-30- May 2015

Claudia Poff Gill

Claudia Gill, 86, of Tuleta, died Sunday, April 12, 2015. 

Gill was born April 18, 1928, in Beeville to Christine Holly Stoftzfus and Dr. C.M. Poff. She married Truman Flournoy Gill in Tuleta on April 28, 1945.

She was a housewife, rancher, retired newspaper reporter and a member of First Presbyterian Church. 

She raised registered Brahman cattle and was a member of the American Brahman Breeders Association. 

Robert Lee Jenson

Robert Lee Jensen died April 24, 2015 at the age of 86. He was a past president and chief executive of the Dallas Times Herald and was responsible for the newspaper’s merger with Times Mirror Co. 

Jensen started his career at the Times Herald as an accountant in 1955.  In retirement, Jensen joined a group purchasing Newspaper Enterprises, which printed newspaper advertisements, inserts and publications, including Dallas Cowboys Weekly. He sold the company and retired in 1994.

Bill Hart

Sportswriter and editor Bill Hart died April 21, 2015, at the age of 83. 

Hart was a newspaperman for 47 years until his retirement in 1999. More than half his career was spent at the Abilene Reporter-News.

Hart grew up in Baird and graduated from Abilene Christian College, now Abilene Christian University, and began his career in 1952 at Lamesa.

 He worked for papers in Lubbock, San Angelo, Temple and Binghamton, N.Y., before joining the Reporter-News in 1973.  He covered sporting events from the smallest high school to the Super Bowl. 

Former Texas Tech football coach Spike Dykes called Hart “the epitome of what sportswriters ought to be.”

“I never saw anybody that loved what he did so much,” said Dykes.

Martha Bode Mullenix

Former editor, publisher and owner of The Texan Express, Martha Mullenix, died April 16, 2015 at the age of 75.

She was born born March 2, 1940, in Bandera and was married to the late J.C. Mullenix.

She was known as a tireless leader for the community.

Mullenix started the paper in 1983 and ran it for almost three decades. She was known for saying “if it’s not good for Goliad, it’s not good for me.”

She also served two terms as a Goliad city council member, mayor pro-tempore, president of the Goliad Chamber of Commerce, president of the Goliad Booster Club, a 4-H leader, member of the Goliad Municipal Development District’s board of directors, the Goliad Historical Commission, the Red Hat Society and secretary of the National Farmer’s Organization.

Burlon Levon Parsons Jr.

Burlon Parsons, 67, died March 16, 2015 —  the same date that he began his career at the Wharton Journal-Spectator 28 years ago.

He was born July 26, 1947, in Wharton to Burlon Sr. and Polly Whiddon Parsons. He was husband to Betsy Bentley Parson.

Parsons was a longtime Wharton Journal-Spectator and East Bernard Express employee. He was known as an artist and historian and journalist. He was recently named Best Local Artist by readers in the Best of East Wharton County contest. 

Bert Nicolo Shipp Jr.

Bert Shipp, who worked at WFAA/Channel 8 for nearly 40 years before retiring in 1999, died April 20, 2015, at age 85.

He previously worked for what was then WBAP/Channel 5 in Fort Worth, as well as reporting for the Abilene Reporter News, Dallas Times Herald and The Garland Daily News.

He detailed his experiences in a 2011 book, “Details at Ten: Behind the Headlines of Texas Television History”. In it, he recounts his coverage of the John F. Kennedy assassination and a visit by the Beatles.

A “CeleBertion” of his life is planned for 3-5 p.m., Sunday, May 24, at the historic Texas Theater.