Margaret B. Dees

Margaret B. Dees, 83, left this life on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at her home in DeRidder, Louisiana.

Born in Berea, Ohio, on February 28, 1929, she and her family moved to Colorado Springs, CO, during her teenage years where she graduated from Colorado  Springs High.  While he was in Colorado for his health, she met and married Willie Ray Dees from DeRidder, LA.  They married on October 3, 1947, and began their life together in DeRidder where she has lived since that time.


Margaret was a homemaker until the death of Willie Ray in 1980 when she began to drive a school bus for the Beauregard Parish School System and was appointed to the Beauregard Police Jury where he had served as President.  She then was elected for successive terms until she retired in 1996, having also served as President.  She served on the Board of Commissioners of BMH until the time of her death as well as other city and community boards.  Being a volunteer Pink Lady at BMH was also very rewarding for her.


Her faith and church life were the most vital part of her life, and she served in the church as long as her health allowed.  She was a charter member of Texas Avenue Baptist Church (first known as Bethel), which was established as a mission by her father-in-law, Rev. Clarence Dees.  She and Willie Ray were involved in other local churches where his father pastored, with her serving as a Sunday School teacher, GA leader, teaching and directing VBS, and being involved in Women on Mission.  She became a member of First Baptist Church in 1966 where she remained a member until her death.  She continued to lead there as well, adding involvement on committees and mission trips to her activities, including 2 trips to Honduras with the Baptist Medical Dental Mission and 5 mission trips with the senior adult ministry under the leadership of Rev. Doyle Cooper.


She was preceded in death by her parents and husband, Willie Ray, and is survived by two children, daughter, Carolyn, and husband Terry Shirley of DeRidder and son, Raymond, and special friend Nadine Smith of New Iberia.  She had four grand children, Chad Shirley and wife Paige of Kingwood, TX, Christy Shirley Nettles and husband, Rev. Kevin Nettles of Stonewall, LA; Ray Dees and wife Ericka of New Iberia and Lindsey Dees Fontenot and husband, Jason, of Lake Charles.  She also had four great grandchildren, in whom she took great delight of being “Granny”; Claudia and Callie Shirley of Kingwood, TX and Cade and Cole Nettles of Stonewall, LA.


Her family is especially grateful for the many friends who were so very important to her all through her life, and, especially in these last months, much gratitude to the three ladies who loved and gave care:  Bernice Strickland, Elaine Koehn and Lillie Craft.  Special thanks go also to Dr. Carter and his office staff for their continuous care and concern across these months.

Margaret B. Dees