January 29, 2013

John Hillery Osteen (1921-1999)

John Osteen, founder and first pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, was born in Paris, Texas, August 21, 1921. He earned his bachelor's degree from John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, and his master's degree from Northern Baptist Seminary; he also held a Doctorate of Divinity degree from Oral Roberts University. He did not begin thinking seriously about God or religion until 1939, after leaving a nightclub he frequented. Within a couple of months, he began preaching in Paris, Texas and was apparently ordained to the gospel ministry shortly before his 18th birthday by a church affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. He served as an Associate Pastor at First Baptist Church in San Diego after completing his studies at NBTS and by the late 1940s as a minister at First Baptist Church in Hamlin, Texas. John left Hamlin in 1948 to become an traveling preacher, but within a year he became pastor of Central Baptist Church in Baytown, Texas. During his pastorate of Central Baptist Church, Osteen and his first wife, Emma, began to experience marital unrest and subsequently divorced. He married Dolores "Dodie" Pilgrim on September 17, 1954, and the following year resigned his pastorate. Osteen again entered pastoral ministry at Hibbard Memorial Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, but left in 1958. That same year, John and Dodie's first daughter Lisa was born with severe health issues. As he wrestled with her circumstance, his theological beliefs began to shift and he had ecstatic religious experiences that he called "the baptism of the Holy Ghost". A year later, on Mother's Day, May 10, 1959, he and Dodie started Lakewood Baptist Church in an abandoned feed store in northeast Houston as a church for charismatic Baptists. The church soon dropped "Baptist" from its name and became independent and non-denominational. Lakewood developed into a body of approximately 15,000 members with active ministries in televangelism, conferences, missionary support, and food distribution. He hosted the weekly John Osteen television program for 16 years, reaching millions in the U.S. and in many other countries. On January 23, 1999, he died from a heart attack at the age of 77. His youngest son Joel later succeeded him as pastor.

30° 05.433
-095° 34.335

Chapel Mausoleum
Klein Memorial Park

January 22, 2013

Abner "Ab" Pickens Blocker (1856-1943)

Abner Blocker, trail driver, youngest of the three sons of Abner Pickens and Cornelia Randolph (Murphy) Blocker, was born on January 30, 1856, on the family ranch near Austin, Texas. He spent his youth in farm and ranch work and in 1876 joined his older brothers, William B. and John R. Blocker, on their range in Blanco County. In 1877 he helped deliver 3,000 steers to John Sparks in Wyoming. Over the next seventeen years he drove longhorn cattle up the trails from Texas to various buyers in Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana, and as far north as the Canadian border. In the summer of 1885 he delivered 2,500 head from Tom Green County to B. H. (Barbecue) Campbell, manager of the Capitol Syndicate's Buffalo Springs division in Dallam County. Campbell had contracted to buy cattle for the newly established XIT Ranch, and this was the first herd from South and West Texas to arrive. Blocker devised the XIT brand, for which the syndicate's ranch was named. Afterward he was involved in the dispute at Fort Supply, Oklahoma, resulting from the attempts of Kansas ranchers to quarantine the herds of his brother and other South Texas cattlemen and keep the Texans from crossing their land.

Beginning in 1887 Blocker tried cotton farming for two years, but a period of drought soon put him back in the saddle. In 1890 he was made range boss of his brother's Chupadero Ranch, near Eagle Pass. His last overland trail drive was to Deadwood, South Dakota, with Harris Franklin's herd in 1893. In 1896 he married Florence Baldwin; they had a daughter. The family resided on a ranch in La Salle County, fifteen miles southeast of Cotulla, until a prolonged drought ruined them financially. In 1903, after living in Oklahoma for a year, the Blockers returned to Eagle Pass and subsequently took up residence again at the Chupadero Ranch. There they remained until 1912, when Blocker began working for the Texas Cattle Raisers Association (later the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association). He died in San Antonio on August 9, 1943, and was buried in Dignowity Cemetery. Source

29° 25.408
-098° 28.020

Section B
Dignowity Cemetery
San Antonio

January 15, 2013

Kenneth Franzheim II (1925-2007)

