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Obituaries Monday, March 10

IMG_20140309_123039 (1)Johnny William Willhite, 73, of Reno passed away Saturday March 8, 2014 at his residence.

He was born on June 22, 1940 in Alma, Ark. A son of Reaves and Leola Vanderhyden Willhite. He served in the U.S. Navy as a Sgt., he received a degree in Art, and he was a brick mason working for Earl Tony, Jackie Robinson and Edgar Sikes. He also worked for Merico and received his degree in air conditioning and refrigeration. He was a member of J&S Ministries.

On April 16, 1966 he married Mary Elizabeth Willhite in San Marcas, California.  She survives. He is also survived by sons Tim Willhite, Jim Willhite, John (Scooter) Cossey and wife Cindy and daughter-in-law Sherrie Kay Willhite; grandchildren Timmy Willhite, John Michael Willhite, Wade and Garrett Willhite, Tyler and Ryan Cossey; brother Roy Willhite and wife Kay; brother and sisters-in-law Phyllis Dickey, Clifford and Bonnie King, Ron and Anna Elder and Jon and Pearl Leis; numerous nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by parents, baby Tim, son Johnny (little John) Willhite, brother Charles Willhite and wife Betty.

Family will receive family and friends from 6:00 P.M. till 8:00 P.M. Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at the Fry-Gibbs Funeral Home where online condolences may be sent by visiting www.fry-gibbs.com. At other times the family will receive at the residence.

Johnny had a zest for life enjoying his art, garden, and his animals especially his dogs Lady and Molly and his chickens. He loved his family and all of long time friends.

The Willhite family would like to express gratitude to his doctors, hospice and friends for their help and concern.


Thompson001Donald W. Thompson, 77, of Paris, passed from this life into life eternal on Friday March 7, 2014 at Paris Regional Medical Center. Funeral services will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday March 11, 2014 in the chapel of Starrett Funeral Home, with Patrick Cannon officiating.

The family will receive friends at the funeral home for one hour prior to the service.

Donald was born January 15, 1937 in Paris, a son of Walter and Lula Mae Ingram Thompson. He was a graduate of East Texas State University, and served his country honorably  in the Navy Reserve. He worked for many years in Mobile Home Park development and management in Irving, returning to Paris in 2001. He loved deep-sea fishing and camping, and enjoyed Barber Shop Quartet music, having been a member of the Town North Barber Shop Chorus.  He enjoyed membership in the National Holiday Ramblers Recreational Vehicle Club for over a decade. Donald’s first loves, however, were his wife and family, and his church family at Lamar Avenue Church of Christ.

He married Ethel Leme Thompson on November 26, 1960 in Paris.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Survivors include his wife Ethel; a daughter, Donna Duncan and husband Ried, of Plano; a son, Jason W. Thompson, of Paris; and three grandsons, Richard Duncan, Ryan Duncan, and Roy Duncan.

Named as honorary pallbearers are Bobby Castleberry, Robert Skidmore, Denton Evans, Jack Edzards, and Wiley Higgins.


Billy Fred LaRue, 86, of Paris, passed from this life Friday March 7, 2014 at Legend Healthcare Center in Paris. Funeral services will be conducted at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday March 12, 2014 in the chapel of Starrett Funeral Home with his nephew Tommy Johnston officiating. Private inurnment will be in the Garden Columbarium of Church of the Holy Cross Episcopal in Paris.

The family will greet friends at a reception in the Parish Hall of Church of the Holy Cross immediately following the service.

Billy was born November 8, 1927 in Lovelady, Texas, a son of William Harris and Effie Hairston LaRue. He served his country honorably in the U.S. Army and was discharged in 1946 as a Technician 3rd Class. Billy then became a 1st Lieutenant in the National Guard, serving as company commander in the 49th Armored Division. He received his B.S. in Agriculture from Texas A & M University in 1948, and after teaching school for three years went on to pursue a career in the business world, operating LaRue Ford Tractor in Paris and Dairyland Ford Tractor in Sulphur Springs. Although a man of few words, he was faithful to his promises, fair in his business dealings, and gained the respect of all who knew him. Throughout his adult life he was active in the Elks Club, Rotary, the Masonic Lodge, the Texas A&M Former Students Association, and was a member of Church of the Holy Cross Episcopal in Paris.

On April 6, 1950 he married the love of his life, Betty Jean Banks, in Yantis, Texas, and together they spent sixty-two years of building family and memories before her death in 2012..

Billy is survived by two sons, Lee H. LaRue, of Paris and Willliam LaRue, of Sulphur Springs; two daughters, Cynthia White, of Kingwood and Jan Crowder, of Rockwall; three brothers, John H. LaRue, of Lovelady, Gordon LaRue, of Galveston and Odie LaRue, of Crockett.

Friends may register in Billy’s Book of Memories at www.starrettfunerals.com.

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