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Louise Carter

March 13, 1915 – April 28, 2016

Louise Carter was a profoundly stubborn woman. She insisted on living alone and did so successfully until she was almost 101 years old — no worries, she was not so bull headed about driving herself because she really like to walk. Once while traveling with her grandchildren in London they exited at the wrong tube station for their destination by 5 blocks and she insisted – at the age of 83 – on walking those extra blocks – despite her granddaughter’s protests which included “in these shoes? REALLY?”

Stubbornness was not the only secret to her longevity. Desert after each meal (breakfast included) was a necessity — chocolate and 2% milk definitely did her body good. She will be remembered as being a beast at playing 42; loving animals (but never in the house); and cooking (she could ring a chickens neck and have it prepared for dinner in such a way the KFC would be envious).

She was progressive in regards to equality for women in the work force, equal educational opportunities and made sure that her son as well as her grandchildren could become and accomplish anything with a good educational foundation and hard work. We appreciate her dedication to our futures.

She rolled with change – incorporating some things more than others (much to the chagrin of her family – hearing aides and email were not embraced). She liked to travel, especially with her sisters (who also lived into their 90s). Interestingly, her will to travel stopped around the age of 95, at that point she became suspicious that each trip was actually a ploy to move her to one of her grandchildren’s homes. Her family honored her wishes and she wasn’t moved to assisted living until she truly could no longer live alone and per her wishes she never moved in with family as doing so would have impinged on her sense of independence.

Her resume is as follows: She was born into the Manning family – one of three girls (Opal, herself and Gay) She graduated from Sam Houston State University. She met her husband – the fabulously funny Gaston Carter on the day that he decided to have his portrait taken – so lucky for him he was looking spiffy. Although I am sure that she married him because after weighting the pros and cons she felt that it was a rational decision – she was extremely practical to her core. She was a teacher in Midway in a one room school house and then in Madisonville while simultaneously helping Gaston run the ranch and raising her only child Jerry. She loved her family dearly and was very generous to everyone around her. She is preceded in death by absolutely everyone other than her devoted daughter in law Betty Carter ; her 3 grandchildren (Ron Carter, Dr. Kimberly Carter and Jill Spearman) and her 4 great-grandchildren (Colby, Ben, Aiden and Sloane).

Once she transitioned to assisted living she decided that enough was enough, that she had lived a healthy and meaningful life and was now done. She passed peacefully in her sleep (as she wanted) fully embracing the new adventures to come. She was a profoundly loveable woman and we will miss her but we certainly enjoyed our time with her – all 101 years 1 month and 15 days of it.

A graveside funeral service for Louise Carter is set for 2 pm, Sunday, May 1, 2016 at the Allphin Cemetery near Midway, TX in Madison County. There will be no visitation for the public. Walters Funeral Home in Centerville is in charge of all arrangements.

img_9249Surrounded by her family, Shirley Louise Bronson Taylor left this world in peace for her new home in Heaven on April 24, 2016.
Shirley was the youngest of four daughters born to Bert and Rose Bronson of Bunker Hill, Kansas.  Her three sisters, Mary Lou, Doris, and Betty, along with Shirley and her parents moved from Kansas to Petal, Mississippi when the Great Depression made farming in Kansas an unreliable way to support the family.  Shirley’s father was a fine horseman, who had worked the fields with draft horses in Kansas, and continued to work with riding horses in Mississippi.  
Shirley attended high school in East Forrest, Mississippi, where she played cornet in the band, soloed in the Petal United Methodist Church choir, and was crowned Rodeo Queen on her horse, Punkin.  Her love for both music and horses turned into lifelong passions.  
Shirley attended Mississippi Southern College (now know as the University of Southern Mississippi), graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education in 1958.  While there, she caught the eye of a handsome member of the football team, who found his way to the family farm, supposedly to look at a horse.  Shirley’s sister, Mary Lou, expressed suspicions that “it wasn’t a horse this young man was shoppin’ for,” which proved correct when Jim Taylor married Shirley in her home church in Petal, Mississippi in 1958. 
On their first anniversary, Shirley presented Jim with their first child, Russ. Ricky followed by surprise just 10 minutes later. Barely a year after that, Tammy arrived to round out their busy family.
With a move to San Antonio in 1963, Texas became Shirley’s home for the rest of her life.  The next year, Shirley and Jim moved to Seguin, where they established their beloved Taylor Acres.  In Seguin, Shirley taught girls’ Physical Education, obtained a real estate license, worked at Hexcel Corporation, and greatly enjoying working one day a week at the Seguin stockyards on sale day.  She poured her love for horses into helping her children learn to ride and show.  She was a committed parent in the Guadalupe County 4-H horse club until Ricky and Russ graduated high school, when she began her own amateur showing career.  These experiences created lifelong, cherished friendships in Seguin. 
Her boys remain active horsemen in Texas, while Tammy moved to New York City and Los Angeles, developing careers in both theater and culinary arts.  When Jim took up showing cutting horses, she became a big fan of the sport, making many good friends with her fellow “bleacher creatures” at cutting contests. Shirley also found time to be an avid fan of the San Antonio Spurs, who are making her proud in the playoffs this season.
After 44 years in the country, Shirley and Jim decided to move to town, and they chose College Station, where Ricky and his wife Martha were living. There they joined the family of Aldersgate United Methodist Church, for whom they are thankful and by whom they are blessed.  They also loved getting to know Martha’s family. When Shirley’s health declined in the final years of her life, she was blessed to receive expert care, and the family is especially grateful for the kindness and love offered by Dee Blackmon and her wonderful staff at the Establishment and Grace House. 
Shirley leaves a legacy of love and Christian faith to Jim, her devoted husband of 58 years, and three children, Ricky, Russ and Tammy, along with several grand- and great-grandchildren, two surviving sisters and a host of relatives and friends. If it is possible to enter the Pearly Gates on horseback, we know she rode in singing.

