Home lost to fire

Fire destroyed a home in the Cottondale area early Sunday morning.

Fire departments from Cottondale, Boonsville/Balsora, Salt Creek and Paradise were dispatched to the blaze, which was reported around 3 a.m. in the 100 block of Private Road 3697 off County Road 3673.

The first units on the scene reported that a double-wide mobile home was on fire with approximately 50 percent of the structure already lost.

It was not clear to firemen right away if anyone was inside. The home’s owners, Mary and Gene Mitchell, were later discovered to be out of town, and no one was in the home at the time of the fire.

The home was a total loss.

Cottondale Assistant Fire Chief Rainer Mundy said the cause of the fire is unknown, and the state fire marshal’s office was contacted to investigate. Wise County is temporarily without a fire marshal following the recent resignation of former Fire Marshal Marc Dodd.

The fire departments remained on the scene until just after 7 a.m.

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“Bodie” Kenneth Kirkland

FUNERAL for “Bodie” Kenneth Kirkland, 50, of Cottondale is 2 p.m. today at the First Baptist Church of Cottondale with burial at Cottondale Cemetery. Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport is handling arrangements.

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‘Bodie’ Kenneth Boyd Kirkland

'Bodie' Kenneth Boyd Kirkland

Funeral for “Bodie” Kenneth Boyd Kirkland, 50, of Cottondale is 2 p.m. Thursday, May 10, at Cottondale Baptist Church with Charles Pugh and Josh Clark officiating. Burial will follow at Cottondale Cemetery.

Visitation is 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 9, at Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

Kirkland died Saturday, May 5, 2012, in Decatur.

Born March 17, 1962, in Fort Worth to Doris Eulene and Kenneth R. Kirkland, he married Dianna Lynn Perkins March 9, 1991, in Haltom City. He was a contractor for GTR Construction and a member of Cottondale Baptist Church. Kirkland spent time outdoors, worked on cars and built things.

He is survived by his wife; daughters Amber and Cassidy Kirkland; and sisters Beverly Kirkland and Cindy Watson and husband, Gary, all of Cottondale.

Pallbearers are Hunter Watson, Jimmy Osborn, Byron Osborn, Chris Osborn, Billy Greenwood and Jacob Mayberry. Memorials may be made to the Kenneth Kirkland Foundation at First State Bank in Paradise.

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“Bodie” Kenneth Kirkland

FUNERAL for “Bodie” Kenneth Kirkland, 50, of Cottondale is 2 p.m. Thursday at the First Baptist Church of Cottondale with burial at Cottondale Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at Jones Family Funeral Home.

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“Bodie” Kenneth Kirkland

FUNERAL for “Bodie” Kenneth Kirkland, 50, of Cottondale is 2 p.m. Thursday at the First Baptist Church of Cottondale with burial at Cottondale Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at Jones Family Funeral Home.

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“Bodie” Kenneth Kirkland

FUNERAL for “Bodie” Kenneth Kirkland, 50, of Cottondale is 2 p.m. Thursday at the First Baptist Church of Cottondale with burial at Cottondale Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at Jones Family Funeral Home.

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Family loses home, pets in weekend fire

Family loses home, pets in weekend fire

LONG DAY - Volunteer firefighters with Cottondale, Newark, and Boyd responded to a house fire off County Road 3549 Saturday. Firefighters were at the scene for more than six hours in the afternoon heat. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

A fire destroyed a family’s home and killed several pets, including two dogs and a pet squirrel, Saturday afternoon in Cottondale.

No one was home when the fire started around 2 p.m. on Private Road 3549 located a couple of miles behind the Cottondale Grocery on Farm Road 2123.

TOTAL LOSS - A fire in Cottonwood Saturday destroyed a family's country home and even killed several family pets. The fire broke out when no one was home. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

A neighbor saw flames coming from the roof and called 911. Members of the Cottondale Volunteer Fire Department responded several minutes later, but all they could do at that point was go on the defensive and keep the fire from spreading to other buildings. The fire destroyed a single-wide and a double-wide trailer home and caused severe smoke damage to a third trailer.

All homeowner Lonnie Brooks could do when he arrived at the scene was watch as flames and smoke finished off what remained of what had been his home for the past five years. He lived there with his wife, Cory, and their 14-year-old son. They also had some friends living with them. They lost everything in their home to the blaze.

The cause of the fire is uncertain at this time. Newark, Boyd and Bridgeport fire departments assisted on the fire. With the remnants of the house continuing to flare up, Cottonwood Fire Department Volunteers didn’t clear the scene until 8 p.m., almost six hours after initially responding to the call.

The rancid black smoke and charred, twisted remains of the home looked out of place at the former site of the country home. A horsehead bobbed up and down slowly, methodically in a green pasture below. A wooded hill rose in the background.

“This is why we decided to live here,” Brooks said.

His three healthy horses grazed in a far corner of the property, as removed from the smoldering carnage as possible.

