Author Archive

Joanne O. Abogunde (’15)

Joanne Onyinye Ozavize Abogunde was born in July 1994 in Nigeria, passed away on Thursday, March 11, 2021 in Texas at the age of 26.
Joanne is survived by two parents (Frances Uyanwune and Peter Abogunde), five sisters (Oiza, Eneze, Nene, Maryann, and Judith), one brother (Stephen), 11 nieces and nephews, and several cousins, uncles, and aunties. Joanne attended Eli Terry Elementary School and South Windsor High School, both in South Windsor, Connecticut. She graduated from the University of Houston, Texas in 2015, with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Kinesiology – Exercise Science.
Joanne started her working career as a Clinical Research Associate in 2016, and worked her way up to
become a Clinical Research Manager at the age of 25. She was an accomplished entrepreneur. She established and managed several businesses including meal prepping, dance and fitness instructor, and music rap artist. Joanne has always strived to have a stronger spiritual connection with God, and was involved in many activities in the Catholic Church, including – volunteering as a drummer in the choir/band, teaching catechism and leading elementary school bible study groups, and was a member of the African Young Adult Group. In 2018, Joanne participated in missionary work with the Divine Mercy Medical Missionary in Awka and Aba, in Nigeria, where she was involved with providing medical aid and care to the sick, less privileged, youths, widows and different orphanages.
Joanne was always very resourceful, hands-on, creative, brave, talented in craftmanship, very bubbly with a bright smile, could make people laugh even at the saddest moments, always willing to serve, has a giving spirit, very loyal and reliable. Her love for children was always evident in the relationship she had with her younger nieces and nephews. Of the things that mattered most to her were her family, her role as the youngest of seven children, and being the proud owner of her first home at the age of 25. Joanne was a great problem-solver and very skilled with her hands, and she often took on difficult projects around her home. Joanne was driven, determined and ambitious, bold and beautiful, and always wanted everyone around her to be happy. She had an infectious joy and vivacity. She loved and was loved by many. 
Our sweet beautiful Joanne will be deeply missed by her family, friends, and all who knew her. She is gone way too soon, but will never be forgotten. Until we meet again at the feet of Jesus. We love you forever and always. #LoveWins

Cheryl Marie Crawford (’76)

Cheryl Marie Crawford, 69, of Coldspring, Texas peacefully passed away on March 31, 2021. Cheryl was born July 13, 1951 in San Antonio, Texas to Eugene and Dorothy Conard.

She met her husband, Richard Crawford, at church while in high school. They were married December 27, 1968. The pastor said several times that they were “meant for each other”. Cheryl was a much loved teacher of Texas History in the Clear Creek ISD, with a Bachelor’s degree from UH and a Master’s in Counseling from the University of Houston Clear Lake. She then went on to be a high school counselor for over two decades. She retired in 2009 only to return the next fall for an additional two years! After Richard’s retirement in 2012 from American National Ins, Co. they moved to their dream home on Lake Livingston. Cheryl enjoyed riding in the boat, fishing, and feeding all the animals that came by.

She is survived by her husband, Richard Crawford; daughter and son-in-law, Rebecca and Doyle Mathews; grandchildren, Olivia Mathews, Marek Mathews, and Bennett Mathews; nephew, James Owen, his wife Kelly, and daughters Heather Owen, Delaney Owen and Brooke Owen and Niece Kim Owen.

She is preceded in death by her son, Michael Eugene Crawford; parents, Eugene and Dorothy Conard; and Sister Kathryn Owen.

Services will be held on Friday April 9, 2021 in the Elwyn M. Gipson Memorial Chapel in the Garden of Memories Memorial Park, Lufkin Texas. Visitation will be from 11:00 a.m. Friday with the service to follow at 12:00 p.m.

Condolences may be offered at www.gipsonfuneralhome.com Services have been placed in the trust of Gipson Funeral Home.

