS. Chris was accomplished and earned the respect of his peers and community.

Above all else, Chris adored his family, he was a dedicated husband, father, and doting grandfather. He was a thoughtful man and was known for the witty nicknames he gave to both family and friends. Chris will be remembered as a man of honor who was devoted to his family, community, and country.

Chris was preceded in death by his beloved son Billy Moore; parents, Billy and Carolyn (Kranz) Moore; and sister, Laura Rager.

Left to cherish Chris’ memory are his loving wife, Kim Moore; daughters, Kristy Bright and husband James of Bedford, and Jennifer Miller and husband Justin of LaRue; brother, Michael Moore and wife Anne of Minnesota; sisters Misty Ross and husband Steven of Denton, and Paula Moore of Longview. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews, and his grandchildren, Raylan, Abigail, and Benjamin.

Honorary pallbearers will be local fireman.

A blood drive will be held in Chris’ honor, February 24, 2024, from 11-6 p.m. at Coffee City Community Center.


Ellen Maxine Dennis Marshall

Ellen Marshall

1926-2024

A funeral service for Ellen Maxine Dennis Marshall, 97, is scheduled for 2 p.m., Mon., Jan. 22, 2024, at Autry Funeral Home in Jacksonville with David Hallum and Adrian Gallegos officiating. A visitation will begin 1 hour prior to service. She will be laid to rest at Still Waters Memorial Gardens in Jacksonville.

Maxine was born on Dec. 9, 1926, to Thomas Jefferson and Ella Mae (Durham) McCollum in Gainesville, Texas and passed away on Jan. 16, 2024. She was a dedicated member of the Afton Grove Baptist Church and loved her church family dearly. Maxine loved to talk and especially loved spending time visiting with her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and all her friends at the nursing home. She enjoyed fishing and square dancing with G.A. in her younger years.

Maxine was preceded in death by her husbands, Wilburn Jack Dennis and G.A. Marshall; and sister, Yvonne Van Deman.

Left to cherish Maxine’s memory are her son and daughter-in-law, Mike and Karla Dennis of Frankston; stepchildren, Kathy Marshall, Pat Marshall and wife Valerie, Mike Marshall and wife Carman, and Vicki Chambless and husband Jerry. She is also survived by her brother, Tommy McCollum and wife Shirley of Conroe; and sister, Jo Moore and husband Don of Conroe; 3 grandchildren, Heath Campbell and wife Katie, Steven Dennis and wife Sare’, and Kimberly McGuffey and husband Luke.; 10 great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers will be Maxine’s grandson and great-grandsons.


Elisa Marie Bizzell

A memorial service to celebrate the life of Elisa Marie Bizzell, of Frankston, is scheduled at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024, at the First Baptist Church in Frankston.

Elisa Marie Bizzell

1962-2024

Visitation will begin one hour prior. Elisa passed away on Jan. 15, 2024, due to cancer at 61 years old.

Elisa, better known as “Lisa” or “Aunt Lisa,” was born on May 2, 1962, to Billy and Janis (Conaway) Bizzell. She grew up in Frankston alongside her three brothers Mark, Sean, and Jason Bizzell.

Throughout high school, Elisa was a cheerleader, volleyball player, co-photographer for the yearbook, a class officer, and a member of the Beta Club, which was a scholastic honor society. She was noticed as the “December Girl of the Month” during her junior year due to her hard work in school.

Elisa then attended Stephen F. Austin University where she graduated in 1984 with a double major in journalism and English. She began her career working for the Conroe newspaper, where she was able to begin expressing her love for journalism. She then branched out to work for a radio station in the Woodlands until she landed a job as an on-air news reporter for K-FOX radio in Lufkin during the late 1980’s.

Elisa wanted to impress her love for English and writing into others, so she began teaching during the early 1990’s at Alto High School. She also taught at Central Heights, Chapel Hill, and Tyler Junior College before retiring in 2016. Elisa was given Teacher of the Year award throughout this time. She grew the minds of many while loving and caring for each of her students.

Elisa had a passion for photography and was born with a gift to document life around her. She was able to capture beautiful memories that we will be able to keep forever.

Elisa was also known to have a green thumb for plants, just like her father Billy Wayne. She loved doing activities with her nieces and nephews and spending time with her family. She will be remembered by helping anyone who knew her, whether that was revising her nieces’ and nephews' college papers or being there for a friend.

She was a creative and fun-loving woman who enjoyed seeing the world through traveling. Elisa was always ready for an adventure, both small and large. She is now on a new adventure rejoicing with the Lord and her loved ones.

