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Gardner Collins

Gardner Collins

DUMAS – Longtime Moore County News Press Editor Gardner Collins died Dec. 14 in Amarillo at the age of 85.
Collins spent 30 years with the News-Press, retiring in 1994. Five years later, he was inducted into the Panhandle Press Hall of Fame. 
Collins graduated from Texas A&M University in 1954 with a major in journalism. After serving in the U.S. Air Force, he began his newspaper career with The Borger News-Herald in 1956. He also worked for the Paris News and The Hereford Brand as a reporter-photographer before moving to Dumas in 1964. 

Bruce Wayne Beal

Bruce Wayne Beal

WEIMAR – A memorial service for Bruce Wayne Beal, owner, publisher and editor of the Weimar Mercury, was held Jan. 13 at the First United Methodist Church of Weimar.
He died Jan. 7 in Houston, at the age of 68. 
Beal was born July 6, 1949, to Clyde Beal and Ruth Gieseke Beal in Dallas. He grew up in Dallas and Sweetwater before his family moved to Houston, where he graduated from Spring Woods High School. He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a journalism degree in 1971. 

Jim Simmon

Jim Simmon

HOUSTON – Jim Simmon, 63, an editor whose career included stints with four Texas daily newspapers, was among the people lost during Houston area flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
Simmon, who had retired and was coming to terms with early-onset dementia, disappeared from his Montrose home on Aug. 30. He was the subject of an area-wide search for two weeks. His body was found in Fort Bend County. An autopsy was ordered, but law enforcement officials believed the cause of death was drowning.

Patsy Cross Patterson

DENTON – Patsy Cross Patterson, a past co-owner of the Denton Record-Chronicle and an active community leader in Denton, died Aug. 29. She was 88.
Mrs. Patterson was born Oct. 24, 1929, in Paris, Texas. In 1945, her parents, Riley and Vivian Cross, bought the Record-Chronicle and the family moved to Denton. She grew up at the Record-Chronicle, holding many positions and eventually serving as secretary of the Board of Directors. She and her husband, Fred Patterson, were the owners when the newspaper was sold to the A. H. Belo Corp. in June 1999.

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MARGE CRUMBAKER
LLANO – Marge Crumbaker, who covered Houston’s jet set for two decades as a gossip columnist for the Houston Post, died July 31 at her home in Llano. She was 93.

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Donna Burton
GROOM – Donna Burton, publisher of the Groom-McLean-Lefors News, died April 9. She was 61.
She was a member of the Texas Press Association and served as editor of the Groom News from 1990 to 2009, when she became the publisher and owner of the paper. 
A native of the area, she was active with the Girl Scouts as a local troop leader and council president. She also worked with youth as part of the Catholic Christian Mothers group.
She is survived by two daughters, three grandchildren, and other relatives.

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Hollis Biddle
WACO – Hollis Biddle, one of the deans of Texas sportswriting, died March 13 at age 81.
Biddle worked at the Waco Tribune-Herald for 55 years, spending more than three decades in the sports department before joining the marketing department in 1983. He became the paper’s special projects director later in his career.

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KATHY LU COOKE MARTIN
ROCKDALE – Kathy Lu Cooke Martin, 57, a lifetime resident of Rockdale and fourth-generation publisher of the Rockdale Reporter, died Feb. 8.
She was born Oct. 28, 1959, in Rockdale, where she grew up, married the love of her life and worked for the newspaper her family has owned and operated since her great grandfather purchased it in 1911.

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RICHARD KEITH COLLINS
AUSTIN – Richard Keith (Dick) Collins of Austin, a retired sports writer who had a second career in real estate, died Dec. 30.
He was 86.
In 1952, Collins graduated from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene with a degree in journalism. 
Three days later, he joined the sports department of the Wichita Falls Record News. 

Obituaries

MARIE HALL WHITEHEAD

RUSK – Marie Hall Whitehead, 88, former owner of the Cherokeean Herald newspaper and radio stations KTLU-AM and KWRW-FM in Rusk and the widow of state Rep. Emmett H. Whitehead, died Nov. 26 at her home in Rusk.

Over a 66-year period, Mrs. Whitehead and her late husband utilized the print and broadcast media platform they built to support causes benefiting Rusk and Cherokee County.