Greenwood Fall Festival

All Smiles

ALL SMILES – Kylie Hood and Lexie Reza sit in a children’s train car at the Greenwood Fall Festival Saturday, Oct. 11. The Greenwood Extension Education Club hosted the 17th annual festival. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Fresh Buys

FRESH BUYS – Vendors lined the main drag in Greenwood. Festival goers perused the goods and games. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Pulling Through

PULLING THROUGH – Floats and tractors made their way slowly through Greenwood Saturday. The parade started 10 a.m. at the Sycamore Baptist Church. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Home Fire Burning

HOME FIRE BURNING – Locals cooked beans and cornbread for hungry onlookers. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

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Fall Festival returns for 17th year

The Greenwood Extension Education Club will host its 17th annual Greenwood Fall Festival this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in downtown Greenwood.

A tractor ride will start the day at 8:30 a.m. at Sycamore Baptist Church, and a parade will begin at 10 a.m.

Tractor Rides

TRACTOR RIDES – Greenwood Fall Festival participants enjoy a tractor ride around the town at an earlier festival. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Entertainment throughout the day includes craft and food booths, game booths, a children’s train ride, door prizes, a silent auction and raffles for a quilt and a $500 Cabela’s gift card.

The Greenwood General Store will serve homemade pies and hamburgers, and Bork & Buddies will serve beans and cornbread.

Vendor space is still available. To reserve a booth, call 940-466-7997 or 940-466-7597.

“We’re expecting 25 to 30 vendors, and if the weather’s pretty, I’m expecting about two to three hundred people here,” said Linda Hood of the Greenwood Education Extension Club.

The Greenwood/Slidell Volunteer Fire Department will host its annual fish fry fundraiser that day as well, starting at 5 p.m. There is no charge for the event, and donations will be accepted. The fish fry will not be rescheduled in the event of inclement weather.

The dinner will also feature live entertainment by the Brandon Davis Band and Mark David Manders, raffles for a dove and quail hunt for two at Nine Bar Ranch, an iPad, a Camo Savage Axis 243 and AR-15 5.56/.223.

Visit www.gsvfd.us for more information.

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Emma ‘Ruth’ Milligan

Emma “Ruth” Milligan

Emma “Ruth” Milligan, 91, a loving wife, friend and aunt, died Monday, Sept. 29, 2014.

Services will be held 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 2, at the First Baptist Church in Farmers Branch with the Rev. Sam Underwood officiating. Burial will follow at the Slidell Cemetery under the direction of Geo. J. Carroll and Son Funeral home in Gainesville.

Ruth was born in Greenwood May 15, 1923. She graduated from Slidell High School and married her sweetheart, Raymond Marshall Milligan, Nov. 10, 1941, in Fort Worth. After Raymond’s tour of duty in the U.S. Army, they followed their love of horses, training and teaching at area stables including Rendezvous, Little Brook, Glad Acres, Diamond R and Lake Place. Ruth also sold insurance for Kentucky National Insurance.

Her infectious love for life, quick wit and sense of humor made her a favorite at gatherings of friends and families. She was an active member of the First Baptist Church in Famers Branch.

Ruth was preceded in death by her devoted husband Raymond; her parents, David and Clara Griffith; brother Peyton Griffith; and sisters Vida Mae Sellers and Lucile Clark.

She is survived by her many nieces and nephews and their families and close friends.

Memorial donations may be sent to Scholarship Fund, First Baptist Church of Farmers Branch, 13017 William Dodson Parkway, Farmers Branch, TX 75234.

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Disrespect to long-term teachers

I am disappointed in the Wise County Messenger’s recent coverage of local events. A recent publication included a story called “So long, Mr. Clark; Teacher, students grew up together,” touting J.D.’s career as a teacher since 2008.

While this short stint in teaching got J.D. Clark a full-length article accompanied by pictures, we recently had three distinguished teachers retire from Decatur High School: Teresa Powell, Jo Woodruff and Robin Phariss.

These teachers have been in the classroom since before J.D. was born, yet all they received was a one-sentence mention in last Tuesday’s Update. They have served this community for decades and J.D. Clark has not taught in Wise County.

