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CCPA elects officers, presents Pioneer Awards



The Clay County Pioneer Association conducted the business of the 81st Pioneer Reunion by electing officers and handing out Pioneer Awards Saturday afternoon on the courthouse square.

Registering on Friday and Saturday were 757 Pioneers. Last year, there were 796 registered Pioneers in attendance. To register as a Clay County Pioneer, one must be 60 years old, be a native of Clay County, or have lived within the county for 30 or more years.

Serving as president of the CCPA for the 82nd Pioneer Reunion and Rodeo is Cecil Sparkman of Post Oak. First Vice-President Carla Sue Pullen of Bellevue, Second Vice President Linda Bevering of Charlie and Secretary Judy Davidson of the Neville Community will assist Sparkman.

Honorary vice presidents, as elected by the CCPA, are Carroll Vicars of Jolly, Andy Harding of Byers, Gary Wells of the Cobb Community, and Mike Rhone of Bellevue.

The Oldest Native Son award was presented to Billy Don Starnes, 87, of Lakeside City. Starnes was born in Vashti in 1925, and farmed and ranched in the Vashti Community for many years.

For a second year, Virginia Kirby Hearn was awarded Oldest Native Daughter. Hearn, 98, of Wichita Falls, was born in 1914 in Clay County.

Earning the award for the longest married couple is Johnny and Betty Haney, together for 68 years.

The award for Pioneer who traveled furthest to attend the 81st reunion is Betty Schoen of Trenton, N.J., who came 1,565 miles.


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The Pioneer Sentinel is an online newspaper designed to deliver the news of Clay County, Texas, in a concise and community-friendly format.

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