Bill Hoover of Waco, passed away Friday, Jan. 3, 2014.
Bill was born on Nov. 4, 1925 in Mount Calm and was one of eight boys raised on a farm. He served in the Air Force during WWII and in 1952 he graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. After a short stint as a weekly newspaper editor in West Texas, he was hired as the first director of information and public relations with the Texas Farm Bureau. He was editor of Texas Agriculture, a statewide publication for producer-members.
In 1954, Bill created the state-wide farm news radio show, “Farm Bureau Roundup,” which celebrated its 55th anniversary on the air in 2009.
Robert Louis “Bob” Hood, 69, of Possum Kingdom Lake, passed away Thurs., Jan. 9, 2014 at his home.
Bob was born June 28, 1944 in Fort Worth, to the late James Oscar and Ina Louise Hood.
He worked for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for 53 years. Starting at age 11, he was a paperboy followed by many years in the sports department where he covered sports, rodeos, Golden Gloves and other sports before getting the outdoors beat in 1968. Bob was the Star-Telegram’s outdoor writer for 40 years before retiring in 2008, though he was still contracted by the Star-Telegram to continue writing articles. He also contributed to various sport and hunting magazines across Texas.
Annnie Laura Reese Forshagen
Annie Laura Reese Forshagen passed away in her sleep on Jan. 10, 2014. She was 99 years old.
Born in October 1914, Annie had ink in her blood, particularly with a long history with the Gonzales Inquirer. Her grandfather was a partner at the newspaper in 1884, her father was publisher until 1923, her mother was publisher until 1965, and her brothers both had stints as editor and publisher. She is considered somewhat of a matriarch of the Inquirer.
She graduated from Gonzales High School in 1932 and then attended Southwestern University. She began her journalism career in 1934 - starting at the Inquirer and joining the rest of her family.
Gary Engel, 56, a former reporter for the Wise County Messenger, died Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 at his home in Sanger.
Engel was born March 18, 1957 in Chanute, Kan., where he graduated from high school. He attended Oklahoma State University and worked in broadcasting under the name Gary Bailey, which he continued to use after he moved into print journalism. He came to Wise County in 1987 as news director of KWCS radio station in Bridgeport.
He joined the Messenger staff July 16, 1989 as a sports writer and left in July 1993 for a job at the Arlington News.
He later worked for Today Newspapers in DeSoto before returning to the Messenger in 1995, where he worked for just over a year covering the police and criminal justice beat. Bailey’s work — including coverage of the trial of former sheriff Leroy Burch — earned numerous awards for the Messenger. His newspaper career also included stints at the Brenham Banner-Press, the Schulenberg Sticker, the Hereford Brand and the Hood County News in Granbury, and most recently he worked at the Woodward News (Okla.).
Charles Bonner McMillon
Author, newspaper publisher, and Austin businessman Charles Bonner McMillion passed away on Feb. 7. He was 92 years old.
Bonner was born on Nov. 8, 1921, in Falls County, Texas. He grew up in central Texas but spent most of his childhood in Junction where his father worked laying oil pipelines. He graduated from Lott High School in 1939 then entered Baylor University that fall. He spent two years there then left for California to spend a few years working in the Aircraft industry. After 25 months overseas during World War II, Bonner returned to the U.S. and settled in Dallas, where he worked at the Dallas Times Herald and met his wife, Virginia Womack of Paris.
Bonner and Virginia owned and published three central Texas newspapers from the early 1950s to the mid 1970s: The Elgin Courier, the Brazos Valley Times and the Fayette County Record. In 1979 they started an office supply and print shop in Austin called Pronto Print, which they sold in 1985.
Bonner was the author of three novels, all set in Texas.
Donald Bernard Safran
Dallas Times Herald columnist, movie critic and editor, Donald Bernard Safran, died Feb. 17 at the age of 84.
Safran was born in Bensonhurst, N.Y., where he graduated from Lafayette High School.
He served two years in the Marines before he studied journalism at Mexico City College and Arizona State University.
He started his career at the Lamesa Daily Reporte, now the Lamesa Press-Reporter. In 1956, he joined the Dallas Times Herald as a nightclub reporter.
