In Remembrance

shirley fife
Shirley Fife (B.S. ’57)
barbara tidwell
Barbara Tidwell (M.A. ’62)

Rodney Lee Hayden (B.S. ’65), who coached high school football for 37 years in South Texas, died Oct. 22, 2021, in Seguin. He was head coach and athletic director at Clemens and Seguin high schools. Hayden was an honorary member of the Bobcat Club, inducted into Pleasanton High School Hall of Honor and the Texas High School Coaches Association Hall of Honor. Survivors include his wife, Henrietta; a sister, Ruby Sanders; and two brothers, Robert Hayden and Richard Hayden.

William Esparza (B.S. ’75), who spent 32 years teaching Oliveira Middle School students about Texas and U.S. History, died Feb. 1, 2022, in Brownsville. His love of baseball drew him to serve his community as a scorekeeper, announcer, and super fan at Little League, high school, and university games. Survivors include his wife, Patty; daughters, Anita and Amy; a brother John; sisters, Annie and Lulu; and four grandchildren.

Robert L. Cavazos (B.S. ’78, M.Ed. ’80), who earned his degrees following a 27-year career in the Air Force, died Feb. 14, 2022, in Lockhart. Cavazos was a former mayor of San Marcos and the longtime manager of St. John’s Federal Credit Union. Survivors include his wife, Sylvia; his children Robert Jr., Cynthia, Sandra and Karen; and stepchildren Gerry, David Michael, Kenneth, Mark, Gina, Aaron, and Lori.

Joshua Michael Boyd (B.S. ’07), a Criminal Justice graduate, spent his career with Travis County as a probation officer and corrections officer. He died Feb. 13, 2022. Survivors include his wife, Sarah; sons Dakota, Wyatt, and Gavin; and his parents, Mark and Terry Boyd.

Edward D. Abrahamson (B.B.A. ’77), a longtime employee of the Texas Railroad Commission (TRC), died March 5, 2022. He joined the TRC while in college and advanced to director of gas utilities. He also served over 31 years in the Army National Guard. Survivors include his wife, Trisha Ellis Abrahamson (B.A. ’76), and sons, Matthew and Andrew Abrahamson.  

Catherine Evans Supple, who as the wife of former Texas State President Jerry Supple created the Presidential Scholarship, died March 25, 2022. Mrs. Supple also helped to establish the Supple Music Series at the University. Survivors include her sons, Jim, Andy, and Paul; and four grandchildren.

Shirley Fife (B.S. ’57), who owned and operated Wonderland School in San Marcos for 30 years, died March 31, 2022. She was Bobcat cheerleader and would later marry Jimmy Fife (B.B.A. ’58), who played football for the Bobcats. Survivors include her husband; daughter Kathy Donaldson, sons Jim Fife and John Fife; and 10 grandchildren.

Dr. Charlotte Robinson Scott, associate professor emeritus of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, who taught for 25 years at Texas State, died April 29, 2022, in Temple. Her primary focus of study was kinesiology; yet for most of her professional life, Dr. Scott taught in the field of public health. She was preceded in death by her husband, Col. James Gregory Scott.

Jerry Pollock (B.F.A. ’72), an award-winning San Antonio theatre director, died May 5, 2022. He taught theater at John Jay High School, was managing director of the San Antonio Little Theatre, and later launched Alamo City Theatre. Survivors include his sons Jon Michael Pollock and James Patrick Pollock, and two grandchildren.

Barbara Tidwell (M.A. ’62), founder and first director of the Texas State Strutters, died May 30, 2022, in San Marcos. She served as the team’s director and choreographer for 37 years until her retirement in 1997. Tidwell, a former Kilgore Rangerette, was teaching high school in Galveston when she applied for a teaching position at Texas State. President John Flowers said that he needed someone with the expertise to create a dance team for halftime shows. The Strutters were born in 1960. Tidwell received the Alumni Star Award in 1993, a Distinguished Alumni Award in 1996, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the Texas Dance Educators’ Association in 1995. The Barbara Tidwell Scholarship Endowment was established in 1993. Survivors include her son, James Howard Tidwell II.

Gerald B. Champagne, professor emeritus of Agriculture, died July 1, 2022, in San Marcos. Born Jan. 15, 1924, in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, he attended business college before going to work for the Intelligence Department of the Coast Guard during World War II. He joined the faculty of Texas State in 1955 and retired in 1984.  At the university, he sponsored the Newman Club, the National Agricultural Honor Society, and the SWT Rodeo Association.  Champagne earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Survivors include his wife of 74 years, Elizabeth (Betty) Champagne; children Lizbeth Anne Johnson (B.S. ’72),  Gary Paul Champagne, and Thomas Jude Champagne.

Velma Jane Claybourn (B.S. ’50), who taught in San Marcos and area schools for 20+ years, died July 2, 2022, at the age of 93. She was a founding member of the San Marcos High School Class of 1947 Scholarship Fund. Survivors include her son Kendal Clayborn, sister Winnie Greer, and grandson Cody Claybourn. She was preceded in death by her husband, Clifton Havard Claybourn, and a son, Clifton Dean Claybourn.