Abilene High Class of 1959

Biographies O through Z


The counselor was wrong when she said, 'Forget it. Pick a career that has a future.' She had asked, 'What type work would you like to do?' Taking the path of least resistance, and having no clue what I wanted to do otherwise, I said, 'Photography.' So I left that morning of my junior year at AHS not quite knowing what I was supposed to do, fearing I had chosen a dead-end life.

The good news is, it didn't turn out that way. Isn't it interesting to think back on choices we made, or choices that made themselves for us, and be amazed at how everything fit together to bring us to Now?

By this time everyone is tired of hearing again that I worked for the Reporter-News starting part-time in the darkroom in 1958, then taking a full-time photographer job in 1960. That paid my way through Abilene Christian where I crammed four years into 5 and one-half, emerging with a journalism degree and quick-pick for the draft board. The newspaper job was great, though, allowing me to meet lots of people in and around Abilene including every town within a 70-mile radius. All those experiences paid off.

Not relishing a draft into Army infantry while Viet Nam was hot, I joined the Air Force in late 1964 and went to Officer Training School in San Antonio. Though my studies were liberal arts, they assigned me to a technical field - munitions, better known as bullets, rockets and bombs. Did one year training school in Denver, then spent two years in Clovis, NM at a jet fighter training base.

Amazingly my next assignment was not to Viet Nam but to Kunsan Air Base in Korea, for a supposedly lazy, year-long assignment. Two weeks after I got there in January 1968, North Korea took the Navy's Pueblo and it was no longer lazy. There were times I figured I might not make it back home. If war broke out, our base was 7 minutes from North Korea and a couple hours from friendly forces. But the fighting never started, and I came back to Albuquerque, NM for my final year in the service. It has been only since this AHS '59 group started communicating that I learned Robert Hunter and I were but 120 miles apart, him working in banking in Seoul. We never knew it, of course. But we got closer later.

Corporate career: In 1970 I moved to Houston where my fiancee, Ann Parrish of Baytown, lived. She attended ACU, but we actually met at the paper where she worked as a writer. We married in June 1970, two months after I had found a job I felt lucky to have. Coming off 6 years nuclear weapons experience, I knew there were not a lot of companies hiring that particular expertise. So I resorted to - photography! Walking in cold to the electric utility in Houston one day, I learned they did, indeed, need someone with photo experience in the public relations department. Because of my picture portfolio, I got the job, promising that I could write, though I didn't know if I could to their standards.

It worked out better than I could have dreamed. Two years later, Houston Lighting & Power - the company - decided to build nuclear power plants, and my experience in the basic physics, radiation and safety of nuclear energy was valuable. (I could have planned that, right?)

By the late 1970s we were deep in the debate with detractors of nuclear power. Those of you who lived in Austin no doubt remember what a beating we took. It was really interesting work, though, and we eventually persevered and finished two nuclear-powered generators near Bay City in the mid-1980s. I was nothing short of lucky to be in the right place at the right time. There is a multitude of interesting stories I would like to relate, but I will attempt to keep this short version less than a tale of two cities.

The last 15 years with HL&P and its successors, I worked in government affairs. Spent a good bit of time in Washington DC, which is an amazing place. It's a beautiful city with so much to see, and my family and I were able to visit several times and got to know it better that some natives. By this time Ann and I had two sons, both high achievers. Antony the older was great at math and science and is now an electrical engineer in Austin. Jim the younger majored in communications and is a modern-age whiz at Internet-related jobs, working in his favorite fields of history and architecture in Houston. I should mention that Ann taught in the Clear Creek district (NASA) until Antony was born in 1971, earning her masters in counseling along the way. She quit teaching others' kids to teach her own. It sure worked.

Oh, I almost forgot. From 1970 through 1990 I worked in downtown Houston, and again 1995-2000. Three blocks away was Chase Bank (formerly Texas Commerce), and that's where Robert Hunter worked much of that time. We did not know each other, though I am certain we were at some of the same events. Robert knows a lot of people from my company, and I knew a few at the bank. Anyone else think six degrees of separation is too much?

Retirement: The electric industry was changing drastically, and I retired before my company broke apart. My last work day was the end of December, 2000, which entitles me to say I haven't worked since the last Century. Millennium, as a matter of fact.

I won't repeat the mantra that you're busier... well, you know the rest. We keep busy at our long-held interests including reading, helping the boys when we can, working with the retirees' club of my company, and church activities. I still like to work on our cars and do jobs around the house when I can, a form of relaxation (some of the time), and we do, indeed, take thousands of photos every year. Digital photography has been a boon for us, and I can't keep up as well as I should with all the pictures we take. One volunteer activity we do involving our interests is at the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, a part of the Houston library. We sort collections donated to the library, identifying and classifying documents and photos and entering their information in a database for library personnel to use. We have seen hundreds of intensely-interesting pictures not just from Houston but all over. One collection is from a Houston photographer who went ashore at Normandy on D-Day. In addition to those pictures he traveled across France and Germany with Allied forces, and the pictures he took include Generals Eisenhower, Omar Bradley and De Gaulle and Field Marshall Montgomery. Pictures of Churchill, FDR, Eisenhower as president, Juan and Eva Peron, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, and other interesting people and subjects are in his collection. Disclaimer: there also are a lot of real boring pictures.

So in the end, whenever it comes, photography has played a big role in my life. It got me through college, it got me a starter job that turned into a really good one, and it now provides entertainment from times past as well as present. Isn't life great?

Please excuse my wordiness. I have really enjoyed all of your stories, and I hope this isn't as boring to you as I fear. There are dozens of experiences I would like to tell, but I would rather hear yours, the ones I haven't experienced yet. Maybe we can talk about them later.



Graduated Hardin-Simmons University 1963 Worked at Neiman-Marcus June 1963 to December 1963 considering the career of becoming a buyer for them.

