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Always a Lumberjack: SFA students we lost

Shantrell Goodnight of Huntsville
Jan. 9

Livye Lewis of Hemphill
Oct. 31

Leila Thompson of Kilgore
Feb. 1

Alumni, donors, former faculty and staff members

JoLena Adams '06 of Vidor
Oct. 20

Paul W. Anger '54 of Brenham
Dec. 12

Carol C. Ansel '71 of Houston
Oct. 19

Eva Jean Holcomb Arnold '63 of Garden Ridge
Nov. 12

Billy Rex Autrey '53 of McGregor
Sept. 12

Augustus M. Ayres Jr. '62 of Nacogdoches
Sept. 9

Frank B. Baggett '70 of Kilgore
Sept. 6

John R. Bandy '61 of Athens
Oct. 25

Ottis T. Barge '60 of Lufkin
Nov. 27

Joe B. Birch '67 & '69 of Corrigan
Oct. 27

Ronald Bonner '77 of Lufkin
Dec. 13

Doris F. Bowman '80 & '81 of Lufkin
Nov. 11

Emery D. Cherry '53 of Nacogdoches
Dec. 1

Billie Jo Childers '58 & '60 of Houston
April 20

Mary A. Claiborne '55 of Greensboro, North Carolina
Nov. 1

Steve Clark '71 & '77 of Montgomery
Sept. 19

Cynthia K. Cole '67 of Van
Dec. 4

Susan E. Coles '87 of Kingwood
Oct. 18

Larry N. Duncan '74 of Nacogdoches
Nov. 9

Harold R. Dungan '75 of Mount Pleasant
Sept. 27

Preston L. Dunn Sr. '70 & '83 of Elizabeth, Arkansas
Oct. 17

Bob Dyer '69 of Tyler
Oct. 6

Mary F. Eubanks '76 of Tyler
Dec. 23

Richard W. Fogleman '85 of Waco
Sept. 17

Carlos Raul Galván '96 of Crystal City
Jan. 24

Margaret M. Giraud '85 of Richmond
Oct. 16

James Malcolm Greer '58 of Irving
Sept. 17

Jeremy L. Grigsby '05 & '17 of Lufkin
Nov. 10

Brian C. Hartman '16 of Nacogdoches
Dec. 4

Sherman E. Hughes '50 of Grand Saline
Nov. 8

Andrea Irby '97 of Spring
Nov. 12

Nancy J. Jennings '68 of Spring
Nov. 9

Billy R. Johnson '88 of Fort Worth
Nov. 24

Larry W. Jones '69 of Mineola
Sept. 3

Freddye Coussons Kelly '59 & '68 of Katy
Aug. 21, 2019

Sophia E. Kelly '41 of Brenham
April 3

Brooks E. Kennemer '67 of Nacogdoches
Sept. 10

Tom B. Kingham '76 of Nacogdoches
Dec. 17

Sallie A. Knox '89 of Montgomery
Nov. 12

Sandra L. Lenard '60 of Racine, Wisconsin
Sept. 25

David G. Lonsford '82 of Fort Worth
Dec. 15

Jack O. Mathews '53 of Nacogdoches
Oct. 15

Elizabeth A. Mathis '72 & '77 of Houston
Oct. 14

William George McCullough '71 of Mexia
Dec. 1

Billy M. Melton '94 of Longview
Sept. 29

Barbara L. Mosley '88 & '90 of Fort Worth
Dec. 13

Harold Newsom '51 of Lufkin
Oct. 17

Bonnie S. O'Dell '59 of Jacksonville
Sept. 22

Jerry Perritte '72 & '78 of Lufkin
Oct. 17

John D. Phillips '74 of Douglass
Nov. 21

James C. Polk '13 of Kaufman
Sept. 7

Alice M. Puckett '69 of Irving
Oct. 16

Barbara H. Read '72 of Longview
Nov. 9

Edwin G. Rhame '70 of Nacogdoches
Sept. 4

Joe E. Rich '51 of Lufkin
Nov. 19

Charles A. Roethke '65 of Carthage
Dec. 18

Lucie Acker Rothschild '64 & '67 of Tyler
Aug. 5

Auby Rowe '65 of Texarkana
Sept. 30

Nelwyn F. Samford '51 of Tyler
Sept. 11

Royce D. Shipp '74 of Longview
Dec. 11

Shirley Ann Hall Sitton of Nacogdoches
friend of SFA
Nov. 28

Shena L. Smith '07 of San Augustine
Sept. 9

Sandra J. Spencer '79 of Huntsville
Oct. 13

Sharon B. Stewart '72 & '77 of Timpson
Nov. 4

Connie E. Stott '70 of New Braunfels
Nov. 12

Monty W. Suttle '75 of Azle
Sept. 30

James B. Tarrant '64 of Clute
Dec. 5

Olene Taylor '46 of Nacogdoches
April 17

Kathi S. Townes '88 & '89 of Timpson
Oct. 11

Julia A. Truitt '47 of Pittsburg
Nov. 14

Dr. Charles A. Ward '54 of Corpus Christi
Sept. 21

Linda J. West '91 of Fairfield
Sept. 14

James L. Wilkins '51 & '52 of Spring
Nov. 20


David Harold Atkinson

David Harold Atkinson

