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Matagorda County Veteran Obituaries


This is not a complete list of veterans.


William "Bill" VanNess, 78, of Longview went to be with the Lord on July 26, 2004. He was born October 8,1925 in West Columbia, Texas.

He lived most of his life in Houston, where he raised his family while working in the oil field industry. He was a member of Trinity Baptist Church of Lakeport, Texas and was a member of Pinecrest County Club of Longview, Texas.

Bill joined the US Marine Corps in 1943 at the age of 17, where he was a combat soldier in the Pacific Campaign of WW II. After being discharged in 1946, he married Robbie Estelle Lloyd of Bay City, his wife of 58 years.

He spent his career in the oil field industry first as a roughneck, rig worker and then in directional drilling before retiring as vice-president of Wilson Industries in 1987.

Bill retired to his family's long-time vacation home on Lake Cherokee where he spent the last 17 years of his life enjoying the outdoors, spending time with his family, playing blackjack and golf.

Survivors include: his wife, Robbie; daughter, Carol Ehl and husband Don; son, Billy Joe VanNess and wife Linda all of Longview; grandchildren, Cary Shatto and wife Angie, Monica Hancock and husband Kevin, Matt Edwards and wife Alysan, and Jason VanNess; great-grandchildren, Shea, Jordan, Daylon, Jaclyn, Thomas, Madlyn and Jillian; sisters-in-law, Sarah Hayes and Aunnine Head both of Bay City.

Funeral service will be 2 p.m. Thursday, July 29, 2004, at Taylor Bros. Funeral Home with the Rev. Chester Sassman officiating.

Interment will follow at Hawley Cemetery in Blessing. Pallbearers will be Cary Shatto, Matt Edwards, Jason VanNess, Doug Lloyd, Skipper Osbourne and Wayne Head.

Arrangements are with Taylor Bros. Funeral Home.

The Bay City Tribune, Wednesday, July 29, 2004





March 28, 1921 - May 17, 2005

Edward “Eddie” Frank Vavra, Sr., 84, of Bay City, died May 17, 2005 at the Legacy.

He was born March 28, 1921 in Caldwell, Texas, to the late Frank John and Johanna Popek Vavra.

He was a resident of Bay City the past six years and a former longtime resident of the Ashby-El Maton area.

He was a member of St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Blessing, and a retired farmer.

He also was a veteran of WW II, serving in the U.S. Army. He was a recipient of the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, WW II Victory Medal, American Theater Campaign Medal and the EAME Campaign Medal with 3 Bronze Stars representing the Normandy Invasion, Northern France and Central European campaigns, and the Combat Infantry Badge.

Survivors include: three daughters and sons-in-law, Mary Jo and Donnie Harvey of Palacios, Yvonne and Cody Royston of Sweeny, and Juanita and Steve Schweizer of Simpsonville, South Carolina; two sons and daughters-in-law, Edward Frank and Susie Vavra, Jr. of Palacios, and Dwight and Nancy Vavra of Markham; sisters, Gardina Belcher and Betty Blackwell, both of Bay City, and Alma McKissick of Ashby Community; 13 grandchildren, Amy Orsak and husband Russell of Richmond, Alyson Vavra of Bay City, Bryan Vavra of Houston, Donna Schulman and husband Alan of Ackworth, Georgia, Karen Taylor and husband Robert of Alvin, Capt. Michael Harvey and wife Cassie of Germany, David Harvey of Ackworth, Georgia, Jonathan Vavra of Markham, Andrea Gonzales of West Columbia, Vanessa Morales and husband Chris of Houston, Matthew Baird of Lake Jackson, and Justin and Tyler Schweizer, both of Simpsonville, South Carolina.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Louise Vavra, and brothers, Franklin and Milton Vavra.

Rosary will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 19, 2005 at Taylor Bros. Funeral Home.

Funeral mass will be at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Peters Catholic Church in Blessing, with the Rev. Sam Appiasi officiating.

