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Obituaries 2007
Page 5
James Truman “Popeye” Wright

James Wright, age 59, of Kermit passed away Wednesday, August 29, 2007 at his residence.  He was born Thursday, September 4, 1947 in Kermit.

James had many friends.  Everyone in town knew him as “Popeye”.  He was a very caring, loving guy, beloved by those who knew him.  He enjoyed country music and running around Kermit in his motorized chair.

He leaves behind his caretakers:  Jimmy and Peggy Love and daughter Heather of Kermit; several cousins:  Janet “Candy” Ferguson , Shirley Tidwell and husband Tommy, all of Kermit, Shelia Castell of Big Lake, and Kitty Compton and husband Ricky of Louisiana; his close friend Larry Taylor of Kermit; and a host of other friends.

James was preceded in death by his parents:  Charles Wilbur and Rose Belle (Pitts) Wright.

Funeral services will be 2:00 pm Friday, August 31, 2007 at Family Services Funeral Chapel with Brother Monty Huffman officiating.  Honorary pallbearers will include:  Ricky Knight, David McMillan, Larry Taylor, Steve O’Connor, Charlie Fox, Duff Michel, Raymond Thomas, and Gerald Thomas.  Arrangements were entrusted to Family Services Funeral Parlor of Kermit.

Jack H. Bowden

Jack H. Bowden went to be with his Savior on August 31st after a lengthy illness.  He was born in Lockhart, Texas on January 29, 1931 to Edward and Eoline Bowden.  He grew up in Lockhart and graduated from Lockhart H.S. in 1949.  Throughout his childhood he made various trips on the train with his brother from Texas to California.  He attended Texas A&M one year, then Oklahoma University in Norman, Oklahoma for two years, studying Civil Engineering.

His Naval career began when he enlisted in December of 1952, starting as a gunner’s mate on the USS Hamner.  He served four years, reaching the rank of Chief Petty Officer.  His service took him throughout Southeast Asia, including the Korean Conflict.  He played softball in the service:  out of 117 games, only losing seven, competing against everything from shore based teams to Triple A teams.  His Naval awards included the National Defense Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the Korean and China Service Medals, and the Good Conduct Medal.

Right before finishing his Naval career, he met and married his wife, Margaret Louise Howe of Shawnee, OK on June 21, 1955 in Arcadia, CA.  Jack and Margaret eventually settled in Jal, NM where Jack worked for El Paso Natural Gas Company.  They began raising their four girls:  Margaret Ann, twins Becky and Beverly, and Jacque.

His career with EPNG began as a gang hand at Plant #1 in May of 1958.  After a short clerical position under “Moose” Roy Tabb, Jack moved to the Corrosion Department where he served for 35 years, achieving the title of Specialist Field Administrator.  He retired in 1996 after a 38-year career with EPNG, being especially proud of his 35-year service watch.

His interest included various sports (especially golf), yard work, and officiating throughout SE New Mexico and West Texas for high school baseball, basketball, and volleyball.  He received two Zebra awards in 1986 and 1994.  He served as Secretary/Treasurer of the Southwest Official Association from 1987 to 1993 for the Permian Basin Charter of Volleyball.  He was a member of the New Mexico Activities Association for 25 years and a Regional Little League Official Umpire.

Jack was a loyal servant to his family and community.  He gave blood at every opportunity, eventually joining the “5 gallon club.”  He and Margaret attended every school event in which their girls participated.

He is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Margaret; his daughters:  Margaret Ann, Becky, and Beverly; and sons-in-law:  Earl Smalts, Jim Nicolet, Wia (Terry) Lui, and Steve Bender.  He also leaves behind eight grandchildren:  Michael, John and Melissa Nicolet; J.J., Christopher and Brady Smalts; Michael Rebant; and Daniel Bender; and one great-granddaughter:  Makayla Kantor.

He is preceded in death by his parents; brother Dr. E. Lane Bowden, Jr.; and his daughter, Jacque Bowden Nicolet.

