The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local Scene

May 8, 2011

TDCJ unit remembers fallen officers

PALESTINE — The mood was somber Friday morning at the Beto Unit Chapel as correctional officers, administration and other staff gathered to remember fallen officers.

The ceremony opened with the Posting of the Colors by the Honor Guard, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Beto Unit Warden Kelvin Scott welcomed everyone to the memorial service and encouraged them to “come together for our great country.”

Scott pointed out The Missing Officer Table that was set up to his right. “The table is round — to show our everlasting concern for our missing loved ones. The tablecloth is white — symbolizing the purity of their motives while answering the call of duty. The sword symbolizes honor,” Scott said.

Also on the table was a single rose to remind loved ones of the missing; a vase tied with yellow ribbon to symbolize determination to remember and “Take care of our own.” A bowl of lemon slices sat on the table as a reminder of the bitter fate of those killed while protecting society; the salt was to symbolize the tears endured by those missing and their families. A Bible on the table represented the strength gained through faith. The glass inverted symbolized the missing’s inability to share in the day’s toast; and an empty chair symbolized their absence.

The warden’s remarks were followed by music as Kathleen Bailey sang “Hero.”

A memorial candle which represents the living memory of those who have died was then lit. That was followed by the blowing of the air horn that signals one of their own is included in the listing of the honorees.

A moment of silence for those who gave their lives was observed after more music and a time of remembrance.

A handful of speakers then read the roll call of those correctional employees in Texas and across the nation who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. The names of officers killed dated back to 1882.

More than three dozen of those fallen officers served at prisons in Texas, with two of them -- Arthur B. Hanes Jr. and Joe F. Gurney -- having served at Beto.

After the roll call, Ann Brittain sang “His Eye is on the Sparrow” followed by a closing prayer by Chaplain Charles Kiser.

The warden closed the memorial service by telling those in attendance to “be encouraged because we do have a purpose in this world.”

He also thanked all the men and women in uniform who are serving today.

Following is a list of fallen officers, where they served and “end of watch” or day they died:

Edward Pounds, correctional officer, North Carolina Department of Correction-Division of Prisons, Jan. 9, 2010.

Leonard Wall, juvenile detention officer, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office-Arkansas, Jan. 31, 2010.

Ellane Aimiuwu, senior parole agent, Illinois Department of Corrections, Feb. 7, 2010.

William Waterman, correctional officer, Georgia Department of Correction-Georgia State Prison, March 9, 2010.

Tracey Cooper, correctional officer, Illinois Department of Corrections, Sept. 28, 2010.

Gary Chapin, correctional officer, Crawford County Correctional Facility-Pennsylvania, Nov. 15, 2010.

John Paskewicz, senior corrections officer, Maine Department of Corrections, Nov. 16, 2010.

Reuben Hejl, district parole officer, Huntsville District Parole Office, May 19, 2009.

Barbara Leggett Shumate, sergeant, Correctional Training, June 13, 2008.

Susan Louise Canfield, field force officer, Wynne Unit, Sept. 24, 2007.

Rhonda Osborne, correctional clerk, Connally Unit, Oct. 21, 2004.

John Murphy Bennett, offender transportation officer, Offender Transportation, July 17, 2003.

Stanley A. Wiley, industrial spec. III/shoe factory, Clements Unit, Jan. 29, 2003.

Daniel James Nagle, correctional officer, McConnell Unit, Dec. 17, 1999.

Wilmot Alfred Burnett, inmate transportation, Offender Transportation, Dec. 16, 1999.

Francisco F. Garza, correctional officer, Dominguez Unit, May 31, 1999.

Bill Himstedt Sr., inmate transportation, Offender Transportation, Aug. 7, 1998.

James Dimanoff, correctional officer, Gatesville Unit, Oct. 14, 1997.

Arthur B. Hanes Jr., maintenance department, Beto I, Nov. 14, 1996.

Timothy J. Parsley Sr., sergeant, Lewis Unit, Oct. 1, 1996.

Stephen G. Stewart, inspector IV-agriculture dept., Wynne Unit, Jan. 7, 1994.

