We Remember . . . Memorials to The Ann Faragher Sweepstakes Award Fund may be sent to PWT, Kay Casey, P O Box 173, Denison, TX 75021
Margaret Corinne Graham
Margaret Corinne Graham died Monday, Oct. 27, 2008, at 10:55 p.m. She was born 12 minutes after 12, the 12th day of the 12th month and the 12th grandchild in 1936 in Oklahoma City, Okla. She was the daughter of Clyde and Aline Twitty Graham (deceased). She is survived by her sister and brother-in-law Frances and Joe Fidler of Houston; two nieces Beth Fidler Phillips and her husband Gary and Mary Cay Fidler Guidry and her husband Wilbert, all of Houma, La.; three great-nieces Angie Phillips Ponson and her husband Chad of Mathews, La., Allyson Phillips of Gulf Shores, Ala. and Margaret White of Arlington; three great-great-nephews, Alex, Seth and Hunter Ponson of Mathews, La.; her beloved cousins Tony and Glynda Walker and many other cousins. She is also survived by her beloved dog Sassy.
Margaret received her B.A. in religion and psychology from Austin College and her M.S. in education from East Texas State University. She began her career as a Girl Scout district director and camp director and worked in Terrell, Waco and Dallas for 11 years. She then taught kindergarten in Sherman for 29 years. While teaching she was selected or "Who's Who Among America's Teachers." After retirement she became a Master Gardener, worked at Re
d Cross for 2 1/2 years and Texas 211 for 1 1/2 years, and volunteered at Hagerman Wildlife Refuge as a weekend visitor center volunteer and editor of the monthly state and national award-winning newsletter, "The Featherless Flyer", at Denison Helping Hands, at Home Hospice of Grayson County, and at a local hospital as the chaplain's assistant.
She enjoyed her many bus trips with several tour groups, but most of all, her trip with her sister and two nieces to England, Scotland and Wales. She told her friends that she was going to see the Queen and the Loch Ness monster. Two days after arriving in London it was the Queen's birthday and she attended the parade and saw not only the Queen but the whole royal family. Because of the illness of her sister, she did not go to Loch Ness to see the monster.
Her church was the most important part of her life after her family and friends. June and John Towles, Sue Jarvis and Gail Ringness were especially close to her for many years. A memorial service was held at Nov. 1, 2008, at Waples Memorial United Methodist Church, Denison, with internment following at Moore Cemetery in Oklahoma. In lieu of flowers, Ms. Graham and the family would appreciate donations being made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or to Home Hospice of Grayson County, P.O. Box 2306, Sherman, TX 75091-2306.
Dr. E. Truman Wester
Dr. E. Truman Wester was born Jan. 10, 1919 at Burneyville, Okla. He departed this life on July 1, 2009 at the age of 90. He graduated from Marietta (Okla.) High School in 1936. He received his BS in mathematics education in 1940 from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, Okla.; his MA in mathematics at the University of Oklahoma in 1948; and his Ed.D. in educational administration and mathematics from Oklahoma University in 1958.
With 51 years of educational experience, he taught and served in administration at the University of Oklahoma, the University of Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma Baptist University, Holdenville Public Schools and Junior College, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Russell High School in Durant, Okla., and Grayson County College. He also taught four years in the Federal Aviation Agency Academy in Oklahoma City. He was the second
president of Grayson County College serving from 1972 -1982. He was named president emeritus of Grayson County College, and in 2000 was named a distinguished alumnus of Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
Truman was active in civic and church affairs for more than 70 years. In many of these organizations he served as president. These include: Public School Board of Edmond, Okla.; Kiwanis Club of Edmond, Okla.; Lions Club of Denison; library board of Denison; United Way of Grayson County; Texoma Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America; Texoma Regional Blood Center; Goodwill Industries of Northeast Texas; United Way of Denison; and Grayson County Retired School Personnel Association. In 1996 -1997, he served as Lions district governor of district 2-E2. He was the founding president of the Texoma Regional Blood Center and was named director emeritus after 25 years of service.