A celebration of Jack’s life will be held 1:00 pm Wednesday, September 5, 2007 at First United Methodist Church of Jal, NM with Reverend Daniel Kowacich officiating.  Pallbearers include:  Earl Smalts, Steve Bender, Wai Lui, John Nicolet, JJ Smalts, Christopher Smalts, , Daniel Bender, and Brady Smalts.  Doyle Rheay was named as Honorary Pallbearer.  Arrangements were entrusted to Family Services Funeral Parlor of Kermit, Texas.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials in Jack's name be made to the American Cancer Society, PO Box 102454, Atlanta, GA 30368-2454 or to the First United Methodist Church, Attn: Special Projects, PO Box 1000, Jal, NM 88252.

The family wishes to thank the dear friends of Jal and Midland, and the nurses at Midland Memorial Hospital, for their love and support during their loss.

Krystal Ann Caldwell

Krystal Ann Caldwell, age 20, went to be with the Lord Thursday, September 6, 2007 from Winkler County Memorial Hospital. She was born Friday, October 10, 1986 in Monahans, Ward County, TX.

Krystal graduated from Webster County High in Dixon, KY.  She worked as a convenience store clerk.

Those left behind to mourn her loss include her parents: Cindy Pilkington of Kermit, TX, and James M. Caldwell of Diamond, KY; maternal grandparents: Billie Ann Pilkington of Pell City, AL and James Anthony Pilkington of Wink, TX; paternal grandfather:  James A. “Corky” Caldwell of Diamond, KY; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Visitation will be Saturday and Sunday, September 8 and 9, 2007, from 12:00 noon until 8:00 pm at Family Services Funeral Parlor in Kermit.  Services are entrusted to Family Services Funeral Parlor of Kermit.

Belia “Cochi” Towns

Belia “Cochi” Towns, age 64, of Kermit passed away Thursday, September 13, 2007 at the Kermit Healthcare Center.  She was born Thursday, December 24, 1942 in Eagle Pass, TX to the late Octaviano and Cruz (Morin) Towns. She was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church.

Those left to cherish her memory are her brothers:  Gilbert Towns and wife Sophia, Oscar Towns, and Homer Towns and wife Juanita all of Kermit. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.

Belia was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers: Ernesto and Ernesto II; two sisters Oralia T. Serna and Olivia; and one sister-in-law: Vicky.

Rosary will be said 7 pm Sunday, September 16, 2007 at Family Services Funeral Chapel.  Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 pm, Monday, September 17, 2007 at St. Joseph Catholic Church with Father John Lucido officiating.  Pallbearers will include: Chad Lynn, Mike Hernandez, Miguel Hernandez. Roland Berzoza, Brandon Towns, and Mike Towns.

Arrangements are entrusted to Family Services Funeral Parlor of Kermit.

Carlota Bonilla

Carlota Bonilla, age 80, went to be with her Lord on Thursday, September 13, 2007 from Winkler County Memorial Hospital in Kermit.  She was born September 11, 1927 in Redford, TX to the late Benigno and Paula (Ortiz) Hernandez.

She was a homemaker and a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church.

Those left to mourn the loss of Mrs. Bonilla include her husband:  Juan de Dios Bonilla Ramos of Kermit; three sons:  Raul, Ramon, and Jaime Bonilla, all of Kermit; one daughter: Socorro Alvarado of Kermit; two brothers:  Manuel and Eulojio Hernandez, both of Odessa; two sisters:  Nena Garcia of Odessa and Manuela Ortiz of Seminole; fourteen grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, one brother:  Ramon Ortiz, a daughter: Martha Martinez, and one granddaughter:  Claudia Alvarado.

Rosary will be said 7 pm Friday, September 14, 2007 at Family Services Funeral Chapel of Kermit.  Mass of Christian Burial will be 3:30 pm Saturday, September 15, 2007 at St. Joseph Catholic Church with Father Rudy Lacerna officiating.  Pallbearers will be Luis R. Bonilla, Javier Bonilla, Adrian Bonilla, Juan Bonilla, Baudilio Bonilla, Erick Alvarado, and Adiel Alvarado. Interment will follow at Kermit Cemetery.  Services are entrusted to Family Services Funeral Chapel.