Gordon G. Green, Jr. (’53)

Aug. 14, 1930 – March 3, 2021
Gordon Gibson Green Jr. passed on while in his home at Willamette View.
Gordon was born Aug. 14, 1930 in Hearne, Texas and raised in Houston. He is survived by two brothers, Roger living in Colorado, and Nolan in Texas. He was a distinguished graduate from the Army ROTC and earned a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Houston. After graduating, he joined the USMC, eventually training to be a fighter pilot at Atsugi, Japan and flight instructor at Corpus Christi, Texas. He met the love of his life, Marsha Ann Beebe, in Washington D.C. and they were married June 30, 1955. In 1958 he went to work as a civil engineer for the U.S. Corps of Engineers in Seattle. He later transferred to the Corps’ North Pacific Division office in Portland and eventually served for 12 years as Chief of the Reservoir Control Center. He helped coordinate the operation of numerous dams and reservoirs in the Columbia River basin. He was proud to be called a Texan, happily wearing bolo ties when square dancing with Mom at the Aloha Grange. Gordon designed and built himself the driveway, all walkways, gardens, and rockwork around his home in Beaverton. He was known as a hard worker all his life and toiled for months on this project. He and Marsha loved to invite their many friends, as well as overseas visitors into their Beaverton home, and later they enjoyed traveling with each other. He was an active member of several organizations including the American Society of Civil Engineers, and Portland Chapter of United Nations Association. For four years he served as First Reader of the Christian Science Church in Beaverton. Gordon was a very dedicated caregiver for Mom later in life. She predeceased him in 2017.
He will be very much missed by his many friends and family. He is survived by a son, Forrest of Prior Lake, Minn.; and daughter, Melanie of Portland. His Minnesota family includes his daughter-in-law, Tamara and two grandsons.
Private service to be held later.
Please sign the online guest book at www.oregonlive.com/obits

Charles F. Ramsey (’51)

The community of Highlands, Texas lost one of its pillars on March 28, 2021 when Charles Fred Ramsey, fondly called Charlie by friends and family, passed away peacefully and unexpectedly. He was 92.

A special baby boy, Charles Fred Ramsey was delivered by his maternal grandfather, Charles Coker, M.D. on December 13, 1928 in the front bedroom of their home place on Main Street in Highlands, where he grew up. He was preceded to Heaven by Iris Olee and Ramon Anderson Ramsey, parents, Glen Rae Ramsey, brother, Frank A. Brewer, stepfather, Laverne Lydon, sister and Ramon Dane Ramsey, son. He was a devoted husband and loving father, and he is survived by his wife, Ferol Stuckey Ramsey, whom he loved dearly for 72 years and was married tofor 70 years. His children, who were the pride of his life, are daughter Sheri and husband David Brown, son Dave Ramsey and wife Jennifer, daughter, Dana Goins and daughters by choice, Iris Horton and Gayle Hood. His smile always beamed for his eight grandchildren, Krystal and husband Ryan Mire, Derek and Shannon Brown, Allison and Christopher Ramsey, Elliott, Tyler and Trenton Goins. He adored his four great grandchildren, Maxwell Brown, Kensington, Kylo and Everly Mae Staton.  He cherished his longtime friendship with Don Hill.

Charlie was a charter member of the first explorer scout troop in East Harris County and his determination helped him achieve Eagle Scout status. Even as a young man, Charlie never met a stranger and always truly listened to and cared about everyone he met. A 1947 graduate of Robert E. Lee high school in Baytown, he later attended University of Houston and graduated with a degree in Salesmanship and Marketing in 1951.

In September 1950, Charlie married the love of his life, Ferol Stuckey of Crosby. He enlisted in the Navy as a “white hat,”served aboard the Ernest G. Small DDR-838, a radar picket ship as an assistant gunnery officer. In Officer Candidate School, Charlie “Chuck” was proud to be elected by his fellow sailors as a prestigious “Honor Man.” He was honorably discharged as a Lieutenant Junior Grade.

After his service with the Navy, Charlie bought Ramsey Insurance and Real Estate. He developed and sold many subdivisions that are still in Highlands today. He later opened Ramsey Florist. As a highly active member of his community,Charlie was instrumental in acquiring the land and lights for the Highlands Little League ballpark. He served as president of the Jaycees and later as President of the Highlands Rotary Club,where he received a Paul Harris award. He was a founding director of the Highlands State Bank and a member of the Deer Park Independent School District Board of Trustees. A sixty plus year member with Sampson Masonic Lodge 231, he became a Master Mason and later a Shriner. Even though he was busy, he tried to never miss any of his children’s events.

With a smile that could light up any room, Charlie Ramsey sincerely listened with his heart and was always willing to help everyone. He was a well-respected business leader, mentor, and a faithful friend to many. Most of all, he loved his wife and his family. He was an avid hunter, enjoyed traveling and making special memories.

“Our hearts will hurt with your absence, but we were extremely fortunate to have you for as long as we did. We will always love you more.”

