Our prayers surround the families of our loved ones now fully with our Lord.
Jesus said: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. (John 14:27 NRSV)
May this unspeakable peace of Christ hold you and keep you.
Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church
3901 North Star Road
Richardson, Texas 75082
This list is in order of the memorial service date, beginning with the most recent. You may press "view previous"/"view next" at the bottom of the list to scroll.
George Swenson Jr. (1930 - 2023)
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George William Swenson, Jr. of Plano, Texas passed away on February 7, 2023 at the age of 93. A loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend, he will be missed dearly by those who knew and loved him.
George was born on January 25, 1930 to George William Swenson, Sr. and Ima (Ericson) Swenson in Georgetown, Texas. He grew up in Austin, earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and served his country proudly in the Texas Army National Guard. George married Caryl Briggs on February 7, 1959 in Smithville, Texas.
He worked for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company for 37 years and retired as Chief Accountant of Texas in 1991. George spent his second career as auditor with CMA Property Management, retiring after 22 years at the age of 90.
George is survived by his wife, Caryl Swenson; daughters, Gina Swenson, Lisa Turner and husband, Larry; granddaughter, Megan Swenson and fiancé Zach Callaway; daughter-in-law Nelda Swenson; brother, Wally Swenson; nephews Steve, Doug and Ken Swenson and their families; and a host of other loving family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his son, Todd Swenson; infant son, James; grandson, Mitchell Swenson; and parents, George and Ima Swenson.
In his honor, donations may be made to the American Heart Association to support cardiovascular medical research and education.
Published on Tuesday, February 28, 2023 @ 10:29 AM CDT
LaNell Helms (1958 - 2023
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LaNell Liese Helms passed away at home amid family on January 18, 2023 after more than a decade long battle with neural disease. She was 64 years old. LaNell was born in Austin, Texas on July 16, 1958 and lived in Kansas City and Lincolnshire, Illinois in her early years. The family ultimately settled in Arlington, Texas where she graduated from Bowie High School.
LaNell discovered an interest in computers while attending Stephen F. Austin State University. She graduated in 1981 with a BS in Computer Science and worked as a professional programmer for multiple companies over 20+ years until unable to so due to her illness.
LaNell met Richard Talmage (Dick) Helms, Jr in 1983 and they married a year later. She and Dick raised two daughters and she created a happy home; balancing work, dance classes, soccer games, church, Girl Scout leadership, and being a wonderful wife.
She loved to play tennis and she loved football, as all Texans do. Although she was a Stephen F. Austin alumna, the Aggie Spirit, passed down through her father, lived on in her. She shared that spirit with her daughters, who both graduated from Texas A&M. She loved cheering on the Ags during football season; she was a firm believer that the team didn't lose, they just ran out of time.
LaNell loved the beach, sailing, decorating her home for every holiday, Jimmy Buffet music, and her big Liese and Chafin families. Visiting with her family was a favorite activity and she kept in touch with them her whole life. She had 22 aunts and uncles and an impressive number of first cousins spread over Texas and nearby states. She was something of a family historian and loved to share her memories.
LaNell displayed incredible bravery and positivity despite her illness prognosis. Throughout the progression of the disease she never complained, was cheerful with everyone she met, and fought to have as much time as possible with her family. She was loved by all she knew.
LaNell is survived by her husband of 39 years, Richard, daughter Julia Helms Crowdis and husband Creston Crowdis, daughter Kathryn Helms Sanders and husband William Sanders, grandchildren Carter and Caroline Crowdis, sister Karol Whittaker and husband Danny, brother Kurt Liese and wife Gene Ann, sister Kristi Haight and husband Peter, and many nieces and nephews.
LaNell was preceded in death by her parents, Ralph Franklin Liese and Mary Lou Chafin Liese, who she loved dearly.
A memorial service will be held at Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church in Richardson on Saturday February 11, 2023 at 2:00pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to your favorite charity.
Published on Monday, January 30, 2023 @ 10:35 PM CDT
Thelma Graber Ball (1929 - 2022)
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Thelma Ball was born in Newton, Kansas on October 15, 1929 as the second of four daughters of Arthur and Marie Graber. Her father was a professor of English Literature and Debate Coach at Bethel College until the “great depression” made it impossible for them to pay teachers’ salaries. In 1934, the family moved to Wichita, Kansas where her father began working for the Federal Land Bank. A few years later, her parents purchased The American Indian Institute, which had been an agricultural school for Indian boys. The four girls were reared on the farm just adjacent to Wichita University, learning to do farm chores, operate milking machines and help harvest the crops.