I married in 1964 to Art Crothers (graduate of SMU in electrical engineering). Art worked in Greenville, TX at a defense plant so we planned to move closer to his work. I got a job in Terrell, TX  teaching 6th grade and taught until the birth of our daughter, Stacy Kay, in 1968. We had a son, Kyle Edward, in 1971.

In 1973 I started a business, Stefco Advertising, and that is what I still do today.

I was a Baptist when I was growing up and still am one today. I went to a Baptist University and both of our children graduated from Baylor University.  We are very proud of our daughter, who is now Methodist, and the youth director at her church. I appreciate and honor other's beliefs as we have many friends and relatives who go to churches other than our own.


We have three beautiful grandchildren that we love to see as often as we can (they do not live in the same town as we do).   I love to play games (Sequence, Bridge, Poker). My son and I often get in poker games together on the internet (not for money).  I took it as a big compliment when my son invited me to play in poker games with his friends. (I haven't!)


My husband, son and I got to make many trips to Europe starting in 2001. (I made 11.) Our daughter and her family were sent by Shell Oil Company to London. The first trip I took was October 11, 2001 on American Airlines with pilots, flight attendants and very few passengers due to the horrible tragedy of the month before (9-11). My husband and I have also traveled to Hawaii, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.  I have seen alot of beautiful places, but I really feel that is no place in the world like our United States of America.


The following was NOT part of Stephanie's biography but is a note she wrote one day: Art worked for the defense industry.  ESystems, then called Raytheon, then L3 in Greenville, Texas was where he worked.  They did a lot of work on one of Air Force One planes.  You know whatever plane the President is in is Air Force One (there are several).  The gov. used to leave one running all the time ready to go.  Surely they have cut back on that now.


Art traveled to Saudi for the company (among other places).  Saudi officials took over his passport and said the King would decide when to give it back. His company was doing work for the King. That is a bit scary!  At ESystems the engineers are in a separate building from the real labor force.  Art would wear a suit to work always.  In Saudi he needed to crawl around in the airplane so he put on a casual jump suit (zips up front/work clothes).  The Saudis were horrified that he would lower himself to wear such clothes.  Status is so important to them.  They asked him, "Do you like wearing that?"

Just an aside and something you probably know. but the King who I believe is dead now, would always fly with a person who was there if the King needed a new heart all of a sudden.  There was a real operating room on board and everything ready for a transplant, or whatever.  People who filled this position did it for about 2 years before they were released to their families with some money paid to them for their service.  How would you like that job?


Fortunately both our son and daughter learned to speak French.  This came in handy for Stacy who had a French au pair and the au pair wanted to learn to speak English.  They agreed to try to speak English after 5 o'clock and all day they had to speak French to get things done and understand each other at all.

We all went to Paris for Christmas.  Our son was in Paris 2 weeks ahead of us. When we got to Paris we just followed him around.  He knew the trains to take and the way around everywhere.  We all (Stacy, Rob and 3 kids, Kyle, Art, and me) went to Disneyland. Then Kyle, Art and I left to spend the afternoon in Paris and dinner that night.  Kyle had (previously) learned places to eat that were glad to see Americans..so, that is where we went.

Kyle was actually staying in a friend's apt. and we went there for a nap and drying out our shoes! The girl whose apt. Kyle was at had gone to America to be home for Christmas.  She was just working in Paris at the time.  So, we had it all to ourselves.  She said Art and I could stay there too, but we all ready had our hotel reservations. After dinner Kyle escorted us via the trains back to our hotel.  We never would have made it without him.  Moral of this story: kids can be pretty wonderful!!  and fun!!




University of Houston-Downtown, Houston, Texas
Bachelor of Science, cum laude
Major:  Applied Mathematical Science (Quantitative Methods)
Minor:  Business Computer Information Systems (Systems Analysis and Programming)

University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
Major:  Russian Language & Literature

North Texas State University, Denton, Texas
Teaching Fellowship:  English Literature

Baylor University, Waco Texas
Bachelor of Arts
Majors:  English; History
Minor:    Secondary Education


Legal Assistant/Executive Assistant:        25+ yrs.

Teacher, Secondary Education, English and History
Seagoville High School (Dallas ISD):  1966-1967
McKinney High School:  1965-1966

Other Profession:

      Architectural & Interior Photography:        8 yrs.


Married:           1967
Divorced:         1976

Children at home:      2 cats


Who has time for a hobby???



Yes, fifty years in playing and teaching music.  You heard incorrectly that I was teaching in the Dallas area; but to fill in 50 years, here goes:  I taught four piano students during my senior year at AHS--Stanley Mayfield's brothers Don and Billy and the son and daughter of Les Ellis (a banker and member of First Baptist).  I was a music education major at Baylor and roommate of John Jay Hughes for a couple of semesters.  After a transfer to Hardin-Simmons for a couple of semesters, I went back to Baylor and graduated with B.Mus.Ed. in 1965.

I started teaching choral music and music theory in the Waco School District, taught piano lessons after school hours, and earned my Master's degree and the Choirmaster Certification of the American Guild of Organists.  After 10 years in Waco I moved to Lufkin to be in charge of choral music for the school district and continued to teach piano after school hours.  During the years teaching in Waco and Lufkin, I also held Choirmaster/Organist positions in Episcopal churches. 


In 1980, at the age of 39, I was awarded a teaching fellowship at the University of Iowa to teach juniors and seniors who were music education majors.  While at the U. of Iowa teaching and working on my doctorate, I was also Director of Music for the historic First Presbyterian Church of Iowa City.  I left Iowa City in 1985 with my doctorate in choral music literature and conducting yet unfinished. 


