Obituaries for General

Mike Villa – November 20, 2017

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

Mike Villa, 84, of Amarillo passed away November 20, 2017, at Northwest Texas Hospital after a long illness and is now walking with his Lord.

He was born September 29, 1933 in Simonton, Tx to Pascual and Julia Villa. Miguel grew up in the Wiggins, Co area. Miguel enlisted in the army at the age of 18 and served his country from 1954-1988. During his career he was stationed in Korea, Germany and had two tours in Vietnam. He retired from the Army as a Master Chief receiving many awards and the following medals ARCOM, CIB, Bronze Star and Purple Heart during his years of service.

In 1980, he married Thelma Williams in Columbia, SC and together they raised three children, Donald, Barbra, and Casey of South Carolina. Thelma passed away in 1997. In August, 2000 Miguel married Maria Alonzo of Amarillo and they lived in Columbia, SC and then moved back to Amarillo making it their home. Maria passed away in 2014.

He was a member of the Amarillo VFW Post 1475 and was a 4th Degree for the Knights of Columbus Council 9413, at Our Lady Guadalupe Catholic Church.

He is preceded in death by his parents, siblings, Delfino Sr., Maria Segura, Petra Guiterrez and Serasina Villa all of Wiggins, Co, Grandsons Luiz Alonzo, Lance Cpl, Joshua C. Alonzo, and nephew Juan Segura.

Miguel is survived by his daughter, Rita Alonzo and her son Ethan (Sweet Pea), sons, Rudy and his son Trevor and Robert and his children Erica and Nicholas all of Amarillo. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews in Colorado. He also leaves behind his loving fur babies, Snoopy and Pebbles.

He loved to go fishing, loved his woodworking and was a great fan of the classic movies especially old westerns. He was an awesome baker of rum cakes which the church will sadly miss.

Rosary will be at 2:00 P.M., Saturday, November 25, 2017, at Boxwell Brothers Ivy Chapel 2800 Paramount Blvd., Amarillo, Tx – to be followed by Mass of Christian Service conducted by Right Reverend Monsignor Alfred R. Garcia Jr. Pastor of St. Demetrios Parish Ft. Worth Tx. Interment will take place in Columbia, South Carolina at a later date.

Viewing will begin Friday, November 24, 2017 at noon.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Amarillo VFW Post 1475, P.O. Box 9958, Amarillo, Tx 79105 or the Amarillo Ussery Roan State Veterans Home, 1020 Tascosa Road, Amarillo, Tx 79124.

Frank Leslie Reed Jr – November 20, 2017

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

Frank Leslie Reed Jr., 84, of Amarillo died Monday, Nov. 20, 2017.

Memorial services will be at 10 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, at Boxwell Brothers Ivy Chapel, interment will be at Friona Cemetery.  Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.

Frank was born May 22, 1933, in Friona to Frank and Martha Reed.  He lived in Borger for 38 years and resided in Amarillo for the last 6 years.

Frank was an Army veteran and a welder for the Bureau of Land Management.  He also was a welding instructor at Amarillo College and Frank Phillips College.

His was preceded in death by his wife, Betty Zon Reed, in 2008 and a grandson, Blake Reed, in 2010; and 2 brothers and 6 sisters.

Survivors include a daughter, Zonya Reed, of Amarillo; a son, Ronnie Reed and wife Terri, of McPherson, Kan.; a sister, Grace Vassios, of Palm Desert, Calif.; a granddaughter, Tiffany Goracke and husband Ben, of Bonner Springs, Kan. and Monica Stephen and husband Josh, of Lampasas, TX; great-grandchildren, Reed Goracke, of Bonner Springs, Kan. and Lili and Decil Stephen, of Lampasas, TX.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to FUSE Foundation, 2517 Bell Avenue, Dodge City, KS 67801.

Frank was born and raised in Parmer County, Friona, Texas.  He attended Friona public schools. As a youngster, he spent several summers working cattle with his dad in southern Colorado, also returning to Iowa to help with Reed Family farm work.

