Obituaries, F-J

Faunsworth, William – Jal Pioneer Is Slain

The dead body of William Faunsworth is at Goodwin’s mortuary, brought to Hobbs late Tuesday night

The deceased was commonly known as “Uncle Billy” Faunsworth; he was between 70 and 80 years of age, having been a resident of the Jal section since 1916. He is reputed to have acquired valuable royalties in the early days of Jal exploitation, and gained a substantial subsistence.
Those who have known the deceased for years state that he was extremely amiable, very charitable, and of recent years given somewhat to supporting and generally helping down-and-outs, of the class that eventually brought on such a deplorable end to life.
“Uncle Billy” is known to have at least one surviving relative, a sister, believed to be residing in Arkansas. He had enjoyed high standing in fraternal circles formerly, and was very generally liked by practically all acquaintances.
[Hobbs News, Hobbs, NM, 22 Jun 1934.]

Note: Mr. Faunsworth is believed to have been murdered.


Fort, Claudie A. –

Lovington – Services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday at the First Baptist Church for Claudie A. Fort, 92, who died Monday at Nor-Lea General Hospital here.
The Rev. Harry Pittam of the church will officiate.
Burial will be at Resthaven Memorial Garden.
Mr. Fort was born on Dec. 24, 1897 to William Benjamin and Louisa Bramlett Fort, both now deceased.
He was married Dec. 26, 1916 in Plains, Texas to Lorene Hennington, who preceded him in death on Nov. 18, 1981.
Mr. Fort was a longtime member of the First Baptist Church. He came to the area with his parents in 1910. He took part in organizing the Lea County Electric and Telephone Co-ops, was on the board of directors for Liberty National Bank for 28 years and was a Lea County commissioner for two terms.
He was active in civic affairs development of Lea County in the early years and was named to the Lea County Hall of Fame in 1983 for his achievements as a progressive rancher and farmer.
Survivors include two sons, Troy Fort and Roy P. “Buddy” Fort, both of Lovington; two daughters, Mrs. Claudie Sue Walker of Lovington and Betty Raye Grae of Midland, Texas; Bessie McGravey of Plains; 11 grandchildren; 21 great grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren.
Arrangements are by Smith-Rogers Funeral Home in Lovington.
[Roswell Daily Record, Roswell, NM, 24 Jan 1990.]


Fort, William Herman – Fort Funeral In Lovington

William Herman Fort Sr., 87 years of age, an early-day settler of North Lea County, died early Saturday morning at the Lovington Good Samaritan Center. He and his wife, Bera, have been residents of the Center for the past five years.
Mr. Fort was born February 13, 1893 near Brownwood, Texas. He first came to New Mexico with his parents in 1909, when they settled near Old Midway. He returned to Texas where he was united in marriage to Bera Iola Freeman February 17, at Cross Plains.
Following their marriage they returned to this area in 1912. They lived northeast of Lovington near the Antioch Church until 1966 when they moved to Lovington to reside. They had been members of Antioch Baptist Church for over 50 years.
In addition to the wife, Mr. Fort is survived by three sons: Byron Fort of Tatum, R. F. (Buddy) Fort of Midland, Texas and William H. Fort, Jr. of Plains; one daughter, Mrs. Bessie Dean Spears of the Plainview Community; one brother, Claudie Fort of Lovington and a sister, Mrs. Bessie McGravey of Plains; also by 13 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.
Funeral services for Mr. Fort were conducted Monday afternoon at 2 p.m. in the Antioch Baptist Church with Rev. O. L. DeWees, former pastor, and Rev. Neal Parks, pastor, officiating at the serivces. Burial was in the Fort plot at Antioch Cemetery with grandsons serving as casketbearers.
[Hobbs Flare, Hobbs, NM, 30 Oct 1980.]


Fowler, Miss Cora

– Miss Fowler Dead

We learn that a casket was sent out to Hobbs Thursday morning for Miss Cora Fowler who died of pneumonia preceded by a case of measles. We did not get the particulars of the burial but suppose it took place at the Hobbs cemetery.
[Lovington Leader, Lovington, NM, 27 Apr 1917.]

