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Always a Lumberjack bouquet
Always a Lumberjack

SFA Students
Eli Perrin of Arkadelphia, Arkansas, Aug. 15
Timothy Emborgo of Nacogdoches, Jan. 10

Dr. Verna Barron

Dr. Verna Barron

Dr. Verna Barron, former SFA professor, passed away Oct. 29.

Barron joined the Department of Psychology at SFA in 1977, where she taught a wide breadth of courses until her retirement in 2006. In addition to teaching, she maintained a successful private practice for many years.

After graduating as valedictorian from Spearsville High School in 1966, Barron excelled at Louisiana Tech University, graduating with honors in 1970. She earned her master's and doctoral degrees from Oklahoma State University.

Nancy Dunn

Nancy Dunn

Nancy Dunn, a 1972 graduate and longtime SFA staff member, passed away July 2.

Dunn earned her Master of Education in counseling from SFA while raising three daughters. She had a 35-year career in the Office of Admissions, where she rose to become assistant director of admissions.

Dunn attended First Baptist Church throughout her residence in Nacogdoches and loved the members of her longstanding Sunday school class. She was also a dedicated volunteer for many years at Nacogdoches Medical Center and a member of the Newcomers' Club.

Patricia Dianne Elliott

Patricia Dianne Eilliott

Patricia Dianne Elliott, a 1984 graduate, passed away Nov. 15.

Elliott earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts and graduated magna cum laude. She was also a member of Alpha Chi. After graduation, she was employed by Temple-Inland as a photographer before moving to Santa Barbara, California, and received a Master of Arts through the Brooks Institute.

This degree opened many doors, allowing her to work for companies such as Patagonia, The Territory Ahead, The Independent and the Santa Barbara News Press, where she was the photographer for a real estate magazine insert. She photographed celebrities and their homes, including Betty White, Tom Bosley, Ann Landers and Dick Butkus.

Mary Louise Fleniken

Mary Louise Fleniken

Mary Louise Fleniken, a 1957 graduate and former staff member, passed away Jan. 11.

Fleniken earned a Bachelor of Science in home economics and began her professional career working at SFA, where she made many lifelong friendships. She later moved to a career with McKinney Drilling Company, serving as an executive assistant to R.W. McKinney, Jack McKinney, John McKinney, Bob Banks and Jack Raines for many years until she retired.

Mark "Friedo" Friedman

Mark "Friedo" Friedman

Mark "Friedo" Friedman, a 1991 graduate and former SFA Alumni Association board member, passed away Oct. 1.

Friedman was a beloved radio personality and creator of the Friedo Nation podcast studio. He brought kindness, amiability and benevolence to the community and coworkers throughout his career in sports media, which included stops at ESPN Radio and Cumulus Media stations.

He volunteered with the Special Olympics, pouring his heart and soul into supporting and advocating for the Olympians, whom he held dear to his heart.

Dr. Nelson Jones

Dr. Nelson Jones

Dr. Nelson Jones, a 1947 graduate and donor, passed away July 13.

Jones graduated from SFA with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and mathematics. After college, he was employed by Gulf Oil Corporation in Port Arthur until 1951.

He graduated from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in 1955 with his Doctor of Medicine then went into the U.S. Air Force, where he served as a physician with the rank of captain. After his discharge in 1958, he moved to Waxahachie, Texas, to practice family medicine until his retirement. He was known for his gentle demeanor, clinical acumen and ability to listen to his patients.

Jones also established the Nelson W. Jones M.D. Scholarship at SFA, which has helped many students from rural East Texas over the years and continues to do so. Memorial designations and/or contributions in his honor may be made to the Nelson W. Jones M.D. Scholarship Fund at Stephen F. Austin State University, c/o Alumni Association, P.O. Box 6096, SFA Station, Nacogdoches, Texas 75962.

Thomas "Tuck" Kemper Jr.