This isn’t even mentioning the teachers throughout the county who are leaving the community, retiring, stepping down or changing careers.

I am tired of the “J.D. Clark Show” every week in the Messenger, and I will be advising my friends and family to discontinue their readership until things start to change. I, for one, respect all the teachers that serve our community, not just ones running for office.

Coley Smith
Greenwood

Posted in Letters to the Editor1 Comment

Lilly Rene Willett

Rachael and Joshua Willett of Greenwood announce the birth of a daughter, Lilly Rene, on May 23, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 8 pounds, 1 ounce and was 18 inches long.

She has one brother: Bentley Bland, 2; and one sister: Heaven Willett, 1.

Grandparents are Shelly and David Willett of Bowie and Benny and Susan Bland of Greenwood.

Great-grandparents are Bessie and Burt Bland of Slidell, Carol Dellinger of Tioga and Doris Willett of Bowie.

Great-great-grandmother is Ann Ferall Aranransa.

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Stronger regulations needed in wake of West

The preliminary report has been released by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board on the West fertilizer plant explosion last April. The report indicates multiple levels of failures at every branch of government – mostly within the state.

It alludes to the fact that outdated and lax state and local regulations contributed to the unsafe and volatile storage of ammonium nitrate (AN) at the West fertilizer plant. It states that there are hundreds of these types of facilities in Texas that are unsafe.

Texas has not adopted a statewide fire code, and state law actually prohibits most smaller rural counties from adopting a fire code. McLennan County, where the West facility was located, had not adopted a fire code although it technically had the authority to do so because of its proximity to the more populous Bell County.

The West fertilizer facility was thus not required to follow any National Fire Protection Association or International Code Council recommendations for the storage of AN. No federal, state or local standards have been identified that restrict the siting of ammonium nitrate storage facilities in the vicinity of homes, schools, businesses and health care facilities.

West volunteer firefighters were not made aware of the explosion hazard from the AN and therefore were poorly trained to handle this type of fire. There is no indication that West’s filing with local authorities resulted in an effort to plan for an ammonium nitrate emergency.

In order to prevent such disasters that take lives, damage livelihoods and destroy schools that need tax dollars to repair, we need stronger regulations. I think this message is loud and clear, Texas lawmakers, regulatory industries and especially, Tea Partiers and Republicans.

Where does Wise County stand on its authority to adopt the statewide fire codes that might protect our volunteer firefighters, schools, infrastructure and tax dollars from the local facilities that store AN?

Tracy A. Smith
Greenwood

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Landri Isabella Harwell

Laura Johnson and Clayton Harwell of Greenwood announce the birth of a daughter, Landri Isabella, on March 28, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 7 pounds, 9 ounces and was 20 inches long.

She has three brothers: Brock Harwell, 11; Keaton Goode, 6; and Maddox Maxwell, 2; and one sister: Catilin Harwell, 8.

Grandparents are Debbie and Donny Harwell, Melissa Lockett and Ricky Johnson.

Great-grandparent is Veatrice Redfearn.

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Allie Belle Florida

Allie Belle Florida

Allie Belle Florida, 89, died Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in her hometown of Greenwood.

Funeral was Feb. 25 at the Greenwood Baptist Church with the Rev. Tracy Epting officiating. Burial followed at Greenwood Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Kenny Shaw, Roland Walker, Dale Burks, Donald East, Charles East, R.E. Florida III and Brent Gage. Allie Belle was born Aug. 20, 1924, to William Ramon and Maggie Ann (Eason) Mathis in Leo. She married John D. Florida Sept. 9, 1944, in Decatur.

She is survived by her daughter, Lanette Florida McClure and husband, Russell, of Greenwood; granddaughters Jennifer Noel McClure of Wichita Falls and Jessica Elise McClure of Greenwood; sisters Auga Lee East of Decatur and Vonceal Wallace of Weatherford; and nieces, nephews and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; and a son, Tex Noel Florida.

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RRC’s dog-and-pony show has no answers

I attended the big town hall with the Railroad Commission on Jan. 2 in Azle. Apparently, the shake, rattle and roll that we feel here in Wise County may or may not be related to the large number of deep well injection bores located in the Barnett Shale production area, according to the delegation from the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC).

