1921 - 2015 Reverend Ira O'Neil Humphries, Sr. 94, a lifelong resident of Beaumont passed away on Thursday December 17, 2015 in Beaumont. He was born on March 20, 1921 in Timpson, Texas in the Wedgeworth Community to parents Thomas Jefferson and Inez Welch Humphries who preceded him in death. Also preceding in death were his wife of sixty-two years; Susie Ann Humphries, son; Ira O. Humphries, Jr., daughter; Phyllis Weatherford, and two sisters. Surviving Reverend Ira are his daughter; Janice Earl and husband Kenneth of Beaumont, seven grandchildren, and twelve great grandchildren. He was an ordained Assembly of God preacher. At the age of four he survived typhoid fever and claimed the Lord brought him through and he spent the rest of his life being a christian. He did all his traveling then by horseback or mule and in seventh grade where he moved uptown in Timpson. During high school years he always looked for a fight and also learned how to hunt and fish. Farming became a large part of his life and basically the family ate whatever they could find. He also operated the projector at the local theater in East Texas. He then worked at several drug stores. From that he studied diesel engineering, finished that and competed with others for three years in Los Angeles for shop training and finished and worked at Lockheed Aircraft for another year in L.A. He then took a welding course at night and got a job in welding and went back to Timpson and heard about a job at the Houston shipyard and was told he would get a 2nd class welding job and when he said he was from Timpson, they gave him a 1st class status as a welder. He later joined the Meritime Sailors as an oiler on five ships for three years. He then before the war was declared became a merchant marine at South Hampton England and Manchester, outfitted ships to carry troops and did not know why and the war broke out and they ended up at Omaha Beach during the Normandy Invasion. One interesting note about that was when the planes did the bombings they were off target and then The Battleship Texas took over and fired on the beach land and saved the number of soldiers lost immeasurably. After six months in the merchant service he came home and got on another ship in Galveston and went through the Panama Canal and was there when the bomb was dropped on Japan that ended the war. He then went to Yokohama Bay on the battleship Missouri and witnessed the treaty signing by General McArthur and the Japanese Leader and when completed McArthur said These proceedings are over. He then went back to the U.S. and was honorably discharged and also was in the Coast Guard and got a honorable discharge from that as well. He then went to work for one year for Neches Butane and became a pumper for several refineries. After working for The Pennsylvania Shipyard he worked for Gulf Oil as a welder for thirty eight years and retired in 1985 where he was known simply as Preacher. Reverend Humphries wrote two books, Revelations in Chronological Order with a sublet Ezekiel 38 & 39 with Revelations and Daniel and the present day church, the tribulation and the new heaven and the new earth. Visitation will be held on Wednesday December 23, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. until funeral service time beginning at 1:00 P.m. at the Forest Lawn Funeral Home Chapel with burial to follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Beaumont.
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Published in The Beaumont Enterprise on Dec. 21, 2015