Jo Ann Elliott Hamil

​John R. Hamil

JoAnn Elliott married John Hamil and together they began working at Elliott's Funeral Home.  Pete Elliott passed away in 1967, and John and JoAnn continued to operate the funeral home with Mittie Elliott.  In 1974, a second location was opened on Hwy 277, and the funeral home name was then changed to Elliott-Hamil Funeral Homes.  In 1986, John and JoAnn’s son, Robert, joined his parents and grandmother in the family business.  Mittie remained active in the business until her death in 1991.  In July of 1994, John and JoAnn sold Elliott-Hamil to a large corporation. John passed away on June 29, 1998, but the Hamil legacy continues today.

Jo Ann Elliott Hamil, 74, of Abilene, passed away Saturday, June 26, 2010 at the Seventh Floor Hendrick Hospice. Born November 16, 1935 in Abilene, Texas she was the only child of Pete and Mittie Elliott who founded Elliott's Funeral Home in Abilene, Texas in 1933. She was raised in a small house next door to the original Elliott's Funeral Home at North 2nd and Orange Street. Jo Ann grew up helping her parents in the funeral home. She graduated from Abilene High School in 1953. In 1954, she graduated from the Dallas Institute-Gupton Jones College of Mortuary Science, of which she was the secretary of her class and one of only two women in her class. She received her Funeral Directors and Embalmers License in 1957, becoming the first woman in Taylor County to hold an Embalmers license. Her mother, Mittie, was the first woman in Taylor County to hold a Funeral Directors license of which she received in 1939. Jo Ann received her certificate of graduation from the National Foundation of Funeral Service School of Management in 1961. Jo Ann followed in her father's footsteps, in that she had a love for aviation and received her pilot's license and helped her father to run the Elliott's Air Ambulance Service for a number of years. While active in aviation, she was very involved with several women's pilot organizations including the Powder Puff Derby, a cross country aviation race. Over the years, she had been involved in numerous civic organizations and received several honors, including being named a Taylor County Pathfinder in 1988, an organization that honors women that are successful leaders and good examples to others in their chosen careers. But of all her works over the years, she was probably most proud of her time and work as a member of the Texas State Board of Morticians, of which she was appointed to in 1977 by then Governor Dolph Briscoe. She served as president of the Board in 1981 and 1982 and was the first woman to ever become president of that board. Jo Ann married John Robert Hamil on July 20, 1958 in Abilene, Texas. She and John operated the Elliott's Funeral Home along with her parents, Pete and Mittie. In 1974, they opened a second location and the name was changed to Elliott-Hamil Funeral Homes. Jo Ann retired from Elliott-Hamil several years after the funeral homes were sold to a corporation. She was very proud to be a part of her son and daughter-in-law's new funeral home, The Hamil Family Funeral Home, until her health prevented her from no longer being able to work. Jo Ann was a longtime member of the Church of the Heavenly Rest, Episcopal. Jo Ann was preceded in death by her father, Pete Elliott in 1967, her mother, Mittie Elliott in 1991 and her husband, John Hamil, in 1998. Jo Ann is survived by her three children, Cynthia Ann Hamil, of San Diego, California, Angela Hamil-Willis and her husband Rick, of Abilene, and Robert Hamil and his wife Karla, also of Abilene. She also leaves behind her pride and joy, her three grandsons, John Parker Willis, Aaron Elliott Hamil and John Austin Hamil, all of Abilene. Jo Ann Hamil has helped countless families in their time of loss and contributed countless hours to her community and to the funeral profession, of which was her passion and of which she was so proud to be associated. 


H.B. Terry

Homer Brown Terry, Jr., 84, died Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at Hendrick Medical Center.

Born in Trent, Texas on May 24, 1927, he was the son of Jeffie A. (Howell) and Homer Brown Terry, Sr., and in 1929 moved from Trent with his parents to Baird, Texas to a farmhouse only a few miles from Clyde.  At seven years of age he began first grade in Baird Public Schools, and in 1939 began the sixth grade in Clyde Public Schools, graduating from Clyde High School in 1945.

