Three Winters High School graduates will be recognized for their achievements in life during WHS Homecoming festivities on Friday. The 2018 honorees are:
• Eloisa Lopez Castro, WHS Class of 1947 from Lubbock
• Harvey Michael Jones, MD, WHS Class of 1958 from Chapel Hill, North Carolina
• Charles E. Simpson, PhD, WHS Class of 1958 from Stephenville
Eloisa Lopez Castro
Eloisa Lopez Castro was born on June 29, 1928 in Roby, Texas to Isidro and Ophelia Diaz Lopez. She is the eldest of her siblings, and those surviving are Elida Rodriguez of Brownwood, Elizabeth Mercer of Keller and Obed Lopez of Grand Prairie. Her siblings who are deceased are Edelmira Lopez, Saul Lopez, Isidro Lopez, Adam Lopez, Evelyn Garcia, and Lydia Maldonado.
Eloisa attended 1st and 2nd grade in Rotan, Texas when her family sold everything from their sharecropping in Rotan to move and do mission work in Mexico. While in route, they stopped in Winters to say good bye to Ophelia’s mother, Julia Diaz Cavazos. It was at that point where they found some land and decided to stay in Winters. Isidro’s dad, I.M. Lopez, founded Mission Bautista Emmanuel where the family worshipped. Today, the New Beginnings Church on Roberts St. meets there.
Eloisa’s parents valued education as she was allowed, encouraged to continue her education and was a role model for her younger siblings to attend school. In 1947, she was the first Hispanic to graduate from Winters High School. Upon graduation, she received a full scholarship to attend Hardin Simmons University in Abilene. When J. L. Castro, from Post, Texas, had returned from serving 2 years in the Navy, he proposed marriage to Eloisa whereby she chose to marry instead of pursuing her college education. They were the first couple to marry in the Baptist Mission on April 18, 1948. They lived in New Home, Slaton and finally moved to Lubbock, Texas, and have resided there until the present. They have 4 children: Amelinda Sanchez, Delmira Lopez from Lubbock, Evelina Baker from Lewisville, TX and Daniel Castro from Lubbock. They have 7 grandchildren (Geoffrey and Justin Lopez, Clarissa Garcia, Ryan and Troy Baker, Matthew and Stephen Castro) and 6 great-grandchildren (Jaren Sanchez, Aven Garcia, Calla and Ezra Lopez, Gretchen and Garrison Lopez.)
Eloisa chose to stay home to raise her children until her youngest child, Daniel went to school. She was hired to begin the Open Door Preschool for 4 year olds sponsored by the First United Methodist Church of Lubbock, TX. She remained in this position for 35 years until her retirement in 1985. She touched the lives of many children in Lubbock, including her grandchildren, through her natural teaching abilities, love for singing and most importantly, sharing of God’s Word.
Her involvement in the community went beyond her profession as she has served in several Boards and served in the Lubbock community. She has been a Sunday School teacher for children, youth, adults and has been involved in WMU (Women’s Missionary Union) as a director in her church, where her son-in-law, Joe Lopez, is currently the pastor. She has assisted young women through the Christian Women’s Job Corp and has taught ESL to adults learning the English language.
In September, 2017, her grandson, Stephen Castro, who is currently attending graduate school at Texas Tech University, nominated J. L. and Eloisa as “Texas Tech Grandparents of the Year for 2017.” They were selected and recognized at half time at the home game of TTU on Sept. 30, 2017 where most of their immediate family were in attendance.
On April 20, 2018, J. L. and Eloisa Castro celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary with a dinner attended by almost 100 guests of family and friends. Also, Eloisa recently celebrated her 90th birthday on June 29th with a dinner given by her children.
Her legacy of prayer and faith in God has sustained her throughout her life as evidenced by all of those who know her. She is loved and adored by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, her pride and joy. What an exciting honor it is for Eloisa Lopez Castro to be named as the Distinguished Alumnus of Winters High School for 2018!
Harvey Michael Jones
Mike Jones was born in Austin, Texas but moved around with his family secondary to his father’s military obligations in World War II. They eventually settled in Winters, where Mike had his entire early schooling except for the second grade, which was completed in Denver, Colorado and Woodsboro, Texas. He participated in many school sponsored activities during his 12 years, including student government, band, golf, UIL debate and spelling, and graduated as class valedictorian. He was elected as Attorney-General of Texas Boys State and President of the Student Body as a senior. Mike recollects many fine dedicated teachers during his years in the Winters Independent School District, and attributes much later success in life to their efforts. Always of small physical stature, Mike, along with friends, undertook a weightlifting program which benefited his life greatly. He recalls with great joy being able to participate in youth league baseball activities, the highlight of which was hitting an inside the park home run in the minor league park in Ballinger.
Mike went on to the University of Texas in Austin in 1958, where he was chosen as one of the first class of Junior Fellows, a select academic group of 25 freshman out of the ~4000 admitted. He continued the emphasis on academics, being admitted to the freshman honor society and ultimately Phi Beta Kappa. Involvement with student organizations also occupied much of his time: the Tejas Club, committees and board of the Student Union, and various committees of Student Government. He was elected to the Silver Spurs men’s service organization and the Society of Friars. During college years, summers were spent working for his father at the Winters Lumber Company. Duties included working the counter, loading lumber and other building supplies, and driving the delivery truck. There were also some strenuous moments on the backside of a wheelbarrow full of cement. Other jobs included serving as a lifeguard at the Municipal Swimming Pool, typing policy documents for the local milling company, and pumping gas at a local service station.
