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HHS Alumni
Houston Alumni Association
P.O. Box 304, Houston, MO 65483


HHS Alumni News • Posted 2004 January 30


Jacob Kirwin Forinash, class of 1933, died April 5, 2003, at St. Louis. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1934 to 1938. He was a Civil Service employee at Fort Leonard Wood from 1950-76.

Mary Edith Branson Collins, class of 1937, died November 15, 2003, in Arizona. She earned a bachelor's and master's degree in education and completed 28 years of service as a public school teacher and librarian in Missouri and Michigan. In 1983, they moved to Sun City, Arizona.

Marjorie Belle Marr Lybyer, class of 1938, died November 21, 2003. She taught in several Texas County rural schools and attended Southwest Missouri State College. She also worked at Texas County Memorial Hospital, Richards Brothers, and C. W. Harry's Dept. Store.

Juanita Joy Hilterbrand Simmonds, class of 1940, died September 8, 2003, at Mercy Villa in Springfield following a lengthy illness. She had attended Draughan's Business College.

Marie Iona Ballard, class of 1942, died October 31, 2003, in St. Louis. She started her career at Ft. Leonard Wood, then moved to St. Louis, where she advanced to vice president of the financial department of Hardy Salt Co.

Nelda Jeanne Ross Elmore, class of 1943, died November 28, 2003, following a length battle with cancer. She was a stay-at-home mom and worked briefly at her father's lumberyard and at C. W. Harry's Dept. Store.

Russell Kelley, class of 1945, died August 20, 2003, at his home at Unionville, Iowa. He retired from John Deere after 30 years and farmer his entire life. He was a 50-year member of the American Legion.

Amil Roman Stalder, class of 1950, died July 13, 2003, at his home at Bucyrus following a lengthy illness. He served a two-year term in the Army, serving 18 months in the Korean War. He worked for International Shoe in Houston before going to work at Fort Leonard Wood where he was a mechanic.

Gloria Ann Copeland Doss, class of 1950, died October 3, 2003, at Lebanon. She received a bachelor's degree in nursing from Drury in 1956 and was a registered nurse in the U.S. Air Force for 14 years. She was also a nurse at St. John s Breech Medical Center in Lebanon and General Leonard Wood Army Hospital.

Doyle L. Odle, class of 1951, died October 2, 2003, at Research Medical Center in Kansas City. He was an aircraft mechanic, an Air Force veteran of the Korean War and retired from the 442nd Fighter Wing Reserve Force at Whiteman Air Force Base.

Loren G. Bates, class of 1960, died November 20, 2003. He graduated from Moler Barber School in Kansas City and opened Loren's Hair Design in the Robandee Shopping Center. He was director of Christian education at Grandview Assembly of God for 40 years.

Delma Sharlene Roderick Head, class of 1960, deid December 27, 2003, at her home after a battle with cancer. She worked at Texas County Memorial Hospital for more than 35 years. She started as a nurse aide and worked in several departments before achieving certification as a registered respiratory therapist.

Melvadeen Garrett Morton, class of 1964, died September 19, 2003, at her home at Houston after a long illness. She spent most of her life in the Houston community as a homemaker and was active in her church.

Leonard Lee Ritter, class of 1967, died September 16, 2003, at his home at Weaubleau. He worked more than 30 years for telephone companies in Crane, Ava, and Osceola as a switchman.

Jimmy Dale Young, class of 1972, died April 3, 2003, from injuries sustained in a car accident. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. He was a laborer at NCS and resided in Homestead, Iowa.

Glenn Doil Fisher, Jr., class of 1974, died August 15, 2003, near Houston. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Army before returning to run the family business, Fisher Pipe and Steel. He received a bachelor's degree in elementary education in 1999 and began teaching in the Plato School District in 2002.

Marie Hayes Adams Buford, class of 1978, died September 8, 2003, at Olathe Medical Center at Olathe, Kansas. She had lived in Austin, Texas, and Ames, Oklahoma before moving to Olathe. She was an avid collector, quilter, and gardener.