In high school, Frank was class favorite and played running back on the Chieftan Football Team.

Frank joined the Army in 1953.  After his Army, Frank married Betty Zon Ashcraft to which two children were born, Ronnie Lee and Zonya Kay.

Frank worked several years in drilling and working on water wells and windmills in the county.  He later took a job with Bureau of Land Management in Keyes, Oklahoma.

After several years, the family moved to Amarillo, Texas where Frank continued working for the helium activity/gas field and the Exell Helium Plant as a welder.  He began instructing evening welding classes at Amarillo College. In 1974, he accepted head position over vocational welding at Frank Phillips College in Borger, Texas.

During the next 38 years, Frank and Betty were involved in many activities including Oddfellows Lodge, HARC Organization and annual family vacations to Colorado to enjoy camping and fishing.

Reed Family Reunions were always a favorite for visiting and enjoying great food, on top of meeting all the new nephews/nieces that come from being the youngest of 10.

Grandchildren and great-grandchildren brought joy to his everlasting smile, pleasant attitude and presence.  If you knew Frank, you were blessed to have known one of the most patient and giving people that anyone could ever hope to meet.

Frank will be missed by all his family and friends that entered his life.

Heaven will open the doors to another special person who gave much love and hope to all.  Frank was a great example of how to enjoy life, no matter what.

Michael Glen Keller – November 11, 2017

Sunday, November 19th, 2017

Michael Glen Keller, 67, of Amarillo, died Saturday, November 18, 2017.

Services will be at 2:00 PM, Tuesday, November 21, 2017, in the Boxwell Brothers Ivy Chapel, with Bruce Clifton and Brian Cooper officiating. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors 2800 Paramount Blvd.

Michael was born July 26, 1950 to Glen and Phyllis Keller. He grew up in Phillips; he enjoyed playing football, and was known as the golden arm, he was also an avid bowler and golfer. He loved his grandkids.

He was preceded in death by Father Glen Keller; mother Phyllis Henegar; stepfather Robert Henegar

Survivors include, sons Heath Collmer and wife Jeannine of Germany, Micah Keller of Amarillo; daughters Salena Elrod and spouse BJ of Amarillo, Megan Huff and husband William of Amarillo; grandchildren Braxton Elrod of Amarillo, Camden Elrod of Amarillo, Austin Collmer of Germany, Michael Keller of Amarillo, Jayton Huff and Paityn Huff of Amarillo; brother Mark Keller of Fritch; sister Mary Ann Trujillio of Fritch.

Esperanza Baeza Ramirez – November 18, 2017

Sunday, November 19th, 2017

Esperanza Baeza Ramirez, 85, of Dumas, died Saturday, November 18, 2017.  Funeral Mass will be at 2:00 P.M. on Monday, November 20, 2017 at St. Peter & Paul Catholic Church officiating.  Burial will be at Northlawn Memorial Gardens.  Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors of Dumas.

Esperanza was born on July 24, 1932 in Ojinaga, Chihuahua to Salome and Guillermina Baeza Ramos.  She was a homemaker.  She married Teodoro Ramirez on March 2, 1957.

She is survived by her husband Teodoro Ramirez; three daughters, Maria Guadalupe Ceniceros, Ofelia Jimenez, Rosa Maria Estrada; two sons, Oscar Teodoro Ramirez, Juan Manuel Rivera Baeza; four sisters, Olga Hagelsieb Baeza, Antonia Varela Baeza, Maria Del Refugio Garcia Baeza, Maria Guadalupe Martinez Baeza; fifteen grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren.

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Ruby Ellen Calcote Needham – November 17, 2017

Saturday, November 18th, 2017

Ruby Ellen Calcote Needham, 84, of Amarillo passed into God’s loving arms Friday, Nov. 17, 2017.

Graveside services will be at 10:00 a.m., Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, at Llano Cemetery.  Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.

