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In Memoriam

In Memoriam

Dear Heavenly Father, we bless you for all those Daughters who have departed this life in your faith and fear, working to fulfill your will on earth through prayer and service in the Order. May their faith and example inspire other women and girls to greater and more faithful labor for you. Grant the light of your presence and the glory of the life beyond to be her great and everlasting reward. Amen


To submit a brief remembrance and photo of the Departed Daughter please click here.



Cynthia Kouns Matthews



June 1945 - December 12, 2019



In the closing chapter of her life, Cynthia Matthews brought her enthusiasm, skills, intelligence, and gift for evangelism to The Order of the Daughters of the King®, serving first as Lexington Diocesan Assembly President (2015-2018) and then as Communications Oversight Chair on the National Council, starting in 2018.


         Cynthia was born in Florida and baptized in a Disciples of Christ church at age eight, then confirmed in an Episcopal church. She majored in Interior Design at the University of North Carolina, and later worked in Interior Design both in North Carolina and in New Mexico. When she married the love of her life, Bill Matthews, she converted to the Roman Catholic Church. Their two children, John Matthews and Elizabeth M. Henrich, were raised in the Catholic Church, and Bill and Cynthia became active in the charismatic renewal. While they lived in Roswell, New Mexico, Cynthia served as Director of Liturgy at St. Peter’s Church there.


         Her interest in the arts and ability to organize led her to volunteer with the Albuquerque Opera Association, the New Mexico Arts and Crafts Fair, the Roswell Symphony, the Las Cruces Symphony, and the University of Kentucky Dance Ensemble. As her interests shifted, she acquired an MA in Interpersonal Communication at New Mexico State University, and began teaching courses in public speaking and communication.  After she retired from teaching, she found a part-time job as a web-design assistant in a friend’s business. Skills developed there helped her convert the Province IV Messenger into an online publication, and edit The Order’s monthly online newsletter, Cross+Links.


         When Cynthia and Bill decided to move to Kentucky, Cynthia obtained a teaching scholarship at the University of Kentucky on the basis of her research on “invisible disability.”  She herself had such a disability—her lifelong struggle with asthma, sometimes triggering attacks severe enough to put her in the hospital.  She had completed all but her dissertation when she set her studies aside to care for her mother.


         In Lexington, she and Bill joined Good Shepherd Episcopal Church. As Cynthia became active in church activities (including a weekly class in Greek) she discovered The Order of the Daughters of the King®, and took her vows.  Daughters were there for her when Bill passed away in 2012. Three years later Cynthia was elected Diocesan Assembly President.  She noticed that her chapter was about to celebrate its 50th anniversary, at same time the Diocesan Assembly would have its 40th anniversary. With her leadership, both milestones were celebrated in grand style at Good Shepherd in the spring of 2017.  


         After being elected to the National Council at the 2018 Triennial, Cynthia was asked to edit Cross+Links and serve as Communications Oversight Chair. She loved the work and The Order’s mission. Her death came unexpectedly after a battle with severe pneumonia. We give thanks for the time we shared with her and for her joy in spreading Christ’s kingdom.  We trust she now dwells in the light of Christ among the saints in glory.




Carolyn Kruse



July 21, 1942 - September 27, 2019


Carolyn was a devoted wife and mother, tirelessly supporting her kids and husband’s school and athletics. She was active in the Episcopal Church, leading volunteers from St. Paul’s in St. Joseph Michigan at the Benton Harbor soup kitchen; and later, a member of the Lambs of God Chapter of the Daughters of the King at the Church of the Mediator in Harbert. Carolyn loved knitting, shopping, and collecting. Carolyn's peaceful and caring nature embodied what it is to be a Daughter of the King and she will be missed by all.


Barbara Savage



December 3, 1934 - October 28, 2019


Barbara Savage was a Daughter of The Order of the Daughters of the King® in Jacksonville, Arkansas. Born in 1934, in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, Barbara made her way around the world as she grew. From Oklahoma, her family moved to California and onward to Venezuela. She returned to the states to attend high school at San Marcos Academy in Texas before heading to Baylor University to study nursing. While attending college, she met her life partner, William B. Savage Jr., and in June of 1954, her life as an Air Force wife began. Barbara was extremely active in her home church of St. Stephen's Episcopal where she served on several committees and was a lifelong member of the Altar Guild. Barbara was also a Lay Reader and faithfully kept up with the record of deposits for St. Stephen's for many years. She was an advocate for, and servant of, her Camp Mitchell family on Petit Jean Mountain where Bill served in the past as camp director and Barbara worked in the kitchen for a few years. She had long-time involvement with the Episcopal Church Women and The Order of the Daughters of the King®. She was also a charter member at All Saint's Chapter and served as the treasurer since the beginning. Her enthusiasm for life and activity was unsurpassed. Barbara loved to cook and shared many of her goodies at church gatherings. She was known for sending beautiful handmade cards for the sick, birthdays, graduations and holidays. Those that knew her saw that vivacious personality until she left this earth.


