2012 Texas Press obituaries

JANUARY 2012

Celeste (Thomas) Henley
1930 — 2012
Celeste (Thomas) Henley, a longtime Texas journalist, died Jan. 6, 2012. She was 81.
Henley ran the Ropes Plainsman from 1961 until 1969, when she went to work as society editor for The Brownfield News. After seven years, she left The Brownfield News to join the staff of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal as TV editor until her retirement eight years later. She helped out at the radio station in Brownfield during her retirement.
Henley received a teaching certificate in music from Texas Tech University and taught piano for seven years. She studied psychology and business management at South Plains College.

Sam Ferris Holmes Jr. 
1920 — 2012
Sam Ferris Holmes Jr., a former courthouse reporter and business editor for The Dallas Morning News, died Jan. 16, 2012, in Dallas. He was 91.
Holmes was born in Wichita Falls on Nov. 17, 1920, and was raised in Troup, where he graduated from Troup High School in 1938. He attended Southwestern University in Georgetown for two years and completed his undergraduate work at the University of Texas, where he was night editor and a columnist for The Daily Texan. He received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from UT in 1942 and earned a master’s degree in government from Southern Methodist University in 1953.
One month after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Holmes joined the U.S. Navy. He worked as sports editor at the Austin American, now the Austin American-Statesman, during the summer of 1942 while he waited to attend midshipmen’s school that fall.
Holmes held the rank of lieutenant when he was released from active duty in April 1946. He was a lieutenant commander when he left the Navy.
Holmes joined The News in 1947. He worked as a courthouse reporter until he was named business editor in 1954. In 1955, he joined the public relations department of the First National Bank in Dallas, where he became personnel director, worked in policy administration and was later the bank’s vice president of economic development.

FEBRUARY 2012

Marilyn Murray Hickey Bell 
1928 — 2012
Marilyn Murray Hickey Bell, co-owner of the Mineral Wells Index from the late 1950s to the mid-70s, died Feb. 10, 2012, in Fort Worth. She was 83.
Bell was born Sept. 5, 1928, in Ranger. She graduated from Ranger High School and attended Texas Tech University. 
During her nearly 60 years in Mineral Wells, she was very active in a wide variety of local charities and fundraisers and was an enthusiastic supporter of Mineral Wells schools. 

APRIL 2012

Lollie Nichols
1947-2012
Lolly Nichols, TPA’s longtime administrative assistant, died April 8, 2012, at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House after a battle with lung cancer. She was 64.
Nichols was born Dec. 7, 1947, in Koblenz, Germany, to Klara and Johann Denk. 
She joined the TPA staff in April 1994, and until her recent illness never missed a day of work in 18 years of employment. Her friendship and dedication will be sorely missed. 

Richard P. “Dick” Richards
1938-2012
Richard P. “Dick” Richards, the 117th president of TPA, died April 7, 2012, in Houston. He was 74.
Richards has been a member of the association since 1963 and served as director, treasurer and vice president before being elected president.
He was president of South Texas Press Association (1972-73) and served as a director of Texas Gulf Coast Press Association.
Richards started in the newspaper business selling newspapers door to door in the early 1940s. He eventually worked in the backshop of the Aransas Pass Progress casting mats, sweeping floors and running the old flatbed press and folder.
His father, “Scoop,” ran the newspapers before him. As the business grew in 1973 the family acquired the Ingleside Index. When Richards was elected president of TPA, Scoop received the Golden 50 Award at the same convention.
Richards grew up in Ingleside. He graduated from Texas A&I University (now Texas A&M at Kingsville) and immediately volunteered for the U.S. Navy.
He was assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Shangri La, on which he served as EOD officer and G Division officer.

