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  Obituaries (Page 3)
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  Challis, James E. (Ike)
Challis, Marie Beard
Fuller, Barbara Alyne
Grigg, Horace
Johnson, Joe M.
King, Jane H. F.
McAllister, Genevieve Langham
McKnight, Felix R.
Pharr, Mildred Walker
Powell, Johnnie L.
Rogers, Joe Hudnall
Sizemore, Georgia
Strickland, Marjorie
Threlkeld, Delle Cass
Tolley, Donna Shoemaker
Watson, Joseph P. Jr.
Felix R. McKnight
Fort Worth Star-Telegram February 9, 2004

Dallas journalist, co-publisher of Times Herald

Felix R. McKnight, who covered the horrific New London school explosion as a young Associated Press reporter and went on to become co-publisher and editor of the Dallas Times Herald, has died. He was 93.

Mr. McKnight, synonymous with Dallas journalism for six decades, died Saturday at his University Park home, The Dallas Morning News reported in its Sunday editions.

Mr. McKnight was 26 and working in the AP's Dallas bureau when he got an urgent call from a correspondent about a "terrible explosion" at a school in East Texas near Overton. He sent a bulletin across the wire about the gas blast, which killed at least 294.

Mr. McKnight was among the first reporters on the scene along with his competitor from United Press, Walter Cronkite.

That night McKnight visited a roller rink that served as the morgue.

"The force of that explosion was so great that hardly a child was identifiable except for clothing," he said. While there, he was drafted to help sponge down remains with formaldehyde to help preserve them, and the horror kept him awake for five straight days.

Mr. McKnight was born in Dallas, but his family moved to San Antonio when he was a child. An illness forced him out of Texas A&M University during his junior year, but he maintained an interest in journalism that began as a high school newspaper sports editor.

He worked summers for the San Antonio Light and covered games at college as a Southwest Conference correspondent for the Light, the Star-Telegram, the Houston Chronicle and The Morning News.

Mr. McKnight is survived by his wife since 1934, Elizabeth, a daughter and son-in-law, and three grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a daughter.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Highland Park United Methodist Church. Burial will follow at Restland Memorial Park in Dallas.
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Mildred Walker Pharr
Houston Chronicle October 24, 2005

MILDRED WALKER PHARR April 25, 1923 - October 22, 2005
Born in Snow Hill, Arkansas to Charles E. and Belle Hayes Walker and went to Heaven in Houston, Texas, her home of 40 years. Mildred had many fond memories of her childhood playing with her cousins around her grandparent's home in Cass County Texas.

She was schooled in New London, Texas and survived the March 18, 1937, New London School explosion, where her sister, Inez was killed. Mildred was a 1947 graduate of TSCW (now TWU). She joined Gethsemane United Methodist Church in 1966 and was a member of the Beacon/Friendship Sunday School class. Mildred is survived by her husband of 52 years, Kenneth A. Pharr, Sr.; children, Ken Jr. and wife Lynn, Mark and wife Norma, and Carolyn Salyer and husband, Michael; grandchildren, Karin Marie and Samuel Kenneth Pharr; and her sister, Marion Walker Steen and husband Lee.
Visitation will be 6:30 P.M.-8:30 P.M., Monday, October 24, at Miller Funeral Home, 7723 Beechnut. Funeral services will be at 2:00 P.M., Tuesday, October 25 at Gethsemane United Methodist Church, 6856 Bellaire Blvd. A reception will follow in the church parlor. Burial at Forest Park Westheimer.
Mildred has many beloved friends and family who will miss her greatly. No finer wife, mother, sister or friend can be found.

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Johnnie L. Powell
March 1, 1912 - January 24, 2007
Email from Terry Collins
Denton Church of Christ, Denton TX

Today we will bury Johnnie L. Powell, who died Jan. 24th at the age of 94. Johnnie was a devout member of our church for many years. He was a young insurance salesman who had just walked out of the school and across the street to have a Coke when the explosion happened. He said he saw chunks of the building the size of cars come crashing down. Hearing his first-hand account was chilling. He remained there for many hours, digging bodies out and consoling those who came looking for loved ones. Not many hours before the explosion he had sold simple burial policies to families who would soon be spared from further ruin.

Denton Record-Chronicle
January 25, 2007

Johnnie L. Powell, 94, of Collinsville, longtime Denton resident, died Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2007 in Collinsville. He was born on March 1, 1912 in Van Zandt County, TX to John Henry Powell and Ora Bell Mosley Powell. He married Anna Mae Lee on Jan. 1, 1935 in Marietta, OK. She preceded him in death on Feb. 27, 2006. He served in the U.S. Army during WW II. For many years, he and his wife ran the Texas Neon Sign Company until they sold it and retired. He was a longtime member of Denton Church of Christ where he also served as an Elder, former member of the Denton Chamber of Commerce, Denton VFW, and Denton Kiwanis Club.

Visitation will be Thursday, Jan. 25, 2007 from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m., at DeBerry Funeral Directors. Service will be Friday, Jan. 26, 2007 at 11 a.m., at Denton Church of Christ, 403 Welch St. with Terry Collins officiating.

He is survived by daughters, Carolyn and husband, Archie Hale of Collinsville; Barbara Ann McKnight of Marion; nine grandchildren; nine great grandchildren; and two great-great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents; wife; sisters, Loyette Matthews; Gladys Powell; and brother, Buddy Powell.

DeBerry Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements.
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