One of his great loves was the Boy Scouts of America. He served as scoutmaster, cubmaster, explorer leader, troop committee chairman, field scout executive, district chairman and council chairman. He was an Eagle Scout and received the Silver Beaver award. He also received the God and County award through the First Baptist Church of Denison.
Truman served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and was in the Naval Reserve for 23 years. He was a radar officer on the carrier, USS Bunker Hill, and received his radar training from Harvard University and MIT in Boston, Mass.
After the war he served in the reserves including 11 years teaching in the Naval Reserve Officers' School in Oklahoma City. He retired as a Lieutenant Commander.
He was active in church as Sunday school teacher and superintendent of both Sunday and Training union. He served on the Christian Education Coordinating Board of Texas and on the executive board of the Texas Baptist General
Convention. He also served as faculty advisor of the Baptist Student Union and as a deacon in three different Baptist churches. At the time of his death, he was a member of the first Baptist Church in Denison. He made two mission trips to
Brazil with other people from Grayson County Baptist Association.
He was an avid tennis player, having played in high school and served as a college tennis coach. He played on many teams in Texas at national tournaments and was ranked number one in Texas in men's 75 singles and doubles.
He was preceded in death by his father and mother, Orren and Angie Wester, and his brother Jim. He married Edna Earle Roling on Oct. 30, 1937. They were married 63 years until her death on April 10, 2001. On Dec. 28, 2001, he married Ruth L. Krattiger of Durant, Okla.
He is survived by his wife, Ruth; daughters and their husbands, Walter and Glenna Causey of Ada, Okla.; Steve and Nancy Alley of Denison; Jerry and Jana Crew of Oklahoma City; sister Sondra Bonds of Yukon, Okla. Surviving grandchildren are Scott and Shelley Myers of Moore, Okla.; Kerry Causey of Duncan, Okla.; Lacey Alley of Denison; Carol Causey of Ada Okla.; Jeff Causey of
Grapevine. He is also survived by his great-grandchildren, Morgan and Mason Myers of Moore, Okla., and Peyton Connor Smith of Denison.
Memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church of Denison; the Dr. Truman and Edna Wester Presidential Scholarship of Grayson County College; or the Dr. John T. and Ruth L. Krattiger Scholarship of Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant, Okla.
Martha Swain Reed
By Tara Sullivan, Reprinted by Permission of The Baytown Sun
Martha Swain Reed, 78, died December 29, 2008 at Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth. She is survived by her husband of thirty-four years, Charles Gordon Reed; daughters, Rebecca Hemphill Sanders of Beaumont, Ann Hemphill Spencer of Beaumont; son, Steven Earl Hemphill and his wife Dawn of Austin; three granddaughters, five great grandchildren, her brother, Emmett Conway Swain Jr.; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
She will be remembered for encouraging her children to achieve college educations, be prepared for professional careers they could also enjoy, contribute to civic activities and set goals that prepared them for varied futures.
She and Charlie enjoyed worldwide travel, cruises and excursions to historic sites.
Her parents, Emmett Conway Swain Sr. and Ysleta Spurlock Swain of Houston, preceded her in death, as did her grandparents. Martha was a third-generation member of the Cedar Bayou Methodist Church, one of the first Methodist churches chartered after Texas won it's independence from Mexico.
Born September 8, 1930 in Houston, Martha began her award-winning writing career as the Third Grade Reporter of the Houston YWCA Day Camp. She was a reporter for the Oakdale, Louisiana, weekly newspaper before becoming an editor of the Baytown Sun. She came to Beaumont in 1972 as an editor of the Beaumont Enterprise and Journal. She brought change to the typical "society" and "women's" sections as lifestyles for women and technology changed during the 1970s and '80s. As a communications major at Texas Christian University, she appeared on the first live television program ever broadcast in Texas and wrote, directed and produced the firstchildren's weekly television program in the state. She also studied education at the University of Houston.