Brooks and his wife own and operate Sally’s Smoke Shop, a tobacco shop and tattoo parlor located west of Boyd on Texas 114.

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Ruby and Don Rogers

Ruby and Don Rogers

Ruby and Don Rogers of Cottondale celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Jan. 19.

Don and the former Ruby Walker were married Jan. 19, 1962, at the Parker County Courthouse in Weatherford.

They have four children: William “Tony” Rogers of Paradise; Terri Watts of Alvord; Donnie Rogers and wife, Kathy, of Mineral Wells; and Karen Colburn and husband, Scott, of Bridgeport; grandchildren Stephanie, Sonya, Dustin and Emily Rogers, Michael and Mary Watts, and Kate and Clay Colburn; and great-grandchildren Jayden and Kaydence Rogers.

Don is a retired Bell Helicoper flight line mechanic. Ruby is a retired custodian and bus driver.

They celebrated with family and friends Jan. 22 with a reception hosted by their children at the First Baptist Church in Cottondale.

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Lahna Paige Grothe

Robert and Kelsey Grothe of Cottondale announce the birth of a daughter, Lahna Paige, on Jan. 20, 2012, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. She weighed 8 pounds, 10 ounces and was 19 inches long.

She has a sister, Morgan, 5.

Grandparents are Kay Grant of Midland, Sharon and Jimmy Grothe of Cottondale and Eddie Grant of Midland.

Great-grandparents are Alton and Lillie Smith, Omer Dell Keith, Gloria Shepard and Rosa Grant.

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Lahna Paige Grothe

Robert and Kelsey Grothe of Cottondale announce the birth of a daughter, Lahna Paige, on Jan. 20, 2012, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. She weighed 8 pounds, 10 ounces and was 19 inches long.

She has a sister, Morgan, 5.

Grandparents are Kay Grant of Midland, Sharon and Jimmy Grothe of Cottondale and Eddie Grant of Midland.

Great-grandparents are Alton and Lillie Smith, Omer Dell Keith, Gloria Shepard and Rosa Grant.

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Elizabeth “Mitzi” Cooper

SERVICE for Elizabeth “Mitzi” Cooper, 81, of Cottondale is 2 p.m. today at the First Baptist Church in Cottondale with burial at Cottondale Cemetery. Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport is handling arrangements.

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3 injured in Wednesday wreck

3 injured in Wednesday wreck

WEDNESDAY WRECK - This car, driven by Junior Whatley, 20, of Bridgeport, was one of three vehicles involved in an accident on Farm Road 51 just past Farm Road 2123 near Cottondale. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Two people were flown from the scene of a three-vehicle accident on Farm Road 51 just south of Farm Road 2123 in Cottondale around 7:45 Wednesday morning.

Billy Whatley, 20, of Bridgeport and Marjorie Herring, 78, of Eastland were transported by LifeTeam and CareFlite helicopters, respectively, to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.

According to Texas Department of Transportation Trooper Fred Thornton, each suffered multiple broken bones. Their injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Herring’s husband, Clyde Herring, 75, of Eastland was taken to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur and later transported to JPS, according to a family member.

“Clyde (sustained) a broken arm and leg,” his brother, Joe Herring, told the Messenger Thursday. “I was able to talk to Clyde but not for very long. He was hurting so bad he could hardly talk.”

According to investigators, Whatley was southbound in a silver Dodge Dynasty on FM 51 when he swerved to miss a pickup that had slowed to turn left onto County Road 4699.

It appears Whatley drove around the vehicle, lost control and crossed into oncoming traffic, striking a tan Buick Lucerne driven by Clyde Herring. His wife, Marjorie, was a passenger.

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Lorene and Don Gentry

Lorene and Don Gentry

Lorene and Don Gentry

Lorene and Don Gentry of Cottondale celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with a reception hosted by their children July 28, 2011 in Springtown.

Forty-two family members were present, including all of the couple’s descendants.

Don Isaac Gentry and the former Lorene Yvonne Niblett were married July 29, 1951, in Paradise.

They have a daughter, Donna Gentry Weeden, and three sons, Glenn Gentry and wife, Ann, Gary Gentry and wife, Sherry, and Roger Gentry and wife, Carla, all of Paradise.

The couple graduated from Paradise High School and has worked in farming, ranching and retail in Wise County.

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Hurley Dwayne ‘Nig’ Hooser

Funeral for Hurley Dwayne “Nig” Hooser, 67, of Cottondale was April 25 at Victory Family Church in Decatur. Graveside service was April 26 at Girard Cemetery in Girard. Both services were officiated by his nephew, John Hooser.

Hooser died Friday, April 22, 2011, in Cottondale.

Born Nov. 4, 1943, in Girard to Joseph and Vyda Bowden Hooser, he married Barbara Bryant Sept. 2, 1983. He owned and operated Hooser Refrigeration since 1990. Before his move to Wise County, he worked for El Paso Natural Gas and lived in West Texas and New Mexico.