JUNE 2012

Lonnie Rankin
1927 — 2012
Lonnie Rankin, co-owner and operator of the Miles Messenger, died June 20, 2012, after a short courageous battle with cancer surrounded by his family and friends.
Lonnie, along with his wife Oleta, came to Miles in 1952 and published their first edition of the Miles Messenger as owners and operators on Jan. 1, 1953. In the 60s the couple branched out and bought The Concho Herald and The Rowena Press. Lonnie was active at the paper writing columns and giving orders and advice until the time of his death. 
Lonnie was born on Sept. 9, 1927, in Ballinger to Floy Mosier and Roy Rankin.
Lonnie (or L.M. as he was known to many) graduated in 1945 from Eden High School. He joined the U.S. Navy in June 1945 and served in Pearl Harbor until July 1946, when he was released to the Naval Reserve and was called again during the Korean conflict in 1950 and was re-released in 1952. On April 8, 1948, he married Oleta Nell Mask in Brady. 
Lonnie learned the printing and publishing business from J.F. Horton who owned the Eden Echo. 
Lonnie served on the Miles City Council; a member of the Miles Lions Club for over 50 years; a member of the Miles Masonic Lodge #898 for over 50 years; was a 33 degree Inspector General Honorary at Waco Scottish Rite Bodies; a member of the Miles American Legion and was a charter member of the Miles Preservation Authority and was instrumental in helping establish the Miles Cotton Festival.

JULY 2012

Oleta Rankin
1928 — 2012
Oleta Rankin, co-owner of the Miles Messenger, The Rowena Press and The Concho Herald, died July 3, 2012, surrounded by her family and friends after a brief illness.
Oleta, always by the side of her husband, Lonnie, came to Miles in 1952 and published their first edition of the Miles Messenger as owners and operators on Jan. 1, 1953. In the 60s the couple bought The Concho Herald and The Rowena Press. In the early years, Oleta helped set type by hand and delivered the papers every Thursday to post offices in Miles, Rowena and Paint Rock. Oleta was still helping at the paper by folding grocery circulars until a month ago when she began staying at home to care for Lonnie.
Oleta Nell Mask was born Sept. 27, 1928, in Mercury to James Ard and Bessie (Foster) Mask.
Oleta married the love of her life, Lonnie Rankin, on April 8, 1948, in Brady.
Oleta was a gentle, loving soul who worked steadily in the background helping her husband in the printing and publishing business while also being a housewife and raising two children. She worked for the Telephone Company in Eden and Miles in the 50s and worked at Black’s in Ballinger in the 1970s.
Oleta was a member of the Miles Order of The Easter Star until its demise, a member of the Miles Preservation Authority and a staunch backer of all the activities of her children and grandchildren, traveling many miles to watch sporting and one-act play events. She also loved going to cook-offs with the family and was the chief taster at these events.
Oleta is now reunited with her husband, Lonnie, who preceded her in death on June 22 only two short weeks apart.

AUGUST 2012

Don Chandler
1924 — 2012
Don Chandler, a longtime assistant publisher for The Brenham Banner-Press, died Aug. 4, 2012, in Brenham. He was 88.
Chandler’s 51-year career in the newspaper industry included more than 20 years with The Banner-Press, the paper reported. He joined the newspaper in 1979 and served 14 years as assistant publisher. He retired in 1995 but spent another eight years working on a part-time basis for the newspaper before retiring fully in 2003.
Chandler worked for The Galveston Daily News from 1953-58, then for publications owned by Hartman Newspapers in Texas City and Baytown from 1958-75. 
During that 17-year period, he was an award-winning artist in advertising layout and design and worked his way up the ranks from advertising salesman to manager to director of advertising for the Texas City Daily Sun. 
In 1975 he accepted a position as general manager and co-owner of the Alvin Advertiser. When the Chandler’s Alvin home was flooded by a tropical storm in 1979, he and his wife, Wilma, sold their newspaper interests and moved to Brenham.
Chandler was a World War II veteran. He was born in Brady.

Burl Osborne
1937 — 2012
Burl Osborne, former publisher of The Dallas Morning News, died Aug. 15, 2012, in Dallas. He was 75. 
Osborne began his career as a reporter with the Associated Press in West Virginia and rose through the ranks at AP to become managing editor of its worldwide news operations in New York. He left the AP in 1980 to take a position as vice president and executive editor of The Dallas Morning News. Later, he was named publisher of the paper and an executive officer of the Morning News’ parent company, Belo Corp., from which he retired in 2001.
Osborne had reconnected with AP in 1993 when he joined the cooperative’s board of directors, and in 2002 he became chairman of the board. He served as chairman until 2007.
He would later become a director and interim CEO of Freedom Communications. 
During his career, he supported numerous non-profits and trade associations as a board member, officer or trustee, including the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the National Press Institute, the Texas Daily Newspaper Association, the Newspaper Association of America, the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association and many others. He also co-chaired the Pulitzer Prize Board.