Thomas "Tuck" Kemper

Thomas "Tuck" Kemper Jr., a 1969 SFA graduate, passed away Feb. 14.

After graduating from Marshall High School in 1964, Kemper came to SFA and met the love of his life, Sally York Kemper '70. The two were married in 1968, and he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in biology in 1969. He also joined the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity and played a vital role in the group's continued engagement with the university.

Kemper went on to serve as a helicopter pilot in the U.S. Air Force during wartime and as a southern Baptist missionary. Kemper taught Sunday school and was a deacon at Arp Emmanuel Baptist Church.

Kemper's love for SFA, the Sawyers and his fellow fraternity members ran deep. Even during his last days in the hospital, he found out his nurse was an SFA graduate and walked her through how to become an SFA Alumni Association life member. To carry on their legacy, the Kempers established the Tuck and Sally Kemper Memorial Scholarship, which annually supports SFA students studying biology or education studies.

Burl Kirkland

Burl Kirkland

Burl Kirkland, a 1960 graduate, passed away Oct. 1.

After four years in the U.S. Air Force, where he rose to the rank of staff sergeant, Kirkland attended SFA and earned his Bachelor of Science in physics and mathematics. Following graduation, he was employed by RCA at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, where he was a lead mathematician performing pre- and post-flight calculations for launches from both Atlantic and Pacific missile ranges.

In 1963, he was hired as an aerospace engineer at NASA in Houston and was instrumental in developing the launch escape system and heat shield for the Apollo program. His name is imprinted on microfiche inside a time capsule left on the moon by the crew of Apollo 11.

Kirkland also contributed to Apollo 15-17 missions. Following Apollo, he managed the flight crew equipment prepack facility for the space shuttle program until his retirement in 1989. He considered it a privilege to have a part in the nation's space program.

Dr. Robert Neil Mathis

Dr. Robert Neil Mathis

Dr. Robert Neil Mathis, former SFA professor, passed away Nov. 14.

Mathis completed his undergraduate degree at Texas A&M University and his doctoral degree in history from the University of Georgia. His interests were varied and many, but his academic passion focused on the U.S. Civil War era.

He joined SFA as a history professor in the late 1960s. He achieved tenure and held several leadership positions, including as Faculty Senate officer in 1979 then chair 1981-82, as well as the Department of History chair for many years until stepping down in 2000. Mathis partially retired in 2005 and was named professor emeritus in 2008.

Jack Murff

Jack Murff

Jack Murff, a 1971 graduate, passed away May 7.

Murff graduated from SFA with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, despite his college years being interrupted by the Vietnam War. He was known as an excellent citizen and entrepreneur, owning and operating several businesses, including The Greenhouse Pot Shop, Brick Street Antiques, and The Flower Shop and Greenhouse.

Murff was highly active in the Nacogdoches community. He also was an active member of his college fraternity, Sigma Tau Gamma, and served as advisor and house manager of the fraternity house on Mound Street for many years. His community service included the Nacogdoches Chamber of Commerce, Texas Blueberry Festival, Downtown Merchants Association and the Nacogdoches Christmas Parade. Most recently, Murff had served on the board of the SFA Friends of Visual Arts, an organization near and dear to his heart.

Hollis Turnham

Hollis Turnham

Hollis Turnham, a 1973 graduate, passed away Aug. 5.

Growing up in East Texas, Turnham attended Nacogdoches public schools, which launched her legal and public service career as an advocate for elderly Americans. After graduating from SFA in 1973 with a bachelor's degree in English and history, she graduated from The University of Texas School of Law in 1977 with a Juris Doctor.

Turnham was a towering figure in advocacy for older adults in Michigan for decades. She chaired the Elder Law and Advocacy section of the State Bar of Michigan and worked with numerous federal agencies on rights for elders. She also was named the John Heinz Senate Fellow in Aging and continued her work in that role in Washington, D.C. The National Association of State Long-term Care Ombudsman established the Hollis Turnham Advocacy Award in her honor.