I took a two-year contract with Angelo State University in San Angelo as Director of Choral Music also teaching private and class piano and private organ.  After the two-year contract I chose to stay in San Angelo, which had been my childhood home during elementary school.  I completed my research and finished my dissertation on the two Requiem masses by the German composer Friedrich Kiel.  I conducted the San Angelo Symphony Chorale for ten seasons, built up my piano studio, and became Choirmaster and Organist for San Angelo's Emmanuel Episcopal Church. I'm now in my 24th year with the church. 


For the past several years I have been a reviewer of CD recordings for The Choral Journal, the official publication of the American Choral Directors Association.   Barbara, your MTNA, TMTA and local (San Angelo Music Teachers Association), is correct.  I've held every office in our local assoc. except Student Affiliate chair.  I just can't get to the annual convention in June.  I wish it were not held over a Sunday.  I did have two of my students in two separate duet ensembles from our association.  A couple of our teachers have been big on the ensemble work.  And the current State TMTA president is in our Association here.  Barbara, please send me an email address apart from the ahs59 site and I'll communicate when we get our schedule finalized.  I have been chair for our Farrell Festival (sonata, sonatinas) for the past several years and am always needing to find judges.

Barbara, you said "now it's time for all music people to give voice to their story!"  I think just MAYBE this qualifies!!   Dr. James L. Queen

On musing about ranch and ranch life:

An experience I had in 1990-1992 not previously mentioned was the opening and running of a jewelry store in Ozona (on I-10).  I had been working on my doctoral dissertation, living in San Angelo without full-time employment, after my two-year teaching contract at Angelo State had expired.  The only jewelry shop in Ozona closed, and my parents-in- law, who owned and operated Tedford Jewelry in Sonora set us up to open a branch store in Ozona.  So we were living in Ozona and driving back and forth to San Angelo to keep our church jobs and my position as conductor of the San Angelo Symphony Chorale.  The Ozona area is big sheep ranching country and between the coyotes and mountain lions it's tough work.  One night we were returning to Ozona after a Symphony Chorale in San Angelo and a huge mountain lion bounded across the highway.  Flat land, so there was no flying arc, but he/she was after some lambs.  One of the ranchers at coffee in town heard my story and told me if I could hit and kill one, he'd buy me a new car!  The big cats do serious damage to the lamb flock.

February 2, 2011

I'll give you an update which you can post on the group. I don't mean to be unfriendly, but I don't have time to live on my computer and read all the back and forth messages I received when I was active on the group.

In early 2010 it became evident that my gas royalty income was dropping so low that I couldn't stay in the house I had. My ex and I bought the house in 2002. It was a great place, custom, well-built and on the creek which feeds into the Concho River running through downtown San Angelo. When Valerie left, I remained in the house--since 2005. But to downsize, I went looking. My first priority was to find a place which had enough room for my pianos for my teaching. The place I found is at 1710 South Park, just 12 blocks down the same street from where I had been since 2002. Then the moving. I had by this time all the furniture, china, crystal, etc. from my parents' home at 1718 Wychwood Drive in Abilene. Trying to fit all the stuff in a home 1,100 sq. feet smaller has been a challenge. It's been an on-going project since August when I moved; and is not finished yet. I often go looking for something I know I have, but I can't find it!!

My two jobs continue and offer me a great deal of satisfaction. As Choirmaster and Organist for Emmanuel Episcopal Church, I plan all the music for all services, rehearse the Adult Choir, confer with the Junior Choir director on her music, and play the organ for all services. On the last Sunday in June of this year, I will complete 25 years of service. I'm no where near retiring.

My other job is teaching piano lessons and trying to help kids achieve their goals. I have one high school senior right now who has auditioned for a piano performance major at Southwestern, Baylor, SMU, TCU, and UTAustin. She wants to go to Baylor or Southwestern, but will have to follow the scholarship money she is offered. She's about # 11 in a senior class of almost 700. A former student from last year called me from Illinois a couple of weeks ago seeking some help in selecting music for their equivalent of UIL contest. Her dad is military and was formerly here at Goodfellow Airbase. The responses from students and parents have made my teaching way beyond satisfying.

My three four-legged girls rule the schedule. They are indoor/outdoor felines. [And right now with the cold weather, they're INDOOR]

Squeakus is 14, Cosey is 12, and Smokey is 10. I have two little girls [piano students] who are more into cats than piano study. They arrive for lesson and go looking for a cat to pet.

I wish I were closer to the metroplex. I'd have a chance to see some of you from time to time. If anyone gets lost out on the highway and discovers themselves in San Angelo, I'd love to receive a call.



Stephanie contacted our classmate Barbara Reed Hall who lives in Las Vegas and learned the following information. She does not use a computer and said she has not had a picture of herself made in many years. She said she didn't even have a camera as she doesn't take pictures. She is a retired teacher and is married to her second husband. He is a retired from the IRS. She is divorced from her first husband who was in the service and served 2 tours in Vietnam.

Barbara had 3 daughters by her first husband. One of her girls drowned in the bathtub when the daughter was 7 years old. She described how Dottie Mize rushed over to her house and comforted her and helped her so much after this happened. Dottie had also lost a young child and was certainly able to empathize.

Barbara said she cannot come back to Texas because she is highly allergic to the cedars in Abilene. She said she couldn't even come to her mother or father's funerals. She did come to a reunion at the country club (in 2001?) and had such a bad reaction she had to leave fast and ended up in the hospital.

We have her address and phone number if anyone wants to call her or write to her.

She said she is listed in the Alumni Directory and that she buys it every time it is put out so she has all your addresses.

(July 2011)


Rita Rose Rasco left her job as an elementary school teacher to travel with her husband. His profession and their personal travels enabled Rita to see the United States and several foreign countries. Many of her stories were influenced by these trips.

When Cancer took the life of her husband of forty-three years, Rita's life changed forever, and her faith was challenged. She turned to the writings she'd done over the years and added new ones that reflect her insight into the realities of life and the strengthening of a vital faith.

