Lonnie Beasley Jr.

Lonnie Beasley Jr., retired Army colonel from Killeen, passed away Feb. 22. Beasley graduated from SFA in 1963 and entered the U.S. Army. He was a master Army aviator, qualifying to fly numerous helicopters. His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with “V” Device for valor, 36 Air Medals, Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, three Meritorious Unit Awards, Vietnam Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal and several Vietnam unit gallantry awards. Beasley was assigned to Vietnam from 1966-67 with the 335th Assault Helicopter Company, where he received the Distinguished Flying Cross. After returning from Vietnam, he was stationed at Hunter Army Air Field in Savannah, Georgia. He was a helicopter instructor pilot and instrument examiner. Beasley returned to Vietnam in 1970 with the 227th Aviation Unit, where he served as a commander. He later returned to the states, where he eventually served at Fort Sam Houston as the assistant president of the Physical Disabilities Board.


Dr. Sarah C. Canterberry

Dr. Sarah C. Canterberry, an associate professor of biology at SFA, passed away May 4. Canterberry was born in Nacogdoches and received her doctoral degree in genetics from Texas A&M University. Canterberry began teaching at SFA in 2008. In spring 2018, she received the SFA Teaching Excellence Award for the College of Sciences and Mathematics. A black belt in Yoseikan Budo, Canterberry served as the faculty advisor for the SFA Yoseikan Budo Club, as well as for the Tri-Beta Biological Honors Society and Women in STEM. She also served as the president of the Texas Genetics Society.


Thomas C. Mitchell

Thomas C. Mitchell of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, passed away April 27. Mitchell graduated from SFA with a degree in biology in 1941. He taught briefly before World War II started, and he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. Mitchell shipped out and later arrived in New Guinea on the B25 Medium Bomber Squadron as an instrument specialist. In November 1944, he was on a transportation ship in Leyte Gulf when a kamikaze attacked. Mitchell was injured in the attack and awarded a Purple Heart. During his time in the war, he participated in the Battle for New Guinea, Battle of Leyte Gulf, Battle of Bismarck, Battle of Archipelago and Battle of Southern Philippines. As a result, he was awarded a Good Conduct Ribbon, American Theater Ribbon and Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon with three battle stars. He was discharged from the military in 1946. Mitchell went on to have a successful career with Dun & Bradstreet as a credit analyst.


Dr. Alan W. Nielsen

SFA Professor Emeritus of Theatre Dr. Alan W. Nielsen passed away March 26. After earning his doctoral degree from City University of New York, Nielsen began his teaching career at SFA in 1990. Nielsen taught and directed 25 productions at SFA. He also performed in several shows and created a traveling musical troupe, The Original Cast. He composed and produced its shows until his SFA retirement in 2011. Nielsen’s work as a teacher, advisor, mentor, director, actor, composer and puppeteer was unparalleled, and he inspired many young artists to go forward into their careers, spreading the love of theatre that he instilled in them.


Dr. Dwane Russell

Dr. Dwane Russell, former director of continuing education at SFA, passed away Jan. 15. Russell served in the U.S. Navy and began his employment at SFA in 1966 as head of a cooperative endeavor involving SFA and area school districts. In 1969, he was appointed director of the newly created Division of Continuing Education. He served in this capacity until his retirement in 1982.


Leon J. Schultz

Leon J. Schultz, former SFA coach and professor, passed away Feb. 5. Schultz was born in Niagara Falls, New York. At age 16, he won the New York State Championship in archery. Schultz joined the Air Force in 1961. He flew missions out of Yokota Air Base, Japan, and Da Nang Air Base, Vietnam. Before his voluntary transition from military duty in 1967 to pursue an academic career, he was awarded numerous citations, including the Air Medal and Distinguished Flying Cross. He completed his doctoral degree in 1977 and came to SFA in 1978 to teach all levels of English literature and poetry, specializing in Native American literature and poetry. After retiring from SFA, Schultz spent his final years exploring the works of familiar and new artists in music and poetry.