Marilyn J. Ashby '87 of Tomball, Dec. 3

Margaret Baldwin '66 of Sapulpa, Oklahoma, Jan. 28, 2023

Juanita Barbosa '73 of Tyler, June 5

George S. Barham III '70 of Nacogdoches, Sept. 22

Yondell C. Barr '87 of Center, Sept. 2

J.L. Beaird '50 of Waco, Dec. 3

Timothy Begley '83 of Longview, June 30

Albert Billingsley '49 & '70 of Waco, July 30

Bobby Bittick '59 & '63 of Kilgore, Dec. 12

James Branham '66 & '71 of Troup, Dec. 29

Clarence Brazil '61 of Lufkin, June 12

Ada Brooks '90 of Pollok, Sept. 30

Dr. Ray D. Burkett '61 of Germantown, Tennessee, Sept. 1

Kevin John Butler '83 of Houston, Nov. 18

Fredora Byrd '63 & '71 of Nacogdoches, Dec. 26

Nancy Carlow '66 of Texarkana, Jan. 13

Margie Centers '79 of Longview, Sept. 29

Yvonne Chaney '68 & '72 of Nacogdoches, Sept. 6

Harold Clark '70 of Highlands, Jan. 10

Ronald Compton '69 of Cumming, Georgia, Aug. 26

Susie Crafton '84 of Houston, Aug. 16

Robert "Bob" Crump '59 of Timpson, Dec. 30

Evelyn Dailey '66 & '72 of Chandler, Oct. 3

Phyllis Daniel '95 of Jackson, Tennessee, June 29

Jerome Davis '62 of Colleyville, Dec. 11

Patricia Davis '72 of Colleyville, July 18

Randall Dowling '85 of Alto, Dec. 10

Sally Eaves '74 of Tomball, July 17

Charles Farrell '77 & '99 of Longview, Dec. 8

Cynthia Freeman '68 of Shreveport, Louisiana, Oct. 12

Cody Wayne Garza '07 of Galveston, June 29

Deborah "Debbie" Sue Gober '73 of Dallas, Feb. 27, 2023

Felicita Emma Good '67 & '71 of Jarrell, Feb. 15, 2023

Wallace Courtney Goodman '69 of Austin, Aug. 25

Dixie Goolsby '58 & '61 of Bryan, July 10

Mark Goolsby '82 of Nacogdoches, Oct. 26

Loretta Goree '84 of Longview, Dec. 10

Charles "Bill" Gribble Jr. '66 & '68 of Houston, March 11, 2023

Brenda Haigwood '84 of Waskom, Jan. 4

Daniel Hanrahan '90 of Dallas, Oct. 1

David Harkness '72 of Mesquite, Sept. 18

Emily Harris '49 of Nacogdoches, Dec. 4

Kathryn Hauk '69 of Franklin, Tennessee, Aug. 13

Linda G. Herring '81 of McKinney, Dec. 3

Vicky Hewitt '79 & '83 of Trinity, Oct. 12

Robert Hough '70 of Nacogdoches, Aug. 28

Alice Sue Koonce Howard '80 of Center, July 8

Thomas Hughes '99 of Newton, Aug. 26

Dr. John Johnson '72 of Quitman, Oct. 2

Wilbur Johnson '70 of Houston, Dec. 28

Rene Jones of Lufkin, SFA English instructor, Sept. 5

Lisa Jordan '89 of Rowlett, Aug. 6

Charles Kent '67 & '68 of Crockett, Oct. 22

William James King '15 of Garrison, Sept. 28

Mary C. Koroscik '85 of Kingwood, Sept. 5

Jerry Landrum '62 of Nacogdoches, Nov. 16

T Lang '60 of Dallas, Sept. 23

Marilyn H. Lee '56 & '64 of Nacogdoches, Sept. 3

Stephen Weldon Lee '76 of Boones Mill, Virginia, June 12

Dan Longacre '67 of Lufkin, June 11