Rita is a mother, grandmother and an award-winning fiction, poetry and inspirational writer. She lives in Abilene, Texas, where she is a board member of the Writers Guild.

Hello, '59 classmates, I must have been in a cave somewhere, because I just learned about the class e-mails. I do admit to being a dinosaur about computers. Was forced to at least learn to turn one on when I got serious about my writing. After 43 years of marriage, I lost Joe to Cancer 8 years ago. I practically went into seclusion for five years except for doing trips, etc., with family. Never even considered dating until I met a golfing friend of Joe's who had lost his wife of 59 years.

I am now fully back to life and am busy writing books. My 4th one is due out in about 3 weeks. I have a young children's one, a middle reader one, an adult inspirational one dealing with grief and soon to be out, a young adult story about a girl who comes to live on a ranch in the Texas Hill Country. The first three books are in Hastings and one is in The Texas Star Trading Co. The new book will be there also.

Rita Rose Rasco

Following the loss of Judy Harlow Young, Rita posted this poem:


At times it is so very hard

For us to understand,

Why certain sorrows come our way-

Why dreams aren't as we planned.

Then our hearts must remember,

There is always a plan Divine.

His plans won't always be the same

As the plans of yours and mine.

God's hand is always there to hold

When faith is put to the test.

We can be at peace forever knowing,

That a loving God knows and plans best.

Rita Rose Rasco

Sept 12, 2009

A tribute to our Angels:


Rita Rose Rasco

Each of us sees a special face

That is no longer here.

It's so natural to feel sadness-

For eyes to release their tears.

For many of our classmates,

These reunions will be no more.

They've traded in their Eagle wings-

Now on angel wings, they soar.

Each one made a contribution,

Whether it be great or small,

To make our school and our world,

A happier place for all.

To each dear fallen Eagle,

From the classmates you leave behind-

Know your name won't be forgotten-

You'll be ever near in heart and mind.

To all AHS classmates everywhere,

Celebrating the 50th of '59,

May memories of Eagles present and past,

Never dim with the passing of time!


This is my life since 1959. The day after graduation, I began an internship with IBM that let to a 17 year career and transfers to Atlanta, Nashville, White Plains NY, Dallas, and Tulsa. I started three computer companies and after several years was bought out by Atlantic Richfield. I spent a few years of semi-retirement traveling around the country speaking at fund raising events for institutions that help the speech and hearing impaired.

At the age of 41, I began covering a six state territory in the southeast. This allowed me to enjoy my love of flying just about every day. After three years selling Citation jets, I accepted a marketing position with Dassault Aviation in Paris France marketing their Falcon family of corporate aircraft throughout the western hemisphere. After four years of living out of a suitcase I resigned and did nothing for a while.

(Actually I completed my undergrad work at Oklahoma State, acquired a MA in History at the University of Tulsa, A MA in Public Administration at the University of Oklahoma, and a Ph.D. in Higher Ed. Admin. at Oklahoma State) some where along the way I joined the faculty at Rogers State University and received tenure in 2002.

My wife Elaine and I are completing a retirement home on Lake Texoma. Elaine intends to retire next year and I will probably cut back to only a few lectures per month and continue teaching for a while by distance from the lake with a notebook computer.

I doubt that many will remember me from Abilene High because I was academically and socially unremarkable. I came up through College Heights and North Junior High. We lived on N. 16^th for a while then Amherst Dr. while I attended Abilene High.

I have a incredible son (Sam) and a fantastic daughter (Kim) from my first marriage and an eight year old grandson (Benjamin) that is the most wonderful gift of my life. I regret that I haven't maintained closer ties with the wonderful students of Abilene High School.

Gary Rutledge

I have been out of the loop for a long time, and have never attended one of our reunions. I moved to Atlanta shortly after graduation and from there to Nashville, then France. I did not update records with anyone, so I missed out on all post grad school activities. Thanks for asking. Take care, Gary




As you can see, Jerry always stood out in a crowd!



I was born in Abilene at Hendricks Memorial Hospital on 21 Apr 1941. My parents were living on a farm at Lawn, south of Abilene. Dad worked for A. B. Robertson Implement Company as a mechanic maintaining and repairing farm equipment. My dad also farmed the A. B. Robertson farm at Lawn where we lived. Soon after my birth, we moved to 502 Westmoreland, one block from AHS. There were few houses; no public sewer and the streets were gravel. Just pasture and farm land west and north of our house. AHS was not on the planning boards.

My parents moved a house from Buffalo Gap on to the vacant lot next to our house where we moved into it and I lived while attending Valley View, North Junior High, Lincoln Junior High, AHS, and HSU, graduating in 1963. We had a cow and chickens on Westmoreland, just across the alley from where Dot lived. There was also a Shaddix Farm, 100 acres, just NW of AHS and included the drive in movie built at the end of  Mockingbird Ln on Ambler My dad was born in the farm house that was located at the corner of N 18th and the By Pass. I use to hunt on all of that land as a kid before Dad and his brothers and sisters sold the farm and houses were built.

I played the Cornet at Valley View, continued in the North Junior, Lincoln Junior, and AHS band, but when I started working after school, I had to give up the band activities, which I am sure was a relief to the Director. I worked for MSystem Food Stores and they paid for my freshman tuition at HSU.  After 5 years with MSystem, I moved to First National Bank, with the help of  Stephen Pearce, who was also working there. I continued to work at First National Bank after graduation from HSU, along with lJohn Stowe, until my Abilene Friends and Neighbors convinced Uncle Sam he needed a few more good men in Vietnam.

I enlisted in the Army in January 1966 to get ahead of the draft letter and was assigned to Bamberg Germany where I immediately applied for Army Officer Candidate School and returned to Fort Sill OK where I received a Field Artillery commission and reported to South Vietnam DMZ in June 1967. After a year of playing footsy with the North Vietnamese Army, I returned to Fort Sill for 3 years which included troop duty and advanced schooling, I met my wife Shirley who lived in the same apartment complex, and we were married in March 1970. Shirley, our daughter Krissa, and I reported to Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City TN as Assistant Professor of Military Science for 4 years. Our second daughter, Alisa, was born in Jefferson City.