Interment will follow at St. Peters Catholic Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be her grandsons, Bryan and Jonathan Vavra, Michael and David Harvey, Justin and Tyler Schweizer, and Matthew Baird.

The family would like to thank the staff at The Legacy for all their love, care and support that was given to their father.

Memorials may be given to The Alzheimer’s Association, 2909 W. Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77025-9992.

Arrangements with Taylor Bro. Funeral Home.

Bay City Tribune
May 18, 2005
Matagorda County, Texas


Jesse R. Vega, 80, of Bay City died November 27, 2002 at Bay Villa Nursing Home. He was born October 5, 1922 in Kingsville, Texas to the late Ismael and Dolores Ramos Vega. Mr. Vega was a resident of Bay City the past 60 years and a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. He was a member of the VFW Post # 2438, a veteran of WWII serving in the US Army, and was awarded the Silver Star and the Bronze Star.

Survivors include: daughters and sons-in-law, Betty and Willie Greer, Alice Reyna, Catherine and Fred Hernandez all of Bay City, Susie and Rudy Luna of Wharton, Hope and Fidencio Cisneros of Dickinson,and Anna and Jesse Garcia of West Columbia; son, Jesse R. Vega, of Wharton; 18 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

A rosary was held 7 p.m. Friday at Taylor Bros. Funeral Home, and the funeral mass was 10 a.m. Saturday, November 30, 2002, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church with the Rev. Jerry Cernoch officiating.

Interment followed at Cedarvale Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Brian Vega, David Cisneros, Eric Hernandez, Rudy Luna, Jr., Orlando Rico, Magdaleno "Bugs" Rico, III, Aaron and Charlie Reyna.

Arrangements with Taylor Bros. Funeral Home. A00014B2002DC01

The Bay City Tribune, Sunday, December 1, 2002            Ignacia Vega



Funeral services for Frank Villarreal, 55, of Palacios, were held Nov. 12, 2001 at Palacios Funeral Home Chapel. Interment was at Palacios Cemetery.

He was born Nov. 2, 1946, in Palacios, to the late David and Betrice Lopez Villarreal. He died Nov. 9, 2001.

Mr. Villerreal was a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving in Vietnam where he received the Purple Heart. He was also laborer.

He is survived by a daughter, Angelia Villarreal of Wharton; sisters, Shirley Reynolds of La. and Josephine Rosas of Palacios; and brothers, Gilbert Alamia of Texas City, Steve Alamia of Moss Point, Miss. and Pete Villarreal of Alabama.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

November 21, 2001
Palacios, Matagorda County, Texas

Carl Melvin Vorbeck

Cedarvale Cemetery

Photo courtesy of Faye Cunningham


Woody Gene Vowell, 61, of Bay City, died June 4, 2000 at Matagorda General Hospital in Bay City. He was born July 30, 1938 in Greenwood, Miss. to the late Edwin Woodrow and Julia Katherine Burns Vowell. Mr. Vowell was a member of Calvary Baptist Church and a resident of Bay City for the past 15 years.

Survivors include: wife, Jane Thompson Vowell of Bay City; three daughters and one son-in-law, Jennifer Vowell of Bay City, Jane Catherine Compton of Lake Jackson and Julia Katherine and Anatoly Kuzin of Houston; sons, Woody Gene Vowell Jr. of Victoria and Scott Edwin Vowell of Greenville, Miss.; sister Judy Morrison of Hitchcock; two grandchildren, Ryan Compton of Lake Jackson and Leah Vowell of Greenville.

Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Friday, June 9 at Taylor Bros. Funeral Home with the Rev. Chester Sassman officiating. Interment will follow at Cedarvale Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Chad Compton, Lester Wallace, Wyatt Ashcraft, Blind Widemon, Neal Savage and Joe Duncan Thompson. Arrangements are with Taylor Bros. Funeral Home.

THE DAILY TRIBUNE, Thursday, June 8, 2000


Photo courtesy of Betty Crosby


Copyright 2005 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs

All rights reserved

Jun. 15, 2005
Aug. 1, 2007