While with the Herald, he became a movie critic, and eventually, arts and entertainment editor. In the early 1970s, Safran left the Times Herald and was movie critic for The Iconoclast, a weekly Dallas tabloid.
In 1977, that publication folded and he became editor of the alternative publication, The Weekly Dallas Reader.
Shortly after, he moved to Los Angeles, where he wrote for publications including the Hollywood Reporter and Los Angeles magazine.
Safran wrote for about 60 years, from his first newspaper job through retirement in 2005. He moved to Tumwater, Wash. and wrote novels and short stories. He had recently moved back to Dallas before his passing.
Jessie Gunn Stephens
Longtime Herald Democrat columnist, Jessie Gunn Stephens, passed away on March 10, 2014, after battling cancer. Stephens was 70 years old.
She was born in Colorado Springs, Col. in 1943, but moved to Wichita Falls where she met Anthony Stephens, her high school sweetheart. The two married in 1966 after she graduated from North Texas State University with a degree in French.
Stephens taught high school and earned a master’s degree in English while her husband served in Vietnam. After his return, the two moved to Sherman where Anthony was offered a position as a professor at Austin College.
Over the past four decades, Stephens worked as an editor, a freelance journalist, a fiction writer, a teacher of technical writing, and a columnist for the Herald Democrat.
In 2011, she won a “Communicator of Achievement” award, the highest honor a member of the Press Women of Texas can receive.
She also served as a mentor to those who aspired to write, founding an informal organization she called the Cuchara Writers Group. “
Former Bowie County Citizen’s Tribune publisher Woody Morgan passed away on Friday, March 28, 2014, in Texarkana. He was 64 years old.
Morgan was from Sanford, Texas and graduated from Fritch High School in 1968. He attended Ventura College in Ventura, California.
Woody Morgan was the “real deal when it came to the news,” Bowie County Citizen’s Tribune publisher Kenny Mitchell said. He was a network anchorman for NBC, he did work on the radio, and he could write a newspaper story with ease. “He knew what news was and how to get it,” Mitchell said.
Woody was a sports enthusiast — he covered the circuit, hung out with the legends of the sport, and he had a keen grasp of racing.
He was never afraid of a little controversy, but in his words, “ News is news. If it happened, it happened. Just tell it as it happened.” Woodrow “Woody” Morgan was the publisher of the Tribune from 2006 to 2013.
Kenneth Bunting, a former Fort Worth Star-Telegram executive and free press advocate, died April 20, 2014, from an apparent heart attack while playing tennis near his Missouri home.
He was 65.
Born in Houston in 1948, Bunting graduated from Texas Christian University in 1970.
In 2004, he was among the first inductees to the TCU Journalism School’s Hall of Excellence.
Bunting’s first newspaper job came at the Cincinnati Post shortly after graduating from college. At the time he was the only African-American on staff.
He later worked in Sacramento, Calif., and as a reporter and editor at the Los Angeles Times before being hired at the Star-Telegram.
Bunting spent seven years at the Star-Telegram beginning in the late 1980s.
He served as the Austin bureau chief before moving to Fort Worth, where he was the paper’s city editor and assistant managing editor.
Bunting left the Star-Telegram in the mid-1990s to become a senior editor and later associate publisher of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. While there, he led the newspaper to two Pulitzer Prizes and many other major awards.
In 2010, he was hired as the first full-time director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition of the University of Missouri in Columbia.
He left that job shortly before his death.
Robert Heard, who reported on Texas state government, politics and sports for the Associated Press, including the 1966 University of Texas tower shootings and a groundbreaking series on race and integration of Longhorns football, passed away on April 15, 2014. He was 84.
Heard was one of the people shot by Charles Whitman on Aug. 1, 1966, while covering the rampage for the Associated Press. Whitman killed 17 and wounded 32 more.
He had gone to the campus to cover the tower shootings after it had started and was trying to follow a group of police officers through a clearing when he was hit.
He reported the story from the hospital bed.
He was born in Big Spring in 1930 and he served as a Marine from 1951-52.
After his military service, he earned a law degree from Baylor University and practiced in Houston for two years.
He then worked as a journalist in Waco and Long Beach, Calif., before joining the Associated Press in Los Angeles in 1964. After his AP career, he was press secretary for Democrat Joe Christie’s U.S. Senate campaign.
