Our loving Daddy, Papa, Big Paw-Paw went to be with our Mother, his beloved wife, the late Betty Mossburg Stagner, on Saturday, Jan. 29, after an illness.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 am Thursday, Feb. 3, at the Claybar Funeral Home chapel in Orange. Following the chapel service, the graveside service will be held at 2:00 pm at the Evergreen Cemetery in Jasper.

The family will receive friends for visitation Wednesday, February 2, 2011, from 5:00 until 9:00 pm at the Claybar Funeral Home Chapel in Orange. Arrangements are under the direction of Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. Officiating will be the Rev. David Millner of Calvary Baptist Church in West Orange and the Rev. Barry Bradley of First Baptist Church in Orange.

Hershel, age 76, was born in Seminole, Oklahoma on May 8, 1934, to Etta Mae and Marvin Andrew Stagner. In 1943, at the age of nine, the family moved to Jasper, Texas by train to reside in the Bevel Loop area. In the late 1940’s, Stagner Poultry, a family business, was established where the family worked together providing fresh poultry products for the area. Hershel was a 1953 graduate of Jasper High School and was active in FFA and football. During his senior year, he met our Mother, Betty Mossburg Stagner, and they started their life together and married on June 20th of that year. In the mid-1950’s, Hershel and Betty moved to Orange where they raised three children, Hershel, Jr., Donna and Belinda.

In 1956, beginning his career as a “grunt” (lineman’s helper) for Gulf States Utilities located on Front Street in Orange, he worked his way through the ranks of the Line Department into a supervisor position. After a 40 year career, he retired two years after the absorption of Gulf States Utilities into Entergy Corporation. During his career, he was known for his loyalty, work ethic, integrity, dedication, generosity and his genuine concern for the safety and well-being of his co-workers.

He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, vacationing, camping, hunting, and at the age of 73 he renewed his passion for fishing. Remarkably on consecutive trips to Lake Fork Reservoir, he caught three large mouth bass, each weighing around 11 pounds. He was extremely proud of this accomplishment and, prior to his illness, was looking forward to taking each of his grandchildren, Jonathan, Katherine, Landon and Colton, on guided fishing trips.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Etta Mae and Marvin Stagner, beloved wife of 50 years Betty Mossburg Stagner, two older brothers, Marvin Dudley Stagner and James Alvin Stagner, sister Delma Stagner Carter and brothers-in-law Forrest Rogers and Buck Wilson.

Our Dad was involved in every aspect of our lives. He was dearly loved and will be greatly missed by all.

Those left to honor and cherish his memory include his son Hershel L. Stagner, Jr. and his wife Debra of Little Cypress; two daughters, Donna Stagner of McLewis Community, Orange, and Belinda Stagner Wilkinson of Lake Jackson, Texas; three grandsons, Jonathan Wilkinson and his wife Katherine, Landon Wilkinson and Colton Wilkinson all of Lake Jackson; beloved dachshund, Hannah; sister Ann Stagner Rogers of Jasper, Texas who referred to him as “Hersh”; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Hallie Ann Ogden Stagner of Metairie, Louisiana, Marilyn Mossburg Bradshaw and husband Spencer of Jasper, Margaret Wilson of Wallis, Tiny Rogers Gonzales of Jasper, Ronnie Mossburg and his wife Lyndia of Jasper, Jackie Mossburg and his wife Pat of Lumberton; nieces and nephews who called him “Uncle Hershel”, and numerous friends who affectionately referred to him as “Big Un”.

Serving as pallbearers will be his children and grandchildren. Honorary pallbearers will be Denny Carl Smith, Ed Hutchins, Bob Smith, and Al Barker.

The family wishes to express their appreciation and gratitude to both Dr. James B. Jones and Dr. Miguel Castellanos for their many years of compassionate care and friendship to our Dad. We would also like to thank Janet and David Montagne and their staff at River City Hospice for the care and support given during this difficult time.

For those wishing to make memorial donations, the family requests they be made to the Humane Society of Southeast Texas, 2050 Spindletop Road, Beaumont, Texas 77705 or a charity of your choice.