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Aug 11, 2014   09:31 AM

 Lanita Lynn Harlow, 48, beloved daughter, sister, niece and friend, went to be with heavenly family, Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014.


Lanita was born July 5, 1966, in Fort Worth. She was a graduate of Richland High School and a member of the Elks Lodge 124 Survivors: Parents, Edward and Lavada Harlow; brother, Edward Harlow Jr. and wife, Debbie; special friend, Mike Kirkland; and numerous other relatives and friends. Graveside service: 1 p.m. Wednesday in Evergreen Cemetery in Ballinger. Visitation: 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Mount Olivet in Ft. Worth.

Aug 05, 2014   03:42 PM

 William David Batts, 89, died peacefully on Saturday, August 2, 2014, surrounded by family. Son of Bernard and Beulah Batts Sr., he was born on November 8, 1924 on the family farm south of Ballinger.

He attended Dry Ridge School through the 7th grade and graduated from Ballinger High School in 1946. He served as president of the senior class and was a member of the band, football, and track teams. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the US Air Corps. He trained to be a pilot. He finished his training just as World War II ended. After the service he enrolled at the University of Texas in Austin and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in June 1950. He came back to Ballinger to farm with his Dad. He farmed about 600 acres until 1978. During that time he served on the board of directors of the Ballinger Co-op Gin and Elevator. His civic activities included a term as president of the Ballinger Jaycees.

On February 10, 1962 he married Irene Piel. In 1968 they had a daughter named Amy. In addition to farming he sold real estate. David cultivated many friendships around the state in his work with Petroleum Information/Dwight LLC. He was the southern area manager of map data accumulation. His duties included constructing county ownership maps and updating oil and gas lease information of those maps. Finding retirement didn’t suit him, he worked for the Boll Weevil Eradication Program and Dankworth Packing Company. David was a longtime member of the First Presbyterian Church in Ballinger.

He is preceded in death by his parents, brothers Wilbourn and BM Batts Jr., a sister Margaret Tucker, and his wife Irene.

He is survived by a sister, Betty Lou Batts Agnew; his daughter Amy; sister-in-law Janice Kurtz and Randall; brothers-in-law Gene Piel and Mary, Larry Piel and Glenda; nephews Gary Batts and Sue, Alan Batts and Linda, David Tucker, Gill Agnew, Sam Batts, Mac St. John and Bridgett, Jason Piel and Darci, Jeffrey Piel and Tymonee; nieces Lesa Agnew Kastler and Bill, Laura Jane Agnew and Hill Abel, Carrie Ramos and Isaac, Jessica Botsford and Evan, and Sherri St. John.

David was known for his quick wit and sense of humor and beloved by all who knew him. David was known by some nieces and nephews as “Uncle Puddin”. He always had his hugger out! He will be deeply missed by family and friends. Visitation for family and friends will be Wednesday, August 6, 2014 from 6:00-8:00 pm at Lange Funeral Home in Ballinger. There will be a private family burial followed by a memorial service at 1:30 pm on Thursday, August 7, 2014 at the First Presbyterian Church with Rev. Kary Rawlings Fry officiating.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the First Presbyterian Church in Ballinger, the Carnegie Library, or a favorite charity. The family would like to thank everyone who came by to visit and all the cards and phone calls. Also we would like to thank the staff at Ballinger Memorial Hospital for their exceptional care of David.

Words cannot express how much I will miss you Daddy! You are my angel now!

Aug 05, 2014   03:40 PM

 Bobby James Smith, 83, of Ballinger, Texas passed away Sunday, August 3, 2014 at Elsie Gayer Healthcare Center in San Angelo, Texas.


He was born July 17, 1931 in Ballinger to James Lee and Leora (Bowen) Smith. Bobby married Sharon Hampton on November 17, 1956. She preceded him in death January 27, 2013. For a total of 34 years, Bobby worked for the Texas Department of Transportation in San Angelo, Ozona, and Ballinger. He was a member of Ninth Street Church of Christ.

He was preceded in death by his parents and wife; brother, Delbert Smith; and infant twins, Ricky Gale and Vicky Dale Smith; and a great-grandchild, Hank Smith.

He is survived by two sons, Quentin Alan Smith and wife, Teresa, of Burnet, and Gary Lee Smith and wife, Judy, of Austin; a daughter, Rhonda Kay Glover and husband, Chris, of San Angelo; sisters, Margie Hallmark of Ballinger, Jean Stewart of Cedar Hill, Pat Mullins of Blanket; and a brother, Billy Wooten of Huntsville. Also surviving are nine grandchildren, Blake Smith, Ryan Smith, Nathan Smith, Justin Smith, Rachael Smith, Daniella Smith, Natalie Glover, Garret Glover, and Elijah Samaniego: and four great-grandchildren, Wyatt, Walker, Paiton, and Lorabelle Smith.

Visitation for family and friends will be Tuesday, August 5 from 6:00 to 7:00 pm at Lange Funeral Home. A graveside service will be conducted Wednesday, August 6 at 10:00 am at Old Runnels Cemetery with a memorial service following at 11:00 am at Ninth Street Church of Christ in Ballinger. Max Pratt will officiate.

Memorial donations may be made to Rotary House of Hope or a favorite charity.

Aug 01, 2014   10:22 PM

 Ashley Renee Virden, 17, of Ballinger died Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at Shannon Medical Center in San Angelo, TX. Ashley was born April 19, 1997 in San Angelo, Texas to Nicole Boyd and Lynn Virden.

