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James Bard Dodd


   James Bard Dodd, a 1918 graduate of Masonic Home School, was born October 27, 1899 to James Berry and Lotta Mae Stough Dodd. After the death of his father, who was a mason, Bard, his two sisters, Winnie and Thelma, and 5 year old brother Barney, spent their school days in the Masonic Home. He and Barney participated in track, basketball, baseball, and football. Bard attended the University  of Texas on a baseball scholarship, majored in business administration and also played in the Texas University Band. He played baseball under Billy Dish.

     He returned to Yoakum as an accountant for the SA & AP Railroad and later business manager for automobile firms in Yoakum and Cuero, Texas. He became a member of the Masonic Lodge and has remained for 72 years. While in Yoakum, he continued his love of sports, where he and his brother Barney, constructed a municipal golf course where he fine tuned his golf game and became a scratch golfer. In 1932, he married Ella Frances Mainer, and English teacher in the Yoakum High School and they became parents of three children; Martha Lynn, Jim, and Gene Dodd.

     In 1942, after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Army Air Corps established Brayton Army Air Field, a primarily flight training school, just outside Cuero, Texas. Even though Bard had been rejected from the draft, he enlisted his services as chief dispatcher at the airfield from 1942 through 1945.

     After WWII he became purchasing agent and an accountant for the Red Arrow Freight Lines and left to become Secretary Treasurer of the short lived Houston Hockey Club.

     He returned to Cureo to manage a new Studebacker automobile firm, but because of the shortage of cars in the post war years, he joined a former friend, Pete Nowothy, in New Braunfels in the insurance and Real Estate business. There,, he remained until he and his wife went to her home town of Lovelady, to the aid of her sister, Maragaret Muenker, whose husband had died leaving her with a grocery business to run. The three of them added a dry goods and drug department to the existing meat market and grocery store and stayed in business until they reached retirement age.

     During those years, Bard served on the City Council and took his turn as president of the Lovelady Lions Club. Additionally, he served as Director of the Houston County Hospital Board when the present hospital was built. He was a member of the First Baptist Church and was a member of the Building Committee when the present church was built in 1967-8. He was instrumental in organizing the present Lovelady State Bank, and was a stockholder and director in the bank from 1974 through 1980, until his health prevented him from continued service. Bard and Ella Frances retired and have resided in the original Mainer home since.

     Bard was loved by his family and friends and will be greatly missed by all.

     On the afternoon of Wednesday, August 22, 2001, Bard Dodd took one of his usual three daily walks. He sat down on his front porch which was his habit. A few minutes later, as he tried to get up, he fell having suffered a stroke, which paralyzed his right side. He was in the hospital for three weeks and three days. Having developed complications, knowing he would not recover, and that he had expressed the wish to go home, his wife and three children took him home to Lovelady on Saturday, September 15th. He died at 2:35 PM on Tuesday, September 18th, with his wife and children gathered around him. He was 101 years.