I was unable to speak due to the meeting being cut off, but after listening to the speakers, I have some serious concerns about fissures that are occurring between the injection zones and the water tables as a result of the seismic activities. Even if no other major vibrations occur, the damage is done. This was something I was going to speak on if allowed.

Many residents who are impacted are concerned about surface issues. Some are concerned about the water issue. Most do not connect the two issues or understand that both are affected by the earth tremors – but they are indeed related.

I also don’t buy the excuse from the RRC delegation – which included one elected state commissioner and various directors within the regulatory commission – that no conclusive studies have been done and that they would have to do them first.

Even Phil King made a predictable statement via an aide to give his two cents backing the RRC and giving yet another opinion on how hydrocarbon production is important above all in Texas, without having to answer his constituents’ questions. The whole dog-and-pony show was a joke and full of complete lies.

In fact, in an accredited report done by the University of California geological department to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (and on file in the Library of Congress, something every official on that stage has access to) clearly comes to the conclusion that there is notable and increased seismic activity in and around deep well injection bores and facilities.

Since then, several independent studies done by various independent groups have been conducted that have come to the same or similar conclusions (I Googled those studies). It’s unfortunate that in recent history, Texas officials refuse to cooperate with anything that the federal EPA has as resources or discounts them entirely altogether because of partisan politics.

The RRC delegation’s appearance in North Texas has reinforced this taxpayer’s belief that instead of being beholden to the citizens of the state by bringing good thoughtful answers to the many concerns of Texas citizens, they came instead to find out what we might know.

The state regulatory commission has failed to protect us. They failed us by being unprepared with answers or assurances, and finally, they failed us by not looking at the various studies before they began permitting the abundant amount of Class II commercial deep well injection locations in and around the rural Barnett Shale counties.

So … why the failure by these elected officials at the RRC and state representatives? Which greater public interest are they considering, the people’s or for-profit industry?

What kind of proactive incentives (laws) will be encouraged (made) at the state level toward conservation, desalinization and/or other alternative uses by other industries? If they would do this, the need for disposal wells would decrease.

My biggest fear is that our officials are in a reactive mode because the damage has already been done and this is the reason for the apathy at this meeting. In this case, one has to wonder how the hell we are going to clean this mess up and who will pay for it.

I think the delegation left with a great sigh of relief that no one asked or addressed the water table issues. It’s my prediction that the RRC will appease the “angry and outraged” public with rules such as a limit to the barrels per day injected in Parker County wells and pacify the people with a temporary moratorium on issuing any new permits within the county until further studies are done.

All this will allow this issue to die until the next earthquake. In the meantime, we must prepare to fight with our insurance companies who won’t cover earthquakes. We’re on our own.

Tracy A. Smith
Greenwood

Posted in Letters to the Editor2 Comments

4-H member earns trip to D.C.

Slidell/Greenwood 4-H member Shelby Vanover specializes in broiler chickens, but when he chose this project six years ago, he had no idea it would lead him from Wise County to Washington, D.C.

STATE WINNER – Slidell sophomore Shelby Vanover won first place in state with his 2012-2013 poultry recordbook. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Vanover’s 2012-2013 4-H poultry recordbook won first place in state, earning him the opportunity to attend the Texas 4-H Leadership Conference in the nation’s capital. He and 29 other 4-Hers left Friday for a five-day trip that was to include a day on Capitol Hill, cultural events and a wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

Vanover, who turned 16 Wednesday, wants to go into aerospace engineering and said he hoped they also visited the National Air and Space Museum.

“All my hard work has paid off,” he said. “I’ve been writing this story for five or six years now.”

Vanover joined 4-H in 2007 and has raised broilers and completed a recordbook every year since.

It’s a tedious process.

According to the Texas 4-H website, members complete recordbooks to develop the skills necessary to set goals, work toward achieving those goals, reflect on their experiences and set new goals for themselves. The website says the process also helps teach 4-Hers how to complete quality academic scholarship applications.

The recordbook includes two main parts: the 4-Her’s personal story, which tells of his or her experience and involvement in 4-H, and an activities section that outlines specific events, leadership roles, community service and other activities.

