Archive for April, 2017

Thomas James “Tommy” Despain

Despain, Tommy

Thomas James “Tommy” Despain, 90, of Corpus Christi, Texas passed away un-expectantly at his residence Wednesday, April 26th. He was born May 23rd. 1926 in Roxton, Texas.

Tommy graduated Salutatorian from Roxton High School, whereupon he immediately joined the U.S. Navy. He served in World War II aboard the Carrier USS Franklin, and was honorably discharged in November of 1945.

Thomas worked as a lineman and electrician prior to joining the Corpus Christi Police Department in 1950. Over his 35-year career at CCPD, Tommy progressed through the ranks from Patrolman to Commander, the rank at which he retired in 1985. He served in numerous positions including Chief of Detectives, and Commander of Special Services. He attended several law enforcement training programs hosted by the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas A&M University, and the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

When the Corpus Christi Police Department established the rank of Commander in 1968, Tommy was in the first class of officers who reached that level, and he was the last surviving member.

Thomas was a member of the Corpus Christi Police Officer’s Association. Upon his retirement from CCPD, Tommy joined the Nueces County Sheriff’s Department where he served as Deputy.

Tommy was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Joann Eaton Despain.

He leaves behind two sons, Roger (Mary Kay) of Tike Island, Texas and Reagan (Lisa) of Olive Branch, Mississippi; five grandchildren, Sean (Leah) De Spain, John De Spain, James De Spain, Alex DeSpain and Alina DeSpain; and a great granddaughter, Charlie DeSpain.

Visitation will be from 5 P.M. until 7 P.M. Monday May 1st, and services will be conducted at 9:30 A.M. Tuesday, May 2nd, both at Sawyer-George Funeral Home Chapel.

Graveside services and burial will follow at 11A.M. at the Coastal Bend State Veterans Cemetery with full military honors.

In lieu of flowers please make contributions to:

C. C. Police Officers Association

c/o St. Michael’s Fund

3122 Leopard Street

Corpus Christi,  Texas 78407

Elaruth Ashton Dugger


Elaruth Ashton Dugger passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family on April 26 , 2017 at the age of 96. She enjoyed a long and creative life.  Elaruth was born to Emmett Quisenberry and Mary Lela Riddle on August 15, 1920 in Bay City, Texas.  She was the granddaughter of a cattleman, who was an early Chisholm Trail trail boss.  When Elaruth was three, her Mother remarried Bert Ashton, who raised Elaruth as his own.

Elaruth grew up in Robstown, Texas and attended Texas A & I College. On April 5, 1939 she married Lynn Lee Dugger of Robstown.  For many years they lived on their farm southwest of Robstown, where they raised their three children.  After their children were grown, Lynn and Elaruth moved to the Calallen area.  Elaruth’s final years were spent in Corpus Christi under the loving care of Irene Elizondo and staff at Shalom Residential.  Also assisting Elaruth and her family in many capacities throughout the years was Vidal “Billy” Coleman.

Elaruth had many loves including painting, travel, music, and dancing. Her creative accomplishments also included drawing architectural plans for two homes she and Lynn built, which she personally oversaw the construction of.  They enjoyed living and entertaining in their homes for many years.  She was active in the First United Methodist Church of Robstown where she taught Sunday School for over 20 years.  Elaruth mentored many youth who lived at Youth City near Driscoll.  One of the highlights of her creative life was volunteering at the Art Museum of South Texas.  She was a docent at the museum for over 20 years and traveled to many major art exhibits in connection with the museum.

She is survived by her three children, Richard L. Dugger and wife Nancy, Bruce L. Dugger and wife Janie, and Nancy D. McKenzie and husband Jim. Her grandchildren are Elaina Taylor, Rosalyn Bowers (deceased), William Dugger, Lauren Weller, Lanna Slough, Colton Range, and Ashlyn McKenzie.  She is also survived by four great grandchildren, Reese and Graham Weller, Henry Taylor, and Owen Range.  Elaruth was predeceased by her husband of 74 years, Lynn Lee Dugger.

Visitation will be Friday, April 28, 2017 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. with a brief service at 5:30 Sawyer-George Funeral Home. A family burial service will be held the following morning at 9:00 a.m. at Robstown Memorial Park.  Memorials may be made to the Art Museum of South Texas or a charity of your choice.

Charlene Hinkel Cotten

Cotten, Charlene

Charlene Hinkel Cotten, 88, of Corpus Christi, Texas, formerly of Robstown, Texas, passed away April 24, 2017 in Plano, Texas. She was born June 12, 1928 in Weimer, Texas to Bernhardt and Erna Hinkel and moved to Robstown, Texas in 1930.  She graduated as the Valedictorian of her class from Robstown High School and attended the University of Texas.  She married Joe Sydney Cotten, he passed away in 1992, and they co-owned and operated Joe Cotten’s BBQ in Robstown, Texas.  She was an avid bridge player, enjoyed gardening, bird watching, crossword puzzles, note writing and most of all family.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Bernhardt and Erna Hinkel; her brothers, Clifton Hinkel and Kenneth Hinkel; and her sisters, Dorthy Proske and Virginia Lynch.