Carol Ann Coble, class of 1979, died July 8, 2003, at St. John's Regional Health Center in Springfield after a short bout with liver cancer. She had taught elementary and middle school classes at Fort Leonard Wood since 1982.

David Wayne Stoops, class of 1981, died November 4, 2003, in an accident. He worked in the timber and at sawmills and loved to hunt and fish.

Tech. Sgt. William J. Kerwood, class of 1985, was killed when a military transport helicopter crashed in northeastern Afghanistan in late November. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1985 and was currently serving as a flight engineer.

Joshua David Ragsdale, class of 1994, died November 18, 2003, in an automobile accident. He worked for Nelson Construction Company at Rolla, where he was an ironworker.

Derick Lynn Sillyman, class of 2002, died December 26, 2003, at St. John's Regional Health Center in Springfield. He was an active member of the Assembly of Good church in Houston and enjoyed many sports. He was employed with McDonald's in Houston.

Short Tales


Maurine Parker Grammer, class of 1922, celebrated her 100th birthday on December 7, 2003 in Albuquerque She has led a very active life and is known as a teacher, author, storyteller, and expert in Indian arts, gained through her lifelong friendship of Native Americans.



William E. Gladden, class of 1946, was honored as senior counselor of The Missouri Bar. The title is bestowed upon lawyers who have reached the age of 75 years or who have been admitted to the Missouri Bar for 50 years.


Vera Sillyman Epperson, class of 1953, made the winning quilt in the applique, hand quilted category at the Texas County Fair.

Ed Earl Baker, class of 1954, was inducted into the Missouri Foxtrotters Horse Breeders Association Hall of Fame. He has been active in the organization for many years and is the first from Texas County to receive the honor.

John Beeler, class of 1958, was honored by the Texas County Bar Association at a retirement ceremony. He has served as Associate Circuit Judge and is a 16-year judicial veteran.


Dr. Verna Betty Lorton, class of 1961, a longtime promoter of first-time women business owners has been named the first recipient of the Athena Award in Springfield. This award honors an individual who has achieved excellence in his or her profession and who also has assisted women in reaching their full leadership potential.

Carrie Westfall Pierce, class of 1964, was among 21 photographers whose work was selected to appear in the new Official Manual of Missouri. The contest was sponsored by the secretary of state's office.

Linda Coons Sullivan, class of 1966, was recognized as the Kansas School Psychologist of the Year 2003. She has worked in the Wichita, Kansas, public schools for the past 14 years.

Bruce Gaither, class of 1966, recently retired after 18 years with the United States Postal Service in Houston.

Connie Ragain Flowers, class of 1966, was named as Texas County Memorial Hospital employee of the month. She is a registered nurse in the surgery department and has been employed with TCMH for 17 years.

Dean Neal, class of 1966, representing the Bank of Houston, participates in a reading partnership program with Houston Schools second graders.

John Michael Flowers, class of 1967, is a state land surveyor and is past president of the Missouri Society of Professional Surveyors.


Susan Brallier Cook, class of 1971, owner of Houston Florist and Gifts was among those featured in the September issue of Flower, a monthly publication by Teleflora. Also featured was Shari Sillyman McCallister, class of 1987.

Leland Martin, class of 1975, has been recognized by USA Today and Nashville Music Guide for his album, Simply Traditional. He recently performed at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

Dana Gale McGuire, class of 1977, is an education assistant with the University of Missouri Outreach and Extension Center and works in the area of Family Nutrition Education.

Doug Driesel, class of 1979, recently received news that Lofton Creek records, a label run by Mike Borchetta, has signed one of his artists, Anthony Michael James. Driesel co-wrote all but one of the 11 tracks on the CD and produced it along with Jon Raney.

Sharon Boesl Rees, class of 1979, is now serving on the Missouri School Boards' Association Board of Directors as the Region 11 leadership development chair.


