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Life Events
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Life Events
Prayer Requests

Paulette McCormick, Bayou La Batre, Ala., cancer.

Fred Porter, 102 Timber St., Hot Springs, AR 73913, recovering from bypass surgery.

Leah Davis of Lebanon, Mo., requests prayers for her husband, Wes (advanced stage of cancer and kidney dialysis), and their son-in-law, Loren Smith (cancer).

Janice Freeman, Palestine, Texas, recovering from pneumonia.

Linda Kaplan of Orlando, Fla., had a cold months ago. She kept coughing, then a couple of weeks ago coughing so hard she was coughing up blood. Doctor. said it might be a tropical disease or cancer. Further testing showed a tumor at the top of her left lung. It is cutting off air from entering, so the lung is not functioning. Test results aren't back yet if it is cancerous or not. She and her husband, Mark Kaplan, are asking for prayers for her healing.


C. Fred Bailey, retired GCI pastor, died at age 70 on Aug. 3, 2011, at his home in Southaven, Miss. The cause of death was apparently heart failure. Fred was born on July 26, 1941. He graduated from Ambassador College in Pasadena, Calif., in 1973. Upon graduation, he married Diane Yoho. They entered the field ministry as a trainee couple in June of that year, serving in the Oakland and San Francisco, Calif., churches. In 1974 they transferred to Nashville, Tenn. They served their first full pastorate in Evansville, Ind. They also pastored in Springfield, Mo., and Richmond, Va. Fred retired in 2004. Fred's wife, Diane, preceded him in death in 2006. Fred and Diane ministered capably and faithfully in all the church areas where they served. They were respected and loved by all who knew them.

Watson Bolle died Dec. 22, 2011. He was a kind and gentle Fijian gentleman and a member of the ICG's Sacramento, Calif., congregation. Mr. Bolle is survived by his loving wife, Millie.


William F. "Wily" Elder, 67, died Nov. 27, 2011, in Ocala, Fla. Wily was born in Slaton, Texas, and graduated from Lubbock High School. He served with the Marines in Vietnam and was awarded the purple heart and silver star for combat wounds. Wily was a member and served the Churches of God for many years by publishing Eschatology Journal and maintain Web sites including Wily was never married. He had a sister, Ruthie, who died in 2005. Neville Gilbert of the Christian Church of God, Lantana, Fla., is handling Wily's affairs. He is to be interred in the National Veterans Cemetery in Boynton Beach, Fla., on a date not yet established.


Norman Frederic Rowe, of Gold Beach, Ore., passed away Dec. 19, 2011. He was born June 17, 1945, in Boston, Mass., to Henry A. Rowe and Elizabeth Docksey Rowe. On June 11, 1977, Norman married Yvonne Eads Rowe. A jack-of-all-trades, Norman was self-employed as a music teacher over the years in Texas, Tennessee, Oregon, California and New Mexico. He was also a minister or elder with various Church of God organizations since 1975. Norman owned Talent Music Store, Talent Music Publishers and Norm's Window Washing Service. He worked as a Web-site designer, a school-bus driver for Central Curry School District and a transit-bus driver for Curry Public Transit. He was a member of online forums regarding music such as TubeNet and Trombone Forum.

Norman is survived by his wife, Yvonne E. Rowe; children Paul, Braxton (Tony), Jenetta Pankenhorn; grandson Isaac; siblings Amy Kuntz and Daniel Rowe; and lots of nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry Rowe and Beth Armstrong; and his grandchildren, Ethan and Emerald. A memorial service was held Dec. 31, 2011, 12 noon at the Clubhouse, Royal Mobile Estates Park, 1055 N. 5th Street, Jacksonville, Ore. Memorial contributions may be made to Norman F. Rowe Memorial Fund, Sterling Savings Bank.



Byron Kenneth Duke, 62, of Nevada, Mo., died Jan. 2, 2012, at Kansas University Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan., as the result of a sudden illness. He was born Aug. 1, 1949, in Sikeston, Mo., to James Owen Duke and Claire Dunn Duke. He was married Sept. 26, 1971, in Pasadena, Calif., to Sharyon Taylor and she survives. Byron grew up in Southern California, where he graduated from Imperial Schools. In 1971 he graduated from Ambassador College in Big Sandy with a degree in accounting. He took graduate courses at Cal State in Los Angeles. Byron and Sharyon and children Brandon and Sharby moved to Missouri in 1979, residing in Blue Springs, Booneville and Columbia before moving to Nevada, Mo., in 1986. He had served since then a chief accountant for the Nevada Habilitation Center, where he was the 2011 employee of the year.

In addition to his wife, Sharyon, survivors include one son, Brandon Paul Duke, Greenwood, Ind.; one daughter-in-law, Fiona Duke, Greenwood, Ind.; one daughter, Sharby Claire Duke, Bowling Green, Ky.; his parents, James and Claire Duke, East Windsor, N.J.; two brothers, Russell Duke and his wife, Phyllis, Duarte, Calif., and Warren Duke, Charlestown, Va.; and one sister, Kay Overstreet and her husband, Bob, East Windsor, N.J.; two nieces, Tracey Stewart and her husband, Sean, and Jennifer Overstreet; and two nephews, Christopher Duke and Michael Overstreet. Cards may be sent to Sharyon Duke, 431 E. Minnesota St., Nevada, MO 64772.


Melba Jean Hammer, 76, of Longview, Texas, passed away Nov. 22, 2011, surrounded by her loving children. Melba was born Nov. 23, 1934, in Upshur County, Texas, to C.W. "Jack" and Ludie Young. She attended Harmony schools, where she enjoyed playing sports including volleyball, which she loved and continued to play for many years throughout her life. She married her husband, Bob Hammer, July 5, 1952, and they enjoyed almost 40 years of marriage until his death in 1991. She loved sewing, playing piano and spending time with family and friends. She worked for more than 20 years as an apartment manager and was a member of TAA. She was also a member of Grace Christian Fellowship Church.

Mrs. Hammer was preceded in death by her parents, Jack and Ludie Young; her husband, Bob Hammer; and daughter Debbie Hammer. She is survived by daughter Terry Sawyer and her husband, John, of Benton, La.; son Michael Hammer of Dallas, Texas; daughter Lori Robinson and her husband, Chuck, of Coldspring, Texas; grandchildren Ryan Hammer and April and Christine Piero; and brother Ladell Young and his wife, Francis, of Longview. Melba will always be remembered for her kindness and as a loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend to so many. She is missed dearly.



Send your items to "Life Events," The Journal, P.O. Box 1020, Big Sandy, Texas 75755 U.S.A., or fax them to (903) 636-9097.  Items may include announcements of births, weddings, anniversaries, deaths and other news of fellowships and congregations.  There is no charge for items published in the newspaper section of The Journal.

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