It’s a time-consuming process that requires great attention to detail.

“It’s the least favorite thing, next to public speaking, that we challenge kids with in 4-H,” said Slidell/Greenwood club leader Kim Dunlap. “In fact, one of the first things Shelby said (after learning he won state) was ‘does that mean I never have to do one again?'”

Dunlap said Vanover will submit another recordbook in 2014, but it has to be in a different category.

The Slidell sophomore participates in a variety of 4-H projects so he has several from which to choose.

“Shelby is a gifted kid. He thinks in a different realm, and once he makes his mind up he’s going to do something, he’ll work toward it,” said Dunlap. “He’s a guy who has stuck with it.”

The Slidell sophomore lives on his family’s farm near Krum with his parents, Cody and Karen Vanover, and younger brothers Brady and Easton.

He started a poultry project because he wanted to “see little chicks grow up.”

“And I like fried chicken, so there was that part of it, too,” he said.

He said raising broilers has been harder than he anticipated, but he won grand champion three years ago. He also participates in Nutrition Quiz Bowl, Food Challenge and Consumer Decision Making and has health and science projects. This is in addition to his school activities, including basketball, track, cross country, golf and UIL academic events.

“Shelby is a one-of-a-kind 4-Her,” said Tanya Davis, Wise County Extension agent, Family and Consumer Sciences. “He’s always willing to try new projects and go out on his own and search for information. He’s open to suggestions and guidance, a teachable, coachable kid. Adults love to work with Shelby.”

The last Wise County 4-Her to have a first-place state recordbook was Dunlap’s son, Jake, in 2005. His book was also in the poultry category.

“It’s a very small number of people who get to do this,” she said. “There’s only 30 kids from across the state, and when you think about how many members there are in 4-H, it gets to be a pretty elite group.”

Perhaps, Vanover described it best.

“Everywhere I go [with 4-H events], there are always good people,” he said. “The best and the brightest. It draws a really good crowd.”

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Fortenberry graduates from TWU

Anna Fortenberry of Greenwood graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition in business and industry from Texas Woman’s University last May.

Fortenberry is a 2009 graduate of Slidell High School. She is the daughter of Troy and Cheryl Fortenberry of Greenwood.

While at TWU, she was active in the Honors Scholar Program, Athenian Honor Society, National Residence Hall Honorary, Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Upsilon Omicron National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Student Dietetic Association, National Society of Leadership and Success and Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

Fortenberry also held leadership roles including secretary of fundraising in Athenian Honor Society and vice president of recognition and president of the National Residence Hall Honorary. She was a peer adviser for University Housing and a peer mentor for the Department of Undergraduate Studies for three years.

This fall, she will start the food systems administration graduate program at TWU. She has also been accepted into the School Nutrition Specialist internship program.

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Post office closure not permanent

The U.S. Postal Service implemented an “emergency suspension” of the Greenwood Post Office effective at the close of business Friday.

According to information provided by the Postal Service, retail services at the office will be unavailable “until further notice,” but customers will still be able to pick up their mail from Post Office boxes at the location.

Postal officials cited a “lack of qualified personnel” as the reason for the office’s suspension, which is not a permanent closure according to a USPS news release.

Customers may use nearby Post Offices in Slidell and Decatur for stamp purchases, mailing packages and conducting other postal business.

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Welcome to adulthood, graduates

Dear graduates,

Congratulations. You finished high school. You survived the cliques, the social pressures, the bad teachers, the long hours, the testing and the drama.

Welcome to adulthood.

It’s not a scary place, you know, in spite of what people may have told you. It is, however, very hard.

Here in adulthood, you don’t have anyone holding your hand, telling you what to do or doing anything for you. You are responsible for you.

Maybe for you, adulthood has some meaning of “freedom.” That above list means that you’re free from parents, teachers and higher authority. You can do what you want! But trust me, when you really understand and appreciate what being an adult means, you will look back on those high school years and realize how easy you really had it. And you’ll want it back.

You see I became an “adult” at a very young age. When I graduated from high school, I had a full-time job at a local copy shop. I bought my own car with my own money. I was paying for my own car insurance, phone, food and soon, my own college tuition.

