Saying Goodbye to an Ellis County Icon

Image: Doris Mitchell was an icon in Ellis County. She changed the lives of so many residents. The Italy community is a better place because she was here. The Italy community is not the same now that she is gone.

When someone passes away, the loss is felt by their family and friends. Other times when a person dies, because they are well known and loved throughout Ellis County, the loss is magnified.

Obituary: Tommie Fikes, 1940 — 2017

Image: Tommie Fikes, 1940 — 2017

Tommie Fikes, age 76, of Italy, passed away Monday morning February 27, 2017 at Hill Regional Medical Center in Hillsboro. He was born July 19, 1940 in Italy, Texas to Cecil and Claudine (Embrey) Fikes. He had worked for Owens Corning for 35 years and had been employed at Vineyards Auto Supply for 16 years. He loved to fish and play golf. Tommie was a member of the First Baptist Church in Blooming Grove. He worked hard all of his life and always took care of his family.

Obituary: Duane Chambers, 1946 – 2017


Pastor Duane Chambers, 70, of Italy received his heavenly reward and went home to Glory on Sunday, February 19, 2017. A celebration service of his life will be held at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, February 22, 2017, at Smithfield United Methodist Church in North Richland Hills. Burial will follow at Bluebonnet Hills Memorial Park in Colleyville. Visitation will be from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 21, at Marshall & Marshall Funeral Directors in Hillsboro.

Obituary: Bill Ray Compton, 1936 — 2017

Billy Ray Compton, age 80, of Granbury, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at his home. He was born March 4, 1936 in Italy, Texas to James Estelle Compton and Mary Lou Wilkins Compton. Billy Ray married June Katherine Drennan on December 16, 2003 in Dublin, Texas.

Obituary: L.W. Holt, 1924 — 2017


Lewis Westel Holt, age 92, of Italy, went home to be with the Lord January 6, 2017 in Waxahachie surrounded by his family. He was born July 7, 1924 in Italy, to Samuel Tilden Holt and Mattie May Bell Holt. L.W. was a longtime resident of the Italy Community and a member of the Church of Christ for many years.

Obituary: Margaret Horton, 1918 — 2016


Margaret Horton, age 98, of Milford, passed away Thursday, December 15, 2016 in Waxahachie. She was born March 5, 1918 in Milford, Texas to William Patrick and Clara Elizabeth (Hall) Moore. She was baptized when she was 12 years old and was a lifetime member of the First Baptist Church in Milford. She was a talented seamstress and had worked at many of the clothing manufacturing establishments in the area. She was a devout Christian woman, a wonderful mother and friend.

Benefit Dinner for the family of Ken Norwood, Sr.


This Friday evening, October 28, 2016, there will be a BBQ dinner to benefit the Norwood family. This will help the family with final costs. If you would like to help in any way, please contact Misty Escamilla 972-345-0666. Any help would be greatly appreciated by the family.

Obituary: Carla Yvette Lambert, 1968 — 2016


Carla Yvette Lambert was born on October 22, 1968 to Mr. Eddie and Mrs. Edna Struggs in Ennis, Texas. She excelled academically at Ennis High School, where she exceled in track and field. She graduated in 1987. Carla attended Navarro College in Corsicana where she graduated with her Associate’s Degree in 1989.

Obituary: Onita “Billie” Chambers, 1925 — 2016


Onita B. “Billie” Chambers, age 90, a lifelong resident of Italy, passed away at Red Oak Health and Rehabilitation, on Tuesday, August 30, 2016. She was born on December 13, 1925 in Peoria, Texas. Billie married Aubra Chambers on December 29, 1946. Some of her favorite times were watching the sun set with Aubra at their home in the country.

Obituary: Helen Fielder, 1935 — 2016

Image: Helen Fielder, 1935 — 2016

Helen Fielder, 81, passed away on July 27, 2016 in Waxahachie. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 2:00 PM in the Pat Boze Memorial Chapel of Wayne Boze Funeral Home in Waxahachie. Interment will directly follow at Italy Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be held on Friday, July 29, 2016 from 6-8 PM at the funeral home.

Obituary: Freddie Thomas Ivy, 1938 — 2016

Freddie Thomas Ivy was born September 15, 1938 in Milford, Texas to Fred and Margie Ivy and passed away Wednesday, July 6, 2016 at Methodist Mansfield Hospital. Freddie was a member of the Italy Masonic Lodge # 647 and a longtime member of the Central Baptist Church in Italy.

Obituary: H.L. “Sonny” Southard, 1927 — 2016


Avalon resident H. L. “Sonny” Southard, 89, went to be with his Lord and Savior and his loving wife, Joy on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 surrounded by his loving family in Avalon. He was born to Emmett and Lola Dixon Southard on May 14, 1927 in Avalon.