Margaret Beckham

Margaret Joy Taylor Beckham, 66, passed away Friday morning, September 14, 2007 at Winkler County Memorial Hospital in Kermit following a sudden illness.

Funeral services will be 3 pm Sunday, September 16, 2007 at First Baptist Church of Wink with Rev. Richard Ray, pastor of the church, officiating.  Graveside services will be at the Beckham Family Cemetery on the Beckham Ranch in northwestern Winkler County under the direction of Family Services Funeral Parlor of Kermit.

Margaret was born March 29, 1941 in Roscoe, TX, the youngest child of Truman and Jewell Taylor. On June 22, 1969, she and Bill J. Beckham were married in the home of her parents in Sweetwater.  She was a retired advertising manager of the Winkler County News at Kermit and a homemaker.  A resident of Wink for over 50 years, she was an active member of First Baptist Church of Wink.

She was preceded in death by her parents: Truman and Jewell Taylor, one brother:  James Taylor, and one sister:  Marcelle Martindale.

Survivors include her husband:  Bill J. Beckham of Wink; one son: Tom Beckham and his wife, Gina, of Midland; one daughter:  Denise Hanna and her husband, Lee, of the Beckham Ranch in Winkler County; one step-daughter:  Michelle Gray of Austin; and five grandchildren:  Jolee Hanna of Midland, Zach Hanna of Odessa, Christen Beckham, Peyton Beckham, and Caitlyn Joy Beckham, all of Midland.

Pallbearers will be Cody Duran, Tony Roach, Terry Warren, John B. Walton, Ted Westmoreland, Larry McCallister, Robert L. Roberts, George Keeley, Charles Evans, and Sherrell Glenn.  Honorary pallbearers will be Jimmy Bisang, Lonnie Rasco, Ed Landry, Billy Voyles, Joe Chance, Mike Fostel, Bob Scogin, Buddy Gray, Domingo Velasquez, Jimmy Hernandez, Baldomero Munoz, Raymond Dodd, Shane Youngblood, D.J. Bryan, Weldon Wright and Billy Thackerson.

LeRoy Duane Rein Sr.

LeRoy Duane Rein Sr. age 78 of Jal passed from this life on Wednesday, September 26, 2007 at his residence.  He was born May 30, 1929 in Ness County, KS to Henri and Marie (Foos) Rein.

LeRoy loved to restore cars and work on motors.  He and his son built a 1927 Bugatti kit car together.  He was a member of Calvary Baptist Church.

He is survived by his loving wife:  Veva Lee Rein of Jal; son:  LeRoy Duane Rein, Jr. of Carlsbad, NM; three daughters:  Lana Rae Pitts of Hodenville, OK, and Betty Jean Trude and Melodee Rein, both of Salina, KS; one brother:  Milton Rein of Great Bend, KS; two sisters:  Darlene Mylos of Hoisington, KS and Joyce Wegele of Otis, KS; and seven grandchildren:  Kyle Trude of Dallas, TX, Kayla Trude of Salina, KS, Kalie, Harlie, and Shelbie Rein and Amber and J.C. Gutierrez, all of Carlsbad, NM.

LeRoy was preceded in death by his father:  Henry Rein; mother:  Marie Foos Rein Karst; stepfather:  Alex Karst; three brothers:  Melvin Karst, Leo Karst, and Ralph Karst; and one sister:  Beatrice Karst.

Funeral services are 10:00 am Saturday, September 29, 2007 at Calvary Baptist Church of Jal with Brother Alan Speed officiating.  Interment will follow at Jal Cemetery.  Services are entrusted to Family Services Funeral Parlor of Kermit.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Calvary Baptist Church of Jal. 

Melton A.W. Lewis “Red” Martin 

Melton A.W. Lewis “Red” Martin age 78 passed away Wednesday, September 26, 2007 at Kermit Healthcare Center.  He was born Thursday, October 11, 1928 in Lamesa, TX to James Herbert and Dollie Mae (White) Martin.  He had been a Kermit resident for 46 years.