From there I found myself in the Joint Security Area on the Korean DMZ playing footzy with North Korean People's Army, and found myself face-face with real killers on August 16, 1976 at the now famous Popular Tree Axe Murders. If you remember the pictures on the front pages around the World, they were all taken by me.  Another assignment at Fort Sill found me commanding a Pershing Missile Unit doing much of the testing at White Sands and Cape Canaveral of the latest missile system to be deployed in Europe, and later chopped up into small pieces.

From Fort Sill, Shirley and our two daughters found us in Karlsruhe Germany for 3 years. We spent all of our spare time traveling by train, plane, auto, ski lift, and boat to all of the Western European countries, including Turkey, and Africa, plus travels through East Germany to East Berlin. We did go back to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungry  for Christmas 1997 where Alisa and her husband were living in Prague for a year before they returned to the University of Oklahoma where Alisa graduated from Law School and Jeremy graduated from Medical School.



I went to UT after high school.  During my second year at UT my Dad died after a long illness he had since I was 5.  I was an only child of older parents and my Dad struggled to breathe and to support us, making oil deals by home phone.  We lived in a 2-BR house and he needed an entire room for pills and oxygen apparatus.  I had studied classical piano 8 years and had quit in high school.  Also during my second year at UT, I met and married Bob Young (from Houston), and then moved to Houston where I still live.  We had two sons, now grown with their families in nice homes in Houston, and I have four grandchildren.  Since college I've worked as a legal secretary/paralegal (now certificated) and I'm still working contract gigs for lawyers.


  My divorce came just before the boys were teens, and I was a single parent with upkeep on the house, but we made it (It's great to have a house paid off!). I worked in numerous fields of civil law, including real estate development, sometimes telemarketed for Houston Grand Opera at night and had various part-time jobs. I've painted portaits commercially/done other art; and over time, taken classes in art, sculpture, yoga, voice, acting, and dance (even flamenco), mainly for enjoyment.  Money is the wrong motivation in the Arts - which make a life, not a living - I was a docent in Symphony outreach, a volunteer in the Opera Guild, an usher at the Alley Theatre.  I'm currently doing free portrait sketches of troubled teens in a shelter and similar humanitarian projects. 


 Travel:  I love other cultures and have done foreign travel over the last 3 decades, to Egypt, Greece & its Isles, Italy, Spain, Eurail (England, France, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary) after a week trip for 2 staying at London's Ritz (which I had won!), to Macchu Pichu, Spain, Victoria BC, Playacar, Martinique, and more recently, 4 trips to Argentina since becoming a tanguera in our very multi-ethnic Houston Argentine Tango community.  Tango's a beautiful dance, a tough discipline, and has been my passion for the past 12 years.  The 'ballroom' in my house has alternately been the scene of milongas & practicas, as well as a portrait lab wth model surrounded by artists at their easels.  My Non-Tango Life is still unfolding.  This year I'm only going 1 important place - Abilene TX to the 50th, my first, Eagle Reunion!  There is so much more of life to be enjoyed!


I went to Tarleton the fall of '59 and graduated with an Associates in Biology, minoring in animal husbandry. Married in June 1960 and lived in Stephenville until May 1961.

Lived in Abilene until Feb 1963 working at the Texas Highway Dept lab.

Joined the Texas Army Nat'l Guard and was stationed at the Nike Hercules Missile Base in Denton until 1966.

Went to work at Texas Instruments in Richardson and was there from April 1966 until February 1981, having become a computer programmer.

My programming experience was nearly entirely company applications using Cobol and Assembler languages. We programmed and installed Accounts Payables, General Ledger, Inventory Management, and Purchasing systems.

I went to Hogan Systems in 1981 programming financial systems - Loan Processing and Credit Card processing for major banks - Chase, Hibernia, Deutche Bank, etc.

I was laid off in 1999 and went to the 2000 Census until Oct 2000. I've done a few things since but, just piddly stuff.

I had 4 children. 3 boys, 1 girl. My second son contracted aids and passed away in 2006.

I divorced my 1st wife in 1991 and remarried in the same year.

Travel was to Georgia, New York, Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Wales, England, and Germany.

That's it in a nutshell.

Lewis Shell
514 Santa Cruz
Garland, TX 75043
972 279 7834


My daddy worked in the oilfields ( wish he had owned a few) so we moved around a lot. Always reaching for a better job. I went to a lot of schools. They were: 1st grade - Lueders, 2nd, 3rd & 4th - Paint Creek , 5th- Albany and Ira, 6th- Snyder and Fannin (Abilene), 7th- Fannin and Merkel, 8th- Colorado City, 9th - North Jr. and 10, 11, & 12th -Abilene High School! Education was not important to my parents or to me in those days so I did not go to college (mistake). After graduation I went to work for Timex . In January 1960 I got married and in October 1960 I had a son. When he was 5 months old we moved to Philadelphia and lived there for 6 years. While there I worked at Perm Mutual Life Ins., was a purchasing agent for a aircraft distributor, Kelly Girl and IRS.

In 1966 we moved back to Texas. We moved to Garland for a little while and then to Richardson where I worked for an engineering co. From there we moved to Lubbock and then to Hurst where I did not work. I was staying at home taking care of my children. At this time my daughter was 2. We then moved to Houston where I did not work but was busy taking all kinds of classes . They included tennis, ballet, painting, drawing, cake decorating, knitting, crochet, guitar and probably others I have forgotten. I had a good time. Then we moved to Cat Springs. In 1977 I decided I did not like the country so my daughter and I came back to Abilene and stayed. And here I am to stay (I hope). While in Abilene I have worked for Abilene Lumber, Radiology Assoc., Hendrick Medical Center, Kelly Girl and Andrews Furniture. I had to quit working in 1998 to take care of my mother. My husband and I started a construction co. in 1997 and it is still going. We work out of the home and plan to do so as long as our health holds out. We have 3 children and 4 grandchildren and we have been married for 14 years. Life is good!