Thelma attended public schools in Wichita through Wichita State University, graduating in 1951 with a degree in Music Education. She was a member of Mortar Board., Mu Phi Epsilon and Pi Kappa Psi (Gamma Phi Beta). Following graduation, she accepted a position in Flint, Michigan where, as a violinist she played in the Flint Symphony in addition to teaching in the public schools. She returned to Wichita two years later where she taught at Curtis Junior High School for three years, played in the Wichita Symphony and completed her Master’s Degree in Music Education.
It was at Curtis that she met and fell in love with Arzell Ball, a fellow teacher and administrator who she married in 1954. During the summers for the next two years plus a year of residency which followed, the couple traveled to Nashville, Tennessee where Arzell completed his doctorate at The George Peabody College of Education of Vanderbilt University and she worked in the Library and played in the University Symphony there.
The couple with their two children, David and Barbara, moved to Lincoln, Nebraska in 1963 where Arzell held the position of Assistant Superintendent of Schools. Three years later, the family moved to Leawood, Kansas when Arzell accepted the position of Superintendent of the Shawnee Mission School District. Thelma played in the Kansas City Civic Symphony and worked in her children’s schools as a volunteer in the Great Books program and the “Picture Lady” program sponsored by the Art Museum of Kansas City. The family remained in the Kansas City area for fifteen years.
In 1982, they moved to Richardson, Texas when Arzell accepted the position of Superintendent of the Richardson School District. Thelma worked in the regional offices of Becton Dickinson Vacutainer and Microbiology Systems for the next ten years. Thelma was active in the community, particularly on the Board of the Richardson Symphony where she served three terms as President and Chairman of the Board . In addition, she was Chair of the Lennox Young Artist Competition for many years. Thelma also volunteered with the Richardson Adult Literacy program and was a member of the Richardson Women’s Club and Mortar Board Alumni. She was a member of EZ Chapter of P.E.O. and Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church where she served as Deacon and Elder.
Thelma’s three sisters, Elaine Fisher, Vivian Simpson and Alice Decker preceded her in death, tragically at very young ages. She is survived by her husband of 68 years and her children and their families: David Ball, his wife, Libby Lassiter and granddaughter Alexandra of Birmingham, Alabama; and daughter, Barbara Love, her husband Richard and grandchildren, Amy, Tanner and Mallory Love of Shady Shores, TX, as well as a great granddaughter Phoebe Faye Piras. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews and their families, who were very dear to her: Dana Knorr of Lawrence, KS, Deborah Gans of Green Mountain Falls, CO, Curtis Fisher of Wichita, KS, Glen Fisher of Rodgers, AR, and Carol Lawrence, of Salina, OK.
A memorial service will be held at Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church in Richardson on January 12, 2023 at 11:00am. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to the church, 3901 North Star Road, Richardson, TX 75082 for benefit of the Music Department or the Richardson Symphony Orchestra 2100 N. Collins Blvd,, Ste 310, Richardson, TX 75080.
Published on Monday, December 26, 2022 @ 7:09 PM CDT
Patricia Ann Temple (1938 - 2022)
Pat Temple, long time member of CCPC, died on Tuesday, November 15, 2022.
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She was born to Harold and Lorraine Wint on Feb 5, 1938 and landed with both feet running in Independence, KS. At age 84 she was “planted” on Nov. 15, 2022 in Richardson, TX. She lost her Mother before she was 30 and her Father before she was 40. In high school, she was a drum majorette, a contestant in the American Royal Pageant in Kansas City, a cheerleader, and a class officer. She apparently was quite a dancer and never lacked for dance partners. She also performed in a theater group, sang in the school choir and played in the school band. She had a beautiful smile. She worked at Kress’s during her years in high school where she was a Telephone Operator from 6 p.m. to midnight.