He served his country in the US Army in 1948 and 1949 and was presently a member of the VFW Post # 6284 and American Legion.  He enjoyed shuffleboard and watching the Dallas Cowboys play in his spare time.  He was the owner and operator of Red’s Trim Shop.

He is survived by his son:  Dean Martin of Bullhead City, AZ; two daughters:  Sandy McLellan of Maybank, TX and Dolly Denbesten of Kermit; two sisters:  Mary Sandals of Lamesa, TX and Willie Barber of Big Spring, TX; five grandchildren:  Jason Smaistrla, Michael Dean Jordan, Leah Lichelle Martin, Lacey Deanae Martin, and Richelle Denise Martin; and one great-grandchild.

Red was preceded in death by his parents, James and Dollie Martin, and one son Ricky Lynn Martin.

Memorial services will be held 11:00 am Monday, October 1, 2007 at the Church of God with Pastor Eddie Cotton officiating.  Honorary pallbearer is Carroll Frost.  Services are entrusted to Family Services Funeral Parlor.

JoAn Franklin Stewart

Former Wink resident JoAn Franklin Stewart, 76, died on September 22, 2007 at VistaCare Center hospice in Lubbock, Texas. 

Mrs. Stewart was born on an oil lease just outside Wink on May 26, 1931, to Louis Edmon Franklin and Mildred Eunice Bailey Franklin. She graduated from Wink High School — where she was a drum majorette and member of the school choir — as salutatorian. In 1951, she married Denton Bishop Woods, also a Wink High School graduate, who preceded her in death in 1952 during the Korean War. She later married Robert Harold Stewart on Dec. 21, 1962. She was also preceded in death by twin sons, Jack and Paul Stewart on Mar. 9, 1970. She loved art and music, and received a degree from Western Texas College in Snyder. 

Mrs. Stewart is survived by her husband, Robert of Lubbock; a son, David Scott Stewart of Lubbock; a daughter, Mary Annette Woods-Tornick of Santa Fe, NM; a sister, Betty Lou Miller of Odessa, TX; and brothers: Jim Franklin and wife Christine of San Antonio, TX; John M. Franklin, and wife, Linda of Lubbock; and Tommy L. Franklin, and wife Sarah Lou of Albuquerque, NM; one aunt, Opal Lee Bailey White, of Bastrop, TX, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. 

A memorial service was held at 2:30 pm Saturday, Oct. 6, 2007, at the First United Methodist Church in Snyder, Texas, with Rev. Buddy Payne officiating. The family received friends at the church fellowship hall following the service.

The family suggests memorials be given to the First United Methodist Church of Snyder or an organization of their choice.

Jose Vargas Alvarez

Jose Vargas Alvarez, age 72 of Odessa passed away Tuesday, October 9, 2007 at his residence.

He was born November 11, 1934 in Estacion Lerdo, Durango, Mexico to Manuel and Paula (Vargas) Alvarez.


Those left to cherish his love and memories are his loving wife:  Guadalupe Alvarez of Odessa; two sons: John Alvarez and wife Michelle of Odessa and Roy Villareal and wife Gloria of Edna, TX; two daughters:  Patsy Ferguson and husband Gary of Kermit and Janie Nunez of Odessa; four brothers and three sisters:  Natalio Alvarez, Armando Alvarez, Polonio Alvarez, Jesus Alvarez, Maria Magdelenia Torres, Ofelia Samapiras, and Melita Parada, all of Mexico; nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.


Mr. Alvarez was preceded in death by his parents; one son:  Manuel Alvarez; and a young daughter:  Maria Elena Alvarez.


Rosary will be said 7:00 pm Wednesday at Family Services Funeral Chapel. Funeral Services are scheduled for 10:00 am Thursday, October 11, 2007 at Family Services Funeral Chapel with Father Rudy Lacerna as celebrant. Interment will follow at Kermit Cemetery.


Pallbearers are Jesse Cardona, Jesse Rodriguez, Shane Cohen, Dale Cohen, Joseph Cardona, and Robert Galindo. Honorary pallbearer is Gary Ferguson.  Services are entrusted to Family Services Funeral Parlor of Kermit.


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