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.

Robin Roe – Daughter of Ed & Rita Coates Burnett

Robin Roe, daughter of Ed and Rita Coates Burnett, had a massive heart attack Monday, October 28, and was admitted to Providence hospital. Unfortunately after her admission, tests showed that there was no brain activity. Rita said Robin was an organ donor so Robin is currently being kept alive in order for surgeons to retrieve any organ which can be of use to others. What a wonderful gift it is that Robin, having made this selfless decision in healthier times, is able to enrich the lives of so many others after her own health failed her.


Robin Lee Roe, 54, passed away suddenly Wednesday, October 30, 2019. A Visitation will be 1:00 to 2:00 p.m., Sunday, November 10, at Crossroads Fellowship on Estates Drive. A Celebration of her life will follow at 2:00 p.m., with Reverend Steve Abbe officiating.

Robin was born in Waco, Texas, February 23, 1965, to Rita (Coates) and Clarence Burnett. Robin was a 1983 graduate of Midway High School and a 1986 graduate of Baylor University. She was currently employed by ESC Region 12 where she worked for twenty five years.

Left to cherish her memory are her loving husband, Rodney; parents, C.E. and Rita Burnett; son, Spencer Shelburne and wife, Chelsea; daughter, Mikaila Shelburne and fiancée, Carson Searcy; brother, Robert Edward Burnett and wife, Roxanne; granddaughter, Blakely Grace Searcy; aunt, Julie Hankins and husband, David; cousins, Elliot and Kristen Hankins, Evan and Halley Hankins.

Memorial contributions can be made to Grey Mutts animal rescue of Clifton, Fuzzy Friends animal rescue in Waco, or TOSA.

Update on Charlie Sligh

I just received this report from Joe Riley regarding Charlie Sligh. So glad for dodged bullets and our heart doctors here in Waco. I will let you know whenever I find out where Charlie will be for rehab. Charlie does not have a cell phone or computer.

Charlie Sligh had triple bypass surgery this past Thursday, October 31st Halloween of all days.

He’s fine, doing quite well, in fact. As of now, he’s in room 385 at Ascension Providence Hospital, Waco. He may be moved to St. Catherine’s or some other rehab facility in Waco as early as this afternoon or tomorrow.

I found out about his situation this past Friday, but waited to let you know until I visited with him this morning and got his permission to let you and “you all” know.

He hadn’t shown any of the classic symptoms of heart problems, but had a persistent pain in his stomach area that was causing concern. After several exams failed to produce a diagnosis, he was referred to cardiac physicians who scheduled him for a cardiac catheterization. That’s what revealed the significant blockages, leading to next day surgery.

As they say, Charlie “dodged the bullet.”

Joe Riley

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

Jenny Lynn (Easter) Miles – October 7, 2019

Our graduate, Jenny Easter, died on October 7, 2019. Jenny was the niece of our graduate, Bob Easter. Bob and Jenny were more like brother and sister and held a very close bond to one another right up to the end.  Bob was the youngest of eight children and Jenny’s father ( Bob’s brother) was the eldest. Therefore, Jenny was Bob’s niece. Back in those days there were many families who had children a generation apart. While attending Waco High, Bob had a brother, Bill Easter in the 12th grade– a nephew in the 11th grade –and a niece (Jenny) in the 10th grade, the same grade as Bob. Bob said it always confused everyone.

Jenny Lynn EasterJenny Lynn Easter Miles, 77, passed away in Austin on Monday, October 7, 2019. Visitation will be held at Oak Crest Funeral home at 4520 Bosque Blvd, Waco Texas, 76710 on Sunday October 13, 2019 from 2-4 PM. Graveside services will be Monday at 11 AM October 14, 2019 at Oakwood Cemetery, 2124 South 5, Section 0, Waco, Texas 76706.

Jenny was born September 9, 1942 in Waco, Texas to Jasper Columbus and Jene Skelton Easter. She was raised by a loving and generous family along with an older brother, Jerry Paul Easter and younger brother, James (Jim) Eugene Easter. She adored both of her brothers her entire life. Jenny graduated from Waco High School and quickly married Cecil Wayne Sorrells. They had a daughter Kimberly Jene Miles Pena. Jenny was also married to Robert Jack Miles and they had a daughter, Melynda Michelle (Shelley) Miles Fisher.

It was impossible not to love Jenny. The twinkle in her eyes when she was pulling a quick practical joke or helping family was delightful to watch. Her laughter was contagious, too. Jenny lived for her family making sure her children and grandchildren knew they were protected and loved. In return, for several years when Jenny was no longer able to care for herself, her daughter Shelley extended that same loving care to Jenny and remained by her side until she passed.

Jenny was preceded in death by her parents J.C. and Jene Easter, daughter Kimberly Miles Pena, brothers James Lloyd Easter and Jerry Paul Easter. She is survived by her brother Jim Easter, daughter Melynda Michelle Miles Fisher, grandson Rhett Pena, granddaughters Veronica Pena, Jessika Lynn Pena and Abbygale Faith Fisher and multiple great grandchildren and a big devoted family of aunts, uncles and cousins.