Obituary: Judith Ann Davis, 1945 — 2016

Image: Judith  Ann Davis, 1945 — 2016

Judith Ann Davis, age 71, passed away peacefully with her family by her side on Monday, February 29, 2016 at the Renfro Healthcare Center. She was born on April 2, 1945 in Dallas to Pete and Gladys Merle (Hector) Davis.

Obituary: Ivy Ruth Sevier Moore, 1929 — 2016

Image: Ivy Ruth Sevier Moore, 1929 — 2016

Ivy Ruth Sevier Moore, age 86, went to be with her Lord on Wednesday, February 18, 2016 at the Trinity Mission Nursing Home in Italy. Ivy Ruth was born May 22, 1929 in Milford to Rogers and Evie Sevier. She is the youngest of 2 girls. She grew up in the country side of Milford and went to Iverson School as a young girl and graduated from Milford High School in 1946.

Obituary: Alice Riddle, 1922 — 2016


Alice Dora (Morgan) Riddle passed away January 4, 2016. She was born August 19, 1922 to Will and Abbie (Russell) Morgan in Bosque, Texas near Iredell. She departed this life at the young age of 93 leaving son Bill Tarpley of Waco and daughter Joy Moneyhon of Italy. She is survived by her loving “little” brother Corky Morgan and his wife Margaret of Italy. She is preceded in death by brothers G.P., Thomas and Roy, and by sisters Geneva Patterson, Wilma “Bill” McClelland and Paula Harris.

Obituary: Patrick Alan Porterfield, 1953 — 2015

Patrick Alan “Pat” Porterfield, age 62, of Mansfield, passed away December 11, 2015 at his home. He was born October 15, 1953 in San Antonio, Texas to Thomas Franklin and Mary Rose (Wilson) Porterfield. He was a Veteran of the U. S. Air Force. He had worked in the oil fields of west Texas and Elk Manufacturing in Ennis. Pat loved the Cowboys and Rangers, barbequing and being outdoors.

Obituary: William Cecil Windham, 1924 — 2015

William Cecil Windham, age 91, of May, Texas and formerly of Italy, Texas, passed away Thursday, December 10, 2015 at the Comanche County Medical Center. He was born February 24, 1924 in Italy, Texas to William Hardy and Katie Irene (Hogan) Windham. He married Mary Beth Hutchins on April 28, 1950 and she preceded him in death on September 18, 2012. William served in the U. S. Army. He was employed with USDA as a soil conservation inspector.

Obituary: Donnie E. Weaver, 1929 — 2015

Image: Donnie E. Weaver, 1929 — 2015

Donnie E. Weaver, age 85, of Italy, passed away Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at Trinity Mission Health & Rehab. He was born December 5, 1929 in Boz, Texas to Jim and Lottie (Wade) Weaver. Donnie married Virginia Tole on August 26, 1949.

Obituary: John F. Davis, 1923 — 2015


Johnnie was born in Reagor Springs, Texas on April 12, 1923 and passed away in Waxahachie, Texas on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2015 at the age of 92. He was a hard working, fair and honest man, and was proud to be a farmer and rancher. He loved his family, the land, the US Marines where he served on Guam during World War II, and his many friends.

Obituary: Allen Ray Ballard, 1953 — 2015

Image: Allen Ray Ballard, 1853 — 2015

Allen left this life on November 17, 2015, he was born in Athens to Carl and Lola Ballard. He spent his growing years in Athens and Forreston. He retired from Owens Corning Fiberglass in which he dedicated 35 years. He was preceded in death by his father, Carl Ballard.

Obituary: Jack Guthrie, Sr., 1924 — 2015

Jack Guthrie, age 91, of Italy, passed away Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at Trinity Mission Health and Rehab in Italy. He was born October 4, 1924 in Avalon to Alvin W. and Elfie (Green) Guthrie. Jack was a loving father, grandfather and great/great grandfather. He was the pastor of the First Assembly of God Church in Italy for over 30 years. He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy Guthrie, December 21, 2009.

Obituary: William Randle Compton, 1954 — 2015


Randy fought a long brave battle with Head & Neck cancer and was called home to rest on Friday October 2, 2015. His family would like to express how very blessed and honored Randy and his family were by all of the love, support, and prayers they have received the last few years from their wonderful family, friends, church family, and coworkers.

Obituary: Iva Ruth Gillespie, 1924 — 2015

Image: Iva Ruth Gillespie, 1924 — 2015

Iva Ruth Gillespie, age 91, of Waxahachie, passed away Friday, September 4, 2015 at Pleasant Manor Nursing Home in Waxahachie, Texas. She was born May 23, 1924 to Walter Jordan and Janie (Davis) Jordan in Files Valley, Texas. She worked as Assistant Chief Operator for the telephone company for over 30 years. She was a 60 year member of the Rebekah Lodge # 381 in Waxahachie.