Following seven years at the Beaumont newspapers, she enjoyed a variety of positions in communications and public relations at the Port Arthur School District, the McFaddin-Ward House, Lamar University's John Gray Center, and retired from Lamar University in 1993 as director of publications and an adjunct professor in communications. As an editor at the Baytown Sun, she began a prize-winning writing career which
continued until her retirement.
She was president of Texas Press Women and in 1979-1981 president of the National Federation of Press Women. She was the first Sweepstakes winner of the Excellence in Media Awards presented by the Press Club of Southeast Texas in 1993. Martha was chosen as a consultant for the development of USA Today in the 1970s.
She was honored by governors as a 1984 Texas First Woman of Beaumont, a Kentucky Colonel, an admiral in the Nebraska Navy, a Sagamore of the Wabash in Indiana, a First Amendment Protector by the mayor of Philadelphia and an honorary U.S. Army Recruiter when she served as a consultant to returning veterans at the War College in Pennsylvania. The National Federation of Press Women named Martha as an Outstanding Communicator of the Century. Martha was a Texas Press Women's Woman of Achievement, an international honorary member of Beta Sigma Phi, a former member of PEO and was president of several organizations the Spindletop Stitchers, a chapter of the Embroidery Guild of America. She served on the boards of directors of the Beaumont
Convention and Visitors Bureau, Sabine Oaks Senior Retirement Center, Beaumont Art Museum and assisted the Beaumont Junior League in expanding the debutante ball and monthly luncheon fundraiser.
As a delegate to the First Amendment Congress in Philadelphia and Williamsburg, she was a vocal supporter of equal opportunities for women and access to public information for members of the press. She arranged trips to China and Russia for NFPW members who counseled reporters and editors about the United States Constitution?s First Amendment demand for open meetings and records of public interest and the need for such information to flow freely in those countries.
Princess Grace of Monaco and movie actor John Wayne were her favorite interview subjects. During her retirement, Martha enjoyed learning
Japanese silk embroidery, needle pointing Christmas stockings for her grandchildren and great grandchildren, playing duplicate bridge and
collecting antique needle cases. A memorial service celebrating Martha's life was held, January 2, 2009 at Broussard?s, 1605 N. Major Drive, Beaumont followed by a toast and light reception. A gathering of family and friends preceeded the service.
Memorial donations may be made in the name of Martha S. Reed to Texas Children's Hospital, 6621 Fannin Street, Houston, Texas 77030, in honor of the Carpenter and Griffin great grandchildren.
The Baytown Sun Published January 2, 2009
She was just as likely found in Communist China as a Plumwood or Eva Maude Garden Club meeting, and though she's passed, the legacy of Baytown's Martha Swain Reed (formerly Martha Hemphill) endures.
Her life was spread over pinnacle periods in the evolution of media and women in society: She appeared on the first live television program broadcast in Texas in 1949 as a student reporter, was among the first Americans to travel to the communist People's Republic of China, fought to preserve First Amendment rights, and had a hand in the development of USA Today. An inspiration to some and a friend to many, Martha's career launched in Southeast Texas.
Reed, who was 78 when she passed Monday, began her journalism career as the women's editor for the Baytown Sun in 1964. She oversaw the society section of the paper, which lives on today as the Life & Style page. A feature of most newspapers of the time, Martha brought sweeping changes to the women's section. Just as the 1970s and '80s welcomed a new breed of career women, the society section began to morph. Though feminine pieces on weddings and clubs remained a section staple, feature pieces on celebrities and entertainers began to appear. She interviewed John Wayne, Elvis Presley and Princess Grace of Monaco: pieces that held a captive audience of either gender.
Former Baytown Sun managing editor Jim Finley, who was a new wire editor in the sports department in 1969, said he remembered Martha most for her talent. In her pieces, Martha would eloquently draw readers in, enwrapping them in choice words and quotable passages.
Though she preferred feature pieces to the seamy side of life, Martha had a nose for news.
