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OBITUARIES

Billy James “Jimmy” Avery

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March 25, 1942 – April 26, 2024
ODESSA – Billy James “Jimmy” Avery, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend entered the presence of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on April 26, 2024. He was 82 years old.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. on May 2 at the White Family Funeral Home in Bowie. A funeral service will take place at 2 p.m. on May 3 at the First Free Will Baptist Church in Bowie, with Pastor and family friend Doyle Wade officiating. Burial will follow at Salona Cemetery in Bowie. Pallbearers will be John Coffey, Tim Green, Mark Jackson, Chad McCracken, Larry Overstreet and Kurt Jackson. Honorary pallbearers include Joe McCracken, Louie Jackson, Gary Odle, Terrell Hill and Kevin Bryan.
Jimmy was born in Bowie to LR and Elsie (Johnson) Avery on March 25, 1942. He graduated from Bowie High School, where he played on the football team making all district and all area his senior year. He then went to play football at Cameron University.
On Aug. 3, 1963 Jimmy married his high school sweetheart, Judy Elizabeth Overstreet Avery. This began a love story that would last 61 years. Together they began a remarkable life and raised two beautiful girls, Kimberly Avery and Kelly Haring. He had an amazing career at Shell Oil where he retired after 30 years.
He was an avid hunter and fisher, loved his western movies and never missed a Texas Longhorn football game. His true passion in life though was his family and most knew him as their beloved “Poppa.” His family was his pride and joy and he would have done anything for them. Poppa had the natural ability to put a smile on anyone’s face and always leave you with a laugh. He knew how to have fun and be the life of the party. Jimmy Avery was a hard-working man whose life was dedicated to his loving family.
He is preceded in death by his parents, LR and Elsie (Johnson) Avery and sister, Colleen Hunt.
Jimmy is survived by his loving wife, Judy; his children, Kimberly Avery and Kelly Haring, all of Odessa; nephew, Lanny Hunt, Wichita Falls and cousins, Mike Avery, Longview, TX and Terry Tucker, Fort Worth. He was a proud Poppa to Ashley Bryan and husband Kevin, Fort Worth and one great-grandchild, Conner James Bryan, named after his beloved Poppa.
Arrangements entrusted to the White Family Funeral Home of Bowie.

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OBITUARIES

Janice Kay Swaim

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December 31, 1946 – May 24, 2024
BOWIE – Janice Kay Swaim, 77, died on May 24, 2024.
A graveside service was at 11 a.m. on May 28 at Sunset Cemetery with Doyle Wade as the officiant.
She was born Dec. 31, 1946 in Bowie to Ocie Leon and Lora Mae (Trout) Clayton. On Nov. 14, 1964 she married Carroll Swaim. She was a retired beautician.
She is preceded in death by her mother, Lora Mae Fuller; her stepfather; father, Ocie Clayton and brother, Thomas Clayton.
She is survived by her husband, Carroll Swaim and daughter, Tonya Swaim.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hospice of Wichita Falls.
Arrangements entrusted to the White Family Funeral Home of Bowie.

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OBITUARIES

Sheila Inez (Durbin) McKinley

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January 12, 1964 – May 20, 2024
BOWIE – Sheila Inez (Durbin) McKinley, 60, went to be with the Lord on May 20, 2024. She was a vivacious, fearless soul who loved life and all of those she met in it.
A visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on May 28 at the White Family Funeral Home in Bowie. A funeral service will take place at 1 p.m. on May 29 at the Central Baptist Church, 710 W. Wise St. Bowie, with Pastor Gregg Shaw officiating. Burial will follow at Elmwood Cemetery in Bowie with Dylan Dixon, Bowdie Dixon, Levi Kixmiller, Bryce Baumstark, Brantley Milan and Aiden McKinley serving as pallbearers.
Sheila was born Jan. 12, 1964 in Lawton, OK to Walt and Linda Durbin. Her family traveled for most of her childhood while Walt served in the Army. Sheila would find herself in Wilburton, OK, where she graduated high school and then went on to college at the Eastern Oklahoma College. She received an associates degree; however Sheila put her educational plans on hold to raise her family. Her son Kevin was born in 1982, and in 1985 her daughter Destiny. Sheila adored her children and her role as being their mother. She loved to spend her days at the lake with her “water babies” or dancing. Even after Sheila’s stroke her son would hold her up so they could two step.
After Sheila’s children were older she would go on to teach as a substitute teacher for several years. Her students would describe her as caring and compassionate. Her enthusiastic love for life kept her students excited and eager to learn.
In 1999 Sheila was given one of favorite titles, “Nana.” Her grandbabies were her world. She loved taking them on rides with her convertible top down, music blaring. 1999 was a big year, that’s also when she met the love of her life, Darwin McKinley. She fell deeply in love and married him in July of 2000. Sheila and Darwin made their home in Bowie. The two traveled the United States with Darwin’s work. Sheila would spend her time shopping or at the pool making new friends. She had a knack for gab and never met a stranger.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Walt and Linda Durbin; grandson, Eli Sorensen and nephew, Allen Durbin Jr.
Sheila is survived by her loving husband of 24 years, Darwin, Bowie; son, Kevin Dixon and wife Brandy, Lone Grove, OK; daughter, Destiny Owens and husband J.W., Ardmore, OK; stepdaughter, Constance Sorensen and husband Jason, College Station; stepson, Lee McKinley, College Station; 12 grandchildren, Callie, Dylan, Ashlynn, Liberty, Bowdie, Levi, Bryce, Brantley, Lainey, Aiden, Kinley and Jude; four great-grandbabies, Stetson, Whitlee, Jackson and Holly; sister, Julina Vandiver and husband Rick, Bowie and two brothers, Allen Durbin and wife Heather, Healdton, OK and Freddie Durbin, Broken Bow, OK.
The idea is not to live forever, but to create something that will. That’s exactly what Sheila did. She will forever live in our hearts and in our memories.
Arrangements entrusted to the White Family Funeral Home of Bowie.

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OBITUARIES

Vera Belle Lawson

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February 19, 1923 – May 20, 2024
BOWIE – Vera Belle Lawson, 101, died on May 20, 2024.
The family received friends from 6 to 8 p.m. on May 23 at the White Family Funeral Home in Bowie. A funeral services was at 10 a.m. on May 24 at the First Free Will Baptist Church in Bowie with Pastor Glenn Neff, Michael Hanson and Mark Hanson. Burial followed Vashti Cemetery.
She was born Feb. 19, 1923 to Ed and Maude (Griffin) Winters in New Liberty, TX. She graduated from Bellevue High School in 1940 and married Louis A. Lawson on Feb. 14, 1942. The couple had four children and started their homestead in Vashti. They later built a house in Bowie where she lived until her passing.
Lawson taught Sunday school and volunteered at the Bowie Hospital, nursing homes, VFW Ladies Auxiliary and other organizations. She also volunteered at God’s Table. She was a member of the First Freewill Baptist Church in Bowie for 65 years as well as the Pleasant Mound Freewill Baptist (Rock Church) in Buffalo Springs.
She is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Louis; daughter, Karen and two grandsons.
She is survived by her daughters, Jenyne Fenoglio, Bellevue, Janis Gary, Bowie and Belinda Seale, Vernon; seven grandchildren; 15 great grandchildren and 21 great-great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to God’s Table, 505 Strong Street, Bowie, Texas or another charitable organization.
Arrangements entrusted to the White Family Funeral Home of Bowie.

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