This Father’s Day, TXK Today wants to celebrate some of the defining dads of the Texarkana area. These men are model citizens and fathers that support our community. They exemplify selflessness and hard work ethic, making sacrifices in order to benefit their families and ours.
From varying backgrounds, interests, and careers, their stories are inspiring and heartfelt. Learn what motivates a hematologist, city councilman , mayor, and other defining dads to persevere and lead this community.
- Name: David Orr
- Occupation: Director of Planning & Community Development, City of Texarkana, TX
- Community Involvement: Wilbur Smith Rotary Club, Texarkana Homeless Coalition Chair, Texarkana Symphony Orchestra Board, Texarkana Regional Arts & Humanities Council Board, Texarkana Arts & Historic District Chair, For the Sake of One Board, Beech Street First Baptist Church
- Family members: Laura Orr, Elision Orr (3) and Ollie Orr (5 months).
- Favorite thing about being a father: Seeing the excitement on their faces when we have planned a new adventure for the day or they have learned something new. We celebrate so many things daily that were mundane prior to children.
- Favorite reason why you like raising a family in Texarkana: Texarkana is home and where our family lives. It is a great community to raise a family and the educational opportunities are first class.
- Name: Travis Ransom
- Occupation:Insurance Agent – Offenhauser/Sergeant Major – Army Reserve
- Community Involvement: I am currently the President of the Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council (TRAHC) board of directors which manages the Perot Theater, the Texarkana Regional Arts Center, and administers the ArtsSmart program. I am also currently the Chairman of the Atlanta Economic Development Corporation and also previously served on the Executive Board of the Caddo Area Council Boy Scouts of America and on the Christus St. Michael Hospital-Atlanta Foundation board. I am also a member and former president of the Atlanta Lions Club. My family also attends First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Texas.
- Family Members:Loving Wife: Emily, Coyt (18), Lucy (9), and Anna (5).
- Favorite thing about being a father: Every stage is different. Since my kids are so far apart in age I’ve gotten to experience a wide variety of parenting from only child to very close siblings. Like most parents, I appreciate each one of them individually and independently.I love to see their different personalities develop. Children are truly their parent’s greatest legacy. I see myself in them and just hope they inherited more of my good traits than my bad ones. I enjoyed going through the Boy Scout program with my son and am proud he earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Scouting provided me a with a solid infrastructure or framework to hold to while raising a boy. One year Coyt and I camped over 30 nights with the Boy Scouts. My girls are a different story. They’re so much fun and so expressive. I love watching them be creative and come up with puppet shows and playing dress up. I never know what world I’m stepping into when I get home from work. I could be greeted by princesses or pirates and I love to play along. I love sharing music and movies with all my kids and teaching them about things I’m interested in hoping they might share the same interest.
- Favorite reason why you like raising a family in Texarkana: I believe raising a family in a small town is good because it teaches kids to build strong, long term relationships with people in their community. There’s something special about graduating with the same group of kids you went to kindergarten with. You have to learn to get along with others because you don’t have the anonymity of a big city. When you have differences with people, you have to work them out because you know you’re going to see those folks again at school, church, grocery store, or at soccer practice.
- Name: Hesham Hazin, but I prefer to be called Hazin. Nobody calls me by my first name. Actually, the only person who ever does is my wife.
- Community Involvement: It’s important to participate and become involved in organizations that give back and do so much good in Texarkana. We are proud supporters of PGISD. A fabulous school system that is helping shape our 3 kids. Omar has been receiving special services in their PPCD program and has come so far in a short time. Texarkana Country Club’s charities golf tournament is benefiting Runnin WJ Ranch this August. Omar received horse therapy there and really benefited from their generosity. So we are excited to participate in that event this summer. We are especially sensitive to the medical causes in town, including Komen Texarkana. I am very grateful for Women for the Arts and ArkLaTex 100 Club for their important contributions to our community here.
- Family members:Layla (married 11 years), Rawya age 10, Ibrahim age 7, Omar age 4
- Favorite thing about being a father: My kids running to me when I come home like I’m a celebrity. Ibrahim says he wants to be like me when he grows up. He asks if his mustache will come in soon and if it will look like mine. The ultimate compliment. I’m aware that my kids, especially my boys, see me as an example. The greatest lesson I can teach them is how to treat others, especially by loving their mother. We have the same bedtime routine every single night. I still tuck in every one of my kids one at a time. We have special moments of prayer and sharing before kisses and lights out. It’s great closure at the end of the day that reminds us all of what’s important and brings us closer together.
- Favorite reason why you like raising a family in Texarkana:
- It’s so fascinating how moving to Texarkana has affected our children. Kids can really be kids here. It’s a very family friendly town. I remember shortly after moving here, Rawya asking for reassurance that we wouldn’t leave Texarkana. That was a comforting sign that we made the right move.