About a year later, I moved out of my parents’ house. Not into a fancy dorm room – I found roommates and got an apartment. I paid for my own rent, electricity, water, groceries, gas – the works, all on about $1,500 per month.

But being an “adult” doesn’t mean you pay for everything yourself, cause that’s just a (very important) part of it.

Being an “adult” means you have to make choices. Sacrifices. Be responsible with your time and your money. Work your butt off and prioritize. Learn what it means to give up what you want to do for what you need to do. Every decision comes with a consequence, and yeah, sometimes it stinks.

I know what it’s like to have past-due bills … and I know what it’s like to come home with electricity turned off. I know how it feels when your friends don’t bother to invite you out anymore because you’re always working or going to school. I know what it’s like to spend four years working on a two-year degree because you have to work long hours to pay for it. I know what it’s like to look at the bank account and wonder how you’re going to make it one more week

But I also know what it feels like to look at my life and have a strong sense of accomplishment. I know what it’s like to stand in front of politicians, business owners, city officials, school administrators and community citizens and believe in who I am and what I can do. I know how it feels to be broken, tired, ready to give up and look into my Dad’s tear-filled eyes as he says, “I’m proud of you.”

I’m no superstar or gold medalist in anything, but at 21 years old, I’ve won something better: independence.

And, my dear graduates, if you’re not experiencing that, you’re not in adulthood yet.

Emma Armitage
Greenwood

Posted in Letters to the Editor1 Comment

Hannah graduates from TCU

Deidre Hannah graduated May 11 from Texas Christian University with a master’s of science degree in nursing. She is the daughter of Larry and Charlotte Hannah of Greenwood.

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Heaven Grace Willett

Rachael Bland and Joshua Willett of Greenwood announce the birth of a daughter, Heaven Grace Willett, on Feb. 19, 2013, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. She weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces and was 18 inches long.

She has a brother, Bentley Bland, 1.

Grandparents are Benny and Susan Bland of Greenwood and Shelly and David Willett of Bowie.

Great-grandparents are Bessie and Bert Bland of Slidell, Rita and Ernest Wilhelm of San Angelo and Carol Delinger and Doris Willett of Bowie.

Great-great-grandparents are Billie Fenley of Bowie and Ann Farle of Arkansas.

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Let gun, ammo buyers pay sales taxes

On Feb 25, HB 1533, the Texas Gun Ownership Reinforcement Act, was introduced into the House Ways and Means Committee. The bill, co-sponsored by our state representative, Phil King, would establish Texas Independence Day (March 2) as a tax-free holiday, exempting an individual’s purchase of firearms and hunting supplies in the state of Texas from sales taxes.

Shame on you, Mr. King.

Gun purchases and hunting equipment are luxury items, bought by those who can afford to pay sales tax. State lawmakers such as Phil King say we can’t afford to educate our children, therefore revenue to meet these statutory requirements is needed way more than another tax incentive for those who can afford it.

What’s next, tax-free holidays on luxury automobiles, caviar and fine cigars? Let’s also not forget that unregulated, private gun sales are already tax-free.

Tracy Smith
Greenwood

Posted in Letters to the Editor22 Comments

Billy Jack Maxwell

Billy Jack Maxwell

Billy Jack Maxwell

Billy Jack Maxwell, 79, a devoted family man, died Monday, Feb. 18, 2013, at his home in Greenwood.

Funeral was Feb. 22 at the First Baptist Church Slidell, with burial at the Moore Memorial Gardens in Arlington.

Bill was born Sept. 26, 1933, in Greenwood to Newton and Oleta (McDaniel) Maxwell. He married Miriam Kay Smith in Fort Worth Jan, 28, 1958.

Bill served in the U.S. Army from May 1955 to May 1957 and was a Korean War Veteran. After his military career, he furthered his education and taught shop for Dallas ISD, ultimately receiving his master’s degree in education from North Texas State University in Denton. He moved his family to Austin when he acquired a job with the Texas Education Agency, where he worked for several years. The family then moved to Carrollton where Bill worked in a management position with Braniff Education Systems, an aircraft maintenance vocational school. He moved on to establish vocational schools for other private groups.