Heard also wrote several books on sports and politics and founded a newsletter about University of Texas athletics, called Inside Texas.
W.E. (Pete) Snelson
Former state Sen. W.E. “Pete” Snelson passed away on April 26,2014. He was 91.
Snelson was born on March 28, 1923 in Grandfalls. He was salutatorian of his graduating class from Grandfalls-Royalty High. After graduation, Pete worked as a news editor and advertising manager for the Grandfalls Gazette.
In 1940, he began studying journalism at Texas College of Mines in El Paso. He combined his college studies with a full-time job as sports editor for the El Paso Times. He was drafted in 1943, but returned after the war and graduated from college. In 1948, he began his Master of Journalism degree at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. After his graduation in 1950, he moved to Midland and was named vice-president of Odessa College.
He left higher education in 1955 to found Snelson Advertising agency. Later on, he entered politics from 1971 to 1983.
Longtime newspaper reporter-editor, Walt Nett, died of natural causes April 23. He was 59.
His 35-year career included stretches as a reporter and editor in Arizona and California, including as a journalism instructor at the University of Arizona.
Nett worked as a reporter and online editor for The Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, Ariz., from 1986 to 1998 and as assistant city editor/online editor at The Bakersfield Californian from 1998 to 2002.
He started with the Avalanche-Journal in Lubbock in 2008. He most recently covered the courts beat as a reporter in Lubbock, writing about local, state and federal courts.
Kermit Harry Westerholm, who worked for the Robstown Record and as a sports writer for the Austin American, passed away May 13, 2014, at the age of 89.
He was born Oct. 20, 1924 in Danevang where he also attended grade school. He graduated from El Campo High School in 1942 and attended A&I College in Kingsville where he majored in English and journalism.
He served his country during World War II and remained in the United States Air Force Reserves for 25 years. After working at the Record and the American, he went to work in the public relations department of Texas Lutheran College in August 1955. In 1965 he opened Westerholm Insurance Agency.
Larry Emil Grauerholz Sr.
Larry Emil Grauerholz Sr., 97, of Archer County, passed away May 16, 2014.
He was an esteemed journalist and community member for many decades. He was well-known for his dry wit and was cited in one newspaper as the Humorist of Archer County. Born in Smith County, Kansas, he graduated in journalism from Kansas State University in 1939 and from the Army Air Corps Navigation School in 1943. His newspaper career began when he and his wife, Ruth, owned and operated small newspapers in Tennessee and Arkansas and then Texas. They were publishers of the Graham News in Graham, Texas, for 14 years.
He retired from the Wichita Falls Times & Record News in 1982.
Former cartoonist for the Laredo Morning Times and San Antonio Express News, Leo Garza, died of kidney cancer May 16, 2014. He was 57 years old. He created the popular cartoon “Needles,” which introduced Nacho Guarache and his sidekick, Fulano.
In 2007, he turned to painting and selling western art. He painted a series of historical murals for the Cibolo Creek Ranch in West Texas. His first love was cartooning, though, which he had begun while living in Laredo. During his time at the Express News, Garza used Nacho Guarache and his pals to prick, provoke and amuse the paper’s readers.
“Nacho and Fulano saw it all through the lens of the common man in San Antonio, and that was really unique,” former Express News cartoonist John Branch said of his former colleague. “That’s not something you can get from a syndicated cartoon. It’s not only good stuff, it expresses a local point of view.”
George Ernest Stone, Jr.
George Ernest Stone, Jr. of the Dallas Morning News died May 16, 2014, of Alzheimer’s disease. He was 87.
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, He joined his father in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, and later graduated from Stroudsburg High School in Stroudsburg, Pa. in 1944. He enlisted in the Navy and served at end of World War II.
After he was honorably discharged in July 1946, he worked in advertising and for Western Electric Co. in Stroudsburg. In 1952,
Stone was hired as the first advertising manager for Adleta Co., a Dallas appliance and electronics distributor. In 1977 he joined the Dallas Morning News as a marketing researcher. He was senior research analyst when he accepted a buyout offer from the newspaper in 1996.
TPA President 1993-1994
James Rogers “Jim” Hudson, 63, died May 26, 2014.