Ruby was born May 20, 1933, in Kelton, Texas, Wheeler County.  She was daughter to John and Jewel Calcote, one of eight children.  She married Audrey Needham on August 29, 1949, in Wellington, Texas.  They were married 7 days short of 50 years.

Ruby was a remarkable person, a devoted mother, and an excellent cook.  She was a committed wife and grandmother who had an unforgettable smile and laugh.  Ruby was charitable and taught her family the joy of giving, family and God.

Audrey preceded Ruby in death in 1998.

Survivors include a son, Mark Needham, of Amarillo; a daughter, Sharon Evans of Greenwood Village, Colorado; grandchildren, Christina Tyson (Michael), Jennifer Evans (Sonny), and Ryan Evans (Rachael); great-grandchildren, Seeara Tyson (Christina), Annabelle and Cash Evans (Jennifer); great-great-grandchild (Liam Tyson (Seeara), all live in the Denver area.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to High Plains Food Bank, 815 Ross St, Amarillo, TX 79102, in Ruby’s name.

Charles Wayne Byler – November 16, 2017

Friday, November 17th, 2017

Charles Wayne Byler, 66, of Amarillo died Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017.

Services will be at 10:00 a.m., Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, at Boxwell Brothers Ivy Chapel.  Burial will be at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017, at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Gravette, Arkansas.  Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.

Charles was born June 13, 1951, in Seligman, Missouri to Benson and Merle Byler.  He lived in Amarillo for more than 40 years.

Charlie was a carpenter by trade.  He was meticulous with his craft.  The last 40 years he was a Commercial Site Superintendent.  Charlie was extremely proud of his position and his ability to complete his projects within the required deadlines.  Charlie was employed by Tri-State General Contracting at the time of his death.  The Tri-State employees and Charlie considered each other family.  Charlie was a successful superintendent on projects for City of Amarillo, Amarillo ISD, Pantex, United States Postal Service, Clarendon College, Dallam County, Cannon AFB, Dyess AFB, Texas Dept of Transportation and so many more.  Charlie was particularly proud of being a part of the team at Pantex and a part of their mission on national defense.  On top of his full time position with Tri-State, he had a very successful personal business Charles Byler remodeling.

Charles loved hot rods and racing. During his spare time, he was constantly working on his pride and joy, a 1972 Ford F250 that was his dads.  Just like everything he did, it also had to be perfect!

Charles was a Christian.

Survivors include his significant other, Darlene McCormick, of Amarillo; his daughter, Shanna Cole and husband Cliff, of North Little Rock, Arkansas; his two sons, Robby Byler, of North Little Rock, Arkansas and Greg Byler and wife Tish, of Amarillo; two brothers, J.C. Byler and Larry Byler, both of Linn Creek, Missouri; a sister, Judy Price, of Linn Creek, Missouri; seven grandchildren, Clay Cole, Shady Cole, Briana Byler, Joey Byler, Makel Byler, Avery Byler and Blade Byler; and three great-grandchildren, Hazen, Abby and Jaxon.

The family suggests memorials to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas PL, Memphis, Tennessee 38105.

Jay Lee Kirk – October 23, 2017

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

Long-time Amarillo educator, Jay Lee Kirk, died peacefully in his sleep on Monday, October 23, 2017.

Services will be held on Monday, November 20, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. at Polk Street United Methodist Church.  Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.

Jay was born in Greer County, Oklahoma on July 9, 1929.  He came to Amarillo in his teens and graduated from Amarillo High School.  While in high school he worked at Kirk’s Drugstore and at Kirk’s Children’s Shop.   He attended Oklahoma University, earning a degree in accounting and then served with the United States Air Force in Germany.   On returning to Amarillo, Jay received a master’s degree in education, with an emphasis on counseling, from West Texas State University.

Jay began his thirty-seven year teaching career with the Amarillo Independent School District at Sam Houston Junior High in 1957, teaching language arts and social studies and counseling part-time; he was then chosen to be a member of the first faculty at Crockett Junior High, where he remained as a counselor for thirty-five years, until his retirement in 1992.

