Obituary: Patricia ‘Patty’ Murry

Memorial services for Patricia “Patty” Murry, 64, Athens are scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday March 10, 2013 at Carroll-Lehr Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Mike Curry officiating.

Patricia died Wednesday, March 6, in Athens.

She was born Sept. 13, 1948 in Dallas to the late Sidney Sylvester and Martha Adele Nelson Johnson. Patricia had been a resident of Athens for the past 28 years and was a member of Lake Athens Baptist Church. She was very active in her church and participated in as many activities as she could. She was a loving mother and grandmother.

Patricia was preceded in death by her husband James H. Murry Sept. 5, 2001.

Survivors include her son James H. Murry Jr., Athens; stepson Jason Murry, Mesquite; stepdaughters Melissa Eaton, Sharon , Pennsylvania, Cynthia Murry, Mesquite; five grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Lake Athens Baptist Church, 5151 FM 2495 Athens, Texas 75751.

You may leave a message of condolence or light a memorial candle for the family at

Splash pad faces deadline to be built this year

Splash PadAMA stands for “Ask Michael Anything,” and is a chance for readers to ask reporter Michael V. Hannigan questions about Henderson County. Ask questions through our Facebook Page or our website.

QUESTION: Reader Darlene Magee Gunter asked how close organizers are to raising enough money for the Kiwanis Park Splash Pad in Athens … and it turns out her question was well timed and very important.

SOURCE: Kim Hodges, who is an Athens Chamber of Commerce board member and the go-to person when it comes to splash pad funding.

ANSWER: The short answer is that organizers have raised about $148,000 of the complete project’s estimated cost of $217,000.

But the real story is the project must hit $167,000 by Friday, March 15, for there to be a splash pad for kids to play in this summer.

Splash pads have become a very popular item and the contractor picked out for the Athens project has a waiting list of clients. The firm is holding a spot for Athens, but can’t hold it past March 15.

And it will take $167,000 to break ground. Another $20,000 needs to be raised to get started.

Hodges said that’s how much it will cost to build the actual splash pad. The rest of the project money is for fencing, parking, sidewalks and complying with the all-important Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) rules so that children in wheelchairs can enjoy the water.

“It will be disheartening to come this far and not be able to have it for this summer,” Hodges said.

The neat thing about the fundraising so far is that so many have become involved. Members of the Athens Chamber of Commerce, the Kiwanis Club, the Athens Leadership Institute (ALI, which is a chamber program), and the city are working together, and as of this morning, 168 business, organizations and individuals have contributed to the project.

Hodges said donations have been as small as $25 and as large as $25,000.

“Our goal is for this to be a community-wide project, and that’s what it has been,” she said.

Actually, the donations have been a small as what the tooth fairy left under one little girl’s pillow.

If you want to help make the splash pad a reality this summer, please call Kim Hodges at First State Bank, 903-676-1923.

If you want some more information about the project, here is the story I wrote when the project was first announced.

Big honor for AHS student

Chris O'Brien
Chris O’Brien

Athens High School student Chris O’Brien received the highest honor in the National Forensic League Speech and Debate Honor Society recently. He received Premier Distinction level as a competitor. Students are given these distinctions based on their competitive success while in high school. School officials say Chris is the first Athens High School student to ever achieve this honor.

Obituary: Mickey Parker

Mickey Parker
Mickey Parker

Funeral services for Mickey Parker, 65, of Murchison are scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, March 9, 2013 at Rock Hill Baptist Church with Reverends Robert Welch, Bill Watson and Dan Bristow officiating.

Burial will follow in Leagueville Cemetery.

Mr. Parker died Thursday, March 7, in Tyler.

He was born Aug. 22, 1947 in Athens to the late Herman Lloyd and Nell Earline Jordan Parker and spent most of his life in the Murchison and Brownsboro area. Mickey graduated from Brownsboro High School in 1965. He attended East Texas State University in Commerce where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Arts then his Masters degree. He retired from Brownsboro Independent School District after 25 plus years of service. Mickey was a member of Rock Hill Baptist Church and had volunteered as a Christian counselor for many years in Tyler. He was an avid sports fan. He loved playing golf and woodworking. Mickey was a loving husband, father and loved spending time with his granddaughter Abby.

He was preceded in death by infant daughter Kristi Leigh Parker in 1975.

Survivors include his wife of 45 years Annette Parker, Murchison; daughters Angie Loyette Scalco and husband Vince, Longview, Heather Parker VanCleave, Austin; brothers Jerrol Parker and wife Beth, Richard Parker and wife Sharon, both of Brownsboro; sisters Lynn Benton and husband Homer, Murchison, Rhonda Westbrook and husband Bill, Hallsville; granddaughter Abby Grace VanCleave, Austin and numerous niece and nephews.

Pallbearers will be Tony Mayfield, Eric Parker, Jordan Parker, John Westbrook, Joey Westbrook, Jon Hardin, Matt Hardin, Sam Hardin, Derek Hardin, and Caleb Hardin.

Visitation for family and friends will be 6-8 p.m. Friday at Carroll-Lehr Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Rock Hill Baptist Church Building Fund, 10768 CR 3405, Brownsboro, Texas 75756.

You may leave a message of condolence or light a memorial candle for the family at

Obituary: Sgt. Gary R. Slaton, U.S. Army retired

Sgt. Gary R. Slaton, U.S. Army retired
Sgt. Gary R. Slaton, U.S. Army retired

A memorial service for Gary R. Slaton, 63, Athens is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday at Bethel Christian Church with Rev. Jim Rawlins officiating.

Sgt. Slaton died March 6, 2013 at home.

He was born July 15, 1949 in Athens to the late Taylor Columbus and Lillian Marguerite Clampitt Slaton. Following graduation from Athens High School in 1967, Gary attended Henderson County Junior College then later earned a Bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University. He served a 30-year tenure with the United States Military retiring from the Army in 1999. He was recipient of numerous medals and ribbons including the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. Mr. Slaton taught Texas History at Athens Intermediate School for eight years. For the past 12 years he was co-owner of Slaton Paint and Body Shop. He was a member of Bethel Christian Church. Gary loved writing songs and playing the guitar.

In addition to his parents, Gary was preceded in death by a brother, Jerry Don Slaton and sister Betty Sue Slaton.

Survivors include wife of 35 years Charlotte Slaton; son Randall Slaton and wife Hollie, Athens; daughter Ricarda Hunter and husband Don, Berryville; brothers Kenneth Slaton, Athens, Norman “Dommer” Slaton and wife Dianna, Malakoff; sisters Fern Fowler and husband Gerald, Brownsboro, Gwenda Billups and husband Don, Tyler; grandchildren Joseph Splawn, Colton Hunter, Shiann Hunter; numerous nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to extend deep gratitude to Dr.Ted Mettetal and Bristol Pathways Hospice for the love and care given to Gary during his illness.

You may leave a message of condolence or light a memorial candle for the family at