The youngest of three children, Kenneth Franzheim II was born in New York City, NY on Sept 12, 1925, the son of Kenneth Franzheim, one of Houston's most renowned architects, and Elizabeth Simms Franzheim. After graduating from St. Paul's School in 1943, Kenneth served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1943 to 1945, and graduated from Yale University in 1948. During a successful 50 year career in the oil and gas industry, he was appointed by President Nixon as Ambassador to New Zealand, Western Samoa, Fiji, and Kingdom of Tonga from 1969 to 1972. A dedicated philanthropist, he established endowments to the University of Houston for the preservation of their rare book collection, a professorship and a fund to purchase texts in languages, literature, the arts and general humanities. He died October 29, 2007 and buried in the family plot in Glenwood Cemetery.

29° 45.897
-095° 23.049

Section F3
Glenwood Cemetery

January 8, 2013

Henry Falcott (1835-1910)

Henry Falcott, Medal of Honor recipient, was born in Champagne, France in 1835. He emigrated to the United States and enlisted in the U.S. Army in San Francisco, California. He joined Company L of the 8th U.S. Cavalry and eventually reached the rank of first sergeant. He was part of a small cavalry force numbering 50 to 60 soldiers, primarily from Company B and Company L, who were charged with protecting settlers from Apache raiding parties in the Arizona Territory during the summer and fall of 1868. Falcott and his comrades faced the Apache in fierce fighting, often being ambushed or sniped at from hidden ravines, in a campaign lasting 90 days. The following summer, Falcott and 33 other members of his regiment received the Medal of Honor for their actions on July 24, 1869. It was one of the largest MOH presentations at the time. Falcott died in San Antonio, Texas on December 2, 1910, at the age of 75 and interred at the San Antonio National Cemetery. Source

Bravery in scouts and actions against Indians.

29° 25.279
-098° 28.033

Section F
San Antonio National Cemetery
San Antonio

January 1, 2013

Charlotte Ganahl Walker (1878-1958)

Charlotte Walker, actress, was born in Galveston to Edwin A. and Charlisa (De Ganahl) Walker and was the mother of character actress Sara Haden. Walker made her stage debut as a teen, when at nineteen she performed in London, England in a comedy called The Mummy. She performed with Richard Mansfield and later returned to her native Texas. She appeared as June in Trail of the Lonesome Pine in 1911 and would later reprise the role in Cecil B. DeMille's 1916 film Trail of the Lonesome Pine. David Belasco noticed her in On Parole and signed her for starring roles in plays The Warrens of Virginia, Just a Wife, and Call The Doctor. In 1923 she played with Ethel Barrymore in The School For Scandal, produced by the Player's Club.

Walker's motion picture career began in 1915 with Kindling and Out of the Darkness. Sloth (1917) is a five-reeler which features Walker. In the third reel of this film she plays a youthful Dutch maid who is about sixteen years old. The setting is an old Dutch settlement on Staten Island, New York. The theme stresses the perils of indolence to a nation of people and cautions against permitting luxury to replace the simplistic life led by America's forebears. In her later silent film work Walker can be seen in The Midnight Girl (1925) starring alongside a pre-Dracula Bela Lugosi. The Midnight Girl is one of Walker's few silents that survives. As a film actress she continued to perform in films into the early 1930s. Her later screen performances include roles in Lightnin (1930), Millie (1931), Salvation Nell (1931), and Hotel Variety (1933) She married her first husband, Dr. John B. Haden, on November 16, 1896 in New York City. With him she had two daughters, Beatrice Shelton  and Katherine, who later changed her name to Sara Haden. After her divorce, she returned to the stage. Her second husband, Eugene Walter, was a playwright who adapted the novel The Trail of the Lonesome Pine for Broadway;. the second marriage also ended in divorce in 1930. Charlotte Walker died in 1958 at a hospital in Kerrville, Texas at age 81.

Note: Crypt is unmarked. There are several crypts inside the Haden family mausoleum, all marked with a small nameplate except for two - those of Charlotte and her daughter Sara.

29° 17.621
-094° 48.682

Haden Mausoleum
Trinity Episcopal Cemetery