He was born Dec. 7, 1950 in Perryton to Harold and Jane Hudson. He married Lina Kay Singleton on Oct. 22, 1994, in Amarillo.
He became publisher of The Perryton Herald after the death of his father in 1991. Jim Hudson served as president of the Texas Press Association in 1993-94. Harold Hudson was president of TPA in 1967-68.
Hudson began his career at The Ochiltree County Herald when the Hudson family purchased control of the newspaper from Van Stewart in 1959. At age 9, Hudson worked in the newspaper’s mailroom.
When the Herald became a semiweekly and changed its name to The Perryton Herald in 1962, Hudson became one of the newspaper’s first carriers. His column, “Ochiltree Observer,” won numerous state and regional press association awards, as did the editorials he wrote for the Herald.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1973 from the University of Texas at Austin and moved to Houston, where he worked for Mustang Tractor and Equipment Co. until 1985 when he returned to Perryton to be general manager of The Perryton Herald.
He was a past president of the Perryton-Ochiltree Chamber of Commerce and long-time legislative affairs council chairman, a past president of the Perry Memorial Library Board, and served on the Wolf Creek Park Advisory Board and the Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation Board. He also served as president of Panhandle Press Association in 1987-88.
PA Past President, 1975-76
John Taylor, TPA Past President, who bought the Seguin Gazette in 1954 and built it into a South Texas publishing powerhouse that printed more than 30 other newspapers, died June 6, 2014, at a South Austin hospital. He was 88 years old.
“John Taylor was of an era when newspapers were king and he built the Seguin Gazette accordingly,” Seguin Gazette Publisher and Editor, Jeff Fowler said Monday. “He left a legacy in Texas journalism and an unsurpassed example in public service — in ‘giving back’ — to his community that should inspire us all.”
John Clifton Taylor Jr. was born an only child on Aug. 8, 1925 in Gonzales, Texas to John Clifton Taylor Sr. and Eva Lincecum Kolar.
He attended San Marcos Military Academy, graduated from Gonzales High School and joined the U.S. Marine Corps, in which he served from 1943-45. Taylor attended Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, graduating with a degree in journalism.
Upon graduation from Southwest Texas State, Taylor joined the editorial department at The San Antonio Light. He left the Light in 1954 to purchase a then-struggling Seguin Gazette. Taylor made the Seguin Gazette the first newspaper in South Texas to convert to the photo offset printing process in 1960. He sold the paper in 1979 to become its “publisher emeritus.”
During his time and his tenure at the Gazette and even afterward, Taylor headed two of Texas regional press associations and worked for a time on the staff of TPA. He was president of the South Texas Press Association in 1963-64, the Texas Gulf Coast Press Association in 1973 -74 and the Texas Press Association in 1975-76. He was vice chairman of the TPA’s building committee and aided in the search for the property that later became TPA’s permanent home.
Dave Burgin, who cultivated successful writers as the top editor of the Houston Post and other newspapers, died June 16, 2014, at his Houston home from the effects of strokes. He was 75.
Burgin served as editor of the Houston Post from 1988 to 1990. Colleagues at the Post and other newspapers led by Burgin recalled him as an editor with a deep dedication to excellence.
He was often recruited to manage financially troubled newspapers. He was the editor-in-chief of New Jersey’s Paterson News, the Peninsula Times Tribune in California, the Orlando Sentinel, the San Francisco Examiner, the Dallas Times Herald and the Houston Post.
Burgin joined the Washington Star in 1971, where he was mentor to Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist Maureen Dowd and sports columnist and author Ira Berkow. In 1985 and 1986, Burgin edited the Examiner, Hearst Corp.’s first newspaper.
After his time in Texas, Burgin moved to the San Francisco area. He was editor and vice president of the Bay Area News Group from 1990 to 1997.
Richard Durrett, a versatile sportswriter in his nine years at The Dallas Morning News, and most recently five years with the ESPNDallas.com, died June 17, 2014. He was 38.
Durrett spent time in 2013 writing for ESPNDallas and co-hosting a daily sports talk show on KESN-FM alongside Ian Fitzsimmons. He opted to leave the ESPN-owned radio station in favor of the website when Cumulus, parent company of Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket, took operating control in October.