565a86808fcf3.imageSeptember 16, 1938 – November 24, 2015

Mr. Bernard “Bernie” Francis Kapella, 77, passed away Tuesday, November 24th at his home in Wellborn after battling a lengthy illness. Calling hours will be from 2:00 – 6:00pm, Sunday, November 29th at Nobles Funeral Chapel, with the family present from 4:00 – 6:00pm. A service celebrating his life is set for 10:00am, Monday, November 30th, also at the funeral home, with interment to follow in Oakland Cemetery. Rev. Henry Sanders will officiate. Arrangements are entrusted to Nobles Funeral Home.

Born on September 16, 1938, in Joliet, Illinois to Joseph and Mary Kapella, Bernie was the youngest of three boys. He experienced an extremely difficult childhood. Bernie and his two brothers were surrendered to Children’s Catholic Guardian Home, an orphanage in Joliet in 1941. He was only three years old at the time. Bernie spent the next seven years in the orphanage. At the age of nine, Bernie and his brothers returned to his mother’s home in 1948, which was an emotionally and physically abusive environment.

Expelled from school as a young teenager, Bernie was committed to the Illinois State School for Boys in 1952 having been labeled “incorrigible” after a string of petty crimes. The authorities encouraged Bernie to join the army or face an inevitable future of arrests and jail time.

He joined the Army in 1955 at the age of 17 and trained to become a military police officer because of the positive influence of a police officer who touched his life during his rough teenage years. He served most of his tour in Berlin, Germany and, in 1963, received an honorable discharge while in Denton, Texas. During his time in the army, Bernie married Sheila Seemann of Joliet, Illinois. They had two daughters, Julie and Bernadette.

Bernie went on to earn his GED and enrolled in Joliet Junior College in 1968. He then attended Lewis College and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology in 1971. After graduating from the Chicago Police Academy, Bernie started his career in law enforcement in Joliet, Illinois and served there until 1977.

Bernie married Ann Lindley in 1977 and moved to Navasota, Texas. He joined the College Station Police Department and retired as a Lieutenant after serving 20 years. Bernie was active in numerous community and state organizations including the College Station Noon Lions Club, the Brazos County Rape Crisis Center, Texas Crime Prevention Association and was dedicated to improving services to the youth of College Station as well as the Brazos Valley.

He was instrumental in starting city-wide crime prevention programs, the DARE program, the annual fishing tournament, the annual Easter egg hunt, a bicycle traffic safety program, and neighborhood watch programs. Bernie also attended the FBI National Academy, Session 159.

Bernie had numerous hobbies and interests. He became a master wooden toy maker over the years, taking scraps of wood and creating works of art for his children and grandchildren. He was an avid reader, gardener, and fisherman as well as a serious collector. Bernie was captivated by all things related to childhood fun. Perhaps due to his early circumstances, he collected all types of toys as an adult.

He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Ann Lindley Kapella; daughters Julie Penkunas and husband Christopher; Bernadette Meberg and husband Peter; Carol Kapella; Sarah Kapella Kelso; and Melanie Rogers and husband Buck; sisters-in-law Patricia and Janet Kapella; Carol Jean Gessner and husband Bernie; and Linda Walicek and husband John; seven grandchildren; Brian, Morgan, Miranda, Scott, Ingrid, Alena, Zoe; a great-grandson, Isaac and numerous nieces and nephews.

Serving as pallbearers are Peter Meberg of Grand Forks, North Dakota; Buck Rogers of Anderson, Texas; Scott Rogers of Shaw AFB, Sumter, South Carolina; Brian Torres of Navasota; Victor Kapella of Rye Brook, New York; Ronnie Horcica of College Station, Texas and Glen Holub of Wellborn, Texas.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Joseph and Robert Kapella.

His granddaughter, Alena Meberg, gives us a little insight into his life with her words, “Once upon a time, there was a man who had been through everything. He made wooden toys and made children laugh; but his story is not about that. His story is about how he lived his life. This man was as hard as a rock, but as soft as a baby puppy. Ingrid and Alena loved him very much and his name was Bernard; but they called him Grandpa Bernie and he was the best grandpa ever.”

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a memorial donation to Faith Outreach Center, P. O. Box 1418, Navasota, TX 77868. You are invited to leave kind words and fond memories at