January 29, 2019

Douglas Reagan Ault

   Doug Ault, professional baseball first baseman and designated hitter who played for the Texas Rangers (1976) and Toronto Blue Jays (1977–1978, 1980). He is best known for playing in the Blue Jays first Major League Baseball (MLB) game on April 7, 1977, against the Chicago White Sox. Ault hit the first two home runs in franchise history, helping Toronto win 9-5.

   A native of Beaumont, Texas, Ault was a varsity baseball star at Texas Tech. He was drafted three different times in the MLB Draft, but refused to sign. He was finally signed by the hometown Rangers in 1973 as an amateur free agent. He advanced relatively quickly though the Minor League hierarchy, making the Majors in 1976 as a late season replacement. With the Rangers already having Mike Hargrove at first base, Ault became available in the 1976 Major League Baseball expansion draft where he was drafted by the Blue Jays. He became the starting first baseman in their first ever MLB game, and his actions that day turned Ault into the Blue Jays first superstar. He couldn't exceed the expectations given to him, and had an otherwise average career as a result and was out of the Majors within three years.

   He managed in the Minor Leagues for several years, leading the Syracuse Chiefs to a pennant in 1985. He retired in 1994, and went to the automobile business, but a series of personal tragedies and business failures plagued him in later life. Ault committed suicide on December 22, 2004. Source

COORDINATES
30° 07.799, -094° 05.831

Garden of Seasons
Forest Lawn Memorial Park
Beaumont

January 22, 2019

Zachary Scott

   Zachary Thomson Scott, Jr., actor, the son of Sallie Lee (Masterson) and Zachary Thomson Scott, was born in Austin, Texas, on February 21, 1914. His acting career began at Austin High School. From 1932 to 1934 he attended the University of Texas, where he performed leading roles and served as president for the Curtain Club; he was also on the track team. He interrupted his schooling at the age of nineteen to work his way to England on a freighter. There he joined a repertory company and for the next three years gained acting experience.

   He returned to the United States and married Elaine Anderson on February 21, 1935. They had two daughters. The couple lived in New York for a short time but soon returned to the University of Texas, where Scott earned a B.A. in 1939. During this period he worked as director of the Little Theater in Austin and taught dramatics at St. Mary's Academy. He then gave up dramatic pursuits and worked at various jobs, including that of an oilfield worker, but the lure of the stage eventually caused him to move his family to New York.

   He was soon acting in various Broadway productions. In 1943 Warner Brothers Studio discovered Scott while he was appearing in Those Endearing Young Charms. With the starring role in The Mask of Dimitrios in 1944, he began a film career that extended through thirty motion pictures. Scott is best remembered for his work in such popular films as Mildred Pierce (1945), The Southerner (1945), Hollywood Canteen (1944), Danger Signal (1945), and Cass Timberlane (1947). He received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal in The Southerner. During the 1940s Scott's roles, with the exception of The Southerner, were those of a suave, debonair sophisticate, but after 1950 his career broadened. He sang the lead role in a production of The King and I (1956) and appeared on the London stage in such productions as Subway in the Sky (1957). He played numerous television roles and continued to make movies.

   In 1950 Scott and his wife were divorced. He later married actress Ruth Ford. In 1959 they appeared together on Broadway in Requiem for a Nun, a play that novelist William Faulkner had written for Mrs. Scott. Scott and his wife were performing readings from Faulkner's works at the University of Mississippi in early 1965 when Scott grew ill; he died on October 3, 1965, and was buried at Memorial Park in Austin. In 1972 the Zachary Scott Theatre opened in Austin, and in 1988 a chair in drama was established at the University of Texas honoring the Scott family. Source

COORDINATES
30° 19.836, -097° 44.969

Section 4
Austin Memorial Park Cemetery
Austin

January 15, 2019

Amber Hagerman

   Amber Rene Hagerman was a young girl abducted in 1999 while riding her bike with her brother in Arlington, Texas. A neighbor who witnessed the abduction called the police, and Amber's brother, Ricky, went home to tell his mother and grandparents what happened. On hearing the news, Hagerman's father, Richard, called Marc Klaas, whose daughter, Polly, had been abducted and murdered in Petaluma, California, on October 1, 1993. Richard and Amber's mother, Donna Whitson, called the news media and the FBI, then they and their neighbors began searching for Amber.

   Four days after her abduction, near midnight, Amber's body was discovered in a creek behind an apartment complex with severe laceration wounds to her neck. The site of her discovery was less than five miles from where she went missing. As of 2018, there are still no suspects in her abduction and homicide. Within days of Amber's death, her mother was "calling for tougher laws governing kidnappers and sex offenders". Amber's parents soon established People Against Sex Offenders (P.A.S.O.) and collected signatures hoping to force the Texas Legislature into passing more stringent laws to protect children.

   God's Place International Church donated the first office space for the organization, and as the search for Amber's killer continued, P.A.S.O. received almost-daily coverage in local media. Congressman Martin Frost, with the help of Marc Klaas, drafted the Amber Hagerman Child Protection Act. Both of Hagerman's parents were present when President Bill Clinton signed the bill into law, creating the national sex offender registry. The two then began collecting signatures in Texas, which they planned to present to then-Governor George W. Bush as a sign that people wanted more stringent laws for sex offenders.

   In July 1996, Bruce Seybert (whose daughter was a friend of Amber) and Richard Hagerman attended a media symposium in Arlington. In Seybert's twent minute speech, he spoke about efforts that local police could take quickly to help find missing children and how the media could facilitate those efforts. C.J. Wheeler, a reporter from radio station KRLD, approached the Dallas police chief shortly afterward with Seybert's ideas and launched the first ever Amber Alert.

