, Port Arthur, Texas

March 23, 2007

Obituaries for Saturday, March 24, 2007

Services Today

Gloria Gabriel, Rock Island Baptist Church, 2 p.m.

Sharon Morse, Claybar Funeral Home, Bridge City, 10 a.m.

Renada Patterson, Gabriel Funeral Home, 2 p.m.

Remus Texada, Guiding Star Baptist Church, 11 a.m.

Chester Vital, St. John’s Catholic Church, 11 a.m.

Rosa Yowman, New Temple Baptist Church, 2 p.m.

Death Notices

Carol Jean McKee, 55, of Nederland, died Friday, March 23, 2007, at Christus Hospital St. Mary. Broussard’s Mortuary, Nederland.


Murphy Chatagnier

PORT ARTHUR - Murphy Chatagnier, a lifelong resident of Port Arthur, died peacefully at home with his family and friends on March 22 following a brief illness. He was 97 years young. He enjoyed a long a healthy life.

He was the founder of Murphy’s Cake Shops in Southeast Texas since 1946. Prior to this he was a merchant marine for the Texas Company for 17 years where he served as ships steward and lead an antiaircraft battery (assigned to him because of his duck hunting ability). He held the rank of Lieutenant, US Coastguard Reserve. He saw much action in North Africa and while in the North Atlantic & Mediterranean convoys supplying Great Britain pre-Pearl Harbor and throughout the European War. His ship, the SS New Jersey was torpedoed and sunk 250 miles SE of Jamaica in June of 1942. He spend 4 days in a lifeboat before being rescued by an American destroyer.

After the war, he owned a small grocery store on 11th street and later built his first bakery on Gulfway Dr. in 1946 and built it to 4 stores throughout Southeast Texas. He enjoyed horseback riding with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Posse, deep sea fishing with his brothers and son, duck & deer hunting with his good friends. He spent his later years bass fishing with his brother Mac. His life was full and blessed with good heath. He treasured his family and many lifelong friends. He was an (almost charter) member of the Port Arthur Sertoma Club for over 50 years. He also served on the board of directors for the Hughen School. The Port Arthur Jaycees honored him as Business Man of the Year in 1970.

He was highly regarded professionally by his bakery peers having held many board positions with the Texas Bakers Association and chairing many convention functions. He made his formulas (recipes) available to all with the attitude that “a rising tide lifts all ships”. He truly did make the “Sweetest Sweets in Town”. He was preceded in death by his parents Rene R. Chatagnier and Louis Peck Chatagnier, brothers Irvin, Roland, Rufus, Melvin (MAC), Harold, Raymond (Buddy) and sisters Mildred and Yola. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Gertrude Moity Chatagnier, daughter Cheryl Carson, son Randy Chatagnier, 3 grandchildren Charles (Chip) Carson, Cara Cristine Carson Hamilton, Tyler Murphy Chatagnier, and 2 great granddaughters Brooke & Grace Caroline Hamilton as well as many wonderful sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews. Visitation will be on Saturday evening from 5 PM to 8 PM at Clayton Thompson Funeral Home. Funeral services will be at 2 P.M. Sunday, March 24, 2007 at Clayton Thompson Funeral Home with Rev. Msgr. Kenneth Greig, officiating. Burial with Military Honors will follow in Greenlawn Memorial Park. In Lieu of Flowers, donations can be made to the Association for the Retarded, Estelle and Allen Fetters Center, 4601 Main Street, Groves, Texas 77619 in Murphy’s memory.

Jerry Vernon May

BEAUMONT - Jerry Vernon May, 58 of Beaumont died Wednesday, March 21, 2007 at Christus-St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont after a sudden illness. Funeral services will be 2:00 pm Monday, March 26, 2007 at Broussard’s, 2000 McFaddin in Beaumont followed by interment with a full honor guard in Forest Lawn Memorial Park. A gathering of his family and friends will be from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Sunday, March 25, 2007 at the mortuary. A native of Crockett, Texas, Jerry was a longtime resident of Beaumont. He selflessly dedicated thirty- eight years to the State of Texas through his service with the Texas Department of Public Safety. Jerry began his honorable career stationed in Winnie as a Trooper, and promoted through the ranks to Senior Corporal in Jefferson County. He was the first and only Corporal that has been stationed there.

Jerry is survived by his wife, Linda May of Beaumont; two sons, Jerry May, Jr. of Beaumont and Troy Ienna and his wife Jan of Bevil Oaks; daughter, Christine Ienna of Brandon, Florida; granddaughter, Taylor Ienna; grandson, Brandon Ward; mother, Estelle May of Beaumont; sister, Dianne Green and her husband Ken of Kirbyville; niece, Helen Wilson and her husband Jack of Nederland; aunts, JoAnn Walker and her husband Delbert of Grapeland and Frances Whitmire of Livingston; and numerous sisters-in-law; and one brother-in-law. His father, Vernon May, Jr. preceded him in death. His family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Texas Department of Public Safety Officers Association, PMB 382, 8127 Mesa Drive, Suite E-206, Austin, Texas 78759-8632 to benefit the families of Troopers lost in the line of duty.


Jeanette Ezell Crowder

PORT ARTHUR - Jeanette Crowder, 87, known to most as “Ma” was born on October 25, 1919 and passed away on Thursday, March 22, 2007 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Port Arthur. Ma was a longtime resident of Port Acres where she and her husband, of 64 years, Tolbert Crowder Sr., “Pa” raised their 7 children. After raising her children, Ma went back to school to earn a nursing degree. Upon retiring from nursing, she spent her time restoring furniture, cooking, and taking care of her yard. She will fondly be remembered as a devoted mother, grandmother, and the best pound cake maker around. It was not unusual to see family members fighting over the last piece of Ma’s pound cake at family gatherings.

Ma was preceded in death by her husband, Tolbert Crowder, Sr. She is survived by her son, Tolbert “Tart” Crowder Jr. and wife, Helen of LaBelle, daughter, Eleanor Spence of Montana, daughter, Jeanette Clements and husband J.D. of Montana, son William “Bill” Crowder and wife, Maria of Junction, son, Robert “Bob” Crowder and wife, Judy of Fannett, son, Vernon “Bernie” Crowder and wife Lynn of Montana, and son, Michael “Mike” Crowder of Port Acres; 21 grandchildren, 35 great grandchildren, 1 great - great grandchild; a sister, Fay Crowder of Puerto Rico, and a host of relatives and friends. A memorial service will be held at Levingston Funeral Home in Groves on Sunday, March 25, 2007 at 2:00 p.m.