Elizabeth G. Biggers

Elizabeth G. Biggers, who received two degrees from SFA, passed away March 10. Biggers graduated from SFA in 1947 with a degree in general business. She earned her master’s degree in elementary education in 1952. Biggers worked as a secretary, teacher and librarian at various schools, but most of her career was spent at SFA, retiring in 1991 after serving 25 years as a librarian.

Suzanne J. Carpenter

Suzanne J. Carpenter, who passed away March 17, graduated from SFA with a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences specializing in law enforcement in 1989. Before her SFA enrollment, she was one of the first six females in her class to graduate in 1976 from the Dallas Police Academy as a trooper, following in her father’s footsteps, who was a Texas Ranger. Carpenter was employed at SFA, working for the University Police Department until her retirement in 2005.

George A. DeCoux Jr.

After receiving a scholarship to play football for the Lumberjacks, George A. DeCoux Jr. enrolled at SFA, where he was a letterman in 1949 and 1950. In 1951, DeCoux, along with several of his teammates, left the university and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force to serve in the Korean War. DeCoux served at Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois until 1955. While at Chanute, he led his base swim team to the Air Force-wide championship and was chosen to coach the Air Force team to the interservice championship.

DeCoux returned to SFA in 1955 and received his bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1957 and master’s degree in 1958. Upon graduation, he returned to Chanute as a civilian director of sports and recreation. DeCoux was a two-time recipient of the Air Force Meritorious Recreation Award as USAF outstanding director. A leader in the professional recreation movement in Mississippi, he was one of the founding fathers of the Mississippi Parks and Recreation Association in the mid-1960s.

He retired from USAF civil service in 1990 at Keesler Air Force Base and was hired as director of leisure services for the City of Gulfport, Mississippi. DeCoux was a state and nationally recognized figure in the park recreation and leisure services profession. DeCoux passed away March 18.

Dexter L. Lovett

Dexter L. Lovett of Nacogdoches passed away May 23. Lovett attended SFA before joining the Army. After a three-year enlistment, he returned to the university to finish his studies and completed a bachelor’s degree in math in 1970, a master’s degree in science education in 1984 and a superintendent certification in 2001.

While in the Army, Lovett graduated from officer’s candidate school at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He was stationed at Fort Polk in Louisiana for one year before serving in Vietnam from 1967 through 1968, for which he earned a Bronze Star.

Lovett was an avid fisherman and a member of the Nacogdoches Men’s Bass Club and Guys and Gals Bass Club for many years. In the early 1970s, he owned and operated Shirley Creek Marina before forming Lovett Construction.

Dr. Elizabeth D. Malpass

Dr. Elizabeth D. Malpass, SFA professor of history, passed away March 11.

Education was the driving force in Malpass’ life. After receiving her doctoral degree in history in 1969, she came to SFA to teach. Her specialties included Viking history and British diplomatic history between the world wars.

During her multiple terms on the Faculty Senate, she played an active role in enriching the life of SFA. For example, she helped bring one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta to SFA in 1984 and helped arrange former President Jimmy Carter’s visit to the campus in 1989.

A mainstay in the history department. Malpass held her students, her colleagues and herself to the highest academic, ethical and professional standards.

Virginia F. Mathews

Virginia F. Mathews, a 1954 SFA graduate and associate professor emeritus of kinesiology and health science, passed away April 12.

After her graduation from high school in New Mexico, Mathews learned to weld in a New Deal program in Seattle, Washington. She worked as a welder in the Seattle shipyard and was proud to have served her country as a “Rosie the Riveter” during World War II.

She later moved to Orange and continued to work in a shipyard and as a secretary to help pay for her college education at East Texas State Teachers College. Mathews was recruited to SFA to serve as a graduate assistant in the physical education department in 1952. She graduated in 1954 and taught at SFA as an instructor, assistant professor and associate professor for the next 31 years.

Jesse E. Pettey Jr.

Jesse E. Pettey Jr., who graduated from SFA in 1948 and 1955 with degrees in music, passed away May 25.

Pettey served as a captain in the Army Air Corps during World War II flying B-24 bombers. He flew 35 missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, four air medals and a French citation for participating in the invasion of Southern France. After the war, he returned to the states and served as a high school band director. He later entered the insurance profession, where he became a regional vice president for Prudential Insurance.

Charles L. Stokes

Charles L. Stokes, who passed away Jan. 27, was raised in Garrison. After his high school graduation, he enrolled at SFA and received a bachelor’s degree in agriculture in 1952.

Stokes then joined the U.S. Army and served his country during the Korean War. During this time, he received several citations, including the National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Korean Service Medal and the United Nations Service Medal. He returned to the states and worked for Gibson’s retail store. He later enjoyed farming and raising cattle.

Maebelle Hughes Yarbrough

Maebelle Hughes Yarbrough, a 1957 and 1965 SFA graduate and scholarship donor, passed away June 23.

