Billy Joe Williams
1930 – 1953
Sergeant Billy Joe Williams was born on October 4, 1930 in Madison County, Texas to Joe and Edith (Akins) Williams. After his mother died, he and his four older brothers were placed in the Methodist Orphanage in Waco, Texas.

Sergeant Billy Williams joined the U.S. Army at a young age. His life was cut short while he was serving his country during the Korean War. Sgt. Williams was a member of the 2nd Reconnaissance Company (Recon. Co.), 2nd Infantry Division (Inf. Div.). Sgt. Williams was reportedly captured on February 14, 1951 during a battle between UNC and CPVF in the vicinity of Chum-ni, Republic of Korea (R.O.K.), and marched north to Suan Prisoner of War (POW) Camp Complex. On September 6, 1953, a POW returnee reported during an interview that Sgt. Williams died from dysentery while being held in the Suan Bean POW Camp. The Department of the Army declared Sgt. Williams’s remains non-recoverable on September 8, 1953. The last known family member to have had contact with Sgt. Williams was one of his brothers, also serving in Korea, who’s company had coincidentally passed by Sgt. Williams and his company, while they were both on separate military exercises. The family of Sgt. Williams was notified of the news and were finally able to put closure on the years long mystery as to what had really happened to him after he was captured. 

On December 22, 1993, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (D.P.R.K.) unilaterally turned over 34 boxes containing remains thought to be those of U.S. Servicemen. The remains were reportedly recovered from an area with the POW Camp known as the Suan Bean POW Camp. A maternal aunt, Esther Akins Bolton and her son, Douglas Bolton of Decatur, Texas were contacted as remaining, surviving family members to provide DNA to confirm that Sgt. Billy Williams’s remains were part of the remains recovered in 1993. A positive result confirmed that Sgt. Williams was, indeed, part of the group of remains recovered in 1993. His remains will be returned to Madison County where he will be laid to rest on May 17, 2016 at 2:00 P.M. in the Rock Prairie Cemetery, west of Madisonville, Texas. A Chaplain from the U.S. Army will officiate the service, and a full military honor guard will present funeral honors. A register book will be provided for the general public from 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. on May 12th, 13th and 16th at the Madisonville Funeral Home. 

Sgt. Williams was preceded in death by both of his parents; grandparents, Alford & Oad Akins and four older brothers, A.J., Alton, Leroy and Murl Wiliams. He is survived by one sister-in-law, Estelle Williams of Rosenburg along with numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Madisonville Funeral Home is in charge of all arrangements. Please sign the online memorial guestbook at http://www.madisonville funeralhome.com.

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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.