Ashley was an incoming senior at Ballinger High School. Ashley was an avid horse rider, trainer, and barrel racer. Ashley’s sister Amy and her mother Nicole thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Ashley and watching her accomplish any goal she set. Ashley was an excellent student, earning straight A’s throughout her school career. Ashley was a member of the FCCLA, where her article about her horse “Lucky,” earned her both state and national honors. Ashley was a member of the FFA, where she participated on the horse judging team.

She was an active member of the National Barrel Horse Association, Districts Eight and Nine, in which she qualified for the NBHA World Championships four times. In 2010 and 2011, Ashley qualified for the championships as a youth barrel racer, which was held in Jackson, Mississippi. In 2011, Ashley was injured during training for the NBHA Youth World Championships. Her doctor restricted her from any riding activities for six weeks. For most, this would have resulted in cancelling the trip to the championships. Ashley’s passion, courage and hard headed determination prevailed, and Ashley not only continued to train, she participated in the championships and narrowly missed qualifying for the world final round by thirteen one-thousandths of a second.

The only year that Ashley participated in NBHA barrel racing and did not qualify for the world championship was in 2012. In late 2011, Ashley lost her best friend and prize horse, “Lucky.” Devastated by the loss of Lucky and left without a horse that could perform at a similar level, Ashley was unable to obtain enough points to qualify for the championship. In 2013, the determined, hard-headed Ashley armed with her new mount “Sherbert” and old, reliable, “Sippy” qualified in the NBHA World Championship Open Barrel Racing in Perry, Georgia, which is open to riders of any age or experience level. Three days prior to leaving for the world championships, tragedy struck again. Robert Virden, Ashley’s Pa-Pa, was involved in a serious traffic accident in which he was critically injured. Ashley was torn between the desire either to stay home and support her Pa-Pa in his recovery, or participating in the world championship barrel race that she had worked all year to attend. Ashley’s burning passion, courage, and determination to compete told her that she needed to attend the world championship. But Ashley would not consider going until she knew her Pa-Pa would be o.k. Once Ashley received confirmation that Pa-Pa would completely recover from the accident, and his blessing was given, she was determined to go and do what she does best. That year, Ashley narrowly missed qualifying for the final round by eight one-thousandths of a second.

In 2014, Ashley returned to the NBHA World Championship in Perry, Georgia. For this trip, Ashley participated in the Teen Division and qualified for the prestigious final round, riding Sippy. Ashley and old faithful accomplished the goal that had eluded them in previous years. Ashley finished sixth in the fourth division of the world championships. The 2014 World Championships ended just last Sunday.

Ashley was a member of the Bethel Community Church in Bethel, TX, located in southern Runnels County. Ashley was recognized by many for her honesty, sincerity, integrity, and her strong Christian faith. She was preceded in death by her maternal great-grandparents, John and Dorothy Nichols; maternal grandfather, Bill Minton, Jr.; and great-grandfather Bill Minton, Sr.; her great-grandparents Rube and Naomi Virden and Roscoe Woodring. Survivors include her mother, Nicole Boyd and husband Ray of San Angelo, her father, Lynn Virden of Ballinger, one sister, Amy Lynn Virden of Indianapolis, Indiana, her maternal grandparents, Sheila and Harold Combs of Oklahoma, her paternal grandparents, Robert and Bonnie Virden of Ballinger, her maternal great-grandmother, Fern Woodring of Kokomo, Indiana, special cousins, Shayne and Terri Bomar of Odessa, and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Also surviving are special friends, Hadley Hatler, Ethan Langston, Emma Chapman, and Danielle Holmes. Ashley and Lucky have been reunited and are turning the golden barrels across Heaven.

Visitation for family and friends will be held from 3:00-5:00 pm Sunday, August 3 at Lange Funeral Home in Ballinger. Funeral services for will be held at 2:00 pm Monday, August 4 in the Ballinger Community Center Show Barn with Rev. Bryan Highsmith officiating. Burial will follow in the Old Runnels Cemetery. A candlelight service will be held Monday, August 4 at 9:00 pm at Ballinger Community Center Show Barn.

In lieu of flowers, the family request that memorials be made to the NBHA, District 9, the Ashley Virden Memorial Scholarship Fund, or a favorite charity. Ashley is in heaven taking selfies of her and Lucky.

Jul 28, 2014   06:17 PM

 Robert W. (Bob) Fowler, 85, of Paint Rock passed away Saturday, July 26, 2014.

He was born August 23, 1928 to William and Pearl (Page) Fowler in Paint Rock, Texas. Bob married Mae Bell Pierce on June 29, 1947 in Ballinger. They were life long residents of Paint Rock and shared 67 years together. Bob served his country in the Texas State Guard, after being honorably discharged; he began a career as a office manger and bookkeeper. He worked at Armstrong Lumber Co. for 19 years and then at Lyles Construction for 37 years. Bob was a faithful member of the First United Methodist Church in Paint Rock.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, a son, Rob William Fowler and a sister, Inez Gholson.

He is survived by his wife, Mae Bell Fowler of Paint Rock; and a son, Gary Fowler; and granddaughters, Nellie Parrish and husband, Mark and Julie Fowler. Four great grandchildren, Hunter, William, Colton and Michaela Parrish also survive.

Visitation for family and friends will be held from 6:00 to 7:00 pm on Tuesday July 29, 2014 at Lange Funeral Home. Funeral Services will be held at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at the First United Methodist Church in Paint Rock with Bro. Mike Thomson, pastor of the church and Bro. David McLean, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Paint Rock, co-officiating. Burial will follow in the Paint Rock Cemetery. Memorial may be made to a favorite charity.

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