David Peeples – Living “The Dash”

(poem by Linda Ellis)

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning… to the end.
He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own, the cars… the house… the cash. What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged.
To be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile… remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.
So when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash?

Thoughts by Jeanne Harman

“All of us who knew David, whether it was in high school or after graduation, knew how well David lived his “dash”.  He would be proud of the things that will be said about him.  He worked many years for the telephone company in Waco, retiring from there.  After the death of his step-mother, he tended and cared so faithfully for his sister, Patsy, never wanting her to be alone at night.  David loved to fish and he spent many enjoyable hours in this peaceful hobby.  He also enjoyed hunting and any other outdoor activity that guys enjoy.  He was a great athlete in high school and junior high.

David was a quiet, independent, timid and shy but strong-willed man with a most kind heart.  Most of the time when one saw David he had a smile on his face—even a sheepish little grin which was probably part of his shyness being surfaced.   David will be missed greatly by his friends at Waco High and others who knew him throughout his lifetime.”

Pictures from Our Reunions

 

 

David Peeples – January 4, 2020

Jeanne Harman wrote:  

We have had a true warrior just lose his battle with leukemia today.  David Peeples died around noonish on January 4th.

David was ready—he was so tired of being in pain.  He hesitated to take too much pain medicine because it made him loopy, he said.

I saw him on Wednesday night, trying to get him to take pain medicine but he wanted to watch the Baylor Sugar Bowl game instead.  (Men and their football!).

The nurse was to give him some pain meds as soon as the game was over.

David and Janie McPhail were there about 11:30 but I have not spoken with them since they saw David.

Anyone who was keeping in touch with David knows how he was ready to be out of pain.  It was so difficult for David to give up control though, as he had always been so independent.  At least, David is no longer suffering.

Robert Marcus Otterstad – December 20, 2019

Marcus OtterstadUpdated on January 5th to add:

This is Opie (Marcus’ son) speaking on behalf of Marcus. His memorial service will be held at House of Prayer Lutheran Church at 1pm on Saturday January the 11th. The address is

14045 Space Center Blvd, Houston, TX 77062

I would like to have a choir sing the St. Olaf choir version of Beautiful Saviour. We have the music..now we need singers. If you want to sing..or would like to invite your choir members to come sing..just arrive at the church at 12 noon for a run through. This is my last gift to my father, so please get the word out. Even if you didn’t know Dad it will be fun if we can get a lot of people to come.

Lastly..in lieu of flowers, a donation to Lutheran Camp Chrysalis in Kerrville, Texas would be perfect.

Marcus posted the following to Facebook on December 20, 2019

For my friends and family and parishioners over my some 50 years in ministry I just wanted to say thank you for all you love and support over the years. I have been ill for some time and today it finally took me home to be with God. I’ve had a great childhood in the Midwest with my brother John. Being a PK of a PK of a PK, we didn’t get away with too much but we were loved and now get to hang out more. My years in Houston and Waller serving all over this area were both very challenging and very rewarding. I have friends from each stop that I maintained until the very end. I tried very hard to be a compassionate and empathetic pastor and tell the people I loved just how much they meant (against my Norwegian roots).

May the Lord bless you and keep you

May the Lord make shine his face and be gracious to you

May the Lord look up you with favour and grant you peace. 

and one last time…AMEN. 

Waco Town Crier – January 2020

 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and may all of us have a good new year. We are starting a whole new decade and how I wish for health and happiness for us all during these next years. Make some memories! The time is just FLYING BY!!!

Jeanne

Here is the January 2020 edition of the Waco Town Crier:

  • Trivia
  • Article about Waco from The Washington Post
  • In memory of Marcus Otterstad
  • From Our Graduates
  • Updates
  • January Birthdays
  • Show & Tell featuring Richard (Dick) Tooker
  • Pictures
  • Words of Wisdom from Maxine
  • Marriage Jokes

Joseph Dennis (Denny) O’Neill – November 20, 2019

Joseph Dennis “Denny” O’Neill II, 77, died Wednesday, November 20, in Lewisville, Texas.

Denny was born to Joe and Lena O’Neill on August 27, 1942 in Cameron, Texas. He graduated from Waco High School in 1960 and from Baylor University in 1966.

On June 12th, 1965, Denny married his soulmate Mary Lou Piott in Waco, Texas. Denny spent his professional career in the medical records industry working for Blue Cross and Blue Shield and as an entrepreneur starting and growing independent companies PMS, Inc., Medical Interface Inc. and General Micrographics before retiring in 2008.