Left to cherish Elisia’s memory are her mother Janis Bizzell, of Frankston; brother Mark Bizzell, of Palm Springs, California, Sean Bizzell and wife Deitra, of Quitman, and sister-in-law Carla Bizzell of Frankston. Elisa leaves behind nieces Kaylee, Grace, Emily, and Lynsie Bizzell, and nephews Jacob, Carson, and Tye Bizzell. Elisa is also survived by her godson Gage Lydahl and goddaughter Kaylee Bizzell.


Martha Hicks

A Celebration of the Life of Martha Jane Hicks, 91, of Frankston will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Autry Funeral Home in Frankston, Sat., Jan. 27, 2024. Special remarks will be presented by Anna Hicks Maples, niece and Margaret June Brown, sister.

Martha Hicks

1932-2024

Martha passed away on Sun., Jan. 14, in Palestine. She was born May 18, 1932 in Frankston to Lee and Ruby (Dickerson) McLane.

Martha was a fantastic cook and was well known for her Tea Cakes. She was a cook in many local restaurants. Martha was the owner of Martha’s Café for over 20 years in the livestock barn in Jacksonville. Farmers and ranchers from all over came to enjoy her country style of cooking.

Martha was preceded in death by her parents, husband of 53 years, John Ralston Hicks; brothers, Robert Lee McLane, Billie Lewis McLane, Jimmie Ray McLane, Wiley Morris McLane; sisters, Jeannia Vandora McHale, Peggy JoAnn Baxter, Wanda Dorris Houston, and Jackie Belle Forester.

She is survived by her daughter Cindy Lee Clark of Frankston, son Samuel Ralston Hicks of Frankston and granddaughter Katy Hicks Moriarty and husband Peter of Houston. Also, survived by sisters Mary Louise Phillips of Tyler, Margaret June Brown of Frankston, and sister-in-law Joyce Williamson McLane of Odessa. Also her sister-in-law Ann Hicks Ennis and brother-in-law Billy Mac Ennis of Denton, and sister-in-law Sue Hicks Fair of Richland Hills. She had many nieces and nephews who held special places in her heart.

Martha Jane was a lifelong member of the Frankston Church of Christ.

A very special mention to our cousin, Richard McLane of Frankston. He has gone above and beyond with love and support during Martha’s recent illness.


John Wilburn Howell

John Wilburn Howell passed away on Friday, Jan. 5th, 2024, in Palestine, TX at the age of 85. He was born in Frankston, TX on Sept. 25th, 1938, to Hilliard Oustin Howell, Sr. and Ruby Cook Howell.

John Wilburn Howell

1938-2024

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Hilliard Oustin Howell, Jr., Jimmy Howell, Grady Howell, Roy Howell, Floyd Howell; and sisters, JoAnn Ferguson and Sharon Rhodes.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Marye Ann Howell; his sons, Mike (Nohemi) Howell of Mexia, Jerald (Carolyn) Howell of San Antonio, Johnny (Phyllis) Howell of Montalba, and Scott (Alana) Howell of LaPorte; and his brother-in-law, Charles Rhodes of Frankston. He is also survived by 8 grandchildren, Jenna Jenkins (Joel), Joshua Howell, Joseph Howell (Jana), Jonathan Howell (Valerie), Julie Newman (Chase), Jeffrey Howell (Shelby), Jordan Howell (Anna) and Maryebeth Smith (Zane); as well as 17 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Mr. Howell was a member of Westwood Baptist Church. He was employed at Glass Containers until their closing. He then worked at TDCJ until his retirement in 2003.

The family would like to thank the staff at Legacy at Town Creek for their excellent care and love, as well as Solaris Hospice.

A graveside service will be held at Land of Memory Cemetery on Saturday, January 13th, 2024, at 2:00 P.M. officiated by Terry Evans. Services are under the direction of Herrington/Land of Memory Funeral Home, in Palestine, TX.

In lieu of flowers, the family invites you to donate to the charity of your choice or to the Texas Baptist Home for Children in Waxahachie, TX where he spent his childhood years after the death of his father.


Scott Rivero

Scott Rivero, age 27, passed away to his heavenly home on Dec. 28, 2023, in Tyler, Texas. He was born on Dec. 3, 1996, to Juan Manuel Rivero and Selma Yolani Rivero/ Rivera in Athens, Texas.

Scott Rivero

1996-2023

He was preceded in death by his grandfathers; grandmother, Aunts, Eva and Veronica; Uncle Silverio; cousins.

Scott attended Athens schools while growing up. After high school he became a business owner in his family’s business’s. In his spare time, he enjoyed spending time with his brothers. He loved fishing, guns, cars, motorcycles, and his dog, Max.

