Russell Lee Keeling – September 5, 2021

Russell Lee Keeling was born to Edna and Willard Keeling in Albuquerque NM on February 5, 1942 while Willard (Bill) was stationed in the Army Air Corps during WW II. The family moved to Waco TX at the end of the war. 

Russ attended Texas A&M and became a Group Commander in the Corps of Cadets during his last year of school. 

From A&M he went directly into the United States Air Force and completed pilot training at Reese AFB in Lubbock Texas, graduating first in his class. 

As a veteran of the SE Asian Conflict, and during his twenty-two-year career he earned four Distinguished Flying Cross Medals, the Airman’s Medal (for life-saving), two Meritorious Service Medals, Seventeen Combat Air Medals, Air Force Commendation Medal, Distinguished-Presidential Unit Citation, Combat Readiness Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and other notable recognitions. 

After retiring from Barksdale AFB in Shreveport, LA in 1986, Russ returned to Redlands. He was a devoted member of Redlands First United Methodist Church and sang in the Sanctuary Choir for over 30 years and served on many different committees. Russ joined the Inland Master Chorale in 1987 and continued to sing with the Chorale until recently. 

Russ was an avid racquetball player, enjoyed gardening, traveling, and especially loved playing with his grandchildren. Russ is survived by his wife of 28 years, Lloy Keeling, children Kathleen Keeling of Portland OR, Gregory Lee (Susan) and granddaughters Christina and Annalisa of Newport Beach, Michelle Reynolds of Portland OR, and brother Bob Keeling of San Angelo TX, and several cousins living in Texas. 

A Memorial Service with Military Honors will be held on Saturday, September 11 at 11:00 at the First United Methodist Church of Redlands (One E Olive Ave). 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Redlands First United Methodist Church Foundation (One East Olive Avenue, Redlands CA 923733) or the Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation: 23101 S Tamiami Trl., Ste. 320, PMB 226, Estero FL 33928. 

Read about Russell’s life as featured in the February 2020 issue of The Town Crier

And see more pictures of Russ Keeling.


Ann Pierce Hayes – September 2, 2021

Ann Hayes, 78, of Waco, passed away on September 2, 2021, surrounded by her family after a long and courageous battle with cancer.  The visitation will be Friday, September 10, 2021, from 10-11 am, with services beginning at 11 am at Grace Gardens Funeral Home Chapel, with Pastor Mingo Balderas & Minister Bert Mercer officiating.

On September 25, 1942, Ann Pierce was born in Waco, Texas, to Cazzie and Marie Pierce.  She was a lifelong resident of Waco and was an avid piano player and singer.  Ann loved singing in her church and school choirs until she graduated from Waco High School in 1960.

Ann married the love of her life, Grant Hayes, in May 1959. She filled her life with service to her natural family and her church family, continuing to lend her beautiful voice to both.  While raising her family, Ann worked for Wm. Cameron and Steakley Bros. Chevrolet. She also spent several years on the cafeteria staff at Speegleville Elementary School.  Ann would finally work for their family business, Southwest Telecom, until her retirement in 2005 due to her initial bout with cancer.  Above all, she dedicated her entire adult life to the love and support of her husband, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  Her greatest love was for her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and she was a faithful member of Brookview Church of Christ until her death.

Ann was preceded in death by her parents, her son Scott Hayes, son-in-law Sam Marsh, and her great-grandson Christian Robinson.  Survivors include her husband of 62 years, Grant Hayes, her children David Hayes and his wife Christie, Shirley Hayes Marsh, Eric Hayes and his wife Inez, 11 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

The family would like to extend a special thanks to the Baylor Scott & White – Hillcrest hospice staff for their incredibly loving care and compassion.

Carole (Fisher) Clingman – August 11, 2021

Carole Ann (Fisher) Clingman, born February 10, 1942 in Waco, Texas was called home August 11, 2021, in Billings, MT. As the third child to Hugh Homer and Grace Lee Fisher, Carole left this world much like she entered – small in stature, but mighty in spirit.

Carole met and married her husband of eighteen years, Rodger Clingman, while Rodger was attending Baylor University. They soon took up permanent residency in Montana, Rodger’s native home where they raised their two children, John and Cindy. Carole was a southern girl at heart who hated the Montana winters, but chose to stay for the love of her family.

For over thirty years, Carole worked in the oil and gas industry. She was a dedicated, hard worker who loved the industry, her job and her co-workers. She will likely be remembered for her professionalism, her sense of style and sense of humor.

Carole fiercely loved her family, especially her grandsons, James, Niklas and Karson. She was proud to be present at each of their births and is now in Heaven singing and dancing with her granddaughter Callie Ann.