Obituary: Margaret Mary Fraser Hill Smotherman, 1921-2015


Margaret Mary Smotherman, age 93, passed away on August 21, 2015 in Houston, Texas, at Seven Acres Nursing Home. She was born on November 20, 1921 in Upper Lambourn, Berkshire, England, to Simon and Mary Elizabeth Fraser. During World War II she met and married Staff Sergeant Ben Edwin Hill, Jr., United States Army Air Force on July 8, 1943.

Obituary: Dennis Whiteaker, Sr., 1942 — 2015

Image: Dennis Whiteaker, Sr., 1942 — 2015

Dennis Edward Whiteaker Sr., age 72, of Italy passed away Wednesday, August 5, 2015 at Charleton Methodist Hospital in Dallas. He was born on September 1, 1942 in Midland, Texas to Claude L. and Ruby Maye (Williams) Whiteaker. Dennis married Carolyn on December 15, 1960 in Midland, Texas, He worked in the oil fields for 45 years. Dennis loved bowling, reading and sports, his favorite teams were the Cowboys, Longhorns and Texas Rangers. He loved being with his family most of all.

Obituary: Maria Antonieta Sam, 1967 — 2015

Image: Maria A. Sam, 1967 — 2015

Maria Antonieta Sam, age 47, of Italy, passed away Sunday, August 2, 2015 at Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas. She was born December 12, 1967 in Del Rio, Texas to Juan Pablo Perez and Sara Perez.

Obituary: Hazel O. Bumpus, 1917 — 2015

Hazel Odene Bumpus, age 98 of Italy, passed away peacefully Tuesday, June 9, at the Red Oak Health and Rehab Center. She was the daughter of the late Bill H. and Irene (Hogan) Windham.

Obituary: Vicky Northrup, 1964 — 2015

Vicky Northrup, age 50, of Forreston, passed away Monday afternoon, June 1, 2015 at Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas. She was born November 9, 1964 in Texas City, Texas to Jesse and Elizabeth (Stewart) Darling. Vicky had been a nurse for 15 years, working as an LVN at Baywind in League City and also Trinity Mission in Italy, Texas. She married Paul Northrup on July 11, 2011 in Waxahachie.

Obituary: Melchor Martinez, 1961 — 2015

Image: Melchor Martinez, 1961 — 2015

Melchor Martinez, age 54, passed away March 28, 2015 in Italy, Texas. He was born to Jose Angel and Dora (Garcia) Martinez. After an aggressive battle with cancer he was called home, with his family by his side. Mel was a beloved son, brother, uncle and friend. He was a parishioner at Epiphany Mission Catholic Church, a passionate Catechists teacher and a former bank analyst for Bank of America for 19 years. Mel was a role model and an inspiration to many.

Obituary: Judy Turk, 1946 — 2015

Judy Turk, age 68, passed away Tuesday, January 27, 2015 in Ennis. She was born October 11, 1946 in Waxahachie to W.A. and Maggie Lou (Warren) Hyles. Judy graduated from Italy High School in 1966. She worked at Town Hall Estates Nursing Home in Hillsboro for over 20 years, where she was the activity director. Her work was her calling and she loved to help take care of people. She was like a mother to everyone she took care of.

Obituary: Paula Harris, 1929 — 2015


Paula Harris, age 85, of Italy, passed away Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at Trinity Mission Health & Rehab. She was born April 21, 1929 in Iredell, Texas to William L. and Abby (Russell) Morgan. Paula graduated from Italy High School in 1947 and worked for the post office for 25 years. She was a member of the Central Baptist Church and served as an Elder at the Park Presbyterian Church in Italy where she enjoyed serving the church. She loved to sew and cook, specializing in fried chicken and chocolate pie. Paula was a loving mother and grandmother.

Obituary: Nina Jo Groark, 1935 — 2015

Image: Nina Jo Groark, 1935 — 2015

Nina Jo Groark (nee Hoover), 79, of Sacramento, California died at home on January 18, 2015 of cancer. Nina was born on November 26, 1935 in Italy, Texas and graduated from Italy High School in 1954.

Obituary: Wallace “Sonny” Crooks, 1933—2015

Wallace “Sonny” Crooks, 81, of Rosebud, died Monday, January 12, 2015 in a Temple Hospital. Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday in First Baptist Church in Rosebud. Burial will follow in Bluebonnet Cemetery near Rosebud.

Obituary: Clara Woodall Owens, 1938 — 2015

Clara Woodall Owens, age 76, passed away Saturday, January 3, 2015 at the Trinity Mission in Italy, Texas. She was born February 28, 1938, to James S. Woodall and Audie Irene Hadley Woodall in Italy, Texas, where she was a lifelong resident.