As a boy he worked with his Daddy on the farm, and in 1941 began working for Pyeatt’s Grocery in Clyde during his high school days, and later for Patterson Funeral Home and BBB Drug Store both in Clyde.  In 1943 his family moved from the farm into Clyde where his parents had a laundry and his mother a dress shop, “The Rilla Frances Shop”. His father died suddenly in 1945.

In 1945, H.B. joined the U. S. Navy and after training began his service as Seaman First Class in San Francisco and Portland, Oregon aboard a mine sweeper AM164 circling the Pacific from Guam, Okinawa, Hawaii, and other islands.

After being honorably discharged from the Navy, H.B. attended The Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science from 1946 to 1947.  After graduation, he married his high school sweetheart, Elsie Faye Tarrant, on February 8, 1947 in the First United Methodist Church in Clyde, Texas.

He began working at Wylie Funeral Home in Baird in 1947 as a Licensed Embalmer and Funeral Director from 1947-1953.

On November 8, 1936, he was converted and baptized at nine years of age at First Baptist Church in Clyde.  Having felt God calling him to preach at age seventeen, he surrendered his life to the gospel ministry of God on January 15, 1953 at a revival meeting at First Baptist Church in Baird.  On August 30, 1953, H. B. was Licensed and Ordained as a Minister of the Gospel at the same church, Rev. Riley Fugitt being the pastor.  He immediately enrolled at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene as a freshman and graduated with a B.S. Degree in 1958.  He attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth from 1959-1961.  During his years in HSU and the seminary, he pastored three Baptist Churches, Johnson’s Chapel Baptist Church (Aspermont), Denton Valley (Clyde) and First Baptist Church, Tuscola. 

The other two churches H.B. Terry served were Bethel Baptist Church in Eastland, and Temple Baptist Church (now Lytle South Baptist Church) for 17 years.  After resigning as pastor there in 1982, he served as a part-time staff member of Visitation at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church in Abilene (1982-1983). During his ministry he held Gospel revival meetings in many churches over the Big Country area, and in Texas, New Mexico, Kansas and California.  Since 1982, he had been a member and Deacon at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church, where he also served as teacher of the Adult Men’s Bible Class (The Master’s Class) and usher, as well as on various committees at the church, including the Missions Committee and Finance Committee.  He also served on the Pastor’s Search Committee at Pioneer Drive when both Dr. George Gaston and Bro. Stan Allcorn were called to be pastor.

Over the years he also served on numerous boards and in other capacities  – Board of Trustees at Hendrick Medical Center (20 years); Moderator of both Cisco Baptist Assn. and Abilene Baptist Assn.; Board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas; and Board of Taylor County American Heart Assn.   He also served as a Chaplain at Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene.    

Since 1969, he had been a member of Abilene Kiwanis Club, serving as chairman for Volunteers in the Annual Pancake Fund Drive and chairman of the Spiritual Aims Committee.  H.B. was a Master Mason – member of Abilene Lodge #559, and a 32nd Degree Mason of Scottish Rites in Dallas.            

H.B. had re-entered his funeral director career with John and JoAnn Hamil in 1983 at Elliott-Hamil Funeral Homes and had worked with Robert and Karla Hamil since they began The Hamil Family Funeral Home in May of 2005.  

His wife of 64 years, Faye Tarrant Terry, joined him on January 19, 2021.


Bill Megginson

Bill Megginson, 88, of Abilene, passed away Saturday, June 20, 2015.  

Bill was born on April 16, 1927 near Heath, Kentucky and raised on a tobacco farm.  He graduated from McCracken County High School, was drafted into the U.S. Navy and served near Japan aboard the ship USS Knapp and the USS Sloat during World War II.  After the war, he came to Abilene and went to work for Laughter Funeral Home, which became Laughter-North Funeral Home, and is now, North’s Funeral Home.