SEPTEMBER 2012

Ann Arnold
1945 — 2012
Texas journalist Ann Arnold died Sept. 1, 2012,. She was 67.
In her 50-year professional career, Arnold was a reporter for the Dallas Times-Herald and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the first female press secretary to a Texas governor and the longtime president of the Texas Association of Broadcasters.
A Mississippi native, Arnold spent her early years in Arkansas and moved with her family to Fort Worth in the 1960s. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1968. She worked three jobs to pay her way through college, including a position with the Capitol bureau of the Dallas Times-Herald. She also worked  for The Daily Texan, UT’s student newspaper.
After graduating from UT, she joined United Press International’s Capitol bureau and married her high school sweetheart, Reg Arnold. She has two sons.
Arnold went on to work for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1980 and later took a position as press secretary for Texas Gov. Mark White. 
When White left office in 1987, she was diagnosed with leukemia and told she had six months to two years to live. She joined an experimental treatment program at UT’s M.D. Anderson facilities in Houston and lived more than 20 years with the disease.
In 2001 Arnold received the James Madison Award from the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas for open government efforts. 
Texas broadcasters honored her legacy in 2008 by selecting her to be the recipient of the association’s first lifetime achievement award. 

Dick Tarpley
1920 — 2012
Dick Tarpley, former editor of the Abilene Reporter-News, died Sept. 17, 2012, in Abilene. He was 92. 
Tarpley worked at the Reporter-News for 52 years, starting in 1946. He has served as a reporter, wire editor, sports editor, news editor, assistant managing editor, managing editor and editor. After retiring as editor in 1986, he continued writing his popular Sunday column for 12 more years. 
Tarpley was born in Arlington and grew up in Weslaco — he attended Edinburg High School. He began his newspaper career, while still in high school, as sports editor of the Edinburg Valley Review in 1937. 
After graduating from the University of Texas in 1941, Tarpley worked a year as sports editor at the Wichita Falls Record-News before enlisting in the Army in 1942. He won five campaign stars in Africa and Europe and was awarded the Bronze Star.
Tarpley moved to Abilene after World War II and helped form the Abilene National Guard artillery battalion. He remained with the unit when it became an engineer battalion and served as commander from 1969 to 1971. He graduated with honors from Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and retired as a lieutenant colonel in September 1972 after 30 years of military service.
In 1953 he married Abilene attorney Beverly Potthoff. The couple has two children.
Tarpley was president of the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors Association in 1973 and was first chairman of the Harte-Hanks Editorial Advisory Board in 1977.

NOVEMBER 2012

James R. “Buddy” Yoder
1922-2012
James R. “Buddy” Yoder, former editor and publisher of The Weimar Mercury, died Nov. 25, 2012 of complications from a hip fracture. He was 90.
Yoder was born Jan. 10, 1922, to Beuna “James” Yoder and Robert Hill Yoder in Weimar.
He was a graduate of Weimar High School and received a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1943. He was an avid UT fan all his life.
Yoder served in the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve from 1939 to 1943 and on active duty with the Marines from 1943 to 1946 in the Pacific theater. He was honorably discharged as a captain.
He married Grace Brauner of Schulenburg on April 8, 1944, in Quantico, Va.
After the war, he returned to Weimar in 1946 and became co-owner of the Mercury, which his father had purchased in 1913.
When his father became ill in 1961, Buddy and Grace became full owners, and Buddy served as both editor and publisher.
He started his career at the Mercury in 1935 at age 13 and retired in 1993 with more than 50 years of newspaper service.
Each week he chronicled the lives of Weimar residents and the life of the town.
In June 1993, Yoder received the Texas Press Association Golden 50 Award for more than 50 years of selfless contribution to journalism.
Under Yoder’s direction, the Mercury was one of the first weekly newspapers to microfilm newspaper pages for preservation.
He researched the process he learned at newspaper conventions and formed a microfilm library of the Mercury starting from the founding of the Mercury in 1888.
In addition to his work with the newspaper, Yoder was active in civic affairs.