Friday, October 26, 2007


Tinney Chapel Patriarch Louis Newton Laid To Rest

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FRONT ROW MEN. The late Louis Newton was no ordinary churchman: Not by any stretch of any sense of that seldom-heard word. For instance, Louis preferred to sit in a front row pew during Tinney Chapel worship service, a conspicuous perch that most men, and many women, avoid at all costs. And, as long as Louis was able to be there, so was his faithful friend, and fellow front-row-man, Harold Lenius.

“IT WAS SUCH AN HONOR to sit beside Newt in that front row pew,” recalls Harold, who started calling him Newt soon after a surprise visit from Louis a few days after the death, on January 9, 2004, of Janette, Harold’s wife of 64 years. “Newt and I hit it off immediately, both of us being farm-raised country boys and recent widowers after long, happy marriages. Newt had dealt with his loss a bit longer, and knew just what I was going through.

“WE TALKED OFTEN ABOUT OUR LIVES AND WIVES,” says Harold, who noticed a tear in Louis’ eye during that first conversation about their departed spouses, a cleansing signal of their first bonding experience. Soon they exchanged memories of two farm boys walking to school, one in rural East Texas, the other in agriculturally rich Iowa. Louis could then still drive his van, chauffeur Harold through field or pasture, and needed only a cane to maneuver boldly among cows, goats and new-mown hay.

“HE WAS JUST FOUR YEARS OLDER, and loved to take care of me,” recalls Harold, now 89, who weighed barely 145 pounds to Louis’ 200-plus. But, as Louis’ health declined, their roles reversed. Harold became Newt’s inseparable caregiver, driving him to church, encouraging him and meeting his needs. “A friendship like ours does not happen often,” says Harold, who will never forget the wonderful smile on Louis’ face every time he walked into the room to receive Louis’ standard greeting: How you be? Even when Louis was very ill, Harold never heard him express a negative thought.

LOUIS’ DOG, BUDDY, still shows up at Tinney Chapel every day. “Buddy will probably always associate my car with his master,” Harold believes. “Buddy meets my car there every Sunday, then waits, hoping to see Newt again. I’ve heard of dogs in situations like this who never give up hope, and in this instance, Buddy and I have a lot in common!”

Thursday, October 25, 2007


It's Harold Lenius' 89th Birthday

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007


The Last Prayer of Louis Newton, Tinney Chapel Patriarch: 1914-2007

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The Last Prayer of Louis Newton (1914-2007)

Louis Newton loved his neighbors, all of them, which is to say, all of us! Such was the heart of a devotional message at Tinney Chapel's recent OASIS group gathering, Oct. 16. The Scriptural reference, Matthew 22:36-39, chosen by OASIS leader Carolyn Beavers, reveals the incredible emphasis Jesus attributes to that commandment: Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself!

It’s hard for most of us to fulfull this challenging commandment, Carolyn emphasized, while adding that 93-year-old Louis seemed to have adopted it as a natural part of his lifestyle. Carolyn asked a rhetorical question: If very, very ill, perhaps bound to the bed where our life would end, what, or who, would most of us pray for?

Would we pray for healing, relief from pain, strength to sit up, just to be able to walk to the bathroom to preserve what little dignity might remain? Might we pray for God to hurry, to take us home to be with Him?

Just eight days earlier, Oct. 8, Carolyn recalled that she visited Louis on what might have been his final day of mental and spiritual clarity before suffering yet another stroke. Louis then asked about husband Dick. He genuinely wanted to know where Dick was, and what he was doing. On that day, Louis conceded that he was weary of being bedridden, and was ready to go home: To be with Jesus and his beloved KK. As Carolyn’s visit ended, Louis’ caregiver, Sheila Elkins, asked if he wanted to have a word of prayer.

He did not hesitate. Louis took Carolyn’s hand, held it tight, then prayed a beautiful, elegant, sincere prayer.

Louis might very well have prayed for healing, more time, less pain, ability to walk. But, he did not!

