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


HHS Alumni News — Posted 2006 January 30


We have been advised by Raymond McCarty that Jessie L. Smith McCarty, R.N., class of 1933, passed away February 4, 1998.

Jessie Baker Courtney, class of 1948, died May 30, 2004, at Houston House after a long bout with cancer.

Iola Dotson Ray, class of 1935, died July 2004 in Riverside, California. She had worked at Knott's Berry Farm for 20 years as supervisor of food services before retiring.

Charles Eugene Curtis, class of 1942, died January 26, 2005, at his home in Fresno, California, where he and his family had resided for 47 years operating several businesses. He was a Navy veteran of WWII.

Emmett Elmer Campbell, class of 1940, died July 14, 2005, at the Life Care Center of Westminster, Colorado. He died from complications caused by Parkinson's disease. He served in the Navy during World War II and worked as a heavy equipment operator on the Cherry Creek Dam. From 1954 to his retirement in 1983, he worked as a truck driver for Navajo and ABF Freight Lines.

Justin “Possum” Wilson, class of 1991, died July 22, 2005. He worked for dairy farms in the Houston area.

Russell Max Brackett, class of 1947, died August 10, 2005, at his home at Traer, Iowa, from complications of leukemia. He worked for Rath Packing and Heetland Electric until his retirement in 1992.

Gene Williamson, class of 1945, died August 14, 2005, at the Houston House nursing home after complications of surgery. After serving in the U. S. Navy, he settled in Waterloo, Iowa, where he worked at the Rath Packing Company until his retirement in 1985. He returned to Texas County in the late 1980s.

Larry D. Brown, class of 1964, died September 12, 2005, near Solo. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1968 to 1971 then returned to Elk Creek where he was involved in farming and trucking.

Golda Oleta Willis Groves, class of 1935, died September 28, 2005, at her home near Plato following a lengthy illness. She worked at the Freeland Hotel and Piney Inn after graduation. In later years, she worked with her husband on Groves Angus Farm near Plato. The Groves had visited every state and capitol in the continental U.S. and visited and photographed every courthouse in the state.

Jim Stockstill, class of 1969, died October 6, 2005, at Bowie, Maryland, after a long battle with cancer. He came to the U.S. as a young boy and entered the Navy after graduation. He settled in the Washington, D. C., area and worked as a med tech and later an electrical engineer.

Roy Eugene Cooper, class of 1958, died October 9, 2005, at his home near Rolla following a lengthy illness. He worked in the Houston area until 1993 when ill heath forced his retirement.

Betty Lou Nelson Sorrell, class of 1949, died October 18, 2005, at National Health Care Center in St. Charles. She was an R.N. and worked as an office manager in a doctor’s office.

Christian Delmar Koch, class of 1945, died November 18, 2005, at Wyoming Medical Center at Casper, Wyoming, after a brief illness. He was employed by Evans-Nagel Motors and Platte Pipe Line in Wyoming. He became parts manager of Nagle Motors in 1957 and retired in 1992.

Roberta Dutton Walser, class of 1962, died December 19, 2005, at St. John's Hospital in Springfield. She lived in the Houston area and was active in the American Legion Auxiliary and her church.

Linda May Stilley, class of 1968, died December 31, 2005, at her home at Bucyrus. She became a CMT and worked at Licking Park Manor for more than 25 years. We have been notified of the previously unreported deaths (no dates) of the following:
Kathryn Nagle Deas, class of 1929, Silver Springs, Florida
Elsie Morgan Fredrick, class of 1926, Modesto, California
Ralph Morgan, class of 1956, Modesto, California

Short Tales




Gene Rutherford, class of 1933, reminds us he was the one who named our “Tiger Tales.” He and his wife Nancy live in a retirement village in Raymore, Missouri. He met his wife when she was a first grade teacher in Houston. He remembers Clay Forbes was one of her pupils.

Vernon Kiess, class of 1933, retired from Tinker Roller Bearing in 1972 and moved to Lowery City, Missouri. He spends his time mowing lawns for his neighbors.

Helen Reaves Laffoon, class of 1934, was the September artist of the month at Arts Rolla Ongoing Exhibit in Rolla. She has studied art since she was a student at HHS.

Eva Blankenship Walcott, class of 1934, celebrated her 90th birthday on August 6, 2005, at the Houston Senior Center.

Alice Fourt Crawford, class of 1934, was nominated by the Texas County Retired Teachers for the award of Missouri Retired Teachers 2005 Distinguished Retiree Award. She retired in 1977 after a 42-year teaching career in Texas County.

Lola Dotson Sitzmore, class of 1935, writes recalling the Teacher Training classes she took under Elsie Turner. She went on to teach 34 years–eight in Texas County and the rest in Peoria County, Illinois.

Stanley, class of 1937, and Hazel Miller Hicks, class of 1939, were featured in the “Past and Present” section of the Houston Herald.

Emma Jean Zeck Smallwood, class of 1938, recalled her daily bus ride from the Raymondville area to high school in Houston, her American Lit book and her special friend, Irene McKinney Crowley.

Vera Blankenship Nowak, class of 1939, is now living in a nursing home in Denver, Colorado, after being diagnosed with ALS in June 2003.


Wilburn, class of 1946, and Imogene Elmore were honored in the Heritage Days parade as the oldest active business entrepreneurs in Houston.

The 5 sons of Arthur and Mary Elmore–Willard “Lum,” class of 1938; Milton, class of 1940; Wilburn, class of 1946; Windsor “Pete,” class of 1948; and Lloyd, class of 1951--were featured in the “Past and Present” section of the Houston Herald.


