Sgt. Patrick Richard Burke

Sgt. Patrick Richard Burke passed away Oct. 13. Between his time in high school and college, Burke joined the U.S. Marine Corps and fought with the 2/9 Marine Corps “Hell in a Helmet” in 1966 and the 1/9 Bravo Company Marine Unit “The Walking Dead” in 1967. He was awarded three Purple Hearts, the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with one star, Vietnam Campaign Medal with device and the M-14 Rifle Sharpshooter Badge.

He graduated from SFA in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in forestry and received his master’s degree in forestry in 1974. Throughout his life he was an active military veteran, counseling any vet who needed help. He assisted in the creation of an ROTC program at Jack C. Hays High School and served as an advocate for post-traumatic stress disorder awareness and assistance.

Dr. Robert Patrick Carroll Jr.

SFA friend and donor Dr. Robert Patrick Carroll Jr. passed away Dec. 24. Carroll graduated from the University of Virginia Medical School in 1966 and served a rotating internship at Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, followed by two years’ service in the U.S. Army, including a tour in Vietnam. In 1972, he and his family moved to Nacogdoches, where he began work in the Student Health Center on campus. In 1976, Carroll opened his own practice, working there until he retired in 2006 after a 40-year career as a family practice physician. Carroll was an avid sports fan, and he especially enjoyed watching Ladyjack basketball.

Carroll had a servant’s heart and served in numerous leadership roles for the Nacogdoches County Medical Society, the American Medical Association and the National Alzheimer’s Association Board.

Diana Kay Custer

Former SFA employee Diana Kay Custer passed away Oct. 27. Custer was a dedicated SFA employee for 27 years. During her tenure, she served as an administrative assistant for student affairs, the Student Government Association and spirit teams. She was awarded the Dean’s Excellence Award, two service awards from the SGA and honorary membership in Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society. Students and staff members enjoyed her positive energy and exceptional work ethic.

Dr. Thomas Daniel Franks

Former Dean, Associate Dean and Chair of the Department of Education Dr. Thomas Daniel Franks passed away Dec. 31. Franks graduated from Timpson High School in 1948 and from Stephen F. Austin State College in 1951. After receiving his master’s and doctoral degrees, he taught at the university level, eventually returning to SFA to teach.

Franks became chair of the Department of Elementary Education in 1966 and associate dean in 1984. He was named dean in 1992. Franks was the recipient of both the Distinguished Professor Award and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the SFA Alumni Association. He served on the Nacogdoches ISD School Board and was a member of the Noon Lions Club.

Gordon R. Lewis

Scholarship donor and former SFASU Foundation board member Gordon R. Lewis passed away Nov. 16. A certified public accountant, Lewis enjoyed a long career in the banking industry. In 1989, his family moved to Nacogdoches, where he served as president and CEO of Fredonia State Bank until 2007. He and his family then moved to Mississippi, where he served as vice chairman for BancorpSouth in Tupelo. After his retirement in 2014, he and his wife returned to Nacogdoches.

Lewis served on numerous community boards throughout his career, including the Nacogdoches Economic Development Corporation, Nacogdoches Chamber of Commerce, SFASU Foundation and BancorpSouth Advisory Board.

Patricia R. Mast

Longtime SFA supporter, community volunteer and philanthropist Pat Mast passed away Oct. 21.

Mast was born in Corpus Christi, but she spent most of her life in Nacogdoches with her husband, the late Adlai Travis Mast Jr. While living in Nacogdoches, she served for seven years as a trustee of the Nacogdoches Independent School District, and she was the first woman elected to the Nacogdoches District Hospital Board, where she served 14 years. Mast also was a member of the Nacogdoches Landmark Commission, Nacogdoches County Historical Foundation, the Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau, Heritage Club, Cum Concilio Club, Daughters of the American Revolution and Magna Charta Dames.

In 1997, SFA’s College of Fine Arts recognized her as the East Texas Cultural Leader of the Year. The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce honored her in 2004 with the Athena Leadership Award, which recognizes a man or woman who has actively assisted women in their achievement of professional excellence and leadership skills.

As a passionate supporter of SFA, Mast and her husband created several scholarships and founded the SFA Mast Arboretum, the first arboretum at a university in Texas.

Maj. Brandon Hawn McElroy

Maj. Brandon Hawn McElroy passed away Sept. 18. After graduating from SFA in 2004 with a master’s degree in history, McElroy was commissioned in the U.S. Army and served two tours in Iraq and one in Kuwait. He was awarded numerous military honors, including the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with campaign star and Army Service Ribbon.