Due to COVID precautions, a small family service will be held on Friday, April 2, 2021 at 2:00 pm at Sterling/White Funeral home in Highlands, Texas. The service will be live streamed at 2:00pm on April 2, 2021. In lieu of flowers, please honor Charlie Ramsey with a donation to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children at https://donate.lovetotherescue.org/.

April Goldman (MFA ’11)

UH Alum April Goldman to be Published in Ploughshares

Ploughshares, an award-winning journal of new writing,  has announced that “[ into the mountain ]” by April Goldman will be
published in the Spring 2021 issue.

April is a poet living in Truckee, Calif. She earned her MFA in creative writing from the University of
Houston, and her recent work appears in Narrative Magazine, The Kenyon Review Online,
The Journal, and elsewhere.

You can find more information about Ploughshares on their website: pshares.org

James M. Felsman (’50)

James M. (Jim) Felsman passed away peacefully on March 29, 2021 surrounded by his immediate family at Westminster Village where he was a resident. He was 5 days away from his 94th birthday. During the past 7 months that he struggled with several medical issues, he liked to say, he might give out, but he’d never give up. Jim was born in Ponca City, OK on April 3, 1927. His family migrated to East Texas where he was raised and graduated from New London High School in 1944. He quickly joined the Navy at age seventeen to help with the war effort and was deployed with the Seabees in the South Pacific Ocean. When the war ended, he attended college and graduated from the University of Houston. In 1956, he was hired by Humble Oil Company (now ExxonMobil). Later that year, he met his bride to be, Lois “Honey” Olmstead in Longview, TX. They married that year and were transferred to Grand Isle, LA before an assignment in Hattiesburg, MS. From there, they moved to New Orleans, LA in 1963 where he retired from ExxonMobil in 1986. In 2001, they relocated to Daphne, AL. Jim had a great love of family and life. He and Lois loved to drive, and the family spent countless hours on the road visiting family around the country and seeing the sites. As a member of Christ the King Catholic Church, he was active with the Vocations Ministry and was a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus. He loved the Mass, and even when unable to attend in person, would live-stream the Masses every day. His hobbies included tennis, fishing, golf and later, calling Bingo at Westminster Village. He is preceded by his loving wife of 62 years, Lois (Honey) Felsman, his parents, Aldrich and Clara Felsman and brother Robert Felsman. He is survived by his sister Janet (Jack) Puryear, son Marty (Phyllis) Felsman, Jr. and daughter Margaret Ann (Charles) Anders. He will also be dearly missed by his grandchildren, Brian Bankston, Rebecca (Lindsay) Dozier, Keith Felsman, Amy (Cody) Brown and two great grandchildren, Madison and Emma Bankston. In addition to scores of nieces, nephews and his extended “Grand Isle” family, he will be missed on the golf course. Services will be held at Christ the King Catholic Church in Daphne, AL on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Visitation will begin at 10:00 followed by funeral Mass at 11:00. Interment will be at Belforest Catholic Cemetery in Daphne. His family would also like to thank the staff and caregivers at Thomas Hospital, notably, Colony Rehabilitation, as well as the staff and residents of Westminster Village. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be offered at Christ the King Catholic Church Vocation Ministry, 711 College Ave., Daphne, AL 36526.

Susan Soto (M.Ed ’99)

UH Grad Susan Soto was selected to Rising Stars for 2021. Rising Stars is an exclusive list of top-rated attorneys in specific practice areas who were chosen after thorough evaluation of numerous criteria.

David Baluk (J.D. ’11)

The law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto,
Aziz & Stogner is proud to announce that David Baluk has joined the
firm as an Associate. David is dedicated to representing individuals
and family members who have been injured or killed as a result of
another’s negligence. His current legal practice focuses on a wide
range of personal injury matters, including catastrophic injuries,
workplace injuries, product liability, premises liability, wrongful
death, and 18-wheeler, commercial vehicle, and automobile
accidents. He is licensed to practice in Texas and is admitted to
practice in the United States District Courts for the Southern and
Eastern Districts of Texas and the United States Court of Appeals for
the 5th Circuit.
Prior to joining Abraham Watkins, David practiced at two prominent trial law firms in Houston, a

plaintiffs’ firm and a defense firm, where he litigated cases in over 23 states and obtained multi-
million dollar verdicts and favorable settlements on behalf of his clients. Throughout his legal