Frances Diann Maxey '78 of Lufkin, Sept. 10

Vicki Maxwell '72 & '73 of Tyler, Aug. 26

Sandra "Sandy" May '73 & '76 of Lufkin, Nov. 14

Leslie Paige Green McFadden '86 & '87 of Austin, July 31

Delton Ray McGuire '91 of Abilene, Jan. 25, 2023

Elizabeth Hope Walker Means '57 of Cuero, Dec. 9

Thomas Miller '80 & '99 of Nacogdoches, Dec. 7

Kandice Rhena Stotts Montelongo '06 of Lufkin, July 22

Julie Anne Moore '04 of Whitehouse, Aug. 4

Timothy Morgan '79 of Spring, July 5

Margie Nell Morrison '57 of Hemphill, Dec. 13

Earl Mouton '77 & '80 of Nacogdoches, Dec. 18

Genie Bird Naff '75 of Katy, Nov. 1

Philippe David Nave Jr. '85 of Broomfield, Colorado, Aug. 20

Barbara Bates Neff '54 of Nacogdoches, June 3

Timothy Wynn Nesbitt '83 of Lewisville, July 15

Mary Adele Oden '87 of Kilgore, Aug. 21

Denis Gerry Olson '71 of Stamford, Oct. 22

Mary Pass '60 of Carthage, Jan. 12

Margaret Peacock '49 of Tyler, July 9

David Pennington '90 of Plano, Dec. 8

Angela "Angie" Pittman '92 of Nacogdoches, June 12

Lisa Hagens Pitts '81 of Shreveport, Louisiana, Aug. 27

Walter Plumhoff '69 of Port Neches, Oct. 7

Kaye S. Poe '75 of Anahuac, Feb. 16, 2022

Judith Rhodes Popejoy-James '76 & '91 of Jasper, Aug. 30

Hollis D. Powell '55 & '60 of Pasadena, Jan. 25

Norleine Power '78 of Rusk, June 18

Becky Hudgens Raudebaugh '75 of Hurst, Nov. 15, 2022

Marian Richardson '63 of Kilgore, Aug. 16

Melton Roberts '70 of Brenham, Dec. 8

Antonio "Tony" Santana '22 of Diboll, Dec. 8

Johnny Horace Savage III '70 of Livingston, Aug. 10

Richard Scott '77 of Pasadena, Oct. 29

Patricia "Pat" Simmons '73 of Neches, Aug. 6

Laura Smiley '66 of Tyler, Jan. 2

Barbara Alford Smith '76 & '84 of Tenaha, July 2

Elliot James Soeder '06 of The Woodlands, May 15

Rachel Sorrells '77 of Winters, Nov. 22

Malcolm Spruell III '69 of Jefferson, Oct. 20

Benjamin Stewart Jr. '71 of Colmesneil, Dec. 11

Marion Tutts Stoddard '68 of Garrison, Dec. 21

William "Larry" Stradt '69 of Lufkin, Aug. 14

Carol Guinette Tell '61 of Tyler, Oct. 30

Linda Torres '75 of Lindale, Oct. 28

Richard Trujillo Jr. '02 of Hearne, Oct. 30

Mary Uresti '01 of Nacogdoches, Sept. 23

Vernon Wade Jr. '72 of Henderson, Aug. 23

Bobby Wadsworth '01 of San Augustine, Dec. 27

Kenneth D. Ward '06 of Tyler, July 18

Roger Wareing '83 of Zavalla, Aug. 30

Morgan "Brooke" Watson '10 of Longview, June 12

Jon Weidman '70 of Longview, Aug. 11

John Whitten '80 & '83 of Kilgore, Jan. 5

Jacqueline "Jackie" Williams '98 of Sugar Land, June 22

Victor Ray Williams '77 of Dallas, July 9

Teri Wilson '99 of Nacogdoches, Dec. 6

Gary Wood '75 of Weatherford, Nov. 13