Denny greatly enjoyed traveling on vacations with his wife Mary Lou. He was a very avid hunter his entire life and greatly enjoyed hunting with his friends and family. While he loved Baylor Bear football, anything associated with his Irish heritage and last name O’Neill, and many other interests, Denny “Grandpa” most enjoyed spending time loving and spoiling his grandchildren as much as possible.

Denny is survived by his wife of 54 years, two sisters, Peggy O’Neill and Betty Jo Westhelle, aunt Barbara DeArmond, two sons, Brian and wife Angie O’Neill of Flower Mound, Texas, Craig and wife Mandy O’Neill of Coppell, one granddaughter, Lauren O’Neill, two grandsons, Duncan and Cameron O’Neill, two step grandsons, Blake and Trevor Miller and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and other loved ones.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Trump 2020 presidential campaign!

View the Tribute Video

Ron Sommer – November 24, 2019

Ron Sommer
Ronald Neal Sommer, age 77, of Lewisville, TX passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 24, 2019 at his home.

Ronald was born on June 28, 1942 in Saint Joseph, Missouri to his parents: Fred and Katherine Sommer. He proudly served his Nation in the US Navy from 1963-1967.

He is survived by brothers Roger and Rod Sommer; sister, Roxie; 3 nephews, 3 nieces, 9 great nieces and nephews, 2 great-great nieces and a host of other loving family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Jude’s Childrens Hospital.

Services for Ronald Neal Sommer will be held December 13 at 10:00 a.m.  The family of Ronald Neal Sommer has faithfully entrusted Restland Funeral Home, Cemetery and Crematory to handle the arrangements and services for their loved one.

Restland is located at 13005 Greenville Ave. Dallas, TX 75243 and can be reached at 972-238-7111.

Rick Rescorla – A Note from Pat Payne

 
 
 
Dear Friends,

As many of you know Patty and I were invited to the White House to witness President Trump present the Presidential Citizens Medal posthumously to Rick Rescorla. His widow Susan accepted the medal and then gave it to Rick’s son Trevor.

This link will take you to a YouTube video of President Trump’s presentation and Susan’s talk.

A few things about the presentation:

  • Prior to the presentation the President met privately with Susan, Rick’s children and a couple from Cornwall, England where Rick was born. Just Google Rick Rescorla for more info on this remarkable man.
  • Patty and I are in the 2nd row directly behind Susan and her children – right in front of the podium. Why such good seats? When the doors opened to the East Room the first person in was…you guessed it…Patty!
  • The young woman sitting between us is Blaire Evans (white top), 20 years old from Houston. Turns out my son’s best friend from college is her father. Blaire is a junior at the University of Texas and actually receives college credits for interning one semester in D.C. The University rents about 25 apartments for the young women to live in a safe and healthy environment. Also Blaire has worked in Senator Ted Cruz’s Texas campaigns and he helped get her placed in the White House. We learned a number of interesting things from Blaire – the administration is working on a soon to be released health plan, that all the Trumps are really tall, the ladies are like 6 feet, speak multiple languages, that the President is quit humorous plus a lot more. She has contributed to predicting debate questions and responses. Sits in on White House workgroups on selected topics. Was involved in the Austrian President’s visit. Talk about getting exposed to some interesting stuff! After graduating she is thinking law school, back to DC to work on the Hill and eventually running for office. WOW to be 20 again and your entire future in front of you!! It was invigorating being around a young person full of energy and optimistic about the future. In fact there were a number of younger staffers around with that shine in their eyes and a spring in their step.
  • You have to look hard for the top of Patty’s head of blonde hair.
  • Susan Rescorla is frail and normally uses a cane. Notice how attentive the President is to helping steady her.
  • Rick’s (and my) Army Vietnam friends were asked to stand and be recognized as were a group of NY Firemen. Boy were they fun!!
  • The whole thing was run with precision. The people in uniform are Military Attaches and helped on the WH tour prior to the presentation.

There are number of interesting things but I need to take some time to digest it all and write a story to memorialize it.”

Regards,
Pat

A Side Note from Jeanne Harman

As most of our graduates will remember, in 1965 Pat Payne and Rick Rescorla were both in the Battle of Ia Drang in Vietnam. Many times since then Pat has spoken and written about his high esteem and respect for Rescorla. Attached you can read a copy of a talk that Pat gave to the Pelican Bay Rotary Club in Naples where Pat resides. This was given in 2016 at their Memorial Day meeting.

