Obituaries published in the June 2018 edition of the Texas Press Messenger include:
DALLAS - Dallas Morning News Copy Editor Kevin Leonard Gray died April 3 from complications with cancer. He was 60.
A native of Hampton, Virginia, Gray was a graduate of Norfolk State University and began his career at the Ithaca Journal in the Finger Lakes region of New York.
The Dallas Morning News hired him to work in the sports department in September of 1985.
He worked at the paper for 32 years, winning awards for editing and page design.
He was the primary content editor of the football special section that often received national recognition.
ABILENE – Robert Hoy “Bob” Lapham, 83, author, long-time editor for the Abilene Reporter-News and the last surviving member of the 1950s pop and rock ‘n’ roll vocal group The Picks, died on April 4.
A native of Abilene, Lapham graduated from Abilene High School in 1953 and attended Texas Tech University, studying engineering, business administration and speech and dramatics. He was a Tech varsity golf letterman in 1953-54.
OLTON – Betty Sue (Howard) Cannon, 87, former owner of the Olton Enterprise, died April 8 in Lubbock.
A native of Erick, Oklahoma, she moved to Olton with her family in 1943 and she graduated from Olton High School in 1948. She attended Watson Business School in Plainview.
AUSTIN – William E. “Bill” Berger, whose career as a newspaperman spanned parts of nine decades, died Wednesday, April 11. At age 99, he was less than two months shy of his 100th birthday.
Following a private family burial service at the Texas State Cemetery, a memorial was held on April 16 at First United Methodist Church in Austin.
VIRGINIA TURNER BROOKS
ATLANTA – Virginia Turner Brooks, 97, of Atlanta, died Jan. 28, in a Texarkana hospital.
She was the owner of the Atlanta Times and worked for the British Broadcasting Corporation during World War II.
She attended Hockaday Junior College and graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York.
She was a member of First United Methodist Church in Atlanta, of Pi Beta Phi Sorority, the Atlanta Garden Club, The Hat and Glove Society, Board of Trustees at Saint James Day School and a board member of the Original Atlanta Public Library.
DUMAS – Longtime Moore County News Press Editor Gardner Collins died Dec. 14 in Amarillo at the age of 85.
Collins spent 30 years with the News-Press, retiring in 1994. Five years later, he was inducted into the Panhandle Press Hall of Fame.
Collins graduated from Texas A&M University in 1954 with a major in journalism. After serving in the U.S. Air Force, he began his newspaper career with The Borger News-Herald in 1956. He also worked for the Paris News and The Hereford Brand as a reporter-photographer before moving to Dumas in 1964.
WEIMAR – A memorial service for Bruce Wayne Beal, owner, publisher and editor of the Weimar Mercury, was held Jan. 13 at the First United Methodist Church of Weimar.
He died Jan. 7 in Houston, at the age of 68.
Beal was born July 6, 1949, to Clyde Beal and Ruth Gieseke Beal in Dallas. He grew up in Dallas and Sweetwater before his family moved to Houston, where he graduated from Spring Woods High School. He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a journalism degree in 1971.
HOUSTON – Jim Simmon, 63, an editor whose career included stints with four Texas daily newspapers, was among the people lost during Houston area flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
Simmon, who had retired and was coming to terms with early-onset dementia, disappeared from his Montrose home on Aug. 30. He was the subject of an area-wide search for two weeks. His body was found in Fort Bend County. An autopsy was ordered, but law enforcement officials believed the cause of death was drowning.
DENTON – Patsy Cross Patterson, a past co-owner of the Denton Record-Chronicle and an active community leader in Denton, died Aug. 29. She was 88.
Mrs. Patterson was born Oct. 24, 1929, in Paris, Texas. In 1945, her parents, Riley and Vivian Cross, bought the Record-Chronicle and the family moved to Denton. She grew up at the Record-Chronicle, holding many positions and eventually serving as secretary of the Board of Directors. She and her husband, Fred Patterson, were the owners when the newspaper was sold to the A. H. Belo Corp. in June 1999.