Erik “Rik” Spencer – June 12, 2019

Fellow graduates, with much surprise and sorrow I report that Erik “Rik” Spencer passed on June 12th. This one is REALLY a surprise as I have been working with Rik the past month regarding the July Show and Tell segment for the upcoming issue of the Town Crier. Rik had already given his seal of approval for the segment just days ago. Who ever dreamed this would happen!!! Rik was a pastor who surely knew his final destination. No one had any idea it would be this soon!!!

Only a little while ago did I receive this email from Bev Wells, who is a good friend of both Rik and Judy.

“Some sad news, Rik (Erik) Spencer passed away this morning. He just turned 77 on June 6. Will send more details as I learn them. Please keep Judy (wife) and son, Frank, in your thoughts and prayers.
Rik and Judy were/are dear friends to me. I will miss Rik and his funny emails. The three of us would have lunch about the same time the class had their lunches. We would catch up and reminisce. What great memories!
Thank you for sharing with the class,
Bev Murphy Wells”

Some pictures of Rik enjoying our 55th Class Reunion at the Phoenix Ballroom, Waco TX


Linda Peacock VanDenBerg – May 23, 2019

Linda Frey Peacock VanDenBerg of Speegleville, Texas passed away at home on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at the age of 76 after a very brief and brave fight with cancer.

Linda was born on July 30, 1942, in Waco, TX, to Oren Merritt Peacock Sr. and Dorris Dyer Peacock. She graduated from Waco High School in 1960. She retired from the McLennan County District Clerk’s Office after 30 years where she served as the Chief Deputy District Clerk in the civil division. She was a lifelong member of Central United Methodist Church in Waco, formerly St. John’s United Methodist Church. She was known as Nee to anyone who met her, especially her grandchildren, their friends and classmates. Her greatest joy in life was her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was always in the stands or on the sidelines for every event and ballgame they participated in. She was incredibly loved by her children and everyone that knew her.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her infant brother, Bobby Dill Peacock.

She is survived by her children, Dawn Blenden and husband, Robbie of Speegleville, Robyn Williams and husband, Joe of China Spring, Kelli VanDenBerg of Winchester, VA, and Brandi Hyland and fiancé, Michael Johnson of Crawford. Grandchildren, Randa Blenden and husband, Rodrigo Soto of Durham, NC, Jake Williams and wife, Lindsey of Valley Mills, Tye Williams of San Marcos, Whitney Sisk and husband, Jonathan of Georgetown, Kara Huss and husband, Andy of Leander, Jake Blenden and wife, Alison of Speegleville, Brock Hyland of Fayetteville, AR, Haylee Williams of China Spring, Shelby Williams of China Spring, and Blaine, Beryn and Bostyn Hyland of Crawford. Great grandchildren, Connor, Logan and Landry Sisk of Georgetown, Lane and Luke Huss of Leander, Brynn Williams of Valley Mills, and Judd Blenden of Speegleville. She is also survived by her brother, Oren Merritt Peacock Jr. and wife Elizabeth of Sachse, TX and many loving nieces, nephews, cousins, and countless friends.

Memorials may be made to Central United Methodist Church, Gift of Life International, or the charity of your choice.

The family would like to extend a special thanks to the incredibly compassionate nurses, Kathy and Kay at Providence Hospice and the entire Providence Hospice Team.

Veteran’s Statistics from the Vietnam Memorial Wall

A Vietnam veteran came up with the idea for the memorial; The wall was designed by a college student; It took less than eight months to build the memorial; The wall is made of black granite from Bangalore, India; No federal funds were needed to create the memorial.

The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized. It is hard to believe it is 63 years since the first casualty.

The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth, Mass. Listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps LCpl Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965.

There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall.

39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger.

8,283 were just 19 years old.

The largest age group, 33,103 were 18 years old.

12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old.

5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old.

One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old.

997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam .

1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam .

31 sets of brothers are on the Wall.

Thirty one sets of parents lost two of their sons.

54 soldiers attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia. I wonder why so many from one school

8 Women are on the Wall, Nursing the wounded.

244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall

Beallsville, Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons.

West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation. There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall.