Jeffrey S. Rodgers, class of 1981, recently retired after 22 years of outstanding service in the U.S. Navy while serving as operations supervisor, senior enlisted adviser, and senior instructor at Surface Combat Systems Center.

Debbie Scurlock O'Neil, class of 1984, kept her husband, SFC Billy O'Neil, class of 1982, informed of the progress of the HHS football team while he was stationed in Baghdad with the U.S. Army. Through the modern technology of cell phone, she gave him play-by-play reports of their son, Greg, who plays on the football team.

Terri Barton Driesel, class of 1981, recently placed third in the marksman division at the national competition of the International Defense Pistol Association in Little Rock, Arkansas. She shot a .45-caliber, custom defense pistol in the competition. She is employed as the physical therapy director at Texas County Memorial Hospital.

Lt. Melissa Dunn, class of 1983, and Deputy West Campbell, class of 1997, of the Texas County Sheriff's Department were instrumental in seizing several marijuana plants and making arrests in connection with the growing of marijuana.. Tim Ceplina, class of 1986, received the 2003 Nathan R. Murphy Memorial Law Enforcement Scholarship sponsored by Physical Therapy Specialists Clinic. He works as a police sergeant for the Houston Police Department and holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and psychology and is pursuing his master's degree at Drury University.

Angie Stevenson Barnes, class of 1989, was recently honored by coworkers and friends in recognition of her 10 years of service as district clerk for the Texas County Soil and Water Conservation District. She is leaving to become a full-time student to pursue her dream of becoming a radiologist.


Brent, class of 1992, and Christy Longwell Hall, class of 1996, were part of a holiday home tour sponsored by the Houston Chamber of Commerce.

Kathi Hamilton Hale, class of 1993, is employed as a secretary in the physical therapy department at Texas County Memorial Hospital.

Brandt Flowers, class of 1994, is a graduate of Central Missouri State University with a degree in criminal justice and has been assigned to district 6 with the St. Louis Police Department.

Bethany Carter Wells, class of 1995, has been presented the prestigious Yellow Rose of Texas award. This is the highest honor given to a volunteer by the governor of the state of Texas. She received the award for volunteer service at Ford Hood.

Matt Chesebrough, class of 1996, is an Engineer for General Motors Corporation in Detroit. He is currently assigned to the Design Center, working on the new full-size sport utility vehicles to be launched later this decade.

Jeana Gockley, class of 1996, is currently pursuing her Master of Arts degree in Library and Information Science at University of Missouri-Columbia. She plans to specialize in children's and young adult literature.

Ariel Gunn, class of 1996, received her Master of Arts in English at The University of Florida in May 2003. She is currently pursuing her PhD in 19th Century British Literature. She also received a Department of English Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2002.

Tiffany Rouse, class of 1998, was recognized with the Jess Clonts Memorial Scholarship Award for her accomplishments during the Missouri Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association Conference in Springfield. She is currently teaching at Milan, Missouri.

Airman Michael Vasseur, class of 1999, was recently deployed overseas. He completed basic training with the Air Force at Lackland AFB, Texas, and also completed electronic training at Keesler AFB, Biloxi, Mississippi.


Cynthia Jones, class of 2002, received her American degree at the 7th Annual National FFA convention at Louisville, Kentucky.


Ervin, class of 1945, and Mary Poor Baker celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with an open house on July 5 at the Houston Rural Fire Association community room.

Garnett and Iris Wilson Sliger, class of 1956, celebrated with 50th wedding anniversary on October 29 with a card shower and a family celebration in Branson.

Dewaine and Joyce Daniel Dunigan, class of 1964, celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on November 29 at the Houston Senior Center.


In a recent article, Alumni and Family Graduates, Virginia Lee Jones Crawford (1970) and Janet Jones Edwards (1977) should have been listed as grandchildren of Chester Jones. Erika Stow Flowers (2000) is a great-grandchild.