Louis prayed for us! Personally! For Carolyn and Dick, thanking God for them and their work at Tinney Chapel. He thanked God for Tinney Chapel’s Oasis ministry, and asked God to continue to bless it. He thanked God for our church, and all the people in it, asking for God’s blessings on each one of us. He did not mention himself. He did not mention his illness. In what might have been his final out-loud prayer, Louis once again obeyed one of Jesus’ greatest commandments: Love your neighbor as yourself!

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Laity Sunday at Tinney Chapel with Jenna Nelson in the Pulpit

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Tinney Chapel OASIS group learns Power of Story from Arvinell Newton McClaren

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Monday, October 15, 2007


Residents Encounter Christ (REC) Walk 25 led by Tinney Chapel's Mollie Stanton

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Tinney Chapel's Mollie Station served as Lay Director for the Residents Encounter Christ (REC) Walk # 25, Oct. 12-14, 2007, at Winnsboro's Johnston Unit. All training and cooking events were held in Tinney Chapel's Family Life Center. In the group photo above, also note team members from Tinney Chapel: Mollie & David Stanton, Carolyn Beavers, Peggy Boyd, Angela Wylie, Alice & Bob Deitering and Pat Hollingsworth.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Tinney Chapel Worship Service 10-14-07

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Saturday, October 13, 2007


Beatrice Tinney Bellomy Memorial Service held today, Oct. 13, 10 a.m. , at Shady Grove Cemetery

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A Son Remembers His Mother

It is tempting, after the past seventeen years of watching my mother slowly taken by the death of a thousand cuts -- one stroke after another taking this, then that from her -- to dwell on the tragedy at the end of life. She lost sight, mobility, hearing, memory, all those things that we so easily take for granted. She bore this dying with patience, but that was less than her life, less than her character.

Two words to sum her up: omnivorous curiosity. She wanted to know about everything, to absorb every bit of knowledge that life had on offer. She was not a woman to take on at Trivial Pursuit. Nothing better sums her approach to life than that it was a great learning opportunity.

Perhaps that is what made her daring, too, for she was a daring woman. In an era when women did not pursue careers, when the chores of keeping a household going were more than enough to absorb all the energy of a woman, mother set out to Tyler during the Big War to start a career, not just to do her bit for the War, but to set off in a new direction, off into a world unexplored.

That was a long time ago to some folks. Most secretaries had still been men, before the Pearl Harbor suggested a different need for men. Women did not live, unmarried, away from home, particularly not in strange, big cities, like Tyler. Mother did, along with a trio of smart, pretty young women from Winnsboro. She would became a secretary. She would remain one from the time that secretaries transcribed dictation from wax cylinders until word processors and then computers made the job a rare executive privilege.

It seems so simple and obvious to us that young women go off now to pursue their own careers wherever that takes them. It was not so in the 1940s. What changed that was women like Bea Bellomy who went forth to do the work of the world. We remember that the men who went out from East Texas to fight at strange places like Salerno and Luzon, to win victory over the tyranny of Japan and the National Socialists were heroes. We might take this occasion, standing by the graves of a couple of that heroic generation to recall that the women, too, went bravely forth to face the unknown.

If this seems too large and grand a thing to make of the life of a country girl who went to the city, then I am my mother’s son in this, for she saw the big picture of things, imagined the world large, and was, in imagination, one who saw from a great height. She was a reader, ate books the way a hungry kid goes through provisions. The Carnegie Library here nurtured her as surely as the genial wit of Charlie Tinney or the farm kept by Anna Tinney. The books fed her imagination as well as her thirst for knowledge. That never changed.

When we go home, I will pack up her Talking Books cassette reader from the Texas State Library and send it off so that it can bless someone else blinded by life. That was left to the last because that reader was her last link to the books that she loved. It was her fittest memorial.