– Memorial

Last Wednesday before the sun had peeped from behind the curtain in the east to kiss the earth and man a jovial “good morning,” just before the birds awoke to chant their lullabies of joy, and just before man aroused from the slumbers of night to walk forth in the fear of God Almighty, Miss Cora Fowler from her home in Hobbs and from the loving care of sister, brother and friends went to be with Jesus in the Heavenly Father’s House April 25, 1917.
So loving and clinging in her disposition “gentle as a summer breeze” she had entwined her affections and some what of her own sweet spirit about the hearts of the entire community.
The dear one that has gone before is watching and waiting for the home coming of the loved one as she used to watch for them here.
“Over the river they beckoned to me, loved ones who’ve crossed to the further side, the gleam of their sunny robes I see but their voices are drowned in the rushing tide. But I sit and think when the sunset’s gold is flushing river and hill and shore. I shall one day stand by the waters cold, and list for the sound of the boatsmens’ oar. I shall watch for a gleam of the flapping sail.
I shall hear the beat as it gains it strand, I shall pass from sight with the boat man pale.
To the better shore of the spirit land, I shall know the ones who have gone before, and joyfully sweet will the meeting be, when over the river, the peaceful river, the angel of death shall carry me.”
Her friends, W. H. and J. L. F.
[Lovington Leader, Lovington, NM, 11 May 1917.]


Franklin, Marshall – Hobbs Men Killed In Fall From Plane

Mr. Andrew Allen and Mr. Marshall Franklin were killed Sunday when they fell from the plane in which they were flying. The plane supposedly hit a down current at approximately 1,500 feet and the men were thrown out. Their plane straightened out and then crashed.
Mr. Allen, who was piloting the machine, was Chief Clerk for the New Mexico Electric Service Company and was a frequent visitor in Jal.
Funeral services were held for him Tuesday afternoon and the body was interred in the Hobbs Cemetery. Mr. Franklin, who was in the employ of the same company, was buried Monday in Lubbock, Texas.
[Jal Flare, Jal, NM, 13 Oct 1938.]


Franklin, Oliver Gene “Zip”

Oliver Gene “Zip” Franklin was an old time pilot. He was known around Lea County for having done just about anything one could do with an aircraft. He was born August 8, 1919 in Artesia and died September 11, 1991 doing what he loved, flying.

(News story follows below)

Plane Crashes in Ruidoso, Killing 2

Two men were killed and a third critically injured in the crash of a twin engine Aerostar shortly after take off from the Sierra Blanca Regional Airport in Ruidoso.
The dead men were identified as Gary McMillan of Lubbock, Texas, and Zip Franklin, 72, of Lovington, said Lanny Maddox, criminal investigation division commander for the Ruidoso Police Department.
The injured man was identified as Beldon Walden, 46, of Hobbs.
Maddox said the pilot was en route to Reno, Nev., on Wednesday where the custom aerobatic plane was to be delivered to an air show.
The plane crashed shortly before noon in a wooded area northwest of the airport.
Witnesses say the plane burned.
Maddox said McMillan and Franklin appeared to have been killed upon impact, and Walden was thrown from the airplane when it hit.
The injured man was listed in critical but stable condition this morning at Eastern New Mexico Medical Center South in Roswell after being transferred from Lincoln County Medical Center, said Rick Levitt, nursing supervisor at Eastern.
Federal Aviation Administration investigators were on their way to the crash site.
[Clovis News Journal, Clovis, NM, 12 Sep 1991.]


Gillett, Dr. Hilton W.

Memorial services are scheduled at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Third and Central Church of Christ in Lovington for Mayhill resident Dr. Hilton W. Gillett, 88, who died Wednesday at his home.
Born April 20, 1903, in Auburn, N.Y., Gillett was a private physician and longtime Lovington resident. He married Myrtle Love on Oct. 12, 1935 and moved to Mayhill in 1985.
He was a veteran of World War II where he served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps.
He is survived by his wife of the family home; two sons, W. Glen Gillett of Alamogordo and Warren Gillett of Albuquerque; a brother Paul Gillett of Austin, Texas; 13 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
[Alamogordo Daily News, Alamogordo, NM, 20 Mar 1992.]