At ESPN Dallas, Durrett found his niche covering the Texas Rangers baseball club. He also covered the NHL’s Dallas Stars, colleges and whatever else he was asked to do.
Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009 from The News. He also worked at the Denton Record-Chronicle and Grapevine Sun. He was a Texas Christian University alumnus. “He was known for creativity and an exceptional work ethic throughout his ESPN tenure, and nearly a decade at The Dallas Morning News before that,” ESPN vice president Patrick Stiegman said in a statement.
Mark A. Thompson
Mark A. Thompson was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, March 4, 1962, and died June 23, 2014.
Thompson was an award-winning writer who began his career in Texas with the El Campo-Leader News before moving to the Weatherford Democrat. After the Weatherford Democrat, he worked for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. For the past 10 years, he worked for the Quarter Horse News in Fort Worth as the co-editor/journalist.
A graduate of Indiana State University, Thompson served as editor of his college paper, The Indiana Statesman, where he will be remembered for an article he penned, “Charlie Chair,” following the infamous Bobby Knight chair-throwing incident.
An avid Indiana Pacers NBA basketball fan, Thompson counted his interview with then rookie Michael Jordan as a career highlight.
Thompson was the recipient of numerous awards throughout his career, most recently for being the top writer of online articles by American Horse Publications.
Jerrell Perkins of Burleson, who printed thousands of newspapers for the Burleson Star and its sister newspapers for more than three decades, died June 23, 2014, after a short battle with cancer. He was 78.
Perkins worked for 70 years in the printing and newspaper business, starting with a newspaper route at age seven for the San Angelo Standard-Times. Perkins later worked in the Standard-Times mail room and by age 16 had been hired to work as head pressman. He held various printing jobs including one at the Dallas Morning News and one as print shop supervisor at the University of North Texas.
In 1976, Perkins was asked by late Wayne Hutson, then publisher of the Burleson Star, to run the press at ABC Publishing Inc., where he stayed until 1985 when he purchased the company and moved the printing press to Burleson. He opened Perkins Printing on Loy Street, where the Burleson Star and other publications were printed for 23 years. Perkins closed the doors at Perkins Printing in 2008 after the Burleson Star was sold to a new owner. Perkins’ son, Lance, said his father had fond memories of working hard for Burleson residents.
Billy Porterfield, who helped put Texas on the map as a literary destination, died June 29, 2014. He was 81.
The son of a journeyman oil patch worker and born in Henderson, Porterfield moved many times before he reached adulthood and landed at the Houston Chronicle. He went on to win the Scripps Howard Ernie Pyle Memorial award and took his work ethic to the Detroit Free Press, the Chicago Daily News, the Dallas Times Herald and the Austin American-Statesman. Among many major stories, Porterfield covered civil rights marches of the 1960s.
After leaving the Times Herald, beginning in the mid-1980s and continuing for about a decade, he wrote a column for the Austin American-Statesman. He was also a prolific author whose books include the memoir “Diddy Waw Diddy: The Passage of an American Son,” “Texas Rhapsody: Memories of a Native Son” and “LBJ Country.” From an excerpt from his book, “Texas Rhapsody,”: “I have supped with presidents and sipped with peons. I have entered worlds my old man could never imagine. But he always told people I type for a living.”
Longtime friend Diana Hendricks said Porterfield found his voice observing people during his itinerant upbringing. “He was able, having grown up in 17 towns before he was 17, to grab those characters that passed through life,” Hendricks said. “He could make heroes out of people some of us might not have noticed. When you go back and read ‘A Loose Herd of Texans,’ he could take a fence builder in Kenedy, Texas, and write about him with the same eloquence as he wrote about Lyndon Johnson.”
In 2010, Porterfield donated his papers and archives to the Southwestern Writers Collection, a part of the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University.
Bobby Glen Runyon
Veteran newsman Bobby Glen “Bob” Runyon, 62, of Omaha, Texas, died July 15, 2014, in a Mount Pleasant hospital.
Runyon was born Dec. 26, 1951, in Gainesville. He was editor of the Gladewater Mirror for many years, a Promise Keeper, a member of the Associated Press, Lions Club, David Elliott Masonic Lodge and Concord Missionary Baptist Church, Omaha, and was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.
