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.

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.