Following four years in Austin, Mike was accepted to the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where he was inducted in the academic honor society Alpha Omega Alpha in his junior year. Although receiving generous academic scholarship assistance, funds were tight and outside jobs were necessary. Some summers he retuned to work in Winters while others were spent in research labs in St. Louis. Regular jobs during the school year included employment as a night desk clerk at the Med School dormitory and as a clinical extern at night in one of the hospitals associated with the University. As a lifelong fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, Mike managed to even get in a few baseball games and was able to see the great Stan “The Man” Musial play his last ball game in 1963.
Mike joined the US Navy in his senior year of medical school and upon graduating was stationed in the US Naval Hospital in Philadelphia, where he completed a general rotating internship and four years of residency in the specialty of pathology. The Navy had a special arrangement with several of the established Philadelphia medical school hospitals so that much of Mike’s training was spent there under Navy sponsorship. During his time in Philadelphia Naval Hospital he established and operated their first Electron Microscopy Lab. It was during this time that Mike married and started a family, with the first two of his five sons being born there. He held an appointment as instructor at the University of Pennsylvania during this time.
After finishing specialty training, as the Vietnam war was still raging, he was assigned to the Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, VA, where he supervised the Clinical Chemistry section and pathology residents in training and was appointed as an instructor at the Eastern Virginia Medical School. His major non-medical community involvement in Portsmouth was as a Pony League baseball coach for three years.
After almost 10 years of military service he resigned his commission as a Commander (Medical Corps) to accept a position as the first Pathologist in the small declining community hospital in Henderson, NC, where he served for the next three decades as director of laboratories. The practice grew to include four other community hospitals in the region and two more pathologists. Mike’s major community contribution in Henderson was leading the effort to recruit specialty physicians to the community, a task that eventually resulted in the tripling of the medical staff and ultimately the construction of a new $50 million hospital addition. During these years he became involved in national professional organizations, most prominently the College of American Pathologists, serving on the Surgical Pathology Committee, which had oversight over the organization’s national quality assurance program. He also participated in various community organizations such as the Rotary Club, the board of the Chamber of Commerce, playing trumpet in the local community band and again coaching school baseball until the age of 62, when his high school team went to the state championship two years.
During Mike’s private practice years, he maintained a close relationship with the academic departments in nearby universities: Duke in Durham, NC and UNC in Chapel Hill, NC. At age 63 he retired from private practice and began voluntary teaching at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and was eventually persuaded to resume work as Professor of Pathology there, teaching medical students and residents from 2003 to 2015.
In 2003 he also associated with the American Osler Society, an international group dedicated to fostering ethical behavior and humanism in medicine, with a deep focus on medical history. He is currently on the executive board and will serve as President in 2020.
He has published several scientific papers and articles along with a book chapter. There have been numerous scientific presentations to medical groups and he has written and produced a film documentary highlighting the importance of mentoring, using as illustration the life of an early UNC faculty member, their first member of the National Academy of Sciences.
Now “retired” three years from active teaching, he continues to write about medical history, enjoy more time with wonderful wife Becky, travel and visit children (5), grandchildren (10), and great grand-children (3). He claims to get exercise pretending to play golf almost weekly.
Charles E. Simpson
Charles Edmond Simpson was born in the farm house that stands at the intersection of Texas 153 and Hwy 1677, three miles west of Winters, Texas, on August 19, 1940. At age 5 he and his family moved to the Wilmeth community. His formative years were spent working on the farm and swimming, hunting and fishing with neighborhood friends. After high school and two years at Texas Lutheran College in Seguin, TX, Charles then transferred to Texas A&M where he earned a BS Degree in Agricultural Education in 1963. After he won a NDEA Graduate Fellowship, he earned his MS in 1966 and the PhD in Plant Breeding and Cytogenetics in 1967 from Texas A&M University in College Station. Following graduation he was appointed an Assistant Professor of Peanut Breeding at what is now known as the Texas A&M University AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Stephenville, TX. Dr. Simpson was promoted to Associate Professor in 1975, and in 1979 he was appointed to the graduate faculty of Texas A&M University which allowed him to begin training graduate students. In 1984 Dr. Simpson was promoted to the position of Professor, and he continues as a Texas A&M University Graduate Faculty member and is Adjunct Professor at Tarleton State University in Stephenville and Texas Tech University in Lubbock.
In 1976 Simpson joined an international team to collect peanut germplasm in South America, where the peanut originated. In 1980 he assumed co-leadership of this international effort, funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy. Simpson has made 28 collecting expeditions to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. He and colleagues have collected more than 1800 accessions of wild peanuts and 5500 land races of cultivated peanut. Collections have included 75 new species of the peanut genus, Arachis. Simpson spends most of his time now preserving and using these new species, transferring genes to develop disease resistant and higher quality peanut varieties for Texas, US, and international peanut growers and consumers.
In 1983 Simpson joined a team of researchers funded by the US State Department though the USAID Mission. He has been a Project leader and/or co-leader in the program serving West Africa in Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Niger. He has helped train numerous technical, BS, MS and PhD students in this program. This effort continues today.
Simpson has been author or co-author on more than 480 scientific articles, book chapters and presentations. Simpson has been lead or co-author on release of 25 new peanut varieties and germplasm lines and 13 plant patents. He has participated in 12 international workshops relating to peanut breeding.
Simpson has received 14 awards; state (2), national (8), and international (4). His most prized award was receipt of the international Frank N. Meyer Medal for his work with peanut germplasm. He is a Charter Member of the American Peanut Research and Education Society and served as its president in 1993-1994. The Society celebrated their 50th Anniversary in July.
Simpson married the former Lynann Kruse in 1964, and they have two daughters, Melissa Hinga of League City, TX and Shay Simpson of Bryan, TX. He is a lifelong Lutheran and has served in many capacities in his local congregation in Stephenville. He enjoys opening dove season at Wilmeth, and he always has a sense of “coming home” when he visits Winters.