Nick West, longtime publisher of the Palacios Beacon, died July 27, 2014. He was 61. Born on Dec. 14, 1952, in Rushville, Indiana, West was a career newspaperman. One of his proudest chapters in life was working at the Beacon with his father, Bert, and son, Ryan.
A member of the U.S. Marine Corps and a transplant to Palacios, West took over publisher and editor duties at the Beacon on July 4, 1981.
Under his management, he transformed the Beacon into one of the premier small-town newspapers in the state, winning multiple awards from Texas Press Association, South Texas Press Association and Texas Gulf Coast Press Association.
West had served as the intern chairman for South Texas Press Association. The internship program has been renamed the Nick West Internship in his honor.
LaDeane Jeffcoat Smith
Palestine native and longtime journalist LaDeanne Jeffcoat Smith died July 31, 2014, at the age of 77.
Smith graduated from Palestine High School in 1955 before going on to attend Sam Houston State Teachers College, where she majored in journalism.
After marrying Charles “Donnie” Smith in 1957, Smith began her journalism career as the women’s editor at the Palestine Herald-Press. In 1977, Smith became the community editor for the Herald-Press.
In 1979, Smith took the job as editor of the Houston County Courier in Crockett, where she attended city council and school board meetings, covered elections and more.
After a two-year stint in Germany with her family, from 1981-1983, Smith returned to Palestine and worked for Memorial Hospital before returning to the Herald-Press.
In 1991, she returned to the Houston County Courier as news editor, with husband Donnie working in advertising sales.
She retired as the managing editor in 2001, and once again, returned to Palestine, where she wrote her “Senior Moments” column in the Herald-Press as a freelance writer.
Smith’s love for the community went beyond the black-and-white newsprint that her name adorned. She was involved in several organizations, including the Noon Business and Professional Women’s Club, the Pilot Club in Crockett and United Methodist Women at Westwood Methodist Church.
She also was a reporter for the Anderson County Historical Commission and a Montalba Red Hatter.
Barbara Funkhouser, the first and only woman to serve as editor of the El Paso Times, died Aug. 15, 2014, at her home in Fairacres, New Mexico. She was 84.
Funkhouser is the only female editor in the newspaper’s 133-year history, having served in that capacity from 1980 to 1986.
She began her career in 1958 as a free-lancer for a year, then worked for a Las Cruces newspaper for a year before being hired at the El Paso Times.
She also wrote the coffee-table book, “The Caregivers: El Paso’s Medical History, 1898-1998.”
Funkhouser was born March 1, 1930, at Hotel Dieu hospital in El Paso and was raised on a farm in Fairacres, near Las Cruces, that her parents owned since 1924. Her father died she she was six, and her mother ran the farm with help of hired labor.
She graduated from Las Cruces Union High School and from New Mexico State University in 1952.
She spent six months in Europe on a 4-H Club exchange program and then worked for five years for the 4-H organization in Washington, D.C., and in Chicago, before returning to New Mexico and beginning her career as a journalist.
During her 30-year career at the Times, Funkhouser interviewed many notable people, including singer-artist Vikki Carr, baseball player Kurt Russell and actor James Stewart.
Funkhouser retired from the El Paso Times on June 1, 1990. She taught at New Mexico State University and was a part-time editorial writer for the Las Cruces Sun-News for several years. She continued running her vineyard, on her family farm until her death.
Myra Lynn Lampley
Myra Lynn Lampley, longtime editor of the Shiner Gazette, passed away Aug. 24, 2014. She was 48.
Lampley was born on Oct. 4, 1965 in Bexar County. Myra graduated from Hallettsville High School in 1984 and went on to Southwest Texas State.
Lampley began her newspaper career at the Yoakum Herald Times in the late 1980s. In 1992 she became the editor of the Shiner Gazette and remained in that position until her passing.
During her 22 years with the Gazette, she and her staff won many newspaper association awards and personally, she was proudest of her first place plaques from the South Texas Press Association for news writing, features, news and sports photography.
Longtime 12th Man Magazine editor Homer Jacobs died Aug. 24, 2014. He was 49.