In Pat’s words, “The main focus of the talk was a fellow Lt. named Rick Rescorla….a great American hero. Rick’s life really is an inspiring story and part of it deals with the Ia Drang.”

The book, We Were Soldiers Once … And Young, was written about the battle of Ia Drang; Rick Rescorla is shown on the cover. And a movie, starring Mel Gibson, was made.

This past summer while at the library I ran across the DVD of We Were Soldiers and checked it out. I was awed to think that one of our graduates was actually in this battle and survived! The music, “Mansions of Our Lord”, that is played in the movie is so moving and beautiful. If you are so inclined, I would say get a copy of the movie and watch it. I told Crozier Brown about the movie and he also got a copy and felt pretty much as I did. It is a very intense and moving film. I asked Pat about the accuracy of the film and he said that trying to cram about 5 days of combat into 2 hours prevents the events from being completely accurate. However, Hal Moore, (main character played by Mel Gibson) was very involved in its filming and Hal felt the events were representative. Pat said that after the movie was released, several of the male actors came to their Ia Drang reunion and Pat got to meet them. Pat said all were “good guys and Sam Elliott was special!!”

Waco Town Crier – December 2019

 
 
Here is the December 2019 edition of the Waco Town Crier

December Highlights

  • A Personal Word of Warning
  • Trivia: 50 Foods That Lower Your Risk of Cancer; Things to Not Throw in the Trash
  • Regarding Our Recently Deceased Graduates
  • Oldest Aggie Yell Leader
  • From Our Graduates
  • Updates
  • December Birthdays
  • Show & Tell: Beverly (Bev) Murphy Wells
  • Pictures
  • Top WHS Graduates
  • Quarterly Luncheon
  • Jokes

 

 

Betty (Vaughn) Willis – November 1, 2019

I am sad to report that our class Secretary, Betty Vaughan Willis, died on November 1, 2019. Betty always attended our reunions and luncheons any time it was possible for her to do so. We all will remember her with very fond memories as she was such a nice and smart person. Betty had been in a nursing facility for the past several years.

Betty Jo Vaughan Willis, 77, of Waco, Texas, went to be with Jesus on November 1, 2019. Funeral services will be on Friday, November 8, 2019 at 11:00 AM at Crestview Church of Christ, with Scott Talley and Jordon Hubbard officiating. Visitation will be at Grace Gardens Funeral Home on Thursday from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. Interment will be at Thornton Cemetery, Thornton, Texas.

Betty was born in Fresno, California in 1942 to Jo and Woodrow Vaughan. After the family relocated to Texas, they settled in Waco, where she attended school. Betty was very intelligent, graduating with honors from both Waco High School and Abilene Christian University, graduating in three years. It was at Abilene Christian where she met Robert K. (Ken) Willis and they were married on January 25, 1964. They were married for almost 56 Years.

Betty and Ken were blessed through adoption to have join the family their daughters, Staci Lynn (1968) and Julie Beth (1973). Betty loved her family dearly.

Betty’s passion for learning carried over to her many years of teaching in the public schools of Tyler, Waco and Crawford. She ultimately retired from teaching to help Ken in his financial services business in which she held both securities and life insurance licenses.

Betty loved her Lord and was active in the church. She was deeply faithful; and at Crestview she taught Bible classes and helped organize Wednesday night meals. She was fluent in sign language and served as the co-leader in the Deaf Ministry. For many years, she, along with Ken, served as a co-leader for the Communion to Shut-ins Ministry. Betty and Ken also led small group study classes. She led the FriendSpeak program and gained close personal relationships with her international students. She held a special place in her heart for the ministry efforts in Croatia.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

She is survived by her husband; two daughters, Staci Lynn Willis of Waco and Julie Beth Hill and husband Steve, of Amarillo; four beloved granddaughters: Libby Lynn Hill, Sophie Jo Hill, Molli Jean Hill and Demi Claire Hill, all of Amarillo; and two brothers, Val Vaughan of College Station and Ray Vaughan of Waco; along with numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

Special thanks to numerous caregivers from Right at Home, Regent Care Center and Interim Health Care Hospice.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Croatia for Christ (in care of Crestview Church of Christ) or the Deaf Ministry at Crestview Church of Christ.

Pictures of Betty – 1960

At Various Reunions


2010 – 50th Reunion

2000 – 40th Reunion

2015 – 55th Reunion