Lions Club

Lions Alan Grantham, Stacy Bowen, James Thompson and Bob Swanson attended the recent Lions Club meeting.

Special to the News Messenger

The Marshall Lions Club met at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at the Panola-Harrison meeting room.

A luncheon of smoked pork tenderloin was served by Bear Creek Catering. Vice-President Robert Wood called the meeting to order and welcomed Lions. Lion Robert asked Lion Kent Reeves to open the meeting with prayer, followed the Pledges of Allegiance to the U.S. and Texas flags led by Lion Bob Swanson. ”My Bonnie” and “America” were sung with gusto, led by song leader Lion Dudley Swofford, accompanied on the piano by Lion Stacy Bowen.

Lion Tamer Patrick Owens welcomed all to the meeting. Guests included Nancy Young, spouse of Lion Tim Young; PDG Nancy Van Alstine; and Katie and Shana McCann, granddaughter and daughter of Lions Brenda and Robert Wood. Lion Patrick read a fun fact from his phone: the first pacemaker had a battery so heavy it had to be carried around in a box on a cart! We’ve come a long way. The count for the day in the Den is 23. The Thought for the Day is: “One generation plants trees and another gets the shade!”

Tail Twister Chris Horsley levied several fines, one to Lion Paul Martin for being late and asked Lion Patrick Owens why he had a band aid on his elbow – Lion Pat told him he had had a cancer removed. He also pointed to a sticker on his shirt that said “I Voted” and reminded Lions to be sure and exercise that right to vote! Lion Chris also asked Lion Dare Westmoreland about his recent surgery for a deviated septum – Lion Dare replied it was very painful! Lion Chris asked Lion Bob Swanson if Iowa won again, and he said yes. Lion Chris assigned Lion Ken Poindexter to lead the club in our “Happy Song” to Lion Bob Graves on his birthday.

Lion Robert recognized Lions Treasurer Alan Grantham, who gave a report on the pancake supper. He said the club had turned in about $2,100 in ticket sales and reminded Lions if they haven’t turned in their money to do so. He said the silent auction made over $1,100. He also said not all the expenses were in, but it was close.

VP Wood called on Program Chair for October, Lion P. A. Almquist to come to the podium. Lion P. A. explained that last week’s bios really gave her insight into fellow members and that there is still more of the same this week.

She called Lion James Thompson to the front. Lion James was born in Waco, grew up with 5 sister, but his family moved to San Antonio, then Pearland and on to Lovelady, where he met his wife in high school. She was a year behind him, but they both attended and graduated from Sam Houston State University. He and Shay have been married for 36 years and have two kids; a daughter who is an RN and a son who is currently attending Blinn College, with plans to attend A & M. He likes to fish, travel and do yard work, and enjoys basketball. The family attends Immanuel Baptist Church. James joined Marshall Lions Club in June, 1995, and has been president two times. He started his career as a banker doing commercial loans and has been an investment adviser for 26 years.

Next up was Lion Alan Grantham. Lion Alan was born in Greenville, Mississippi, and graduated from Delta State, with a graduate degree from Texas A & M. He met local banker Bushe Morgan, who offered him a job in Marshall at BankOne in the spring of1989. He accepted, saying he’d give it a year or so, see how it goes. He met a local girl, Natalie Verhalen and they have two daughters; Amanda who lives in Longview and Katherine who works for Neiman Marcus in Dallas. He has worked for Bancorp South for 17 years and now has to travel some. Alan enjoys competition barbecue, plays guitar with the “Monday Night Pickers” and said he played saxophone in high school. Alan joined Marshall Lions in November, 1989, has held several offices and said he has seen lots of changes in the club over the years.

The next Lion to give a bio was Lion Bob Swanson. He was born and raised in Freemont, Iowa, and revealed he had no television until he was a teenager! He loved baseball as a youth and pitched for his team in the World Series. He played baseball for North Iowa State. When he got his draft notice for the military, he joined the U. S. Air Force. Upon release, he got a scholarship for East Texas Baptist University, where he got to play baseball again. Bob went to work for KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) as a District Manager. He explained that he bought a Montgomery Ward catalogue store with his sister. After that venture, he went to work for S.A. Walker in the used car business until he retired. He says he likes Marshall – it beats snow! Bob joined Marshall Lions in September, 1980, and has held several offices.

The fourth Lion to speak was Lion Stacy Bowen. He explained that he has worked for Downs Funeral Home for four years, moving here from Cleveland. He was born and raised in Cleveland, but attended Shepherd, schools. Upon graduation, he attended Sam Houston State University, earning his degree in 1987. He worked for a plastics company and Cleveland Glass Company then worked with his father in logging. His biggest aspiration was to be a Houston Firefighter, but he reported that God had other plans for his life.

Stacy has been in the Funeral Industry for 18 years and is dual licensed as an Embalmer and Funeral Director. He and his wife Kelly have two children, a 29 year old son and a 24 year old daughter. Stacy joined Marshall Lions Club in March, 2017, and currently ably serves as our pianist.

Lion Wood asked Lion James Thompson to close with prayer and adjourned the meeting.