She is survived by her children, Joe S. Cotten, Jr. (Kimberly), Jannese C. Knaus (David), Kenneth Cotten and Cecil Cotten (Frances); grandchildren, Kenny Cotten, Christopher Knaus, Michael Cotten, Joe Cotten IV, Courtney Pollard, Alice Reynolds, Rachel Cotten, Josh Cotten, Ivy Jane Neuman and Corbin Neuman; great grandchildren, Lucy Pollard, Cotten Pollard, Liam Cotten, Landon Cotten and Brooklyn Cotten.

Visitation will be from 5 P.M. until 7 P.M. Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at Sawyer-George Funeral Home Chapel.

Funeral services will be conducted at 2:30 P.M. Thursday, April 27, 2017 at River Hills Baptist Church with Bro. Bill Simmons officiating.

Burial will follow in Robstown Memorial Park.

Pallbearers will be John Williams, Michael Kieschnick, Jim Cave, Bill Martin, Jeff Furlong, Fred Elliff, Darrell McCain and Charles Wilson.

Honorary pallbearers will be Earl “Tater” Jalufka, Eddie Shores, David Williams, Robert Lee, Tom Priestly and Marvin Leshin.

Those who wish may make donations to the charity of your choice.

Karen Janine Starr Lemmons

Lemmons.jpgPassed away on  April 14, 2017. Born July 19, 1970 in Falfurrias, Texas.

Karen graduated from Calallen High School where she lettered in choir and was a founding member of Top Cats.  She played kickball for NW Little Miss Kickball, and was a member of the order of Rainbow for Girls. Karen is survived by her parents,  Albert and Lynn Starr, daughter (the light of her life) Kaitlynn Rae Lemmons, sisters, Sherry (Pat) Breedlove of Victoria, TX, Debbie (Greg) Hauger, and Tammy (Garry) Shafer.  Also many nieces, nephews, great niece and nephew, aunts, uncles, cousins, and many friends. Memorial service will be held at River Hills Baptist Church, 16318 FM 624, Robstown, TX on April 29, 2017 at 10:00 am.

Donald John Ranly

Donald John Ranly passed away on Tuesday, April 18, 2017, at his home in Corpus Christi.  Donald was born in Violet, Texas, on November 9, 1934, to Joseph and Cecilia (Busenlehner) Ranly.

Donald lived the American Dream.  Born into a humble life, Donald aspired to greater goals.  He was accepted into his beloved alma mater, Texas A&M, after graduating from Corpus Christi College Academy in 1953.  Donald hitchhiked to College Station and worked diligently to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, majoring in accounting.  While a young man, he met and married the love of his life, Jeanette Robinson.  Jeanette worked to put her husband through college and proved the partner he needed to realize his true potential.  After becoming his family’s first college graduate, Donald obtained his CPA license.  He and Jeanette built a life and business together.  It wasn’t easy—in the beginning, Donald worked two jobs to make ends meet while starting his fledgling firm. Little-by-little, his hard work and determination enabled his business to grow.  Clients gathered, attracted to the light of his honesty and integrity.

Still, Donald never lost sight of life’s greatest endeavor—family.  Donald and Jeanette were blessed with three children.  Despite the long hours and attention to clients, Donald never failed to provide for his family.  Not just financially, but emotionally as well.  Donald loved his family and gave the best of himself to them.  Always with a gentle smile or word of encouragement and advice, Donald’s warmth and kindness were felt by all he encountered.

Although Donald has passed on to his great reward, the generosity of his spirit continues in the many lives it touched.  While the weight of his absence will always be felt, the lightness of his being still comforts the hearts of all, whom, he held dear.  His children offer their gratitude for the sympathy received from so many in these difficult days, but wish to extend a special thank you to Donald’s sister, Charlene, for her immeasurable love, care, and concern for their Father in his final years.

Donald is survived by his children, Jennifer (Dale) Zunke of Portland, Texas, Keith (Leslee) Ranly of Sugar Land, Texas, and Lauren (Lance) Duke of Corpus Christi, Texas; his grandchildren, Hunter and Abigail Ranly of Sugar Land, Texas, Lawson Duke of Corpus Christi, Texas, and Dale (Jackie) Zunke of Atlanta, Georgia; his great-granddaughter, Madeline Zunke of Atlanta, Georgia; his brother, Charles Ranly, and sisters, Charlene Ranly and Linda Gallagher; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.  Donald is preceded in death by his parents, his beloved wife and brothers, Bobby Reindl and Vincent Ranly.

A Rosary and Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Violet, Texas, with Rev. Zenon Konowalek as Celebrant. Burial will follow in St. Anthony’s Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters, Blessed Sacrament Convent, 4105 Ocean Drive, Corpus Christi, Texas 78411 or the charity of your choice.