Griffin, James A. – Humble Pipeline Boss Dies

James A. Griffin, district foreman of the Humble Pipe Line Company, succumbed to a heart attack at Hobbs, New Mexico, Tuesday morning at eleven o’clock and interment was made in the family burial plot at Iowa Park Thursday afternoon following the funeral services at Odessa, Wednesday afternoon at two o’clock.
Mr. Griffin with his family, a wife and young son, James A. Jr., aged thirteen, came to Wink from Iowa Park in 1937 and resided there in the Humble Camp where Mr. Griffin was connected with the Humble Company, until last fall when he was transferred by the company to Odessa.
Friends here were deeply grieved and shocked at Mr. Griffin’s untimely demise and among those attending the funeral services in Odessa were Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Smith and Messrs. L. H. Riley, Sam Moore, C. S. Ham, Ellis Summers, H. L. Roberson, D. . McAdoo and Pere Nottingham.
[Jal Flare, Jal, NM. 3 Oct Nov 1940.]


Harper, Mrs. W. E. “Cleo” – Harper Services Held At Pecos. Many Friends From Jal Attend.

Funeral services were held at Pecos, Texas for Mrs. W. E. “Cleo” Harper, Jal business woman. [She owned a beauty shop.]
Mrs. Harper leaves no close relatives with the exception of her husband, Mr. Walter E. Harper. She left, however, many friends to mourn her passing.
Those from Jal who attended the services were: Mr. and Mrs. George Davis, Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Sousares, Mmes. P. S. Norfleet, Walter Pendleton, Will Bond, Bill Hollis, Ralph Baird, Jimmy Satterwhite, Howard Boone, Randy Johnson, Rev. and Mrs. C. Y. Butler, Mr. R. L. Robinson, Mmes. M. C. Whiteworth, Claudio Robertson and John Justis.
Mrs. Ralph Baird and Mrs. M. C. Whiteworth sang a duet accompanied by Mrs. Jimmy Sousares at the piano.
Services were conducted by Rev. C. Y. Butler. The body was laid to rest at Waco, Texas.
[Jal Flare, Jal, NM, 18 Aug 1938.]


Hicks, Lt. C. M. – Killed In Plane Crash

Lt. C. M. hicks, pilot, U. S. Navy, and son of Mr. and Mrs. Claude Hicks, was killed in a plane crash last Saturday.
This was confirmed Monday afternoon by the U. S. Navy Dept. Reports are that the plane Lt. Hicks was piloting exploded in midair and fell into the water about six miles off the coast of Puerto Rico. The plane and occupants sank before rescuers arrived.
Lt. Hicks had served in the navy for nine years. He was 26 years old. During the war he was stationed in Iceland and Greenland. He and a Lovington boy made around the world trip last spring.
The last time his parents saw him was in April when he came through Hobbs on leave. He was to have received another leave after his return from maneuvers when he was killed.
Lt. Hicks is survived by his widow, Mary Lou Hicks and son, Larry Hicks, and his parents.
[Lovington Leader, Lovington, NM. 4 Nov 1949.]


Hobbs, Mrs. Ellen – Monday Service Scheduled For Mrs. Ellen Hobbs

Another of Lea County’s beloved old timers has passed away. Mrs. Ellen Hobbs, mother of James and Berry Lee Hobbs of Lovington died at her home, 322 West Central after an illness of a month following a heart attack.
Mrs. Hobbs was born November 21, 1878 in Alton, Georgia and came to Lea County in 1911. She was 76 years old. She homesteaded north of Hobbs, and was married to the late James Berry Hobbs in 1914. He passed away in 1930 and was buried in the Hobbs Cemetery. The City of Hobbs was named after the Hobbs family.
They moved to Lovington in 1927 and she continued to make her home here.
One son, Roy Dawson was a World War 2 casualty.
Other survivors include one sister, Mrs. Mary Morris of Lovington and a brother, Joe Colkin of Grapeland, Texas, and six grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Monday, July 2 at 10 A. M. in St Thomas’s Catholic Church with Father Lucian Harken reading the mass.
Mrs. Hobbs’ sons would like for all her friends to consider themselves honorary pallbearers.
[Lovington Daily Leader, Lovington, NM, 1 Jul 1956.]