Yarbrough graduated from Timpson High School in 1950 and later enrolled at SFA, where she was a member of the Lumberjack Marching Band and worked for the band director. Yarbrough taught elementary school in Timpson before being hired to teach at Garrison High School. She enjoyed teaching typing, shorthand and bookkeeping.

Yarbrough became the first female principal of Garrison High School, where she served for more than six years. After her husband’s death, she served as administrator of Garrison Nursing Home, which the Yarbrough family owned. Yarbrough also took over her husband’s ranching activities, certifying the herd with the Santa Gertrudis Association.

In Memoriam

Name Class Hometown Date
Joyce A. Allums 1963 & 1983 Carthage April 14
Joanna Bentley 1945 Nacogdoches Jan. 22
Sylvia S. Besing 1957 Dallas April 4
Phyllis A. Bigby 1958 San Marcos March 28
Joe E. Biggerstaff 1960 Nacogdoches Feb. 3
Brian C. Blades 1971 Cedar Park Feb. 5
Martha E. Boren 1990 & 2006 Carthage March 26
Louise R. Calvin 1974 Athens April 14
Billie R. Cassity 1969 & 1975 Carthage May 3
Patricia M. Cheatwood 1986 Grapevine Feb. 16
Marilyn Cranford scholarship donor Jacksonville March 19
Suzanne Crawford 1990 Lufkin March 21
Renna N. Darby 1963 Austin March 14
Dr. Albert Edward Dean Jr. 1954 Shreveport, Louisiana Feb. 7
Laquita Dickey 1994 Lufkin May 11
Thomas E. Escoe III 1965 Carthage Jan. 12
Charles E. Gee 1966 Jasper April 3
Dava Giles 1992 White Oak Feb. 5
James H. Graham 1974 Conway, Arkansas Jan. 15
W.T. Green 1951 & 1957 Germantown, Tennessee March 22
Mike Hallmark 1970 Tyler March 30
Doris G. Harvey 1966 & 1972 Nacogdoches March 30
Keith W. Harvey 1974 & 1976 Dallas Jan. 14
Clyde E. Hightower 1973 Nacogdoches Jan. 22
Joyce S. Hill 1994 Joaquin May 9
Douglas G. Hocker 1988 Frisco March 19
Penelope K. Holcomb 1965 Houston May 18
Billie E. Hooper 1968 Henderson Feb. 25
Jane F. Horn 1951 Lufkin April 29
Thomas M. Hornsby 1966 Santa Ana, California Feb. 11
Janie L. Hudson 1949 Weatherford May 11
Barbara A. Hughes 1993 Center Feb. 24
Cecilia A. Johnson 1969 Lufkin April 9
Brian Russell Jones 1997 Houston Jan. 17
Nicolle K. Kasin 1993 Dallas Feb. 1
Richard D. Kimball 1961 Kilgore April 28
Mary N. King 1990 Carthage Jan. 12
Rilda E. Lamon 1977 & 1990 Vicksburg, Mississippi Feb. 8
Patricia K. Lawrence 1971 & 1974 Nacogdoches Jan. 28
Dianne R. Layton former SFA employee   March 20
Leslie Kay Lockey 1992 San Augustine Feb. 4
Joyce F. Lowery 1962 Nacogdoches March 27
Barbara A. McClure 1975 Rusk March 15
Dollie N. McMakin 1974 Beaumont April 11
Bobby J. Meigs 1960 Spring April 6
Jackie Mitchell 1973 Longview April 21
Bob Morgan 1961 Lufkin March 7
Mary J. Mullins 1960 Henderson Feb. 27
Dr. Michael R. Olson 2000 Beaumont Jan. 6
Elizabeth A. Orr 1978 Dallas Feb. 25
Jimmy C. Owens 1991 Gilmer Jan. 28
Wayne A. Prince 1965, 1967 & 1984 Garrison March 15
Charles H. Puckett 1964 Lewisville April 14
Dennis S. Rhame 1969 Arp March 1
Thomas H. Rhiddlehoover 1961 & 1964 Carthage April 16
Sandra H. Risinger 1970 Tyler May 20
Laura L. Shivers 1966 Carthage May 22
Gordon Squyres 1978 Lufkin Jan. 26
Robert R. Tadlock 1993 Kingwood March 1
Roland R. Thomas 1978 Galveston April 11
Jody D. Thompson 1957 Shreveport, Louisiana June 1
John J. Tidwell 1958 Lufkin Feb. 23
Gloria Toran 1971 Lufkin April 15
James L. Tucker 1958 & 1960 Winnsboro April 20
Wade Earl Turner 1959 Woodway March 26
Zacary C. Tuttle 1986 Arlington April 17
David E. Upchurch 1974 & 1977 Longview May 20
Doug Waldrop 1968 Carthage April 25
Irene H. Waters donor and friend of SFA Nacogdoches March 2
Jo F. West 1969 Houston Dec. 6
Aaron J. Winter 2011 Nacogdoches Feb. 20, 2018