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Cecil Sparkman leads association during 82nd Pioneer Reunion


Serving as president of the 82nd Annual Clay County Pioneer Reunion and Rodeo is Cecil Sparkman, Sr.

President Sparkman was born Dec. 3, 1939 in Decatur to D.C. (Slim) Sparkman and Jimmie Sparkman. He lived one half mile in Jack County and in 1960 crossed the line into Clay County.

President Sparkman attended elementary and high school at Midway ISD. He attended Tarleton State College in Stephenville. He and Betty Sparkman were married at the Live Oak Baptist Church in Jacksboro. They have five children. Colleen Miles, Tracy Spivey, Rodney Winkles, Dudley Sparkman and Melissa Whitaker. He has 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

President Sparkman has been a lifelong rancher. He is a member of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. He held a seat on the Midway School Board from 1975-1981, serving as president one year. He has been a member of the Clay County Farm Bureau Directors since 1981, serving as vice-president and president, and is currently vice president.

First vice president of the CCPA is Carla Sue Pullen of Bellevue. She is the wife of Rayford Pullen and has three children, Lee Moss, Marsha Shoemaker and Kevin Pullen, and nine grandchildren. She is the daughter of the Carl and Ida Mae Mayfield.

Pullen is a rancher, and volunteers for Pioneer Reunion and Turkey Fest. She is a member of the Bellevue Babes Bunco group.

Second vice president is Linda Bevering of Charlie. She is the wife of Jack Bevering and has three children, Wendy Coker, Casey Sims and Jackeline Bevering, and six grandchildren. She is the daughter of the late Carl Klein and JoAnn Schenk Klein. Bevering is retired Clay County Title after 32 years, and is a member of Western Heritage Christian Church.

Secretary is Judy Davidson of the Neville Community. She is the wife of Bob Davidson and has one daughter, K.J. Davidson of Henrietta, and one grand child. She is the daughter of the late Verna and Ina Crump. Davidson worked for seven years at the Wichita Falls Clinic, 14 years at Clay County Memorial Hospital and four years at Henrietta Care Center. She is retired. She is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Henrietta.

Honorary vice presidents are Gary Wells of the Cobb Community, Mike Rhone of Bellevue, Carol Vicars of Jolly and Andy Harding of Byers.

Gary Wells represents the Cobb community. Wells was Born Aug. 1, 1949 in Jacksboro to Granvel M. and Sarah B.(Copeland) Wells, and moved to Clay County with his family in 1954. He attended grade school and high school in Antelope, finishing as salutatorian of his class. He attended Midwestern University from 1968-1971, receiving a BBA degree. He married Linda J. Henderson in 1968 at the Antelope Methodist Church.

He has one son, Mark Wells, and two grandchildren, Ashley and Kristen Wells. He was regional manager and investigator/inspector for the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs for 38 years. As an inspector he was loaned to HUD and assigned to inspections to evaluate manufacturing quality control procedures across the United States. He served in the 2/131st Field Artillery of the Texas National Guard from 1971 to 1977, honorably discharged March 29, 1977.

He is now retired and helping manage the family Ranch. He is a member and director of the Antelope Methodist Church. He is a past member of the Governor’s Residential Damage Assessment team, and now serves as assistant fire chief for the Antelope VFD.

Charles Michael “Mike” Rhone, representing Bellevue, was born April 11, 1943 in Amarillo to T.C. (Charlie) and Leona (Hogan) Rhone, and moved to Clay County in 1947. He attended Elementary and High School in Bellevue and college at Midwestern State University. He married Rosalee Rater in Bellevue in 1967. They have two children, Christopher Michael Rhone and Brian Matthew Rhone, and five grandchildren.

He was involved in homebuilding and construction for 35 years and is now in the cattle business. He was president of the North Texas Homebuilders in 1978 and served in the Army National Guard from 1963 to 1969. He is a former member of the Wichita Falls Lions Club. He is a member of the First Baptist Church of Bellevue.

Carol Vicars, representing Jolly, was born Sept. 12, 1946 in Wichita Falls to M.B. and Elva Vicars. He moved to Clay County in 1972. He attended school at McGaha Elementary, Wichita Falls High School and Midwestern State University. He married Frances (Phillips) in Henrietta. He has three children, Kellye Jarosz, Doug Vicars and Craig Vicars and four grandchildren.

He has been in Heavy Construction Equipment Sales for 40 years. He has served as former councilman and mayor of the City of Jolly. He served on the Clay County Memorial Hospital Board of Managers from 2000 to 2005 and the CCMH Foundation Board from 2007 to 2013. He served on the 9-Man Board from 1985-1987 (Chairman 1987) He started the FFA calf scramble in 1988, which continues through the present day. He has served on the Pioneer Reunion Welcoming Committee for the past 24 years.

Andy Harding, representing Byers, was born July 10, 1944 in Wichita Falls to Worsham and Nobie Harding, and came home to Clay County when he was one day old. He attended elementary and high school at Byers, and college at Texas A&M Commerce.

He married Vickie Harding in Byers. He has three children, Annie Harding,

John Harding and Jill Harding Hazelwood. He has been in the ranching and oil business all of his life. He attends the Baptist Church.


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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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