Judith Bernice Yelton Williams



June 9, 1958 - September 9, 2019


Judith Bernice Yelton Williams, 61, passed away Monday, September 9, 2019. She was born June 9, 1958, in Salisbury to the late Thomas and Annie Bernice Stancil Yelton. Judith was a graduate of East Rowan High School and Southern Union College in Opelika, Alabama, earning a degree in accounting. Throughout her career, she worked for Auburn University where she served as the executive assistant for department chairmen, Weston Engineering where she was an executive secretary, and for United Way of Auburn, Alabama, where she also served as the executive secretary.

Judith was a member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Salisbury but more recently attended Saint Peter's Lutheran Church in Salisbury. While attending St. Paul's, she was active with The Order of the Daughters of the King®, the Episcopal Church Women, and the Episcopal Relief and Development of the Diocese of North Carolina. As the wife of a United States Navy and Marine Corps, Judith was a fantastic lover of souls and social activist who always worked to serve the less fortunate.

She is survived by her husband of 17 years, The Reverend Richard A. "Rick" Williams; children, Paul Gordon Williams and wife Casey, of Atlanta, Ga. and their children, Ethan and Chloe, Sarah Williams and fiancé Tom Mazur of New York City, Jarrett Lee Gandy and wife Lawsona of Sealy, Texas and their children, Olen and Ellie, Bryant Lee Gandy of Virginia and Ashley Stevenson of Rockwell and children, Kassidy and Bryley; siblings Ann Abernathy of Salisbury, Luci Yelton and her grandchildren, Natalie of Salisbury, Oliver "Bud" Yelton of Gold Hill, William Yelton of Ashe County and John Yelton of Salisbury; and numerous nieces and nephews.


Ethel Boyle Ripley



November 29, 1927 - July 20, 2019


Ethel Boyle Ripley, an enthusiastic National President who promoted renewal and international growth in The Order, was elected in 1985 in Anaheim, California, as The Order celebrated its Centennial. She had taken her vows in 1967 at All Soul’s Church, Miami Beach, Florida. Raised in the Episcopal Church on Pawley’s Island, South Carolina, she had moved to Miami with her husband Dr. Edwin Boyle and their four children. She served as president and treasurer of her chapter at All Soul’s Church.

Shortly after her move back to South Carolina and her husband’s death in 1978, Ethel was elected President of Province IV. At a renewal conference in South Africa, she met Henry Ripley; they were married in 1981. The following year the National Council elected her 1st Vice President. The opportunity to serve two terms as Self Denial Fund Chair and promote missionary work in Brazil fulfilled her heart’s desire to be a missionary. She made several trips to Brazil to visit The Order’s missionaries there and see the schools that Elizabeth Daniel and Patricia Powers established in Rio, as well as raising funds to buy them a car. As president, she presented the charter for St. Monica chapter in the Most Holy Trinity Church, Nassau, the first institution of a chapter outside the Episcopal Church in many years.

Ethel was active in Cursillo, Kairos, and Faith Alive. As National President, she served on the boards of PEWSaction, ECW, and Adventures in Ministries. When Roman Catholic women in Ashland, Kentucky, asked to become members of The Order Daughters of the King®, Ethel encouraged them, and the first Roman Catholic Chapter was instituted on December 13, 1986 in Holy Family Roman Catholic Church. In 1987, Ethel and The Right Reverend Don Wimberly, Bishop of Lexington, presented their charter when the Diocesan Assembly of Lexington celebrated its 10th anniversary in 1987.

Ethel continued to bless The Order, exercising her gifts of hospitality and friendship. She was asked to advise Joan Millard during her presidency (2000-2003) and then served again as Advisor to Joan Dalrymple (2006-2009).


Millie O'Rourke



July 7, 1934 - July 9, 2019


Millie Knowles O"Rourke, 85, died July 9, 2019 in Walnut Creek, California. She was born July 7, 1934 to Cordie Killingsworth Freeman and Willie Leon Freeman.


Millie spent her early childhood years in Southmayd, Texas, growing up in a poor migrant farm working family. She often spoke of working in the cotton fields under the intense Texas summer heat, which continued well in late fall while other kids were in school. Missing school bothered her more than the heat did!


