The Gatesville Messenger
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Vestal Opal McDonald passed away quietly in her sleep on January 20, 2015. She was 93 years old. Visitation was Friday, Jan. 23, and her memorial service will take place 10 a.m. today (Saturday), Jan. 24, both at Connally-Compton in Waco. Interment and a brief graveside service will follow mid-afternoon at Murphree Cemetery in Evant. The Rev. Kevin Harrison will offi ciate. Vestal was born Oct. 1, 1921, in Levita, Texas, to Jewel Griffi n and Silas Squyres. She grew up there and enjoyed reminiscing about country life and memories of her neighbors and siblings despite her enduring heartbreak over losing her beloved sister, Blanche, who died before her twelfth birthday. Vestal graduated from Ireland High School where she was a valuable member of the girls’ basketball team (she was the tallest). In 1942, Vestal became a World War II bride upon marrying longtime friend and hometown boy, Arvin Arthur McDonald, who would remain her husband until his death 61 years later. The war years were diffi cult for the young couple, Vestal following Arvin from army base to base until he shipped out to Europe. After weathering this hardship, the couple settled fi rst in the farming community, Mound, where their oldest child and only son was born, and then in Gatesville where two girls joined the family. Later, the family resided in Lorena, Waco, Irving and lastly in Woodway. Vestal was co-owner and manager of Arvin’s surveying business, and became an enthusiastic late-in-life “college girl,” studying English, library science, accounting and nursing over the years. She was a respected member of her communities, devoted to her faith, her family and her home. Vestal loved roses, tending her bushes like a brain surgeon as long as she was able. Tragedy struck the family when middle daughter, Lois Elizabeth, was in a fatal car crash at 17, then again several years later when son, Arvin Mark, returned from service in Vietnam only to also die in an auto accident. Vestal’s character and trust in God miraculously sustained her, and she and Arvin raised their remaining child, Annette Dawn, with love and faith. Vestal is also preceded in death by sisters, O’zealia, Christine, Agnes and Sarah, and her parents. She is survived by brother, Samuel Victor, as well as Annette and numerous nieces and nephews. The family would like to thank the staffs of Lakeshore Estates, Phoenix Care and Providence Hospice for their kindness and care. More than anyone in recent years, friend Betty Orton was her selfl ess guardian angel and has surely earned a special place in heaven. Donations in Vestal’s and Arvin’s names may be made to Victorious Life Church.

Viola Drennan, 85, of Shelbyville, died Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, in Nacogdoches. Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23, 2015, at Watson & Sons Funeral Home in Center with Bro. Gordon Vaughn offi ciating. Graveside service will be held at 3 p.m. today (Saturday), Jan. 24, 2015, at Murphree Cemetery in Evant with Bro. Steve Kirkham offi ciating. Ms. Drennan was born June 9, 1929, in Pearl to Taylor Williams and Annie Box Williams. Drennan was a member of Red Hat Society. She was involved in missionary work in Brazil and was also a member of Hewitt Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by her husband, Loran Voil Drennan; parents, Taylor Williams and Annie Box Williams; and five brothers and sisters. She is survived by her son, Jim Drennan of Shelbyville; daughter: Lora Wilson of Placitas, NM; two grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. Online condolences and tributes can be sent at

October 27, 1933 – January 17, 2015
Robert Earl Patterson, age 81, of Gatesville, passed away Saturday, January 17, 2015. Funeral services were at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 20, 2015, at Scott’s Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Kurt Fuessel and the Rev. Wray Nunn offi ciating. Burial followed at Hemmeline Cemetery. Robert was born on October 27, 1933, on Hardbargain Farm, south of Gatesville, to the late Sam and Dora Patterson. He attended Plainview, Pidcoke and Gatesville schools. He married JoAnn Bridwell on June 15, 1957. He owned his construction company, Pat’s Construction, for many years before he retired as public works director for the City of Gatesville. He loved the Lord, family, friends, church, meeting new people, helping others and working with his animals on his farm. He was preceded in death by his parents, Sam Boyer Patterson and Dora Anna Schaub Patterson; daughter, Brenda Lynn Patterson; grandson, John Paul Massingill; brother, George Wesley (Tince) Patterson; mother-in-law, Bernice Bridwell; and fatherin- law, Byron Clark Bridwell. Robert is survived by his wife of 57 years, JoAnn Bridwell Patterson; daughter, Kay Shirley and fi ancé, Bud West of Mullin, Texas; son, Buster Patterson and wife, Kim of Gatesville; sisters, Grace Tennison, Rosalie Blanchard, Mary Lou Derfl inger, Dora Jean Dyson, Evelyn Thomas and Joyce Edmond; six grandchildren, Brandon Shirley, Jana Faubion, Jacob Shirley, Robert Patterson, Matthew Patterson and Matt Massingill; and 11 great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made Hemmeline Cemetery, 1050 FM 1783, Gatesville, TX 76528 or South Mountain Baptist Church, 6319 E. U.S. Hwy. 84, Gatesville, TX 76528.