career, he has successfully litigated numerous automobile and trucking accidents,
pharmaceutical, premises liability, product liability, workplace injuries, toxic tort and chemical
exposure cases. He now applies this experience and the skillset he honed in courthouses
throughout the United States to his cases at Abraham Watkins.
Born and raised in New Jersey, David credits his blue-collar roots for his tireless work ethic. He is
a magna cum laude graduate of Washington and Lee University, where he graduated with a
degree in Economics and was inducted into Omicron Delta Epsilon, an International Economics
Honor Society. He later moved to Texas and attended the University of Houston Law Center,
serving on the board of the Houston Journal of International Law and earning the honor of Editor
of the Year. While attending law school, David was also a Law Clerk at Abraham Watkins, where
he received his first exposure to plaintiffs’ personal injury work.
David has been recognized on the Texas Rising Stars list since 2018. He is active in the legal
community as a member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Houston Trial Lawyers
Association, Houston Bar Association, Houston Young Lawyers Association, and Texas Bar
Association.

Louis H. Green M.D. (’47)

1923-2020
Louis Harry Green, M.D., died on May 21, 2020, in his native city of Houston, Texas. Born on January 21, 1923 to Eva and Harry Green, he lived an extraordinary life full of accomplishment and leadership and graced with charm and warmth for others.
A graduate of San Jacinto High School, Louis continued to write a column in the class newsletter well into his nineties. He returned to Houston from the University of Texas to care for his widowed mother. He enrolled in the University of Houston where he has been honored as distinguished alumnus of The University of Houston Class of ’43. He was alumni president and a devoted supporter of his beloved Cougars.
Louis graduated medical school from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. During that time he served in the U.S. Navy and Air Force through World War ll. Following an internship in Washington,D.C., he became Dr. Michael DeBakey’s first resident in surgery. They operated at Jeff Davis and the VA Hospital before heart surgery became a recognized specialty. He enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a general surgeon and served many years as a clinical professor of surgery with Baylor College of Medicine and later with the VA.
His life was blessed with considerable talents as a fine pianist. He enjoyed playing with Dr. Denton Cooley in The HeartBeats, the first “doctor band”. Until recently, he entertained his fellow residents with a piano concert each month at Brookdale. He was a fine golfer, competitive tennis player, world traveler and student of history, art, religion and anything else he could lecture on throughout his life.
But if asked, he was most proud of his family. Louis is predeceased by his two brothers Sam and Leon. He was quick to say that he was lucky in love twice. Minnie Stepinoff Green was most definitely the love of his life for more than 40 years. She and Louis had three children including Shelley Green, Chuck Green (Pat), and Lauren Smith (Robert). Louis had three grandchildren including Geoffrey Smalling (Alissa), Elizabeth Shulak (Michael), and Mindy Green. He loved visiting with and seeing videos of his two great grandchildren, Rowan and Landyn Smalling (Geoff and Alissa).
Amazingly, in his early seventies, he married Barbara Schachtel, a personal friend for 50 years. They shared a wonderful second marriage of more than 20 years full of mutual interests in their synagogue, in their hospital affiliations, and in their love of music.
Louis had a close relationship with numerous nieces and nephews in Houston and throughout the country. He enjoyed the special attention of his nephew Harry Green.
His final years at Brookdale were a blessing. He had and made many friends at the community and claimed he had operated on just about every one of them. The family will always remain grateful to the amazing staff and compassionate care of the angels at Brookdale.
A private burial will be officiated by Rabbi Roy Walter who was considered a friend and twenty year tennis partner in addition to being his Rabbi.

Brenda Christian (’72)

Brenda Christian has published her book “Jobless: Navigating the Unemployment Benefits System” to provide much-needed help to those navigating unemployment benefits in a pandemic economy along with giving the media the knowledge that will allow them to be well-versed when writing stories about this complicated benefit system.

Christian is a retired lawyer who spent more than a decade working for the Texas Workforce Commission. Here she assisted people with the often-confusing pathway to obtain unemployment benefits. Her experience taught her that benefit eligibility is often misunderstood by workers, aided by a lack of access to good information and an abundance of misinformation.

This book gives you everything you need to know about these benefits in an engaging narrative nonfiction story that takes you straight into the fascinating cases at one unemployment claims processing center and the daily drama that occurs both in and out of the office.

Brenda Christian received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Houston. She studied law at Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, England, and received her Juris Doctorate degree from the Southern Methodist University School of Law. She served as an Assistant District Attorney in Dallas, Texas, and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.