The Texas A&M journalism graduate, Class of 1987, was a fixture in Aggieland for the past 22 years after returning to Bryan-College Station from Galveston.
After graduation, he was the sports editor at the Sherman Democrat and Galveston Daily News. He returned to Bryan-College Station in 1992 as the editor of Aggies Illustrated before joining the 12th Man Magazine in 1996. He was a regular on the Bryan-College Station airwaves and a frequent guest on local radio shows.
Jacobs’ articles in the magazine helped many former A&M students living outside Bryan-College Station connect to their alma matter.
Mary Margaret Davis
Mary Margaret Davis, a veteran El Paso Times journalist who wrote about social and community events as well as genealogy, died Sept. 1, 2014, in Dallas. She was 81.
Davis, who was born in Lubbock in 1932, grew up in Seagraves, where her father was a pharmacist. She was proud to come from Texas pioneer stock. Her great-great-grandparents, Isaac and Mary Webb, were early settlers in the Farmers Branch/Peters Colony near Dallas.
Davis attended Baylor University and graduated from Texas Western College (now the University of Texas at El Paso) in 1952, majoring in journalism.
She worked at the El Paso Times for 16 years before retiring in 1994. She was the community news editor, columnist, and also wrote a weekly genealogy column, “All In Your Family.”
Longtime newspaperman, Bill Quinn, died Sept. 6, 2014. He was 102.
After high school graduation in 1930, he and another local boy started their own daily paper, The Dinner Horn, on a borrowed mimeograph machine. After being named publisher of the Grand Saline Sun in 1935, which made him the youngest newspaper publisher in the United States at the ripe age of 22, he worked tirelessly to build readership and advertising. The paper’s owner soon named him editor of the neighboring Van Banner, too. Later on, Quinn was hired to edit a larger paper, the Mineola Monitor. He continued there until joining the U.S. Army, and in WWII, he was named editor of the 6th Corps’ daily mobile newspaper, The Beachhead News. He had a long career in newspapers and magazines as a columnist.
Former Alice Echo-News Journal publisher Tony Morris died Sept. 24, 2014.
Morris began his newspaper career in 1979 as a newspaper carrier and did door-to-door sales for the San Diego Union and Evening Tribune.
He served as publisher and editor of the Alice Echo News from 1996 to 1999. Morris became owner and publisher of The Alice Journal and the Freer Press in July of 2000. Soon after, in 2002, he took on the title of group publisher for Alice Newspapers, Inc. until 2011. While there, he was the publisher and advertising director of the Alice Echo- News Journal.
Van Thomas, 81, longtime sports editor of the Polk County Enterprise, died at his Livingston residence on Oct. 10, 2014.
He was born July 21, 1933 in McCrory, Arkansas.
Thomas joined the Enterprise staff as sports editor in August 1979 and over the years became a fixture at area sporting events. He covered the Livingston Lions football games for 34 years until declining health forced him to stop prior to the start of the 2014 season.
Though he no longer covered the games, he continued writing his column, “Once Over Lightly.” His final column appeared in the Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014, edition.
Thomas served in the U.S. Army and, following his discharge, began covering sports for newspapers. After first working in northern California, he moved to East Texas where he covered athletes for more than 55 years as sports editor for the Henderson Daily News, Longview Morning Journal, Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel and Polk County Enterprise.
While working for the Longview Morning Journal, Thomas spent the summer of 1967 serving as a war correspondent in South Vietnam.
Thomas also was a longtime member of the Texas Sportswriter’s Association.
Marcia Jane Morrison
Marcia Jane Morrison, 83, passed away Oct. 18, 2014, following a brief illness.
She was born July 2, 1931 in Ottawa, Kansas, to R.W. “Bill” Hunley and Grace McCool Hunley. She lived in various places in the Midwest while growing up and graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in English and a minor in music. After graduation she moved to Chicago, Illinois to work for Scott Foresman, an educational publishing firm.
On June 23, 1957 she married Dan R. Morrison and in 1965 the family moved to Mercedes, Texas, where she and Dan were publishers of The Mercedes Enterprise for 25 years. In Mercedes Marcia served on the Memorial Library and Salvation Army boards. She was a three-time president and 45-year member of Los Ebanos Study Club. She loved to read and was a devoted supporter of public libraries.