Clay, class of 1951, and Leta Smith Forbes, class of 1952, were the grand marshals for the Houston Christmas parade. They are long-time local business owners.

Carroll “Moe” Miller, class of 1957, became the first full-time mechanic for Intercounty Electric in 1988. He has filled this job for 16 years until his recent retirement. He also ran his own garage in Houston.

Imogene Garrett Sutton, class of 1951, has been retired for 17 years from AT&T. She now spends her time traveling–last winter going from Phoenix to Florida and five weeks in Belgium in the spring.


Lonnie Huff, class of 1962, is the author of “Wolf, Clan of the Badger,” which will soon be available on the Internet and at Barnes and Noble bookstores.

Mike Duff, class of 1963, was nominated by Gov. Matt Blunt to the Missouri Head Injury Advisory Council. He is the former chief of surgery at Lake Regional Health System at Osage Beach.

Phil Wann, class of 1964, received the Midwest region outstanding faculty advisor award from Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology. He is Regents Distinguished Professor and Chair of Psychology at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph.

Bruce Scheets, class of 1969, became the owner of Bruce Scheets Auctions formerly Taylor Auction & Realty. He had worked with Warren Taylor in the business for several years.


Rita Douglas Jensen, class of 1971, was recently named outstanding middle school math teacher of the year by the Missouri Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Gary Reiners, class of 1973, senior crew worker at the Success maintenance building retired after a 29-year career with the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Sgt. David Wall, class of 1976, was among officers of the Missouri Water Patrol who assisted in New Orleans after the hurricane.

Roger Martin, class of 1979, is the day dispatcher for Intercounty Electric. He started work at Intercounty in 1991 working on several jobs before his present assignment.

Sharon Boesl Rees, class of 1979, was elected president-elect of the Missouri School Boards Association. She is also president of the Houston board of education.


Debbie Leggitt James, class of 1981, was sworn in as the Texas County assessor. She and her husband live in the Solo community. She replaces Bruce Wilson, class of 1955, who retired after 12 years.

Bernie Gilley, Jr., class of 1984, is a 20-year-veteran of The Boeing Company in St. Louis. He is currently working on the FA-18 fighter jet that is being used in the “War on Terrorism.”

David Adkison, class of 1985, has been honored by Farmers Insurance Group for outstanding sales achievement and attended the Topper Club convention at Denver, Colorado.


Chad Dzurick, class of 1995, has been promoted to assistant vice-president–credit administration for First National Bank. He has worked for First National Bank since April 2000.

Andrew B. Gladden, class of 1995, was recently awarded his doctoral degree in cell and molecular biology from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a research fellow in the cancer center of Massachusetts general hospital and a research fellow in the department of pathology at Harvard Medical School.

Ashley Hutcheson, class of 1997, earned her juris doctor from the University of Illinois College of Law. She is employed as a litigator for a law firm in Kansas City.


Army National Guard Sgt. Bobby F. Gentry, class of 2000, has been named “20th Aviation Brigade Non-c9ommissioned Officer of the Year.” He serves the Missouri National Guard at Whiteman Air Force Base, Knobnoster, Missouri.

Daniel Borel, class of 2004, has recently started a culinary career. He has been hired by the Ritz Carlton Hotel on Amelia Island in Florida.


Glen, class of 1954, and Jenny Rees McKinney, class of 1955, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a Hawaiian cruise accompanied by their son and family. They were married June 3, 1955.

Kenneth Ray Jones, class of 1977, and his wife celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary on June 9, 2005.

Ansel, class of 1933, and Blanche Boyd Coats celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with a card shower on June 30, 2005

Ralph and Fay Zirschky Dean, class of 1944, celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary on July 3, 2005. They also celebrated both of their 80th birthdays during July.

Roy and Norma Weppner Troutman, class of 1944, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary July 11, 2005, with a card shower.

Herbert, class of 1948, and Margaret Luck Bray celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary with a reception on July 16, 2005, at the Rural Fire Association community room. The celebration was hosted by their three daughters, Robin, Stacy & Dixie..

Gene, class of 1953, and Jackie Myers Gentry, class of 1954, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on July 17, 2005, at the Houston Senior Center. The event was hosted by their two children, Brad and Tricia.

Elaine and Delbert Campbell, class of 1962, celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary with a reception on September 4, 2005 at the Lions Den north of Houston. The reception was hosted by their children, Dara, Wyndell, and Lindsey.

Ireatess and Margaret Apperson Keeney, class of 1951, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on October 23, 2005, at the community building at the Fairgrounds in Houston. The celebration was hosted by their children, Doug, David, and Diane.

Eugene, class of 1949, and Vera Best Evans, class of 1947, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary November 11, 2005.

Wilfred, class of 1951, and Ireta Brill Cole celebrated with 50th wedding anniversary on December 11, 2005, with a card shower. They have two children, Debbie and Brenda.


The death of Lorene Branson Williams was listed in the March 2005 newsletter as December 1993. The correct date is December 27, 2003.

Friday Night Gala

The Alumni Association will again present the Friday night Gala event. All proceeds from the event will go to our Scholarship Fund. The 2005 gala scholarship amount was $462.

This is an enjoyable time for alumni to share in an evening of music and your participation is needed. A love of music is all that is required__you do not have to be a professional. Any ideas you might have would also be appreciated.

Contact Bonnie Harmon McElroy at P. O. Box 304, Houston, MO 65483 or call 417-967-3188 or email bmc@centurytel.net