Scott was an extraordinary gentleman. Very charismatic and he never met a stranger. He had a big heart and loved helping people. Scott was loved by anyone who had the pleasure of meeting him. He enjoyed taking his nieces, Brynlee and Braycee shopping and spending quality time with them. Scott loved his friends so much. He never got over the death of his best friend Pedro Cerrillo, but now the family is comforted in knowing that the Lord has reunited the friends in heaven. Scott was a believer and attended the United Pentecostal Church. His parents had the pleasure of knowing he had a great passion for the work of the Lord.

Survivors include his parents, Juan and Selma Rivero; brothers, Juan Manuel Jr., Daniel Rivero, David Rivero and his wife Kayla Rivero; sister, Vania Rivero; his beloved nieces Brynlee and Braycee Rivero; grandparents, Ofelia and Marcial Vallejos; along with many more relatives and friends.

The family would like to say a special Thank You to the doctors and nurses and staff at Christus Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler for their tender care of Scott while he was in the hospital. Also, to the churches and the community of Frankston and Athens for all their prayers for Scott and our family.

Visitation will be held on Friday, January 5, 2024, from 5:00-8:00 PM at Autry’s Carroll-Lehr Funeral Home in Athens. The funeral service will be on Saturday, January 6, 2024, at 12:00 Noon at Autry Funeral Home in Frankston.


Laura Irene Smiley

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the peaceful passing of Laura Irene Smiley, known affectionately as Laura to her teacher colleagues, Mrs. Smiley to her students, Cissie to her family, and Nana to her beloved grandchildren. 

Laura Irene Smiley

1943-2024

Surrounded by her cherished husband Joffery, sister Vickie, and son Brent, Laura bid farewell in the early hours of Tuesday morning, Jan. 2, 2024, at the age of 80.

Visitation with friends and family will be held from 5–7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024, at Stewart Family Funeral Home, 7525 Old Jacksonville Rd, Tyler. 

Graveside services will take place at 2 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 5, 2024, at Trinidad Cemetery in Trinidad, with Josh Smiley officiating. 

Pallbearers, including Jason Rolison, Ben Rolison, Jarrod Smiley, Adam Smiley, Nicolas Smiley, and Joseph Smiley, will walk alongside Laura to her final resting place. Honorary pallbearers will include the many students whose lives she touched. 

Laura was born on Aug. 4, 1943, in Trinidad to Helen and Buster Airheart. Predeceased family members include her parents Helen and Buster, and brother Larry.

Growing up in Trinidad, Laura found joy in playing basketball, acting in drama, and sharing her passion for learning. She graduated as valedictorian of her high school class and continued her education at Henderson County Junior College in Athens. During this time, she married her lifelong love, Joffery. Laura went on to graduate magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in English from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches. Later, while being a devoted mother of two boys, she earned her master’s degree in Education. 

Settling in Tyler in 1968, Laura dedicated herself to teaching at Frankston High School for many years, specializing in business-related skills such as shorthand, accounting, typing, and later, computer programming and applications. Beyond the classroom, Laura, alongside close friends and colleagues Wendy Perry and Celexie Pierson, tirelessly served as the senior class sponsor, organizing events and fundraising for the senior class.

Laura's impact extends beyond her immediate family. She leaves behind a legacy of love and knowledge, remembered by her sister and lifelong friend Vickie Rolison, cousin and friend Lisa Hebrank, numerous cousins, nephews, nieces, and the many students whose lives she indelibly touched. 

In her 'spare' time, Laura enjoyed sewing, cooking, writing poetry, a passion for gold coins and jewelry, her "hot rod" Lincoln, and always ice-cold Coke. Following her official retirement as a teacher, Laura continued to share her passion for learning and teaching, often providing tutoring and academic assistance to her four grandsons and their friends. 

Laura is survived by her loving husband of 62 years, Joffery Smiley; her two children Joffery Smiley II and Brent (Sheri) Smiley; four grandchildren, including Jarrod (Mandi Kiser) Smiley, Adam (Chelsea) Smiley, Joseph Smiley, Nicolas Smiley; and three great-grandchildren, Porter and Dru Smiley, and Stella Smiley. 

The family welcomes donations to Trinidad Cemetery Association at P.O. Box 205, Trinidad, TX 75163, and the Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County. 

The family expresses gratitude for the love and support received during this challenging time.

(Information for this obituary was obtained from a posting by Stewart Family Funeral Home of Tyler )


(Obituaries posted contain information posted by funeral homes and/or requested by families. Families may request changes or additions, if appropriate or required.)



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