She went to college at Pittsburgh State where she met her future husband, Louis. They were married in 1960 and lived in Kansas City where she taught 3rd grade. They moved to Richardson, TX in 1972, the year that her son Brett was born. He earned his college degree from TCU on a soccer scholarship. Unfortunately she lost her husband, Lou in 2001 due to heart problems after 41 years together. He died 5 days after her birthday. She is now buried next to him. She owned a gift shop, worked for several corporations (working her way up), and as a receptionist for 10 years at the Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church. She enjoyed being a member of the Church’s Small study group, doing her weekly Crime Watch, attending the monthly Gospel sings, playing bridge and her monthly poker parties. Of course you have to eat, Keller’s Drive In with its gathering of antique cars and WHATABURGER were some of her favorite places. She joined the XI SIGMA EPSILON chapter of the BETA SIGMA PHI sorority. She has been an active member for 50 years holding many positions including President (several times), secretary and received the International Award of Distinction for 2008-2009. She has enjoyed all the many years of being with her Sorority Sisters. Unexpectedly, she was asked out on a date in 2016 by one of her fellow church members, Larry Krase. It turns out their birthdays are the same month and they were both born in Kansas. They enjoyed fellowship and became great companions during times of medical problems. They enjoyed feeding the birds including momma Mallard and baby ducklings.They were together for almost 8 years. He was with her during these last several months of doing rehab and being hospitalized. Pat is survived by her son, Brett Temple and partner Larry Krase.
Published on Monday, December 5, 2022 @ 9:53 AM CDT
Douglas Kraus (1928 - 2022)
October 17, 1928 – October 20, 2022
Douglas Arthur Kraus, 94, died peacefully in his residence at Masonic Homes the evening of October 20, 2022, going home to be with his beloved wife, Elsa Baker Kraus, the day before what would have been her 90th birthday.
Born to Harold and Loma Mable Kraus in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, and raised in the state of his birth, Doug was an Eagle Scout who received the first “God and Country” award in that state. He graduated from LaCrosse Central High School and moved to Dallas, Texas, to attend Southern Methodist University, from which he earned a BA in 1952 and was named an ROTC distinguished graduate. At SMU, he met and married his fraternity’s dream girl, Elsa Jean Baker, in 1953, and spent the next 59 years loving her, making a home together and traveling the world for pleasure and in the service of his country. When Elsa was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, Doug cared for her in their Plano, Texas, home with unswerving devotion until her death in 2012. Elsa and Doug had two children, a daughter, Laurie, who survives him, and a son, Scot, who died in 2003.
Doug was a career officer in the United States Air Force, serving almost 25 years in Strategic Air Command first as a bomber navigator and later as a chief of reconnaissance and intelligence. He served in Korea and Vietnam, flying B29’s, B36’s and B-52’s, and continued his service as Chief of Intelligence on three bases in the United States in Oklahoma, Michigan, and Louisiana. He was an excellent officer, promoted ahead of grade four times. He retired at the rank of Lt. Colonel while serving his last two assignments in a position generally assigned to a full colonel. He told his daughter numerous times that he would have been promoted if only he hadn’t lost his temper and yelled at his commanding officer. Despite this brief lapse into freedom of speech, Doug was a highly decorated and valued member of the Air Force, and was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal, numerous combat and service medals, and the Bronze Star.
Upon his honorable retirement in 1976, Doug and Elsa moved to Plano, Texas with their son Scot, where they were members of Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church and long-time anchors of the church choir. Doug turned his experience in leadership and intel into service as an Elder at Canyon Creek, chairing the Board of Trustees, the Worship Committee, two pastor nominating committees and one choral director nominating committee. A man of deep faith, Doug was also a professed doubter, never ceasing to ask deep questions about the nature of believing, belonging, life and death, and was an avid reader of progressive Christian theology, despite being a life long social conservative. For 40 years, Doug and his daughter enjoyed “lively” discussions about theology and social justice. Some of the best of these were conducted during the pandemic by Laurie, Doug and granddaughter Gillian Hollis while sharing “socially distanced” but verbally robust box lunches at the picnic tables near his Louisville apartment.
Doug never met a stranger, spent most of each day calling everyone he knew to see how they were doing, and routinely embarrassed his family by making endless jokes with random strangers in not-always-appropriate settings. His humor sustained him, and those near him, through his final days. Throughout his life, Doug established and maintained countless deep friendships across the country and the world and was devoted to his family and to the adult children of his closest friends, sustaining a family of birth and choice whose everyday doings and accomplishments were an endless source of interest and pride to him. He will be deeply missed. A memorial service will be held on December 17, 3 pm, at Springdale Presbyterian Church in Louisville, KY. His ashes will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery. The link for online participation in the service is: https://www.facebook.com/
Those who wish to remember Doug might join him in his life-long passion for righting the historic wrongs perpetuated against Native Americans, through a gift to the Native American- Alaskan Native Peoples Fund held at the Presbyterian Foundation of Presbyterian Church (USA). Information or donations at: https://
Published on Tuesday, November 1, 2022 @ 3:24 PM CDT