The Athens High School graduate was an avid outdoorsman who loved to travel. He was a naturally gifted artist and had a great appreciation for museums, historical monuments and locations.

Elizabeth Goodwin Reese

Alumna, scholarship donor and former alumni association and alumni foundation board member Elizabeth Goodwin Reese passed away Dec. 14.

Reese received her bachelor’s degree in education from SFA in 1962. She and her husband, George, whom she met while attending SFA, made their home in Houston. Reese served as a coach, teacher and administrator for the Houston Independent School District for many years, retiring in 1994.

She served two terms as a member of the SFA Alumni Association Board and one term on the SFA Alumni Foundation Board.

In Memoriam

Name Class Hometown Date
Sherry K. Arthur 1979 Longview Nov. 12
Margaret L. Bahou 1990 Nacogdoches Oct. 5
Gwen B. Beall Nacogdoches former SFA employee Nov. 10
Louise S. Burrous 1971 Lufkin Nov. 19
Tony M. Cammack 1975 Longview Sept. 20
Alan Cassel 1983 Lewisville Nov. 29
Velma B. Cotton 1971 Lufkin Nov. 26
Anthony Bradley Cruz 1982 Flint Dec. 15
The Rev. Fred W. Dallas 1975 Kingwood Oct. 10
Barbara S. Dickerson 1962 Kilgore Oct. 16
The Hon. Charles C. Dickerson 1968 Carthage Sept. 29
Dr. Joseph V. Domino 1970 Corpus Christi Oct. 16
Robbie L. Driver 1957 Corrigan Dec. 24
Barbara K. Elliott 1974 Lufkin Sept. 10
The Rev. Buford W. Finley 1954 Dallas Sept. 11
Norma A. Flournoy 1959 Nacogdoches Dec. 27
Douglas P. Fortenberry 1975 Mabank Nov. 24
Mary M. Fry 1950 Burnet Sept. 25
Rocky L. Fugate 1975 Flint Sept. 14
Roger L. Gaeckler 1973 Bay City Oct. 30
Ralph Egan Gillham 1956 & 1958 Tyler Feb. 2, 2018
Albert A. Gilson 1978 & 1980 Henderson Dec. 12
Eugene P. Graves 1969 Humble Nov. 14
Owen S. Hamrick 1965 Arp Nov. 30
Col. Timothy John Hoiden 1992 Dupont, Washington Nov. 10
Millicent A. Irish 1956 & 1974 Lufkin Nov. 18
Barbara A. Johnson 1967 & 1986 Grapeland Oct. 18
Kenneth R. Johnson 1971 Lufkin Oct. 15
Burley D. Lamb 1960 & 1967 Center Nov. 12
Laura E. Lewis 1980 Carthage Nov. 8
Murphy W. Martin 1992 Woodville Oct. 26
June McAdams 1970 Lufkin Oct. 16
Dan W. McCrary 1968 Tomball Nov. 26
Mildred B. McCrary 1959 Carthage Nov. 23
Kenneth W. McHaney 1961 Nacogdoches Dec. 24
Virginia Ezell Norris 1960 & 1964 Crockett Oct. 19
William H. Odom Jr. 1952 & 1960 Henderson Oct. 19
Allie L. Oliver 1975 Flint Dec. 14
Charles C. Pate 1950 Houston Sept. 2
Charles M. Perkins 1950 & 1955 Timpson Oct. 31
Sue D. Perkins 1980 Lufkin Oct. 18
Mitchell G. Posel Jr. 2000 Plano Nov. 16
Ernest W. Rutland Jr. 1950 Sugar Land Dec. 18
Kara B. Sitton 1959 Alto July 24
Brent M. Slaton 2000 Lufkin Oct. 16
Jeannine G. St. Peter 1951 Beaumont Dec. 12
David F. Taylor 1986 Longview Nov. 20
Floyd Tillis Jr. 1975 Nacogdoches Oct. 26
Shanna L. Tipton 1996 Kingwood Oct. 12
Bobbie H. Todd 1957 Henderson Dec. 28
Melba L. Toigo 1981 Lufkin Jan. 2
Troy R. Toon 1968 Henderson Nov. 18
The Hon. Manuel Trigo Jr. 1970 McAllen Oct. 1
Weldon Preston Triplett 1963 Tyler Aug. 22
Delina M. Volkerding 1990 Tomball Dec. 9
Rheanna C. Watson 2001 Carrollton Aug. 30
Michael H. Weersing 1980 Round Rock Jan. 5
Renee B. Wilson 1986 & 1993 Nacogdoches Nov. 30
D’Ann B. Wiseman 1982 Fort Worth Sept. 20