They resided in the Rio Grande Valley until 2012, when they moved to Granbury.
1948 - 2014
James “Jim” Hutton, a reporter for the San Antonio Express News for more than 30 years, died Nov. 18, 2014. He was 66.
Hutton’s career as a reporter came after serving in the Vietnam War in the 101st Airborne Division; he later received his officer’s commission. A passion for writing that developed in his high school English classes drove Hutton to pursue a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he received a master’s degree in communication from the University of Incarnate Word.
Hutton began his journalism career at the Amarillo Globe-News. In 1975, he joined the Express-News.
After he retired from journalism, Hutton worked with special-needs schoolchildren.
Lisa Lynette Rollins
Lisa Lynette Rollins, former music columnist and page editor for the Denton Record-Chronicle, died Nov. 13, 2014. She was 49.
She was born on Jan. 16, 1965 and was a member of the Denton High School graduating class of 1983. Rollins majored in journalism at the University of North Texas where she served as staff writer, entertainment editor and managing editor of The North Texas Daily student newspaper.
A former writer and editor for Metroplex music magazines, Rollins went on to freelance for Country Weekly, RIP Magazine, Dance Teacher Magazine, Twang and American Profile, among many other publications, and earned awards for feature writing from Texas Press Association and several Tennessee-based organizations.
Martha Ann Walls
Martha Ann Williams Walls, 87, died Dec. 2, 2014.
She was the widow of newspaper entrepreneur B. Carmage Walls and was chairman of the board of Southern Newspapers, Inc. of Houston. The company operates 14 newspapers, 11 in Texas and three in Alabama. Carmage Walls founded the company, and he and Mrs. Walls managed it together for more than 60 years.
Mrs. Walls was born April 21, 1927, in Gadsden, Ala. Mrs. Walls was valedictorian of her class at Gadsden High School, and she began her newspaper career as assistant to the publisher of The Gadsden Times at the age of 20. At her death, she had worked in the newspaper business for 67 years, from the age of melted lead type to the Internet age.
Martha Ann Williams and Carmage Walls married on Jan. 2, 1954. They were partners in life and in business. They traveled the world together, and Mrs. Walls earned her pilot’s license in the early 1960s. Mr. and Mrs. Walls often explored newspaper markets in which they had an interest from the pilot and co-pilot’s seat of their airplane.
Though neither attended college, Mr. and Mrs. Walls established journalism scholarship funds at Baylor University, Trinity University, the University of Alabama and the University of Texas. They also established the Carmage and Martha Ann Walls Distinguished Chair of Tropical Diseases at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
For a number of years, Mrs. Walls also served on the board of Jefferson Pilot Insurance Co., later purchased by Chubb Insurance.
Kevin Joseph Kerrigan passed peacefully on Dec. 21, 2014, in Corpus Christi at the age of 65.
An Ohio native, he graduated from Kent State University in 1971 with a degree in journalism.
After moving to Corpus Christi in 1972, he began working for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, where he worked for 39 years. He worked as a copy editor and manager and won numerous awards for his witty and thought provoking headlines.
Jack D. Loftis
Jack D. Loftis, who led the Houston Chronicle newsroom through space shuttle flights, the Enron scandal and the 9/11 terror attacks, died Dec. 29 at the age of 80 after a long illness. Loftis served as the Chronicle’s vice president and editor from 1987 to 2002.
Loftis was born Nov. 21, 1934, in Hillsboro,. Although he graduated from Baylor with a degree in business, journalism had claimed him for good. Loftis rose to become editor of the Mirror in 1962 before leaving for Houston.
He joined the Chronicle in 1965 as a copy editor, often working the 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift. Soon he was named editor of Texas Magazine, the Chronicle’s Sunday supplement. Among the stories he published was a feature about con man Frank Abagnale, who later became the subject of the movie “Catch Me If You Can.”
Loftis climbed quickly through the newsroom ranks: features editor, assistant managing editor/features, assistant editor and editor. After leaving the paper he held the title of editor emeritus.
Loftis served as a director of the Texas Daily Newspaper Association and in 1995 received the Headliners Foundation of Texas’ Lifetime Achievement Award. He twice served as a Pulitzer Prize juror.