David Harold Atkinson, who was inducted into the Jacks of Honor in 2009, passed away Nov. 3.

Atkinson played football for the Lumberjacks from 1968-69. Prior to transferring to SFA, he played football for Blinn College, where his father served as a coach, dean and president of the college.

After his graduation from SFA in 1970 with a Bachelor of Business Administration, Atkinson remained at the institution, serving as a graduate assistant. His tenure as a student-athlete and coach spanned seven years.

Atkinson later moved to Austin, where he served as an assistant to the governor, working closely with the Texas Speaker of the House of Representatives, Gus Mutscher. Continuing in public service, he later worked for the Employees Retirement System of Texas. While there, he served as the director of the insurance program for state employees.

Continuing his studies in Austin, Atkinson received his Master of Business Administration from St. Edwards University. His time working for ERS instilled a love for the health care industry, where he continued to work in many capacities, culminating in his position as director of Tiopa, an independent physicians' association, where he spent 17 years until his retirement.

Atkinson was a founding member and served on the board of the SFA Letterman's Association, (now named the J Association), a group that contributes to the success of SFA Athletics.


C.L. Nix

C.L. Nix

Former SFA standout basketball player C.L. Nix passed away Oct. 15 at his home in Whitehouse.

Nix attended Tyler Junior College, where he played basketball for the legendary Floyd Wagstaff, and in 2008, he was inducted into the TJC Ring of Honor. Nix later transferred to SFA and played basketball for the Lumberjacks. He received two SFA degrees, a bachelor's in 1956 and a master's in 1957 in elementary education. He earned All Lone Star Conference honors and was named an All American while at the university. At SFA, Nix held many individual scoring records, which stood for years. In 1988, he was inducted into the SFA Hall of Fame.

After receiving his master's degree, Nix began a long career at Whitehouse High School, where he held coaching, athletic director, teaching and principal positions. During his coaching career, his varsity boys basketball team recorded an impressive 693 wins. Nix took three basketball teams to the state championship and won the 1978 championship with his two sons on the team.

The school renamed its high school gymnasium in honor of Nix in 1987, and when that gym was razed in 2018, the new facility also was named after him — the C.L. Nix Wildcat Arena.

Nix had many business interests, as well, including Nix Roses, one of the few remaining wholesale rose growers in the greater Tyler area. He was a founder and director of the City National Bank of Whitehouse and served on the board of Oakbrook Health Center. The City of Whitehouse honored Nix and his wife, Peggy, with the Mr. and Mrs. Yesteryear award in 2010.


Dr. John Thomas Thornton Jr.

Dr. John Thomas Thornton Jr.

Professor Emeritus of Elementary Education Dr. John Thomas Thornton Jr. passed away Nov. 4.

Thornton served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and, upon his return to the U.S., completed his bachelor's degree in education at Harding College in Searcy, Arkansas. He later received his doctoral degree in education from the University of Arkansas.

Thornton served as a professor and reading specialist at SFA. He retired from teaching in 1999.