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Becky Edwards Swaim Skinner died Thursday, January 23, 2014. Funeral services are set for 11:00 AM, Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at First Baptist Church with Rev. Ken Cannon officiating. A reception will follow in the atrium of the church. Burial will be held prior to the service at 10:00 AM at Evergreen Cemetery. Fry & Gibbs Funeral Home has charge of the arrangements.
A lifelong resident of Paris, Becky was the daughter of the late Glenn L. Edwards and Shirley Pinson Edwards. She attended Paris schools and graduated from ParisHigh School in 1957. In 1959 she graduated from Christian College, now ColumbiaCollege in Columbia, Missouri. In 1961, she graduated from the University of Texas in Austin where she was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority and several professional organizations. She taught high school English in Houston, Lawton, Oklahoma, and Paris. Later she earned a masters degree from East Texas State University in early childhood education and taught kindergarten and served as director of CentralPresbyterianDay School for eighteen years.
Becky had a lifelong interest in gardening and was a Master Gardener as well as a member of Fun ‘N Flowers Garden Club. She also was an active member of the Lamar County Master Gardeners Association, Cosmos Club, Lydia Bible Club, and First Baptist Church where she taught an adult women’s Sunday school class for a number of years. Prior to joining the Baptist Church, Becky spent forty-five years as a member of First United Methodist Church where shewas active in many volunteer roles including eighteen years as Children’s Coordinator, and serving as a member of the Council of Ministries, Administrative Board and Women’s Society for Christian Service. She also was active in civic affairs, serving on the Paris Junior College Board of Regents, Paris Education Foundation Board, Girl Scout Council, as well as providing leadership roles in both Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts at the troop and den level.
Becky married her high school sweetheart, Bob Swaim, Jr. in 1961 and they had three children, Cindy Swaim Posey, Kevin Glenn Swaim and the late Bradley Robert Swaim.
Following the death of Dr. Swaim, Becky fell in love with, and married, Robert Skinner, a friend and neighbor from childhood and a close friend of Dr. Swaim. They had a wonderful marriage of almost twenty years during which time they traveled extensively and enjoyed several hobbies together.
Others who predeceased Becky in death were her parents, her son Bradley Robert Swaim and a grandchild baby boy Spann.
Family members left to cherish her memory are her husband Robert Skinner, her son Kevin Swaim and wife Rosally, her daughter Cindy Posey; grandchildren, Carter Spann, and wife Megan, Crista Spann, Kelsey Spann, Adam Swaim and Abbie Swaim; a great-granddaughter Zephie Spann; step sons, Cary Skinner and wife Janine, Carter Skinner, and Chris Skinner and wife Katrese. Step grandchildren are James Skinner, Zach Skinner, Carlee Skinner and Cole Skinner.
In addition are a host of cousins and dear friends.
Honorary pallbearers are Jay Bowman, Ronnie Rhodes, Bob Phillips, Bobby Walters, Richard Swint, Dave Robinson, Bill Neely, Freddie Swaim, and men of Becky’s FBC Sunday School department.
It was Becky’s desire that memorials be made to Goodland Academy, 1216 North 4200, Hugo, Oklahoma 74743 or the charity of one’s choice.
Online condolences may be made to the Skinner family by visiting www.fry-gibbs.com.
It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Helen Ruth Joyce on January 23, 2014. She was 83. Helen lived a long, active and fruitful life. She helped others every chance she got. Helen met Martin Joyce at a café in Fort Riley, Kansas in 1949, where she served him a cup of coffee. After a lengthy courtship of two days, they got married in Pocahontas, Arkansas. They lived a typical military life for the next 20 years, with long separations when Martin was stationed in Germany or Thailand, followed by joyful reunions. Helen and Martin enjoyed a big party held in honor of their 50th wedding anniversary in 1999.
Helen lived an active life right up until the end. She loved to play games, like bridge, bingo and pinochle. In her younger years, she was quite the pool player in the family game room. Her primary strategy was to lean in when her opponent was taking a shot, and whisper, “Miss it, miss it, miss it!” She loved to shop at Belk’s and could always find amazing deals. Helen loved movies. Her favorite actor was John Wayne and favorite movie was The Quiet Man.
Helen grew up during the Great Depression in a household of eight children. She dropped out of high school to work and later obtained a GED in Alaska. After marrying Martin, she lived in New Jersey, Alaska, and finally Texas. Helen sold Avon products for a while, and then developed an interest in real estate. She and Martin had a great system for developing real estate; he provided the advice (“Well, sell the darn thing!”) and she provided the ingenuity and hard work. Helen was proud of her real estate work, turning “fixer-uppers” into valuable assets.
Helen is survived by her two sons, Martin and Arthur, Martin’s fiancé Nathalie, Arthur’s fiancé Laura, grandchildren, Trenton and Allison, their mother Paula, and sisters, Ruby, Grace, Viola, and Dorothy. She remained close to her sisters all of her life. Helen was preceded in death by her parents, Arthur and Martha Brown, three brothers, Bob, Walter, and Delbert, one sister, Wanda, and by her beloved husband Martin, who passed away in 2000.
Just as importantly, she is survived by the many people that loved and cared for her. She loved the people and the town of Paris, Texas and developed many important friendships over the years. Helen loved helping other people. Nothing gave her more joy than helping someone in need. If anyone ever asked her about all the help she gave to others, she would say simply, “He’s a friend.” Her selfless humility in giving to others teaches us all how to give. The following verses (from a poem displayed in her home) show us the heart of Helen Ruth Joyce, beloved wife and mother, precious friend to many: “I have come to believe that I am still here today because God decided that he could still use me on occasion to lighten the burden of others.” Helen, your family and friends love you. We miss you and we will never forget you.
Funeral services will be conducted at 1:00 P.M. Tuesday, January 28, 2014 in the chapel of Fry-Gibbs Funeral Home. Interment will be in the Evergreen Cemetery. Family will receive friends from 6:00 P.M. till 7:00 P.M. Monday at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Helen’s name to the Paris Public Library.