   Whitson testified in front of the U.S. Congress in June 1996, asking legislators to create a nationwide registry of sex offenders. Representative Martin Frost, the Congressman who represented Whitson's district, proposed an "Amber Hagerman Child Protection Act". Among the sections of the bill was one that would create a national sex offender registry. In 1998, the Child Alert Foundation created the first fully automated Alert Notification System (ANS) to notify surrounding communities when a child was reported missing or abducted. Source

COORDINATES
32° 45.274, -096° 07.026


Moore Memorial Gardens
Arlington

January 8, 2019

"Dimebag" Darrell Abbott

   Guitarist and producer Darrell Lance Abbott was born in Arlington, Texas, on August 20, 1966. He was the son of Jerry and Carolyn Abbott. Darrell Abbott, better known as “Dimebag” Darrell to his fans, is perhaps best-known for forming the rock band Pantera with his brother Vincent Abbott in the early 1980s. Pantera became one of the world’s most popular metal bands and helped to keep the rock genre alive throughout the 1990s.

   Born and raised in the Dallas area, Darrell Abbott was influenced by music at a young age. Son of country songwriter and record producer Jerry Abbott, Darrell and his brother Vincent, better known as Vinnie Paul, were encouraged early on to play music. Despite being surrounded by country music as a child, Darrell was drawn to such rock music influences as Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, Ace Frehley of Kiss, Eddie Van Halen of Van Halen, and Randy Rhoads (Ozzy Osbourne’s post-Black Sabbath guitarist). In his early teens, he frequently won local and statewide guitar talent competitions.

   Darrell Abbott (on guitar) and his brother Vinnie Paul (on drums) formed the original version of Pantera in 1981 and founded the record label Metal Magic in order to release their music. At first, the band was more pop-oriented and somewhat reminiscent of the so-called Sunset-Strip style of metal rock. Abbott was originally known as “Diamond” Darrell, because of the flashy style of rock music he played.

   When vocalist Philip Anselmo joined Pantera in 1987, the band redefined its sound and began playing a harder-edged style that some music critics dubbed “power metal.” It was at this time that Abbott changed his nickname from “Diamond” to “Dimebag.” He reportedly auditioned for the band Megadeth in the late 1980s but was turned down. Pantera signed with a subsidiary of Atlantic Records in 1990 and released the album Cowboys from Hell. Two more albums soon followed, Vulgar Display of Power in 1992 and Far Beyond Driven in 1994. Far Beyond Driven debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard charts and marked the band’s peak of commercial success. Pantera released two more albums and received four Grammy nominations over the course of its career. Abbott lived in Arlington and had a recording studio in his home where several Pantera albums were recorded. However, after persistent feuding between Darrell Abbott and Philip Anselmo, Pantera broke up in 2003.

   During that same year that Pantera split up, Darrell and his brother Vinnie Paul formed the new band Damageplan. With Abbott on guitar and Paul on drums, the brothers recruited vocalist Patrick Lachman and bassist Bob Kakaha. Abbot produced the group’s debut album, New Found Power, which was released in February 2004. Damageplan traveled to Columbus, Ohio, to play a concert on December 8, 2004, at the Alrosa Villa Nightclub. However, during the first song of the evening, audience member Nathan M. Gale fatally shot Abbott, along with concertgoer Nathan Bray, Alrosa Villa employee Erin Halk, and Damageplan security guard Jeff Thompson. Apparently, Nathan Gale was upset about Pantera’s breakup and blamed Abbott for the band’s demise.

   Darrell Abbott was noted for his short, tight guitar solos, which many critics argued helped preserve the traditional heavy metal sound, even after the genre had lost popularity in the 1990s. He performed on recordings of other groups, including Anthrax and Nickelback. Darrell Abbott also played a cut on Spacewalk: A Salute to Ace Frehley (1996), a tribute album to his early guitar influence, and he and Vinnie Paul collaborated with country musician David Allan Coe. After Abbott’s death, Guitar Player magazine acknowledged him as one of “The 10 Most Important Guitarists Ever.” With his roaring approach and heavy metal guitar riffs, Abbott inspired a generation of young metal guitar players.

   Abbott was survived by his father, Jerry Abbott, and his brother, Vinnie Paul. Darrell Abbott’s funeral service took place at the Arlington Convention Center, and he was buried in the Moore Memorial Garden Cemetery in Arlington, along with one of Eddie Van Halen’s guitars. Source

COORDINATES
32° 45.239, -097° 07.192

Lakesides Estates
Moore Memorial Gardens
Arlington

January 1, 2019

Corwin "Amazing Grace" Hawkins

   Corwin Anthony Hawkins was born in Houston, Texas on March 12, 1965. He attended St. Peter's Catholic School, and after graduation, decided to be an entertainer. He began competing and quickly started winning female impersonator competitions. In 1991, his favorite drag character, "Amazing Grace," was crowned Miss Gay Texas. The next year he took the title of Texas Entertainer of the Year and went on to capture the 1992 National Entertainer of the Year title in Louisville, Kentucky. After appearing on Def Comedy Jam, BET and HBO Comedy specials, he was discovered by Keenan Ivory Wayans and hired for the role of Wayman in the film A Low Down Dirty Shame, a part originally written for RuPaul. Sadly, he was unable to capitalize on his new-found fame; he passed away of pneumonia a month before the film's release.

COORDINATES
29° 33.780, -095° 21.116

Section 18
Houston Memorial Gardens
Pearland