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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

25 Roscoe High School Seniors to Graduate at Friday Commencement

RHS Class of 2011 Valedictorian Caden Smith and Salutatorian Lindsey Williams.
A chapter of life will close for the twenty-five 2011 Roscoe Collegiate High Seniors as they cross the stage to successfully complete their high school careers on Friday night.  But what’s even more impressive is that thirteen of those twenty-five have already earned an Associate’s Degree from Western Texas College in Snyder to go along with their high school diplomas.  

After having one student graduate with an Associate’s Degree last year, Roscoe Collegiate’s Associate program hit full stride this year, and all thirteen of this year’s Western Texas graduates have earned a minimum of sixty community college hours while completing their high school requirements, giving them a leg up on college.

The valedictorian this year is Caden Smith, who graduates with an overall average of 98.47.  He was followed closely by the salutatorian, Lindsey Williams, whose average was 98.31. 
Here is a list of the Class of 2011, with an asterisk to indicate the students who are also graduating from high school with their Associate’s Degree:

Adan Aguayo*
Tatiana Aguayo*
Calvin Ballenger
Austin Carrasco*
Anthony Castor
Melanie Diaz
Edgar Gallegos*
Riley Gilmore
Cody Graham*
Roman Lomas
Damian Loza
Michael Massey
Nathan McGlothlin
Kimberly Norris*
Gabriel Perez
Kaitlinn Reed*
Collin Smith*
Caden Smith*
Juan Solis
Martin Solis
Britannie Styron*
Jacey Tomlin*
Cristina Villa*
Ruben Villa
Lindsey Williams*



Leonard Hillman Whittington, known in Roscoe as Hillman, was the first Roscoe soldier to die in the Second World War, and for that reason shares the name of the local American Legion Post, Frost-Whittington Post No. 227, with Jack Frost, the first Roscoe soldier to die in the First World War.  

Hillman Whittington grew up in Roscoe and graduated from Roscoe High School in 1939.  He joined the Army Air Force on February 11, 1941, and the following year married Maxie Cooper of Champion, also a Roscoe High School grad.  They were married for only two weeks before he was sent to the Pacific, where he took part in the Battle of Midway Island in June 1942.

Co-pilot of a B-26 bomber, he was killed on June 4 when his plane went down in a torpedo attack on a Japanese ship. He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.  Here is the official citation:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Second Lieutenant Leonard H. Whittington (ASN: 0-427074), United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Co-Pilot on a B-26 Medium Bomber of the 18th Reconnaissance Squadron, 22d Bombardment Group, Far East Air Force, in aerial action against enemy surface forces on 4 June 1942, during an engagement near Midway Island. Lieutenant Whittington displayed extraordinary heroism during a torpedo-bombing mission against the Japanese Navy. The success of the mission was dependent entirely upon the skill, courageousness and unfaltering devotion to duty of the crew members of the airplanes participating, who unhesitatingly entered into the attack at great personal risk to their own lives in the face of concentrated gunfire of the Japanese Naval forces and fighter planes. During this, the first torpedo attack ever carried out by the Army Air Forces, the airplane on which Lieutenant Whittington was co-pilot was lost. The personal courage and zealous devotion to duty displayed by Second Lieutenant Whittington on this occasion, at the cost of his life, have upheld the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the Far East Air Force, and the United States Army Air Forces.

General Orders: Headquarters, Hawaiian Department, U.S. Army, General Orders No. 117 (1942)
Action Date: 4-Jun-42
Service: Army Air Force
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Company: 69th Bombardment Squadron
Regiment: 38th Bombardment Group (M)
Division: Far East Air Force (Detached)



Joseph Aaron Rayburn, 84, of Rowlett died on Monday. Born April 17, 1927, in Roscoe to Henry Franklin Rayburn and Claudia Mae (Helms) Rayburn, he was in the US Army Air Corps in WWII and was a member of American Legion Post 227, the VFW, and the First Baptist Church of Rowlett.

He is survived by his wife, Flora Mae of Rockwall; daughters, Jeorginna Pyles of Rowlett and Kathryn Crenshaw Travis of Rockwall; sisters, Inez Howe of Corpus Christi, Juanita Blanton of Beeville, and Mary Elizabeth Blair of Alpine; brothers, Lawrence of Vienna, VA, and Ernest David of Aledo; seven grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.  He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, J.R. , and sister, Hazel Louise.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 26, at the First Baptist Church in Rowlett followed by interment on Friday, May 27, in the Roscoe Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Rest Haven Funeral Home in Rowlett with reception on Wednesday evening at the funeral home from 6-8 p.m.  Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 4144 N. Central Expy, Ste 750, Dallas, TX 75205.

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