Upon retiring, he and his wife, Kay, came back to Greenwood where he started his Boer goat ranch and became actively involved in the church community. He rose early every morning with coffee, Bible study and prayer prior to moving on to his passion – his animals and building and maintaining his ranch before proceeding to the Greenwood firehouse for dominos at 1 p.m.

He was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Slidell where he worked with the youth, driving the children’s bus, working in Vacation Bible School, participating in steering committees and serving as a deacon. He was also active with the Greenwood Homecoming Committee, Greenwood Cemetery Committee and was an honorary member of the Greenwood EE Club. His pride and joy were his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and his goats.

He is survived by his sister, Marijon Rutherford and husband, Bennie, of Greenwood; brother-in-law Travis Smith and wife, Doris, of Kerrville; daughter Dema McNew of Lake Dallas; son Dwane Maxwell and wife, Karla, of Greenwood; grandson Brandon McNew and wife, Danielle, of Aubrey; granddaughter Diana Fields and husband, Ryan, of Corinth; granddaughters Annie and Lydia Maxwell of Greenwood; great-granddaughters Maci, Olivia and Paityn McNew of Aubrey; as well as nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife of 43 years.

Posted in Obituaries0 Comments

Man, 79, dies in tree-trimming accident

Man, 79, dies in tree-trimming accident

Greenwood lost an active member of its community to a tragic accident Monday morning.

Bill Maxwell died when a large tree he was trimming fell and struck him.

FATAL MORNING - Bill Maxwell, 79, of Greenwood was killed at his home Monday morning after a large tree he was trimming fell onto him. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

FATAL MORNING – Bill Maxwell, 79, of Greenwood was killed at his home Monday morning after a large tree he was trimming fell onto him. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Maxwell, 79, was trimming trees by a creek bed on his property, just down the hill from his home, when the accident occurred about 9:30 a.m. The farm is located in the 1200 block of Farm Road 1204, a couple of miles west of Farm Road 51.

“He was cutting some trees along the creek bank when one of them broke and came over on him,” said Captain Kevin Benton with the Wise County Sheriff’s Office. “Everything in our investigation is showing us at this time it was a very tragic accident.”

Another man was working with Maxwell at the time of the accident. He called 911 and attempted CPR on Maxwell while waiting, but to no avail. The blow killed Maxwell almost instantly.

Family, friends and neighbors gathered on a rolling hill of the farm as emergency responders investigated the accident. Wind, which was gusting from the west up to 22 miles per hour, might have played a role in felling the tree onto Maxwell.

Greenwood/Slidell Volunteer Fire Department, Wise County medics and members of Wise County Sheriff’s Office all responded. Justice of the Peace Clay Poyner pronounced Maxwell dead at the scene.

Maxwell lived at the home alone, and according to friends and family, stayed busy working and tending the property. A small herd of goats he raised grazed in a nearby pasture.

Those who knew him said he was doing what he loved when the accident happened.

“He loved working, and he loved serving people and helping people,” said Bobby Cates, his pastor at First Baptist Church in Slidell. “He couldn’t get enough of it.

“His dad always told him the quickest way to die was to get up and do nothing.”

So, despite his age, he kept busier than most people.

“There was a wonderful stubborness that kept Bill Maxwell going,” Cates said. “He was not just going to lay down and get old.”

“He was just a ball of energy,” said Bert Pruett. “He kept going all the time. He was never still.”

“He was 79, and it was a challenge to everybody around him to keep up with him,” Cates said.

Maxwell grew up in Greenwood and attended Decatur Baptist College before he moved away to finish college and work. He moved back home to Greenwood about 15 years ago to take over his family’s farm. “He would get up every morning and work for a couple hours around his place,” said Pruett, who taught Maxwell’s Sunday school class. “Then around lunchtime he’d make his way to the fire hall to play dominoes. That was his daily routine.”

Serving others in his community was also part of his routine. On Wednesdays and Sundays he’d drive a bus around Greenwood and Slidell to take young people to church whose parents couldn’t take them. He organized the fall festival the church has every year, he organized a men’s prayer group at the church and helped the church build a carport to cover the church’s buses. He’d recently been ordained a deacon.

“Bill was involved in just about everything,” Cates said. “It will be difficult to remember everything until it comes up next year and I’m needing Bill for help.”