The family would be remiss if we failed to acknowledge and express our deepest appreciation for the Professional care of the entire Staff at Retirement and Nursing Care, 6909 Burnet Road Austin, Texas and for the devotion to and for Jenny by Encompass Hospice.

Instead of flowers, please make donations to Alzheimer Association Capital of Texas Chapter, 5508 Hwy 290 West, Suite 206, Austin TX 78735.

Mary Frances (Rodriguez) Morales – April 16, 2015

On Thursday evening April 16, 2015, in her home, her parents, “Mr. Tony” and Mrs. Sarah G. Rodriguez, along with her brother, Johnny Rodriguez, came for our mother with open arms. Services will be 11 a.m., Tuesday, April 21, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with the Rev. Benjamin Magnaye as Celebrant. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery. Visitation will begin at 6 p.m., and Rosary will be recited at 7 p.m., Monday, April 20, at Brazos Funeral Home.

Mary Frances Morales was born and raised in Waco, Texas, on August 9, 1942, to Antonio “Mr. Tony” Rodriguez and his wife, Sarah. She attended local area schools and retired from Paragon. She met her husband, Juan E. “Charlie” Morales and they were married for 50 years. Mrs. Morales and her husband were members of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, as well as Waco Mission Recreation Club.

Mrs. Morales enjoyed baking decadent holiday treats, especially with her grandchildren. She wanted to ensure tradition be passed on for generations. She took pleasure in dancing and traveling with her husband, Charlie. She also enjoyed sewing. All that came into her life loved her and she returned that love.

She was preceded in death by her parents; and brother, Johnny Rodriguez.

She is survived by her spouse, Juan E. “Charlie” Morales; children, Frances “Arcenia” Morales of Dallas, Lisette A. Garcia and husband, Tomas Garcia, and Sylvia Daboh; grandchildren, Annette Maria Campos Arhens and husband, Steven, Sara Francine Salazar, Jonathan Edward Lawrence Salazar and wife, Yessenia, Amanda Holobaugh and husband, Seth, Alyssa Michelle Garcia, Arianna Marie Garcia, Darien Michael Garcia, Damian Andres Ramon and Daniella Alese Ramon; three great-grandchildren; two sisters, Rita Rodriguez of Waco and Lupe Alcala of Rockwall; four brothers, Mario Rodriguez Sr. and wife, Pauline, of Seguin, Theodore G. Rodriguez of Waco, Joe G. Rodriguez and wife, Susie, of Waco, Jesse “Jaybird” Rodriguez and wife, Vickie, of Waco.

Pallbearers will be Jason Rodríguez, Eddie Cortez, Johnny Villafana, Ruben Rios, Roy Duran, Benny Herrera, Tony Barrientos Sr. and Mario Rodriguez Jr.

Honorary pallbearers will be her grandsons, Damian Ramon, Jonathan Salazar, and Darien Garcia.Special thanks to her daughter, Sylvia Daboh, her children, Damian Ramon, Daniella Ramon, and Regina Lopez; and sister, Rita Rodriguez for the constant loving care and compassion given to her; Providence Hospice and staff, and to a wonderful doctor, Dr. Todd Blattman who was very skilled in his talent, and also took care of her family as well.

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.

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  

Franklin Daniel Neel – April 29, 2019

Mr. Franklin Daniel Neel, 77, passed away Monday, April 29, 2019 in Waco. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at Connally/Compton Funeral Directors. Inturnment will be at a later date in D/FW National Cemetery.

Franklin was born on July 8, 1941 to Oscar William and Mozelle (Hastings) Neel in Jonesboro, Texas. He was a former resident of Arlington prior to moving to Waco in 2004. Franklin graduated from Waco High in 1961. He served in the United States Air Force from 1961 until 1965. He was awarded for sharp shooter and special service as an aircraft mechanic. Franklin retired from General Motors / Jack Cooper 1989, where he worked as a mechanic. His favorite hobby was repairing televisions, loved watching the Green Bay Packers, and loved spending time with his children and grandchildren. Everyone loved him, and he never met a stranger. His favorite pastime was drinking coffee with his buddies at Starbucks.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Rebecca Gay Neel; brothers, Bill, Raymond, Oscar Jr., sister, Mazelle Hough.

Survivors include his children: Gina Neel George and husband, Jerry of Waco, Lynda Sudderth of Fort Worth, Sombronah Koelmel of Beeville, Andrew Carter of Maryville, Kansas, Donald Carter of Arlington, and Rebecca Wilson of Wylie; numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews; and sister, Dorothy Williams of McGregor, Former wife, Connie Harwell mother of Gina Neel George.
The family would like to say a special thanks to Interim Hospice Sheri Fisk and Dwana Montgomery for the care given to Frank Neel during his last days.