In Memoriam

Name Class Hometown Date
Charles F. Ackerman 1974 Dallas March 17
Martha Ruth Anderson 1975 Caldwell May 12
Sam E. Bahou 2003 Nacogdoches May 15
Daniel Williard Bay 1964 Nacogdoches Dec. 22
Jesse Raymond Bell former SFA employee Nacogdoches June 21
Anne H. Benbow 1954 & 1955 Texarkana April 30
Michael W. Benefield 1974 Rockwall March 11
James N. Biggar 1987 Nacogdoches March 28
Tim B. Boyd 1937 Fort Worth April 18
Orville C. Bridges 1951 Waco Feb. 3
Susan Perry Bryan 1942 Tyler April 19
James K. Byrd friend of SFA Nacogdoches Jan. 29
Zack Byrd 1962 Port Neches March 6
Richard B. Call 1995 Burley, ID Feb. 10
Martha Ruth Anderson 1975 Caldwell May 12
Roy Carroway Sr. 1957 & 1966 Lufkin April 8
Richard E. Cartwright 1979 Tyler March 12
Jay S. Casada 1992 Mexia Jan. 1
Larry W. Coker 1963 Jacksonville Feb. 16
W.A. Cox 1957 Colorado Springs, CO Jan. 29
Robert D. Crider Jr. 1966 Austin May 2
James A. Davidson 1981 & 1982 Neches May 9
Glenda Faye Demaree 1975 & 2001 Huntington May 8
Raymond E. Dittmar 1981 Houston March 11
Kittie B. Dobbs 1982 Nacogdoches April 30
Pam Fetzer 1979 Idaho Falls, ID Oct. 25
Patricia Fitch 1976 Nacogdoches May 10
Forrest B. Fitzgerald 1968 Tyler Feb. 27
Lisa R. Frazar 1985 Kerrville April 3
Robin D. Goodale 1981 & 1984 Pittsburg April 23
Jacqueline H. Goodroe 1964 Nacogdoches April 9
Carroll R. Grimm 1970 Cypress March 11
Richard Grubbs 1965 Tyler Feb. 11
Robert Paul Guill 1973 Baytown March 24
Wilfred H. Harris 1963 Timpson Feb. 13
Hubie A. Hilz 1974 Vidor March 17
Philip David Hobson 2013 Rosenberg Dec. 21
Stephen D. Holloway former SFA employee Nacogdoches April 27
J.R. Honea 1983 Nacogdoches May 13
Connie L. Hugo 1979 Brenham March 23
Jack T. James 1957 & 1972 Waco April 6
Norma Jennings 1969 Carthage March 27
Sidney F. Lister 1961 San Augustine March 3
Billie Mahler 1951 San Angelo May 5, 2017
George D. McElree III 1986 Houston March 4
Melba Katherine (Roddy) McKnight 1941 Tyler Feb. 28
Dorotha S. Miller 1971 Liberty Feb. 8
Jerry Stroud Moorer 1961 Huntsville Feb. 6
Cheryl L. Nelson 1972 Arlington March 10
Shelton O. Portee SFA Student Houston April 25
Hazel J. Pearman 1950 Alto May 18
Algray L. Pettus 1987 Stillwater, OK Feb. 1
Raymond D. Prince 1983 Longview April 23
Vernon Redd 1952 Tyler March 11
Danny V. Rhea 1974 San Angelo Jan. 19
Tom B. Roberts 1952 & 1957 Houston Feb. 19
Mitchell W. Robuck 2015 Lewisville April 29
Diego Rodriguez 2015 Palestine Feb. 4
Delvory L. Sampson 1975 Dallas Feb. 11
Carolyn N. Scurlock 1949 Houston March 31
Virginia N. Sellers 1976 Marshall Jan. 20
William Owen Siebert 1984 Adel June 16, 2017
James "Jim" Simmons 1955 Trinity Jan. 2
Arthur A. Simon Jr. 1962 & 1964 League City May 1
Lincoln Skillern 1950 Austin April 25
G. Dean Soape Sr. 1954 Carthage Jan. 25
Daniel Spinks 2010, former SFA employee Nacogdoches March 27
Benny L. Stubbs 1960 Nacogdoches May 1
Pamela Walker 1969 & 1980 Tenaha May 3
Bob E. Waters 1949 Bryan March 17
Brian A. Wesneske 1996 Cypress March 28
Jimmy West 1992 Broaddus Feb. 6
Guy Whitaker 1951 & 1954 Henderson April 19
Dennis F. Wright 1970 Gilmer April 30