The Marines of Morenci – They led some of the scrappiest high school football and basketball teams that the little Arizona copper town of Morenci (pop 5,058) had ever known and cheered. They enjoyed roaring
beer busts. In quieter moments, they rode horses along the Coronado Trail, stalked deer in the Apache National Forest . And in the patriotic camaraderie typical of Morenci’s mining families, the nine
graduates of Morenci High enlisted as a group in the Marine Corps. Their service began on Independence Day,
1966. Only 3 returned home.

The Buddies of Midvale – LeRoy Tafoya, Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales were all boyhood friends and lived on three consecutive streets in Midvale, Utah on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues. They lived only a few yards apart. They played ball at the adjacent sandlot ball field And they all went to Vietnam. In a span of 16 dark days in late 1967, all three would be killed. LeRoy was killed on Wednesday, Nov. 22, the fourth anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Jimmy died less than 24 hours later on Thanksgiving Day. Tom was shot dead assaulting the enemy on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245 deaths.

The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 – 2,415 casualties were incurred.

For most Americans who read this they will only see the numbers that the Vietnam War created. To those who survived the war, and to the families of those who did not, we see the faces, we feel the pain that these numbers created. We are, until we too pass away, haunted with these numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, Husbands, wives, sons and daughters.

There are no noble wars, just noble warriors.

Mary Murray-Lockwood – May 30, 2019

Fellow Graduates,
I am sad to inform you that Mary Murray-Lockwood has recently died. Mary attended many classes with our WHS 60 graduates. I am trying to remember when Mary moved to Dallas but I think it might have been sometime in the summer of 1959. Therefore, Mary graduated from high school there rather than with our class. For the past several years Mary had been living in Knoxville, TN, where her daughter, Wendi, currently resides. Mary attended several of our class reunions in the past and I located a few pictures from those times. Following her obit, these pictures are posted. Mary had a beautiful voice, loved to play the piano, and will be missed by so many.

Mary Murray-Lockwood
February 1, 1942 – May 30, 2019

Mary Frances Murray – Lockwood was born February 1, 1942 in Summerville, South Carolina, and passed away peacefully in Knoxville, TN on May 30, 2019 at the age of 77. Mary grew up and lived most of her life in Waco, Texas and attended Waco High School. She would have graduated with the class of 1960, but she moved with her parents to Dallas and graduated from South Oak Cliff High School. She then attended classes at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas.

Mary was active in church, played the piano and sang for much of her life. She served numerous churches with her musical talents and taught piano and voice in Waco, Texas. She also worked as an executive assistant at Certainteed Corporation and as an office administrator for various churches throughout the years. Mary loved animals and besides raising many herself, she worked as a pet sitter any chance she could. She loved the Lord and her family very much.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents Lucious Richard Murray, Doris Murray, and Mary Elizabeth Messervy, as well as her beloved sisters Katherine Victoria Fowler Wolfe and Janice Marie Fowler Sullivan. Mary is survived by her children Wendi Dawn Lockwood, Meri Lockwood Blasingame, and Robert Preston Lockwood; her four grandchildren Candace Rice, Brian Smith, Steven Walton, and Jenna Walton; four great grandchildren Caden Rice, Ceilidh Rice, Caleb McCall and Guy Kemper; siblings Gloria Fisher and Richard Murray, and sister-in-law Virginia Murray, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Some happy times with Mary

Jeri Boren Guyton, Mary Murray-Lockwood, Betty Luedeker Gatlin, Jeanne Holland Harman, Judith Hamff Murphy, Sharon McCarthy Odell, Kay Phillips Sparks
Mary Murray-Lockwood and Jeri Boren Guyton- 1985
Mary Murray and Charles McWhorter, year unknown  

Waco Town Crier – June 2019

Here is the June 2019 edition of the Waco Town Crier

June Highlights

  • Regarding the Vietnam Memorial Wall
  • Trivia – Most Famous House in Every State
  • June Birthdays
  • Updates
  • Texas High School Hall of Fame – Ken Casner
  • Show and Tell – Bonnie Burson Chapman
  • Pictures
  • Think About These

Note: Due to the number of pictures included in this month’s newsletter, I was unable to upload the Waco Town Crier as a single document. To read the articles about Ken Casner and Bonnie Burson Chapman, please click on the links above.