Josh Morriss III
- Name: Josh Morriss III
- Occupation: Judge (Chief Justice, Texas Sixth Court of Appeals)
- Community Involvement: Fellowship Bible Church (active member, elder, involved in worship ministry), Main Street Texarkana (member, past president, past board member, downtown resident and business owner – Silvermoon on Broad, West Broad at Texas Boulevard), Wilbur Smith Rotary Club (member, past president), Hospice of Texarkana (board member).
- Family members: Diana Morriss (wife, since 5/19/1973), Meredith Farren, Susannah Linnett, & Marjorie Matthews (daughters), 10 grandchildren; Martha & Josh Morriss, Jr. (parents); Don Morriss & William Morriss (brothers), etc….
- Favorite thing about being a father: seeing the faith and faithfulness of my daughters lived out; seeing them go deep with God when trouble comes; loving them lot
- Favorite reason why you like raising a family in Texarkana: It’s big enough to have pretty great resources, but small enough to be community
- Name:Ben Mayo
- Occupation: Vice President and Design Engineer at Mayo Manufacturing
- Community Involvement: Involved in St. Michael Stingrays Swim Team, Highland Park Baptist Church, St. Edwards, St. James Day School, Silvermoon Children’s Theatre, Miss Texas Organization, Have been on various community boards, Co-Chaired with wife Stacy Mayo, 2010 Heart Ball, CASA
- Family Members: Wife: Stacy James Mayo, Son: David Mayo, 9, Daughter: Alexis Mayo, 6, Parents: Ann and Mike Mayo, Parents in Law: Diana and David James, Brothers and Sister in Laws: Stephen and Alison Mayo, Patrick and Lauren Mayo, Grandfather: Pat Thomas, Many cousins and nieces and nephews
- Favorite thing about being a father: My favorite thing about being a dad is enjoying, teaching and learning from my kids. My kids teach and show me the simple pleasures that sometimes adults forget. My two kids are very sweet natured and loving, so we like to have lots of hug times. They miss me when I’m gone and think I’m pretty cool. They both also keep me on my toes…as does my wife!
- Favorite reason why you like raising a family in Texarkana: Both my wife and I are from Texarkana, so we have all of our family here which I think is important in raising a family. It’s great to have our personal connections and familiarity of the community to show our kids and have them experience the great elements of a hometown. My son is about to have Ms. Wagy at St. James for the 4th grade and I had her in the 4th grade at St. James! It’s stuff like this, that Stacy and I love. I have a family business here in town that my grandfather started and it’s the people that we grew up with when we were David and Alexis’ age that now see Stacy and I as Mom and Dad. It’s the support system that the community has always had for us that we enjoy and don’t take for granted.
- Name: Lee Medley
- Occupation:Real Estate Investment & Development
- Community Involvement: Main Street Texarkana
- Family Members: Sara, Marian, Collin, and One on the way!
- Favorite thing about being a father: My favorite thing about being a father is that I finally understand how my dad loved me, and it makes me more thankful for who he is. I always knew it, but now I really understand it.
- Favorite reason why you like raising a family in Texarkana: We love the community our kids are growing up in. Their school, our church, and our friends. Texarkana has provided that for us.
Dr. Brian Matthews
- Name: Dr. Brian L. Matthews
- Occupation: Assistant Professor of ManagementTexas A&M University-Texarkana
- Community Involvement: Texarkana, Texas City Councilmember, Ward 4; CHRISTUS St. Michael Rehabilitation Board of Directors; Alzheimer’s Alliance Board of Directors; Diversity Awareness Committee President; Texarkana Independent School District
- Family members: Jamie Daigle, Fiancée; Bradley Matthews, 10, Son; Annabelle Daigle, 8, Daughter; Abigale Daigle, 6, Daughter; Addison Daigle, 2, Daughter
- Favorite thing about being a father: Being a father is like waking up to Christmas every morning and unwrapping life’s treasures not knowing what surprise is in store. I have four unique children who require a different approach to parenting. Daily, they each teach me something new and amazing about being a father like patience and giving of oneself. I enjoy every moment that comes with seeing their eyes light up when they learn something new, hearing about their days at schools or seeing them laughing when they play with each other. One moment, in particular, involves my oldest daughter attending the Texarkana Twins’ inaugural game. She was so excited to be a part of the festivities. She got the opportunity to take a picture with the mascot, Thunder, she received an autographed baseball by the starting pitcher, and she participated in the kid games between innings. After they called her name over the intercom, with wonderment, she said, “Everyone will know who I am now. I’m going to be on TV and in the newspaper. People are going to be lining up at our door asking for me.” It is moment like this that makes being a father absolutely amazing.
