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  Recollections/Emails (Page 11)
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  Contributors  
     
  Abercrombie, Clotiele B.
Abercrombie, Loyd D. Sr.
Abercrombie, Virgie Blalock

Armstrong, John
Bain, Pamela
Bento, Lola
Box, Dorothy Womack
Campbell, Lu
Holbert, Pearl Shaw
Challis, James E. "Ike"
Cole, Beaver
Coleman, Howard
Cronkite, Walter
Degnan, Julie E.
Duch, Greg
Erikson, Charles Henry
Ezell, Alta Reigh
Farrell, Hal
Gregory, Doug
Grenley, Martha Rogers
Grigg, Horace
Grigg, William N.
Hannon, Bill
Harris, Howard
Johnson, Joe and Bobby
Kronjaeger, Jim
Lester, George
Lester, George - Playmates
Lummus, Darlene
Lummus, Don
Martinez, Nelma Cummins
Mayhew, Bessie
McAllister, Mark

Meissner, J. Raymond
Moody, Mildred
Motley, Pete
Nelson, Ron
Plant, Sally
Platton, Mike
Read, Osceola Jefferson
Robertson, William Judson
Robinson, Jimmie Jordan
Mack Thornton Rogers
Ryan, Terri Jo
Seacrist, Debra
Shaw, Marjorie
Stanley, Glenda G.
Taylor, Bob
Taylor, Jim
Thompson, Bill
Vail, Mary Lechtenberg
Vento, Eduardo
Vinson, Allen Earl
Vinson, Melvin
Williams, William B.
 
     
     
 
 
  J. Raymond Meissner  
     
  FORT WORTH -- J. Raymond Meissner, 87, a retired funeral director, died Saturday, March 8, 1997, at a Fort Worth retirement center.

Funeral: 3 p.m. Tuesday at Thompson's Harveson & Cole Funeral Home. Burial: Rose Hill Memorial Park.

J. Raymond Meissner was born June 15, 1909, in Bellville. He was the son of a pioneer family in the Polytechnic area. As a young man in the 1920s, he obtained his funeral director's and embalmer's licenses and was an associate of Shannon's Funeral Home, first on the north side and later at the funeral home on Nashville and Avenue B in Polytechnic. In 1941, he purchased this funeral home and operated as Meissner Funeral Home for more than 30 years until his retirement.

March 18 is the 60th anniversary of the explosion in New London. Mr. Meissner was one of the morticians who went to New London to assist in the care of the children who were killed in this disaster.

During retirement years, he was an associate of Thompson's Harveson & Cole Funeral Home.

He was a member of Polytechnic United Methodist Church. He was a past president of East Fort Worth Lions Club and past district governor of the Lions International. He was a member of Polytechnic Masonic Lodge No. 925 and member of Moslah Shrine. He was past patron of Polytechnic Order of the Eastern Star No. 420 and member of I.O.O.F. Lodge No. 148.

Survivors: Wife, Martha Ward Meissner of Fort Worth; sisters-in-law, Mrs. Leon (Imogene) Meissner of Granbury, Mrs. Harry (Frances) Meissner of Austin, Mrs. Mack (Bernice) Meissner of Fort Worth and Mrs. Frank (Martha Ruth) Ward of Galveston; and nephews and nieces.
 
     
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  Mildred Moody's Poem Courtesy of Kerri Griffith  
     
  My name is Kerri Griffith. My grandmother lost her cousin, Claude Kilgore, in the explosion, and ever since childhood I've been curious about the horrific tragedy. My grandma passed away several years ago, and I received boxes full of family papersócards, notes, poems, and other memorabilia. I was looking through everything and found a poem my great aunt, Mildred Moody, wrote about the explosion. If you would like to feel free to post it on the website. I never knew Mildredóshe died not long after 1937.

The New London School Blast
By Mildred Moody

The sun arose brightly that morning
beginning another new day. A world
full of joy for each girl and each boy
and sorrow seemed far away.

The children were told to be good
by mothers so loving and kind.
As they tripped off to school, not one
of them knew they were leaving
their loved ones behind.

They studied their lessons, as usual,
as many a time before. Not a warning
to one that fate had begun its business
of striking once more.

All at once, through the great school building
a terrific noise burst forth. Not a moment
to wonder of that loud roaring thunder
that deafened the girls and the boys.

So suddenly everything happened,
had it waited a few minutes more,
school would have been out.
Hundreds died just like flies,
so heedless their cries. Before
help was summoned, no doubt.

News travels swiftly, you know,
and before many hours had past,
while death kept on walking,
the whole world was talking
of the New London Blast.

All through the night, people waited
as they carried out the dead, one by one.
With their eyes full of tears, their hearts full of fear,
afraid for their missing daughters and sons.
 
     
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  Pete Motley  
     
  Taken from correspondence with his daughter, Donna Motley Kropp  
     
  "My father, Pete Motley was in the explosion. He apparently located his older brother Ray who was also in the junior high school. The family story that was told to me was that my father saved his brother's life. My dad attended a number of the reunions held during the 80's and 90's, but he is currently living in a nursing home in Tyler and won't be able to attend any further. I have heard many stories about the school explosion as my grandparents were living at the Humble camp in the area. I also have a picture of the school following the explosion that doesn't look like anything posted here."  
     
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