Maxwell was also involved with the Greenwood Cemetery Association, the buyers’ association and the fire department.

Funeral for Maxwell is 10 a.m. Friday at First Baptist Church Slidell with burial at 2 p.m. at Moore Memorial Garden, 1219 N. Davis Dr., in Arlington. Family visitation is 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the church.

Memorials may be made to the Benevolence Fund at First Baptist Church of Slidell.

Posted in Features, News0 Comments

Bobby Carroll Williams

Bobby Carroll Williams

Bobby Carroll Williams, 78, died Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, in Greenwood.

Funeral was Dec. 14 at First Baptist Church of Greenwood with the Rev. Tracy Epting officiating. Burial was at Greenwood Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Dustin Wilson, Devin Wilson, Chace Williams, Shawn Hess, Jack Teague, John Teague and Jimmy Williams. Honorary pallbearers were David Caraway, Neal Fortenberry, Frank Maxwell, Dale Burks and Rodney Mote.

Bobby was born April 15, 1934, in Greenwood to Elmer Ellis and Flora Elizabeth (Myers) Williams. He married Georgia “Jo Ann” Coker on Dec. 19, 1953, in Corsicana. Bobby retired from Lockheed-Martin Aviation as a quality control supervisor after 26 years of service. He retired from the Army National Guard after 25 years of service.

Bobby was a 32nd degree Mason in the Greenwood Lodge No. 799 and a member of Greenwood Baptist Church.

He is survived by his wife, JoAnn Williams of Greenwood; son Tim Williams and wife, Maggie, of Greenwood; daughter Kim Biggerstaff of Lake Kiowa; sister Sandy McCormick of Waco; grandchildren Dustin Wilson of Corinth, Chace Williams of Greenwood, Megan Williams of Muenster and Devin Wilson of Granbury; great-granddaughter Emma Grace Williams of Muenster; nephew Steven Young of Waco; and niece Julie Young Evans of Waco.

Posted in Obituaries0 Comments

Hats off to the VA North Texas Health Care System

In the past few weeks I have seen repeated stories on the various local TV stations about problems with the VA North Texas Health Care System, slamming the quality of care and the medical services veterans get at their facilities. I was really stunned to see these stories because of the great quality of care that I have personally been given in the VA North Texas Health Care System.

I went 12 years or more with a small mark in the middle of my forehead that would never completely heal. The civilian doctors told me repeatedly that it was no big problem and to “just put a little salve on it.” On my first visit to see Russell Wilson after he had just arrived at the VA Clinic in Bridgeport, when he saw that sore, he got very upset. He stated it looked like cancer and could be very dangerous.

He immediately scheduled me an appointment with the dermatology department at the Dallas VA Hospital, where I was seen within a week or so. They confirmed through a biopsy that it was not only cancer, but also the most agressive form of melanoma there is. Surgery was scheduled within a very short time. What was initially supposed to be a basic, two-hour, outpatient procedure became a two-day, extensive surgery because of how big the melanoma turned out to be. It took four plastic surgeons to close up on the second day.

During the surgery, everyone at the hospital, from the volunteers to the surgeons, treated my wife like a queen. They couldn’t do enough for her while I was in surgery. Because of Dr. Wilson’s correct, initial diagnosis in the Bridgeport VA Clinic, the entire VA Health Care System literally saved my life.

Recently, there has been another potentially very serious health issue arise for me that was found by the North Texas Health Care System. Again, I have received nothing but the finest of care, in the quickest possible time frame, both initially by Dr. Wilson in the Bridgeport VA Clinic and at the Fort Worth and Dallas VA Center and Hospital, respectively.

I have talked with many other vets who also credit the North Texas VA Health Care System with saving their lives, too.

I have had the pleasure of having Dr. Wilson as my primary care physician, and I have been seen at the Fort Worth and Dallas VA Hospitals on numerous occasions. Everyone in the entire VA Heath Care System has always been extremely courteous, and my treatment has always been of the highest quality possible.

That’s why I say, “Hats off to the VA North Texas Health Care System.”

Jim Popp
Greenwood

Posted in Letters to the Editor2 Comments

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