- Favorite reason why you like raising a family in Texarkana: I love the comfort and serenity of Texarkana. Texarkana affords my family the opportunity to attend the best school districts, churches, parks and other places that are unlike any other place we have lived. Being in Texarkana also affords us the opportunity to be close to family and friends. Texarkana gives us a sense of security that only comes in a community that is family-oriented and that has a heart for people.
- Name: Marc Andre Bougie
- Occupation: Professor / Music Director-Conductor
- Community Involvement : I teach music at Texarkana College; I conduct the Texarkana Symphony Orchestra & Texarkana Regional Chorale; I am director of Sacred Music at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
- Family members: Wife Candace Taylor & daughter Miriam Bougie.
- Favorite thing about being a father: I simply enjoy being together with Miriam and my wife Candace as much as I can, and supporting each other in what we do. Miriam comes to our rehearsals and music events; we go to her gymnastics, dance, and piano lessons. We are there for each other, and the bonds that have been formed are very strong.
- Favorite reason why you like raising a family in Texarkana: Texarkana offers many of the amenities of the big city without the traffic and high cost of living. Hence we spend more time together as a family, and we can afford a number of exciting outings – including quick trips to large close-by metropolitan areas if we feel like it.
Mark L. Bledsoe
- Name: Mark L. Bledsoe
- Occupation: President/CEO United Way of Greater Texarkana
- Community Involvement: Williams Memorial United Methodist Church (Committee on Nominations and Lay Leadership), Past coach- Pleasant Grove Youth Association, Texarkana Soccer Association & T.I.S.D. Intramurals, TX A&M-TXK Alumni Association (Past President), Texarkana College (Office Careers Advisory Board) Kiwanis (President-elect), Texas High Booster Club (President), Texarkana Area Community Foundation, Keep Texarkana Beautiful, Leadership Texarkana Grad ’91, F&AM Masonic Lodge #341
- Family members & their names: Wife, Keely Ann (Williams, Maiden Name), Blaire (THS SR) Marlee (7th TMS), four-legged family members are Bella (Yellow Lab) Boudreaux (Cardigan Welsh Corgi)
- Favorite thing about being a father: I get the greatest enjoyment by simply being around them; especially when they’re happy! Their laughter, giggles and smiles warms my heart. I’ve made it a point to stay involved. Over the years we’ve been an outdoorsy, athletic family; the girls have played most of the sports in our area (with me being the coach of most of those teams, treasuring every moment). We enjoy camping, boating, fishing, hanging out at Caddo Lake, watching ball games and traveling. Witnessing their successes and missteps are memories I fondly cherish! I’m certainly their biggest fan/supporter at whatever they have chosen to undertake. I’ve been very blessed!
- Favorite reason why you like raising a family in Texarkana: Texarkana and our surrounding area has so much to offer! We live in a fabulous neighborhood with community-minded neighbors! It has been a wonderful place to raise a family & a great place to call home! We’ve been extremely pleased with the education our girls have received thus far (Morriss Elementary was top notch)! Day trips offer a plethora of engaging activities….weather it is theaters, symphonies, wholesome church family environment, museum, restaurants, parks, shopping, farmers markets, (outdoor & indoor)recreational activities/events, walking trails, water parks or jumping gyms, there’s always plenty to do!, …. And if a day trip doesn’t work, we just stretch it out a little! Texarkana, USA is not too big nor too small, it’s just right!
Mayor Bob Bruggeman
- Name: Bob Bruggeman
- Occupation: Commercial Lender – MidSouth Bank – Texarkana
- Community Involvement:Mayor – City of Texarkana, TXChairman – Texarkana Urban Transit District Board (T-Line Bus System)Member – Intergovernmental Advisory Committee (Bi-State Justice Center)Texas Association of Sports Officials (High School Baseball Umpire -38 years)
Member – Kiwanis Club of Texarkana
President – Council for Regional Health
Member – First Baptist Church – Head Usher and Deacon
- Family: Wife – Jackie; Children – Elizabeth “Liz” Friday and Olivia Bruggeman; Grandchildren – Ava Friday and Shepherd Friday ;Son-In-Law – Micah Friday
- Favorite Thing about being a father:Having been given the opportunity to raise two wonderful daughters, with one who is now a great wife and mother, raising a beautiful family, and the other in high school involved with dance and drill team. Both daughters have brought joy and happiness to our family and have provided memories that will be cherished forever.
- Favorite reason why you like raising a family in Texarkana: Texarkana is a great place to raise a family because family values are still recognized and deemed important. We have good schools, parks, many opportunities for family activities and we are a faith based community.