Shortly after leaving the Baytown Sun to become editor of the Beaumont Enterprise and Journal, she was elected president of the National Federation of Press Women (NFPW) and toured Communist China. During her two-year term as president of the NFPW, the organization tallied in their highest membership count to date. Photographs of Martha with China Ambassador Leonard Woodcock and of her showing a group of interested Red Chinese her camera ran alongside newspaper coverage of her visit, painting Martha as a women dedicated to freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
"I believe strongly in the people's right to know. I think some reporters don't even realize the significance," Martha said in a 1979interview printed in the Baytown Sun.
Austin's Alan Erwin, now an accomplished fiction writer, remembers working under Martha's guidance as a student reporter during his high school years at Robert E. Lee. During the 1960's and '70's, Goose Creek high school and middle school students were invited to submit columns for publication, concerning the happenings at their respective schools. With Martha's guidance, Erwin found a passion for writing and after graduation, moved in as a full time Baytown Sun reporter. He remembers one incident that forever impressed an appreciation for journalism in his heart.
"It was during the Cuban missile crisis, when sales of anything to Cuba were embargoed that the British Ambassador to the U.S. came to Lee College," Erwin said. "It was rumored that the British were selling buses to Cuba, so I asked the guy if they were and he said 'yeah.'" Floored by the admission of Britain's violation of the embargo, Erwin remembered nervously pandering into Martha's office.
"I wasn't sure if that was a story or not, and Martha said it was," Erwin said. Within hours of his story about Britain's first admittance to selling buses to Cuba, the story was hot on the AP wire.
"It was a significant thing and the first time reporting got in myblood," Erwin said.
Glena Pfinnig, another who would later move into the position of managing editor for the Baytown Sun, said Martha was a mentor "long before" the term was coined. Pfinnig fondly remembers Martha's sense of humor, as the two would collect interesting phrases from brides-to-be for the society section
"Our collection was so humorous that Martha Ann talked about writing a book called "The Bridesmaids Wore Lemon Leaves," using one of the phrases from the write-up because the bride-elect only described this aspect of the clothing," Pfinnig said.
After building an impressive career in the newspaper business, Martha dabbled in communications and public relations often termed 'sell out
positions' by the journalism world. But such was not the case for Martha.
She worked within the National Federation of Press Women and other such journalistic organizations, and garnered such titles as Outstanding
Communicator of the Century, First Amendment Protector, and was the first Sweepstakes winner of the Excellence in Media Awards.
In 1980, Martha was among the delegates of the First Amendment Congress in Philadelphia and Williamsburg, during a time when free speech in the media was in the spotlight after Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger knocked a camera from the shoulder of a TV cameraman asking him questions about an alleged conversation he had with former President Richard Nixon. Aside from fighting to preserve freedom of speech in America, Martha was among only handfuls of non-military Americans to travel to Communist China and Russia, where she spoke about open meetings and public records, and the importance of transparency to all.
When she wasn't traveling abroad and fighting for journalist rights, Martha resided in Baytown and Beaumont, where she enjoyed gardening. She was an early member of both Baytown's Plumwood and Eva Maud Garden clubs which have since merged, and made a trip to Goose Creek Country Club in May for the Plumwood-Eva Maud Garden Club 50th Anniversary luncheon. Member Betty Holland, who knew Martha personally, said she remembered even during that final visit how Martha's humor still shone brightly.
"We got to talking about a time her youngest son was in the first grade and she was working at the Baytown Sun," Holland said. "Everyday after school, he would call Martha at the paper. One day he told his mother he had a letter for her, and she asked, 'Well what does it say'" He replied, "Well, I don?t know, I can"t read."
Among Martha"s many friends, similar merry musings gushed in lieu of sorrow. They remembered Martha as an outgoing, warm friend who loved life and valued everyone with whom her path crossed. After regaling their time spent with this influential media pioneer, a repeated utterance came in memory of Martha Swain Reed:
"The world has lost a talented woman."