Judy Smith Woolf


I lived in Abilene until 1968. All 3 of our sons were born there. Moved to San Angelo when Brown and Williamson Tobacco Co. transferred me. I bought a Sonic drive in franchise in Midland in 1979 and moved here.

I bought more Sonics and operated them until all 3 boys completed their education. Not needing the money as bad then I started selling them in 1989. I went into the wholesale auto business. With a partner I operated this business until 2001.

Had my 1st bout with cancer in 2001. Had Surgery and was cancer free until 2009. Had 43 radiation treatments. Now cancer free again. God is Good!!!!

Scott my oldest is now DR. Scott Sosebee teaching history at Stephen F Austin Univ. He is also Executive Director of East Texas Historical Asso. I am still involved with the West Texas Historical Assn. as well as East Texas. The West Texas group has more connections to Abilene mainly because of HSU and Texas Tech. I have done more presentations at West Texas. Due to Scott heading up the East Texas group my role has expanded to presiding over sessions and doing book reviews for their publishing dept. Scott was able to put together the first joint meeting of the two in Fort Worth this past Feb. I am currently working on a historical book on Noodle and the Sosebee family as well as a historical novel on the Lincoln County War. My best source for publishing are TT and SFA. Donie called me Steinbeck in high school. Maybe I still have a little Steinbeck left in me.

Jeff is president of S.A.F.E. with 9 offices in the southwest. Shannon is CEO of Craft Commication in Geneva, Florida. I still have a company that I started in 1973 WinMar Advertising Speciality Co. I live just outside of Midland. Life is Good and I am Blessed !!!!


What has happened to Sam Steele in the 50 years since graduation from AHS? Well if you are game and have the will to endure and stay awake, I'll hit the high spots.

Immediately out of AHS he enrolled at UT-Arlington. Mainly for the reason of losing his roommate to marriage, he transferred to H-SU. After a couple of semesters Sidney Starr, AHS '61, entered the picture. They were married August 4, 1961. He finished his B. A. degree in chemistry / math at H-SU in August 1963 and was commissioned a 2nd Lt. in the U. S. Army.

After H-SU the call of 'Eskimo Joe's' (OK State Univ.) was pretty strong so they moved to Stillwater, OK. After a year in grad school, which was his most enjoyable year in school, he got orders to show up at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD for Ordnance Basic Officer Training and stayed on for advanced training, graduating second in his class. He served at Ft. Sill, OK, Ft. Hood, TX and Red River Army Depot, TX. He was on orders for overseas but got a reprieve when they found out they had their first baby , Stacye Ann, on the way. About the second time he was to go to Viet Nam, he became a 'short timer' and 'bonded out' of active service. At that time he was XO of 44th Ord. Co. (TR) and the senior 1st Lt. at Red River Army Depot (The best kept secret in the Army!).

While finishing up with active duty, Sam and Sidney decided to see if they could land a job in chemistry and finish grad school all at the same time. Sam selected Texaco Chemical, Port Neches, TX, as the place to put chemical knowledge to industrial application and Lamar University, Beaumont, as the school to finish a M. S. in chemistry.

Sam presented and defended his thesis, 'Coordination Chemistry of Some Cobalt II Complexes of Di-2-Pyridyl Ketone' in 1971 and finally got out of the classroom. Sidney celebrated! Meanwhile the job at Texaco Chemical was going great plus Sam and Sidney added a boy, Scott Samuel, to the family on Feb. 18, 1971.

Sam spent 36 years at the Port Neches Plant site. During that time it changed ownership three times, finally ending up as Huntsman Petrochemical from which he took early retirement on 10-1-2001. During those years he enjoyed jobs of increasing responsibility, mostly in the lab, including Senior Chemist, Chief Chemist, Technical Services Supervisor, Quality Coordinator and Lab Superintendent. He was granted 5 U. S. patents as the result of his work.

While serving as Quality Coordinator for two large chemical plants, he led both sites to registrations under the international quality standard ISO-9002. At one point he earned certification as Quality Engineer/Quality Auditor.

Sam has managed to stay busy since retirement. Son Scott and wife Tania wanted to build a new house so Sam helped Scott with 'Builder' responsibilities. They finished in Feb. 2003. About 8 months later we started building a new house for Sam and Sidney next door to Scott and Tania. Sam and Sidney moved in on about 9-1-2004. Both homes are located in LaBelle, TX, 5 miles south of Beaumont, TX.

Since finishing the BIG 'honey-do project' Sam and Sidney have stayed busy keeping the 2 acre yard and the three dogs they share with Scott and Tania.

Scott works for Huntsman Petrochemical and Tania has a beauty care business. Stacye lives in Lumberton, TX and is the 211 coordinator for Southeast Texas.

In addition to the three grand puppies, Sam and Sidney have a grand kitty, a cat and a rescued yellow parakeet and an occasional unwanted snake, armadillo or cow in the yard. They also had unwanted visitors of another kind (hurricanes) including Rita, Humberto and Ike.

For the last two years Sam has been delving into his ancestry. He has traced his Steele heritage back 9 generations to when they first sailed from Ireland to set up house in Chester County, Pennsylvania; as early as 1720.

If you stayed with me all the way, congratulations and give yourself a gold star!


John was born and raised in Abilene, Texas. He attended local schools, graduated from Abilene High School in 1959 and attended Texas Tech University where he fell head over heels for the love of his life, Suzanne McCarty. John and Suzanne were married at Heavenly Rest Episcopal Church in Abilene, on January 26, 1962.