He received his funeral director’s license in June of 1949.  He began working for Elliott’s Funeral Home in December of that year, where he had the honor of being trained in the funeral profession by two of the most compassionate and well-known people in the business, Pete and Mittie Elliott.  Bill felt that Pete Elliott was the most respectful and caring person he knew.  He felt privileged to have known a man that in his words “went beyond the call of duty in serving families during their time of need and bereavement.”  Bill’s goal each day was to serve families with care and compassion, the same way Pete Elliott did.

After working at Elliott’s Funeral Home, he was a representative at Abilene Casket Company for 24 years, the latter of those years as a co-owner. Bill has served his community as a compassionate funeral director for over 66 years.  He has long been considered a part of the Elliott/Hamil family, not only to Pete and Mittie, but also to John and Jo Ann Hamil, as well as Robert and Karla Hamil.  Bill was an active part of The Hamil Family Funeral Home up until his death.

Bill was a Mason, a member of Broadview Baptist Church and the “Knights of the Round Table”, a breakfast group that met weekly for many years.  He enjoyed driving the bus for local sports teams, specifically Hamlin High School and Cooper High School, especially the baseball team. Bill enjoyed gardening and farming, being with his grandchildren and working part time at The Hamil Family Funeral Home.


Paige Pittman

Barton Paige Pittman, age 45, of Eastland died suddenly at his home on Saturday, February 18, 2012.

Paige was born February 20, 1966 in Brownwood the son of Larry J. and Sandy Hall Pittman. He attended school in Brownwood and later graduated from Wylie High School in Abilene in 1984. He loved sports and played football while in school. He also loved to Rodeo and once set a record score in bull riding at a finals rodeo. He also was very active in the 4-H and FFA programs in school.

He later attended the Schriner College in Kerrville. He graduated from the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science in Dallas in 1994 and begin his funeral directing career with the Davis-Morris Funeral Home in Brownwood where he served his apprenticeship. He worked for Heartland Funeral Home in Early from 1995 until 2009. He worked for the Hamil Family Funeral Home in Abilene prior to moving to Fort Worth where he was associated with the Greenwood Funeral Home and later the Lucas Funeral Homes. He then transferred to Eastland where he became manager of the Edwards funeral homes in Eastland, Ranger, and Strawn and was also associated with Summers-Chambers Funeral Home in Cisco and Summers-Baker Funeral Home in Eastland.

Paige loved the outdoors and especially hunting. He loved being out in nature and enjoying the beauty of the seasons. He was especially close to his brother, Jay and they did many things together until Jay was killed in an automobile accident near Abilene.

Paige will be remembered for his smile and joking personality but also for his professionalism in dealing with the families he served. He loved his Lord and was a member of the First Baptist Church in Clyde.


Ted Starnes

Ted Duncan Starnes, 81, passed away Sunday, December 7, 2014 at Hendrick Medical Center.                     

Born in Houston, Texas on July 5, 1933, Ted was the son of Willow Drue (Garner) and Rufus G. Starnes, Sr.  Reared in Abilene, Texas, he was a 1951 graduate of Abilene High School and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Abilene Christian College in 1955.  Ted was a U.S. Army veteran, having served his country from 1955 to 1957. On July 5, 1957, Ted married Beverley Rose Camp in Abilene.

In 1961 he completed his Master of Arts Degree from Pepperdine College in Los Angeles, California, and earned a Doctor of Education Degree in 1982 from North Texas State University in Denton, Texas.

Ted was Director of Theatre at Pepperdine University (1961 to 1970), joined the Theater Faculty at Abilene Christian University (1970 to 1976), and returned to Pepperdine University as Director of Theater (1976 to 1979).  In 1987 he became the Director of University Events at ACU, a position he held until his retirement in 1999.

After retiring, Ted enjoyed working part-time at The Hamil Family Funeral Home.

Professional memberships included Texas Education Theater Association, Association of Collegiate Conference and Events, and Directors-International.   

He was a member of Hillcrest Church of Christ in Abilene.