So, I will not remember my mother’s cooking; my dad was the better cook, even if he was prone to barbecue. I will not fondly recall my mother’s domestic skills at all; they were what was necessary and not a whit more. What I will recall is a proud, industrious, and skilled professional woman, dressed properly and simply, so simply that one could hardly imagine that in her mind whole worlds bloomed and came to life when she read, that behind her eyes was a curious and eager mind. That is a worthy memory, as she was a worthy woman. --Walter Bellomy, son of Beatrice & Kenneth

Friday, October 12, 2007


More on Memorial for Beatrice Tinney Bellomy Saturday, Oct. 13, 10 a.m. at Shady Grove

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Thursday, October 11, 2007


Beatrice Tinney Bellomy Funeral Service Set for Oct. 13, 10 a.m. at Shady Grove Cemetery

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Funeral services for our beloved Mary Beatrice Tinney Bellomy are set for Saturday, October 13, 10:00 a.m., at Shady Grove Cemetery, with Rev. Duncan Graham officiating. Rev. Graham is Pastor of Tinney Chapel UMC, where Beatrice was baptized as a young woman.

The wonderful black & white photos at the top of this posting are provided by Joann Adair, daughter of Mary Lou Newton Carey, who was a great friend and loyal cousin of Beatrice Tinney. These photos present Beatrice in all her youthful zest, energy and great beauty. Like the sweet memories of her loving and productive life--these images will never die.

Top color photo: Mary Beatrice Tinney Bellomy.
Bottom color photo: Beatrice, with her son Walter & her husband Kenneth Bellomy during the late 1980s.

News of the death of Beatrice Tinney Bellomy arrived Sept. 19, 2007, via Tinney Chapel Pastor, Rev. Duncan Graham. He was notified by Beaty Funeral Home, in Winnsboro, that Beatrice would be cremated, and that the family has arranged for a graveside memorial service at Shady Grove Cemetery on Oct. 13 at 10:00 a.m. with Pastor Graham officiating.

As many of those on active email lists for both the Tinney Family Reunion Event and Tinney Chapel UMC are aware, Beatrice has been in declining health for some time, and lived with her son, Walter Bellomy, in Austin.
The color photos above were made in the late 1980s when she was still in good health.

Mary Beatrice Tinney was born Sept. 26, 1924, in the Stout Community, to Charles Lewis Tinney Sr. and Anna Eliza Mills Tinney. Her father, Charles Lewis Tinney, came to Texas at three years of age, when his parents, Ambrose Tinney and Mary Belinda Bellomy Tinney came to Texas, from Alabama, in 1886. Beatrice married Kenneth Bellomy on April 20, 1946, in Winnsboro. For many years, they lived in Dallas, where their son, Walter Lewis Bellomy, was born on June 22, 1949.

Beatrice was the author of "Walking Through The Woods With My Papa," published as Chapter 5 in Going To The Chapel, a prize-winning history, subtitled Stories of the Founding Family And the Folks Who Filled the Pews Of Tinney's Chapel United Methodist Church During the Twentieth Century, by Arvinell Newton McClaren.

In the late 1980s, Beatrice and Kenneth began an ambitious journey they called "The Tinney Project," an effort to build on the vast genealogical research compiled over many years by Ella Miller Newton, mother of Arvinell. During this period, they owned a cabin on FM 312 on Beatrice's home place (where she used to walk through the woods with her papa), and often spent weekends there, attending Tinney Chapel UMC on a fairly regular basis. Ronny Ellison remembers that period well, and recalls Beatrice & Kenneth usually sitting in the pew immediately in front of him. Sadly, the health of both Beatrice and Kenneth soon began to fail, and their Tinney Project files were eventually transferred to Arvinell. After Kenneth's death, Beatrice lived with their son Walter in Austin until her death on September 2.

The group color photo above shows Beatrice, Walter and Kenneth during one of several lunch meetings at Cafe Mexico in Richardson, Texas, with Beatrice's first cousin, Joe Dan Boyd, while the three Bellomys were initiating The Tinney Project during the late 1980s. Joe Dan made both color photos.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


October, 2007, is Pastor Appreciation Month

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Saturday, October 06, 2007


Residents Encounter Christ (REC) Training Today at Tinney Chapel

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