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Rex Humphreys

The Rev. Rex Humphreys was born in Mineola, Texas, on Feb. 21, 1926, and passed away on Thursday, March 20, 2014. His father was Vail Montgomery Humphreys and his mother was Opal Lee Franks. He lived his childhood in Mineola, attending elementary schools and graduating high school. He was reared in the First Christian Church and was a Timothy of that church. Both parents were active members of the church: his father an elder, his mother a choir member participating in all of the activities of the small church. Opal was known for her after-church fried chicken dinners for visiting preachers. Rex's picture as a Timothy of the church hangs there today. After graduating high school he attended Texas Christian University. In January 1944, he joined the United States Navy. He served his country honorably in World War II aboard the aircraft carrier USS Kitkun Bay, and was in the Pacific Theater of Operations as a radar specialist. He served for 27 months, during which time his ship and crew earned six battle stars and one Presidential Unit Citation for action. After fulfilling the Navy stint, he reentered Texas Christian University in 1946 where he met Joye Griffith, a college freshman and they married on Dec. 27, 1949. Rex then began a 10-year career in the Texas Public Schools. He served as head football coach, athletic director, and director of maintenance and transportation of Pine Tree ISD until 1959. During these years a daughter, Joycelyn, was born. Although he enjoyed his school career, God had other plans to use Rex. All the time this little family was being led into full-time Christian service. In 1959, Rex received his master's degree from East Texas State University and became the director of education and youth at First Christian Church in Longview. Through the influence of his mentor and great friend, Dr. Sloan Gentry, he was ordained into the ministry in 1960. His son, Richard Rex, was born in 1961. That year, Rex joined Dr. Gentry in Tulsa, Okla., where both men served the First Christian Church. Rex served as associate minister and minister in charge of evangelism. From the large city church, Rex took his first full-time pastorate in the First Christian Church of Pauls Valley, Okla. Son, Jonathan Mark, was born during this stay in Pauls Valley. While there, Rex received a call to establish a new church in Longview. Since family roots were already there, it was a going-home for this family. Rex led the Longview congregation to create a new church, Founders Christian Church. In 1976, the Rev. Humphreys began a 16-year pastorate at the First Christian Church in Nacogdoches. In all, the Rev. Humphreys served over 45 years in the ministry. After retirement in 1992, he held several interim positions in Lufkin First Christian Church, Kilgore First Christian Church and Timpson First Christian Church. After a few Sundays, the congregation of Timpson put his name on the church sign and he served there for an additional 10 years. Not only did he continue serving as a minister, he also began a career of volunteer services. He served a four-year term as a member of the State Legislative Committee of AARP, and the Nacogdoches Committee on Aging, which served as the governing board for the Nacogdoches County Senior Citizens Center for 11 years. He was a member of the Nacogdoches ISD Board of Trustees for nine years, legislative chairman for the board AARP chapter 1200, the interim chaplain for Memorial Hospital, and served as a volunteer in the Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. He was the Ministerial Alliance president for four terms and a member of the Nacogdoches Rotary Club, receiving the Paul Harris Fellow Award in 1993. In his leisure time after retirement, he found great pleasure in going to the Douglass family farm. He loved to garden and play dominoes with good friends. Rex loved to sing gospel songs with the Heavenly Singers at Garrison Nursing Home. He was a true man of God, a loving husband, father and a wonderful "Poppy" to his very special grandchildren, Garrett, Regan and Will. He will be missed by his family and a host of friends. Rev. Rex is survived by his wife of 64 years, Joye; sons, Richard and wife, Debbie, and Jonathan Mark of Nacogdoches; one daughter, Joycelyn Claer of Corpus Christi; and three grandchildren, Regan and Will Humphreys and Garrett Claer of Tennessee. The funeral service is to be conducted at eleven o'clock in the morning Monday, March 24, in the sanctuary of First Christian Church, Nacogdoches. Officiating will be Dr. Allen Reed, the Rev. Terry Hodge, and Bill Sherrill. The family would like to extend their sincere appreciation to Dr. Richard Baker and staff. Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 23, at the First Christian Church Sanctuary, Nacogdoches. Those honored to serve as casket bearers during the service are, Rick Still, Lenvil Stanaland, Bill Earley, Gerald Mackey, Randy Graves, Richard Sobray, and Rev. Rex's sons, Richard Rex and Jonathan Mark. Honored to serve as honorary pallbearers are Joe Tom Harris, Morris Muckleroy, David Billingsley, Dr. Richard Baker, and the Domino Players at the Farm. Contributions in memory of Rev. Humphreys may be made to the First Christian Church of Nacogdoches; or, to the Rev. Rex and Joye Humphreys Volleyball Scholarship Fund at Stephen F. Austin State University by contacting the Alumni Services office. Laird Funeral Home.
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Published in The Daily Sentinel on Mar. 23, 2014
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