John made his living in the concrete industry for nearly 50 years. He started his long career at Gifford-Hill & Company Inc. in Houston, Texas. Gifford-Hill was a large company with operations in nine states, at that time.  Their products included Concrete pipe, Portland cement, and Ready-Mixed concrete. This photo of an old small private locomotive and the concrete pipe in the reminds one of the period John was employed by Gifford-Hill.

small Gifford-Hill Company locomotive

Not long after, John accepted a job with Paisano Concrete in El Paso, Texas, where he and Suzanne happily lived and raised their two daughters. In 1982, John acquired Valley Transit Mix of Las Cruces, New Mexico, and ran a successful concrete business for over 20 years. He also represented Sika and JDS Concrete Solutions.

Being from Abilene, John was a true son of Texas. He was larger than life, never met a stranger, and could tell a story like no other. His love of hunting, fishing, and the Lone Star State was only surpassed by his love of family and friends. John's life was guided by his faith and never failing optimism.


I met my husband, Jim, in 1957 when I was a junior in high school and he was a freshman at Mc Murry College. Judy (Smith) Wolfe set me up with a blind date and that was the beginning of a long history. I went to summer school at Abilene Christian High after my sophomore year. I had to make up an English credit and I took additional subjects that summer. After the 11th grade all I needed was 1 & 1/2 credits to graduate. Jim and I had been dating almost a year by that time and knew that we wanted to get married. I went to summer school again that summer and earned the credits I needed to graduate. We were married in September 12, 1958. I started right in having babies, a son, Roger in 1959, our daughter Lisa in 1960 and our son Greg in 1961. Well, I got that all out of my system. I worked about a year at Timex after the kids were old enough to stay in daycare and then got a job with Safeway as a meat wrapper. Jim worked for the City of Abilene on a survey crew and then went on to work at the Texas Highway Dept. in the engineering Dept.

In 1967 Jim's dad and stepmother encouraged us to move to the Seattle area where they had been transferred a few years before. Since we were having difficulty making a decent living in Abilene we decided to try it. We sold our house and moved cross county pulling a trailer in February of '67. Jim went right to work for Entranco Engineers in Bellevue, WA. I waited until the fall to go to work and got a job with the Safeway up here. In 1974 we were transferred to Sandpoint, ID with Jim's company where he was the inspector on a sewer treatment facility that they were building. We were there for 18 months and during that time I took a break from working. We moved back to Kirkland, WA. in April of 1976 and I went back to work for Safeway. We moved to Snohomish, WA in 1989. I retired in September of 1997. Jim retired from Entranco in 2000. In 2002 I started to work for Weight Watcher's as a receptionist and worked for them 7 years. I quit in May of 2009 after the stress of everything got the best of me and I started putting on the pounds again. I'm slowly but surely losing it again but don't plan to go back to work. It's time to have some fun.

In 1995 our daughter was diagnosed with bone cancer and being a single mother of two boys ages 13 & 7 she needed all the help she could get from us. By then I was working just 3 days a week. She lived 50 miles north of us and I spent at least three days a week either driving her to her doctors appointments in Seattle or cleaning her house. Her cancer spread fast because it was misdiagnosed for 18 months before she was referred to a doctor in Seattle. She went through several surgeries plus chemo and radiation before losing her battle in June 1999. Her boys went to live with their father which was a mistake. Both boys turned to me for everything. It was very draining but I continued doing as much as I could because I knew I had to. In 2003 we became great grandparents with the oldest grandson, Cory, and his girlfriend had a son, Tanner. A year later they had another son, Shayden. Cory and the boys mother broke up and the boys were both taken from the girlfriend and put in foster homes and later adopted by two different families. I have been very fortunate to have a good relationship with the adoptive families and Tanner stays almost every weekend with me. They are both so much fun to be with and we love their families. In 2006 Cory was diagnosed with brain cancer and only did one round of chemo before deciding he didn't want to go through what his mother had gone through. The doctors had told him the cancer was incurable and said even with the treatment he only had two years at the most. He passed away in July of 2008. His younger brother was so distraught and in December of that year he died of a drug overdose. That was very difficult for all of us.

Our oldest son, Roger, and his wife live in Buckley, WA and have 3 beautiful daughters ages 28, 24 and 21. The oldest, Aubree, is married to very nice guy with 4 sons so we immediately became great grandparents to his four boys last July and now they are expecting a girl next June. They live in Bellingham, WA. The middle granddaughter, Carly and her husband had a baby boy, named Waylon in October of 2009, can't get anymore country than that. They live in Bonney Lake, WA. The youngest granddaughter, Katelyn, lives at home right now, saving up money for a new car. The girls are all beautiful and have always been very responsible.

My youngest son, Greg, is single but has a step daughter and a step granddaughter from a previous relationship He works in air conditioning and heating as an installer. He is in the process of moving in with me. My husband passed away January 27th of this year, 2010. Jim had been sick for a few years but had been going downhill this last year. He had emphysema and high blood pressure but never could give up the cigarettes. We celebrated out 50th anniversary in 2008. We had a good relationship and I miss him very much.

I have had several hobbies throughout the years, scrapbooking, computer, photography and the latest jewelry making. I plan to do some traveling this year. My sister lives in Iowa and she and I plan to make some trips together one of which will be to Abilene this summer to see our cousins and other relatives. Jim and I had been going back every other year since we both retired but usually we would go back in the spring before it gets too hot. Jim never was much on traveling so the trips to Abilene were about all we did except for one to Mexico in 1988. I have a friend in Hawaii and she has been asking me for years to come to visit her. Hopefully I will be able to do that later in the year. My health is still pretty good so there's nothing holding me back.

I regret I didn't go back for the 50th class reunion. I would like to have seen everyone.