Upon high school graduation, Millie convinced her "Daddy" to approve an application for induction to serve her country. She entered the United States Air Force during the Korean War as a cryptographic operator and earned commendations for distinctive service. She spent her following years in Washington, D.C. where she met her husband, Robert Knowles, and they had three children, Karl, Kenneth, and Karen.


In 1960, Millie, Bob, and family settled in California. She attended San Jose State University and achieved a lifelong ambition to earn her bachelor's degree and special education credential in 1971. She was thrilled to take a teaching position in the San Jose school district. Millie taught deaf students for decades in San Jose, California and Carson City, Nevada.


Millie's favorite color was red. She was a passionate San Francisco Giants baseball fan. Chocolate was her favorite dessert treat, with a special love for See's two-pound Nuts and Chews. She loved traveling, especially by train.


Millie and John O'Rourke were married in 1982 and they traveled often. Her happy place was the Monterey Bay Area: Monterey, Carmel, Asilomar, and Big Sur where her warm smile would never end.


Millie enjoyed watching old westerns and had a special love for Bonanza and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. She also would often delight in children's movies, especially Princess Bride. A few of her musical favorites were Gene Autry, Alan Jackson, and Pernell Roberts.


Millie was a member of The Order of the Daughters of the King® and wore a pendant cross of The Order... "to make Him known to others, and to become reflections of God's love throughout the world."


Millie is survived by her three children, Karl Richard Knowles (Brentwood, CA), Kenneth Robert Knowles (Lake Oswego, OR), and Karen Diane Knowles (Walnut Creek, CA), and numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren.




Billie Faye Ferrell


November 16, 2947 - June 25, 2019


Billie Faye was a faithful Daughter at two churches in Louisville, Kentucky. First with St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Anchorage, and then St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church. She was a blessing to us as she demonstrated her love of our Father and her faith in Him.


Billie Faye, 71, passed into the presence of Jesus on June 25, 2019. She was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme (brain cancer) in late March, 2019, and chose to forego any treatment to focus on saying goodbye to loved ones and enjoying the last weeks of her life. During the last few months, she saw two granddaughters baptized, laughed a great deal, ate plenty of potato chips, petted a dolphin, and spent lots of time with her daughter, Chandi Plummer, son-in-law, Robert Plummer, and granddaughters, Sarah Beth, Chloe, and Anabelle. Many beloved family members and friends came to Louisville to say goodbye to Billie.

Billie was born November 16, 1947, in Lafayette, Louisiana, the daughter of John Milton Ferrell and Billie Faye Ferrell. She moved to Houston, Texas, when she was twelve years old, and graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in 1965. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Louisiana State University in 1969. She received a Masters degree from Appalachian State University, followed by many years working in elementary education (esp. in counseling and reading recovery) in South Carolina, North Carolina, Ohio, and Kentucky. She also worked two years as a trauma counselor in a hospital emergency room in Raleigh, North Carolina. Billie described her life as one that worked to protect children and to promote peace. She said that being a mother to Chandi was her most important calling.

Billie is survived by her brother, John Milton Ferrell, II, sister-in-law, Dottie, and by Billie's beloved daughter, granddaughters, Aunt Sarah, cousins, nieces and nephews. She was a member of St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church, Louisville, Kentucky, and was active in the women's church group, The Order of the Daughters of the King®.





Patricia Thomson



September 24, 1947 - April 6, 2019


Patricia (Patsy) Jean Thomson, 71, of Shoreacres, Texas, died on Saturday, April 6, 2019. She is preceded in death by her father Patrick Kintz, and daughter; Crystal McGrann. She is survived by her mother Billie Jean Collie; her husband; The Reverend Rogers Thomson, sons; Richard McGrann, Joshua McGrann, Fernell McGrann, Harold Rogers Thomson, Jr. daughters; Tycie McGrann, Billie Lynette McGrann, Desa Adams, Angela Thomson, Lori Morgan, sister; Kathleen Havel, grandchildren; Lynette Huron, Caleb McGrann, Cameron Markey, and a host of other family and dear friends.

Patsy was a gifted poet and writer who enjoyed working in her yard. A true animal lover, she always had cats and dogs. Patsy earned a Masters Degree in special education and owned the Beacon School and Childcare Center in LaPorte where she taught and cared for special needs children for 47 years. Patsy had a kind and loving heart, adopting seven special needs children from Harris County Child Protective Services. She was strong in her faith and an active member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Baytown for many years. She served on the National Council of The Order of the Daughters of the King®, where she was the Master’s Fund Chair and Spiritual Formation Chair. Patsy made a positive impact on every life she touched and will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.