While at Crockett, Jay met Marti Hinson, the speech and drama teacher.  Their courtship made them the talk of the school and students would stand and cheer when the couple attended events together.  They were married in 1964 at Polk Street United Methodist Church and continued their careers with AISD.  Together they enjoyed collecting antiques, traveling to New York and London to see plays, and spending their summers at Casa del Monte, their cabin in Northern New Mexico.  Jay and Marti were active in their church and in the community, and after his retirement Jay seldom went anywhere that former students didn’t greet him as “Mr. Kirk” and relate what an impact he and Marti had on their lives. In return, Jay would always say “there was never a bad kid at Crockett!”

Jay was active in professional organizations, serving as president of Amarillo Classroom Teachers Association and as a board member for the Texas Classroom Teachers Association.  He served on the board at Polk Street Methodist Church, and volunteered with several Amarillo nonprofit organizations.  He served on the Community Development Board for the City of Amarillo for ten years, and was active on the boards of Kilgore Children’s Psychiatric Center, United Way of Amarillo; Opportunity School; the Coalition for the Homeless, and the oversight committee for the Tyler Street Resource Center.  A “yellow dog” Democrat, he was many times elected to be a precinct delegate to the Potter County Democratic Convention and the county representative to the Texas Democratic Convention as well. He was a supporter of the fine arts and education in Amarillo and Canyon and was a member of the Friends of Fine Arts at WTAMU, the WTAMU Foundation, the Amarillo Area Foundation, the Amarillo College Foundation, the Amarillo Symphony, the Amarillo Opera and Friends of the Aeolian-Skinner Organ. He was often in attendance at the choir, orchestra and sporting events of Crockett, Tascosa and Bonham to see his adopted “grands” perform.

Jay was predeceased by his wife, Marti, his parents, Zorah Shipman Kirk and Aubrey Kirk, his brother, James Kirk and his sister-in-law, Martha Kirk.  Survivors include his brother, Bert, of Altus, Oklahoma, his nieces, Doris Kirk Dollins and husband, Dale, of Oluster, Oklahoma and Jana Kirk Welch and husband, Neal, of Sanger, Texas.  He is also survived by several great nieces and great nephews, as well as great-great nieces and great-great nephews, and many loving cousins, friends and former students.  Also considered family to Jay were his “cabin’’ family:  Pat Cathcart Dison and husband, Jack Dison, Lanie Cathcart Simpson and husband, Paul Simpson, and their children Katie and Paden, and Melissa Cathcart, and her sons, Parker, Cooper and Clark Davidson.

Jay was loved and will be remembered for enriching many lives with the gift of his great laughter, his wonderful stories, his sincere and caring nature, and his unconditional love and generosity.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to Heal the City, PO Box 2556, Amarillo, TX 79105, Opportunity School, 1100 S. Harrison, Amarillo, TX 79101 and Polk Street United Methodist Church, 1401 S. Polk St., Amarillo, TX 79101.

Bruce Gerald Roberson – November 13, 2017

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

Bruce Gerald Roberson, 79, of Amarillo died Monday, Nov. 13, 2017.

Services will be at 10:00 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, at Boxwell Brothers Ivy Chapel with Dale Moreland, associate pastor of The Church at Quail Creek, officiating.  Burial will be in Llano East Cemetery.  Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.

Bruce was born Nov. 25, 1937, in Clovis, New Mexico to Jeff and Lorain Roberson. He was a Navy veteran, truck driver (a member of the Teamsters Union) and a member of The Church at Quail Creek.

He was preceded in death by a brother, Jeff Roberson, Jr.; a nephew, Troyce; and in 2015, his wife, Markie Roberson.

Survivors include five daughters, Lequeta Logan, of Amarillo, Kimberly Blythe and husband Gordon, of Quitman, Coreta McReynolds and husband, C.T., of Alvarado, Denise Bolden of Amarillo and Billie Bolden, of Amarillo; a son, Bruce Gerald Roberson, Jr., of Cleburne; two nieces, Connie and Savana; eight grandchildren; and sixteen great-grandchildren.