A little bit about Judy:

THOMPSON,Judith Kay-Judy&HUNTER,Richard Adams_Wed


Here is my life after AHS. I graduated from Texas Tech with a BBA in 1963 and went to work at the First National Bank in Dallas. In 1964 I met a 1964 a beautiful Tech grad at the bank and we married in 1965. We celebrated our 44th anniversary in April. After two years we decided to continue our education and enrolled at SMU. Anne went full time and graduated with a MA in 1968. Our first child, a girl, was born shortly afterward. I earned an MBA in 1970 after going at night. Anne taught for two years at HP Jr. high and then our second daughter was born in 1971. In the meantime I went to work for AT&T.

After several transfers we landed back in Dallas and build our dream house copied from a Williamsburg house. I did an early retirement from AT&T and went to work for Fidelity Investments and retired for good in 2005. Anne reitred in 2006. We are extremely proud of our daughters. Both graduated from Sewanee with BAs. One went to U of Georgia for an MA and the other went to U of Tennessee for an MA. Our oldest was in Law School when love struck and she married a third year student and dropped out. We were a little disappointed, but we have two wonderful grand kids, a boy and a girl. She is now an artist. Our younger daughter is married with three wonderful kids, one girl and two boys, and is an executive with a Nashville firm. Since retirement we have been traveling both in the US and abroad. In June we spent a week at Disney World with our oldest daughter's family. What a trip!

Robert Tuley



On August 14, 1959, I married Don Pollock, Class of '57.  Next month, we will celebrate our 50th Anniversary . Following our wedding, I went to work as the school secretary at Jane Long Elementary in Abilene, and worked there until Dec. 1960.  Our first son, Kevin, was born on Feb. 20, 1961 and our second, Randy, on April 17, 1963.  I was a stay at home wife and mother from Dec. 1960 until the spring of 1965.  Don worked for M Systems Food Stores and finally decided he did not want to stay in the food business for the rest of his life and started night school at Abilene Court Reporting School.  In the spring of 1965, we decided if he was ever going to finish he had to go to school during the day, so he resigned from M System and started working for Gibson Discount because he could work afternoon and evenings. 


When I went back to work, I was secretary at Franklin Junior High (formerly North Jr.)

and Billy Earles, from my Fannin days, was principal.  In 1966, I think, I went to work as

 secretary in the Volunteer Dept. at Abilene State School and remained there until May, 1968.


Don had finished school and went to work as a court reporter in San Antonio. 

In Jan. 1969, I went to work for Prudential Insurance Company in the San Antonio office

and continued until they offered an early retirement package in Dec. 1994, which I took,

but continued to work for Prudential agents until retiring fully in April 2003.


As with Jimmy, our proudest accomplishments have been our two sons.  They both went to Texas A&M and were in the Aggie Band.  They both were captains of the Bugle Rank their senior year, and Randy, the youngest was a Ross Volunteer (the honorary honor guard of the governor of Texas).  Upon graduation, they both entered the Air Force.  Randy got out as a Captain, but Kevin remained and retired in Sept. 2007 as a Lt. Col.  Randy is in San Antonio is immediate past president of the Alamo Heights School Board, and has a son, Josh, 21, and a daughter, Grace, 19 (our only granddaughter).  Kevin has 3 sons, Ryan, 24, Kyle, 22 and Colton, 19.  Kevin moved back to Texas after retirement and has a home at Cedar Creek Lake.  I stay busy with house work, yard work, reading, friends, bunco and a ladies group in the subdivision where I live.  I love to cook and also have done counted cross stitch, although not recently.


I failed to include how we ended up in Mc Queeney.  In Nov. 1991, we sold our home in San Antonio and moved to Mc Queeney, TX, which is really Lake Mc Queeney.  We were looking for a place to retired.  We continued to work in San Antonio (about a 45 min. drive) until we retired.  So, from 1968 - 1991, I lived in San Antonio and 1991 to present in Mc Queeney.  We have a boat, a boat house with seating on top and our main living is on the second story of our home. Dorothy Vineyard Pollock



Since 1959 I have attended Texas Tech, become a Registered Architect (now retired) and worked as a carpenter, photographer, writer, painter, musician and newspaper reporter. I've married and raised two boys, buried a wonderful wife and married another. I've raced cars and motorcycles, built with my own hands and lived in two houses, sold them both at a profit, raised goats and flown airplanes.

I lived on a 37 foot sailboat for three years and scared myself enough to refrain from a solo trip around the world.


My wife, Marlies, and I have between us four children and four grandchildren. We have been married five years, are in robust health and reside in Fort Worth, Texas, where we pursue our hobbies and avocations of artistic and musical nature. Larry T. Williams  Ft. Worth  July 17, 2009



I went to Hardin-Simmons where I attended year around and graduated in 1962 with a BA in Speech & Drama with majors in English and Political Science. I went to Baylor in the fall of 1962 for grad school. In 1963 I decided I needed to earn my keep as my sister was starting at Texas Tech. I tried teaching in McAllen for a year and one in Corsicana. At that point I accepted the fact that teaching was not my cup of tea and moved to Dallas where I worked for a year in the Personnel Dept of Texas Instruments handling their health and life claims. Thus was born my insurance career.


I worked for a now defunct life and health company until it was closed. I then went to work for Crum & Forster where I remained until 1989 when I took a golden parachute and left. I continued my claim handling of Workers' Compensation claims at Specialty Risk Services which is a part of Hartford before retiring in 2006. I worked in the Dallas office of SRS until 1997 when I transferred to New Orleans to open the Louisiana WC office here.


Along the way I married my husband Bob twice with an 8 year break. We have been married for almost 20 years this time so looks like we got it right. We have no children and thus no grandchildren but keep busy going to the local casinos as well as the Mississippi Gulf coast casinos and beaches.


I look forward to the reunion in October and seeing everybody again.

Helen Woods Duke