Hooser was preceded in death by sisters Ludena Brooks and Alene Yett; brothers Guy “Tex” Hooser and Jack Hooser; and a grandson, Jacob Herrera.

He is survived by his wife; daughters Tami Talmage of Sherman, Danette Longhenry of Aubrey, Lisa Childress of Drummonds, Tenn., and Susie McGuire of Wink; sisters Mary Drennon of Hemphill and Ola “Tudy” Armstrong of White Settlement; brothers Travis Hooser and Dub Hooser, both of Alamogordo, N.M., P.E. “Bick” Hooser of Hereford and Arnett Hooser of Tucumcari, N.M.; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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Nora Ellen Stevens Womack-West

Womack West NoraMemorial for Nora Ellen Stevens Womack-West, 79, of Fremont, Calif., was March 10 at Cedar Lawn Memorial Park in Fremont.

Womack-West died Tuesday, March 1, 2011, in Fremont.

Born Nov. 25, 1931, in Cottondale to William O. and Litha E. Stevens, she was a homemaker. She was a Cowboys fan and grew tomatoes and flowers.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 24 years, Emmit A. Womack; eight sisters; and a brother.

Womack-West is survived by children Judy L. Kyvig and husband, Donald, and Linda J. Maselli of Fremont, Steven R. Womack of Reno, Nev., and Ronald D. Womack of Kelso, Wash.; 10 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Gilbert and Sue Womack of Arlington; and nieces and nephews.

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Jack E. Moore

Memorial service for Jack E. Moore, 73, of Cottondale is 6 tonight at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

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Jack E. Moore

Memorial service for Jack E. Moore, 73, of Cottondale is 6 p.m. Thursday at Hawkins-Bridgeport.

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Jack E. Moore

Memorial service for Jack E. Moore, 73, of Cottondale is 6 p.m. Thursday at Hawkins-Bridgeport.

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Jack E. Moore

Memorial service for Jack E. Moore, 73, of Cottondale is 6 p.m. Thursday at Hawkins-Bridgeport.

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Collision kills man

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THREE CAR ACCIDENT - Charles Barber's Hyundai Sonata leaked oil and anti-freeze after a head-on collision that killed Jimmy Bostic of Cleburne. A Chevrolet Tahoe was also damaged in the three car accident. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

A Cleburne man was killed in a three-vehicle accident near Cottondale Monday afternoon.

Jimmy Burl Bostic, 70, was pronounced dead on the scene by Justice of the Peace Mark Autry after the crash on Farm Road 51 South, just north of County Road 2123.

According to State Trooper Brandon Chaney, Bostic was traveling northbound around 1:15 when his passenger car veered into southbound traffic, striking head on a passenger car driven by Charles Voight, 67, of Boyd. Bostic’s car left the road, ending up in a wooded ditch.

A SUV behind Bostic swerved to avoid the wreck, rolled several times and landed a distance from the roadway. In the sports utility vehicle were Annalee Anita Whitetto, 32, of Gainesville and 15-year-old Astra Lashley of Boyd.

“I do believe they just reacted to the collision and traveled off the road,” Chaney said.

Lashley, Whitetto and Voight were transported to Wise Regional Health System with non-life threatening injuries.

Josh Hassell was driving behind the SUV and saw it roll several times. However, once out of his car, he said he was unaware of Bostic’s car in the ditch.

“It freaked me out,” Hassell said. “I never knew there was a car over there.”

Chris Wilson, who works at a nearby business, grabbed a fire extinguisher to put out Voight’s smoking car.

“I ran with it,” he said.

When Whitetto scrambled out of the SUV, she left it running. Wilson was able to reach underneath the vehicle and turn off the ignition, he said.

The cause for the crash is still under investigation, but no alcohol was believed to be involved.

Bostic was a regular visitor for more than 10 years to the county and district clerk offices in Decatur where he searched records for background checks.

Sandy McDaniel, district clerk employee, remembers Bostic as a wonderful man who doted on his wife.

“He just worshiped her,” McDaniel said. “He was a wonderful, caring man. He will be missed.”

McDaniel’s co-worker Lucrecia Biggerstaff became teary-eyed when she spoke about the man she saw every day.

“He was pretty precious,” she said. “He just came in every day and brightened the room when he walked in. He always gave us a hard time.

“One day during the summer, I got something for him, he said, ‘thank you,’ and I said, ‘you owe me a Coke.’ Well the next day he brought us all a big Coke from Dairy Queen.”

His adopted co-workers best remember the many stories he had to tell. Some were about his family while others were about his time as a police officer.

“When he was a Dallas police officer, he got shot, and he told us all about that,” Biggerstaff said. “That and how he would have to chase people down. He had some pretty rough stories that he told, but he would always make them funny. It was always something.”

After several years of counting on his stories in the mid-afternoon, Biggerstaff laments what she will miss about Bostic the most.

“Him walking in the door every day,” she said.

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