Sidney L. Lyons, maintenance supervisor, Ramsey III Unit, Nov. 19, 1989.

Joe F. Gurney, field sergeant, Beto I Unit, Aug. 12, 1988.

Minnie R. Houston, kitchen, Ellis I Unit, June 3, 1985.

Robert A. Hunt, area maintenance, Wynne Unit, June 6, 1984.

Dalton B. Cawthray, correctional officer, Clemens Unit, Jan. 5, 1984.

Billy M. Moore, farm manager, Ellis Unit, April 4, 1981.

Wallace M. Pack, warden, Ellis Unit, April 4, 1981.

Cephus D. Burson, major, Eastham Unit, Oct. 1, 1980.

John B. Brown, correctional officer, Central Unit, July 18, 1977.

Edward Carter, correctional officer, Retrieve (Scott), May 31, 1976.

Elizabeth Yvonne Beseda, teacher, Windham ISD-Hunstville, Aug. 3, 1974.

Julia Standley, librarian, Windham ISD-Huntsville, Aug. 3., 1974.

Robert Alexander Arrington, major (co-pilot), Administration, Sept. 17, 1971.

George Alan Man, major (pilot), Administration, Sept. 17, 1971.

Bobbie B. (Dub) Bullard, warden, Darrington Unit, June 6, 1963.

Charles Jesse Baker, inmate work crew, Eastham Unit, July 21, 1959.

Guy Holman, steward, Wynne Unit, June 29, 1947.

Benjamin Franklin Larue, correctional officer, Huntsville Unit, Nov. 22, 1946.

George Tyrus Preston, correctional officer, Wynne Unit, June 20, 1944.

John R. Greer, correctional officer, Eastham Unit, Aug. 27, 1938.

Johnnie Ford, dog sergeant, Central Unit, Oct. 4, 1937.

George Washington Shiflett, correctional officer, Blue Ridge State Farm, Dec. 8, 1936.

Felix Smith, correctional officer, Retrieve (Scott), June 19, 1936.

Virgil (Verge) Welch, correctional officer, Eastham Unit, May 10, 1935.

Major Joseph Crowson, correctional officer, Eastham Unit, Jan. 27, 1934.

J.R. McCall, correctional officer, Central Unit, Aug. 27, 1933.

John R. Hinson, correctional officer, Eastham Unit, Nov. 3, 1932.

Jim B. Sneed, picket guard, Retrieve (Scott), July 6, 1931.

Tommy Mellie Starnes, correctional officer, Ferguson Unit, June 11, 1931.

Sidney Albert Syms, correctional officer, Retrieve (Scott), Sept. 29, 1928.

Henry Ward, dog sergeant, Imperial (Central), July 27, 1928.

D.E. (Deb) Long, correctional officer, Eastham Unit, Feb. 2, 1928.

William M. Rader, correctional officer, Ferguson Unit, July 22, 1926.

Early A Lott, correctional officer, Ramsey Unit, March 27, 1926.

Dewitt Frisby Oliver, assistant warden, Huntsville Unit, Sept. 17, 1921.

Walter Isaac Vandorn, sergeant, Clemens Unit, Aug. 12, 1916.

Charles Claiborne, correctional officer, Imperial (Central), Aug. 9, 1915.

John L. Wylie, correctional officer, unit unknown, April 22, 1909.

James Elliot, correctional officer, Clemens Unit, July 17, 1908.

Joseph F. (Joe) Wilkerson, correctional officer, Rusk Unit, April 23, 1906.

Frank Miller, correctional officer, unit unknown, Oct. 7, 1899.

H.D. Parsons, correctional officer, unit unknown, July 26, 1898.

James (Joe) Jackson, correctional officer, Retrieve (Scott), Dec. 15, 1890.

Jesse F. Goodwin, picket guard, Coaling Camp (Rusk), July 14, 1890.

Benjamin (Riley) Williamson, correctional officer, Coaling Camp (Rusk) June 30, 1890.

Joe Epperson, correctional officer, Rusk Unit, April 29, 1889.

George W. Taylor, dog sergeant, Rusk Unit, March 15, 1884.

James Monroe Butler, correctional officer, unit unknown, May 25, 1882.


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