Essie Reed



December 30, 1933 - February 25, 2019


Essie received her formal education at Grambling Elementary and graduated from Grambling High School in 1953. She later attended Grambling College, Commerce University, Bishop College, Southern Methodist University and Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. She graduated from Texas Women University with a Bachelors in Science and later obtained her Master’s Degree in Children’s Literature.


Essie met the love of her life J.W. Reed in Ruston, Louisiana whom she followed to Dallas, Texas. The couple united in Holy Matrimony in 1954. Essie enjoyed walking in the park/mall and traveling across the world with her husband.


Essie confessed Christ at an early age. She attended Saint Phillips Episcopal, Saint George Episcopal and in the year 2000, moved her membership to Saint Anne Episcopal. Essie was a faithful member and worked with the “Daughters of the King.”


Essie began her career with the Dallas Public Library in February 1957. During her tenure, she worked at the Dunbar Branch, Dallas’ first library for the African American community. She was the first African American librarian to work with the public. Essie opened and managed three public libraries in the city of Dallas: Park Forest Library, Forest Green Library and Skyline Library. In addition, she worked at the Central Library on Commerce Street, on the Bookmobile, and at Dallas West and Martin Luther King, Jr. branches as a children’s librarian. She retired on September 2, 1983 after 26 years of service.


Essie was a very active member in the areas of voter rights, voter education and voter registration. Essie was an active, lifetime member of the League of Women Voters of Dallas. She served on the State Board and attended state and national conventions. In 2006, she received the Susan B. Anthony Award, an annual award presented to “a woman who exemplifies the characteristics of Susan B. Anthony.” These characteristics include “independence, persistence, determination and dedication in obtaining equal rights for all.” Her commitment to the League never wavered.


Essie was preceded in death by her twin brother Jessie D. Richard; three sisters: Lille J. Fuller, Vinnie Ruth Richard, and Mary Lee Richard.


On February 25, 2019, Essie received her wings and went home to be with the Lord.


She leaves to cherish her memories, loving and devoted husband of 65 years: Mr. J.W Reed; daughters: Carol Zoette Reed and Thelma Lela King; one sister: Pastor Sylvia Pope; two grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, two brother in laws: John S. (Effie) Reed of Shreveport, LA and James (Annie) Reed of Dallas, Texas; sister in law: Annie Reed (George) Jones; God children: Karen and Tyler Jones; the entire Saint Anne Episcopal Church Family, along with a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.


Katie Katers Cron



January 8, 1929 - November 9, 2018


Katie Ann Katers McDonald Cron passed away peacefully on Friday, November 9th, 2018 surrounded by family. She was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin on January 8, 1929 and remained an avid Green Bay Packer fan her entire life.  She moved from Green Bay to Houston in 1952 where she met and married her first husband, Mac McDonald.  Years after his death, she met and married Myrven H. Cron.


Katie and Myrv moved to Chappell Hill, TX in 1983 for peace and quiet. They became involved in a loving and friendly community. Myrv and Katie began a new pursuit of restoring what became The Mulberry House, a bed and breakfast welcoming tourists to the Chappell Hill area.


She was very active in the community and many local charities where her determination in fund raising benefited these charities. She was named Woman of the Year in Washington County in 1997 and Woman of the Year in Chappell Hill in 2007. She was a member of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church where she was President of the ECW and served on Altar duty and in many other capacities. She also served on the Washington County Chamber of Commerce Board, Board member of the Boys and Girls Club, and boards of the Unity Theatre and executive board Brenham Children’s Chorus. She served as the Vice President of Washington on the Brazos State Park Association, President of Washington County Heritage Society, and President of Chappell Hill Historical Society. She was also a member of the Independence Historical Society. 


She was preceded in death by her husband, Myrv Cron. She is survived by her loving family. This includes her three daughters Kim McDonald, Chappell Hill, TX; Nancy and husband Paul Lippold, Missouri City, TX; and Betsy and husband Dr. Paul Muncy, Dallas, TX.  Seven grandchildren: Sam McDonald and fiancé Sarah Halle, Ryan Lippold and wife Sharidan, Neal Lippold and wife Allenson, Alicia and husband Stuart Petty, Blake Pugh, Brooke and husband Mike Canning and Brynne Muncy plus ten great grandchildren.


Memorial Service was  held at St. Peters Episcopal Church, 2310 Airline Dr., Brenham, TX. Donations were made to The Nancy Carol Library (Brenham, TX) and St. Peters Episcopal Church (Brenham, TX).




The Order of the Daughters of the King®
101 Weatherstone Dr. Suite 870
Woodstock, GA 30188
Phone: (770)517-8552
Fax: (770)517-8066

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