Carole was deeply compassionate, dearly loved the Lord and her family. Her family will remember her for her great cooking, her ability to make even the simplest things special, her style, her ability to laugh at herself, and her loudly cheering her grandsons on from the sidelines of their music and sporting events.

Carole is preceded in death by her grandparents; parents; and her beloved brothers Jimmy and Mike; and granddaughter Callie Ann. Carol is survived by son John; and ex-husband, Rodger Clingman, both of Bozeman; daughter Cindy (Kris) Nordstog of Billings; her sister Barbara Wilks of Waco, Texas; sister-in-law, Sharon Fisher of Mansfield, Texas; grandsons James Clingman of Greenville, Pennsylvania, Niklas and Karson Nordstog of Billings, MT; and several nieces and nephews.

Memorial Services will be held at 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, August 18, 2021 at Heights Family Funeral Home. Her urn will be interred at a later date at Holy Cross Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation in Carole’s name to the Moss Mansion where Carole volunteered her time and Toys for Tots.

Here’s a picture from October 6, 2000 (left to right: Ralph Hill, Susan Harkness Hill, Carole Fisher Clingman)

Crozier Brown – June 17, 2021

On Thursday, June 17, 2021, J. Crozier Brown, loving husband, father and grandfather, was called home by the Lord at the age of 78.

Crozier was born on July 14, 1942 in Waco, TX to Benjamin F. Brown III and Mary Hunt Brown. He grew up and graduated high school in Waco, TX before moving to Austin, TX to further his education. While attending the University of Texas at Austin, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the College of Engineering now known as the Cockrell School of Engineering. Upon completing his graduate degree, Crozier served as a leader and early adopter in the use of information technology to find civil and petroleum engineering solutions.

When Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and satellite imagery were new technologies, he was an early adapter who learned how to apply these tools to the engineering discipline, demonstrating their value and guiding users. He also co-authored the computer software used to design the drainage system for the 18,000-acre Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. For his contributions in the field of engineering, Crozier was inducted into the University of Texas Civil, Architectural and Environmental Academy of Distinguished Alumni in September 2016.

After his successful career as an engineer, Crozier, a man of strong faith and a friend to anyone who met him continued serving the community as an active participant in many civic and philanthropic endeavors. He served on the board of the Twelfth Step Ministry dedicated to the support of individuals in North Texas, and he also served as a member of the Shelton School Board in Dallas, TX, always working to help individuals empower themselves and reach their full personal and academic potential.

The patriarch of the family, Crozier was a great family man and friend to all who knew him. Along with his sweet temperament and big heart, Crozier enjoyed the company of others and loved spending time partaking in hobbies such as hunting, golfing, going out for nice dinners and watching and rooting for his beloved UT Longhorns.

Crozier is survived by his loving wife of 49 years, Rita Taylor Brown of Dallas, Texas, daughters April (Robbie) Munoz of San Antonio, and Sherri (Trey) Henry of Celina, and son Larry Southworth of McKinney, five grandchildren and nine great grandchildren and his sister in law.

He was preceded in death by his father Benjamin F. Brown III, his mother, Mary Hunt Brown, aunt, Louise Hunt, uncle, James Hunt and brother, Benjamin Franklin Brown IV.

Obit and Memories

Phyllis Rae Brooks – May 23, 2021

Phyllis Ray Brooks, age 79, of Red Oak, Texas, passed away at 4:30 pm on May 23, 2021. After a long struggle with several ailments in recent years, she went to be with the Lord Jesus and is now without pain or illness.

Miss Brooks was born in Waco, Texas on March 3, 1942 to Pauline Ray and William Ira Brooks. She is preceded in death by her parents and her brother and sister-in-law, Bill and Madelynn Brooks. She is survived by her nephews, nieces, and several grandnephews and grandnieces: Chris and Stephanie Brooks, Josh and Alicia Choat (children Aria and Leo), Hunter and Lindsey Brooks, Alex and Brii Kellum, Tanner Brooks, Keith and Sally Riddle (children, Addis and Heidi), Roy and Rebecca Harsila (children: Brooks and Bodee), Ben Brooks (child: Alix), as well as by cousins in the Brooks family.

Phyllis Ray Brooks was admitted to the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT) on November 8, 1969 in the Sterling C Robertson Chapter in Waco. Her current chapter was Cedar Mountains, District II. She had been a member for almost 52 years.

Phyllis enjoyed holidays with family, genealogy research, volunteering, working as a substitute teacher, and serving in the DRT. She loved the people of Ovilla Road Baptist Church and her work at the Veteran’s Administration. Phyllis had a knack for making jalapeno jelly that she gave as gifts at Christmas time.

In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to Ovilla Road Baptist Church … 3251 Ovilla Road, Red Oak, TX

Obit