The family extends special thanks to VA CLC angels who took excellent care of Bruce.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to VA Community Living Center.

Jack Edward Griswold – November 13, 2017

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

Jack Edward Griswold, 87, of Amarillo, TX passed away on Monday, November 13, 2017 at his home.

Services will be held Thursday, November 16, 2017, at 1:00 p.m., at Boxwell Brothers Ivy Chapel with Glenn Switzer, Lamount Drive Baptist Church officiating. Burial will be at the Abernathy Cemetery, Abernathy Texas.  Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.

Mr. Griswold was born July 10, 1930, to Wilson & Bernice Head Griswold in Tennille, Coffee County, Alabama. He couldn’t remember the first time he picked cotton or how young he was when he began plowing peanuts with a mule team.  Longing to escape farm life, he joined the Air Force, moving to Amarillo in 1951, at the opening of the Amarillo Air Base, where he worked as a Mechanical Instructor.  He met and married Betty Griswold on September 4th, 1954. They made their home in Amarillo raising two daughters, Melissa A. Griswold and Venie L. McDaniel both of Amarillo.

Brilliant at fixing anything, especially automobiles; he was an appliance service man for Sears & Good Housekeeping. When Bell Helicopter opened, he became an airport mechanic, working there until 1990.  At the age of 50, he followed a lifelong dream when he took up playing the guitar/ banjo. He was a member of the Panhandle Bluegrass Association for 37 years.  He enjoyed gardening and talking to anyone.

Along with his wife and two daughters, he is survived by his two sisters, Mable Lee of Elba, Alabama, and Janelle Downing of Dothan, Alabama;  brother-in-law, Olen Anderson of Abernathy, TX; a  son-in-law, Earl McDaniel; and grandchildren Alyssa Moore and husband Nicholas of Lubbock, Janae McDaniel, C. J McDaniel, Tessa McDaniel, and Breanna McDaniel all of Amarillo.

Memorials may be made to the Panhandle Bluegrass and Ole Time Music Association’s South Plains College Bluegrass Scholarship Program, Box 31042, Amarillo, TX, 79120.

Visitation will be from 6:00-7:00 PM, Wednesday, at the funeral home.

Karen “Nana” Fortenberry – November 11, 2017

Monday, November 13th, 2017

Karen “Nana” Fortenberry, 57, of Adrian, Texas died Saturday, November 11, 2017. 

Services will be at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 15, 2017 in First Baptist Church of Adrian with Reverend Dee Slocum, pastor; Garry Little and Walter Cox officiating.  Burial will be at Memorial Park Cemetery at Vega.  Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers at Vega, 110 S. Main.

Karen was born on July 15, 1960 in Fortuna, California to Nola and Bill J. Tucker.   She was a homemaker.

She married Michael Fortenberry on October 25, 1987.

She was preceded in death by her father, Bill J. Tucker; brothers, Royce and Tony Tucker; and her stepfather, Joe Feemster.

She is survived by her husband, Michael Fortenberry, of the home; her mother, Noal Feemster; her children, Windy and husband Ross Montgomery, JR Little and wife Anita, of Adrian, and Garry Little, of Adrian;  three sisters, Joan and Jim Wigley of Tucumcari, New Mexico; Kathy and Richard Payne of Hugo, Oklahoma; Deana and Donnie Manasco of Newhope, Arkansas; two brothers, Randy Tucker  and wife Norma and Oneal Tucker, all of Newhope Arkansas; her sister-in-law, Patricia Seiwart and husband, Kent, of Peaster, Texas; grandchildren, Bethany Little, Kinley Little, Kenzie Little, Aprille Little, Chloe Schoen, Jordan Kent, Trevor Kent, Matt Montgomery and Mitch Montgomery; one great-grandchild, Killian Schoen.

Visitation will be from 12-6 p.m. Tuesday at the Vega funeral home.

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