Chapter Grand

John E. Fondren #3

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10/31/14 02:07 PM #1    

Paul Poston, Jr. #82

John Fondren passed away in 1964

11/01/14 01:15 PM #2    

Robert (Pops) Popplewell #91

Johnny was a Super-Phi and holds bond 3 due to solid facilitation in bringing our beloved fraternity to campus. He was working in the hay fields in heat of summer and died I believe from a severe sunstroke - from pure shape to demise in a day!! God bless Johnny our bro and friend!

01/25/17 08:08 PM #3    

Russell L. Cobbs #39

Comments Offered by:

Russ Cobbs, Foresters Pledge Master (1959-1960); Phi Delta Theta, Texas Eta, Bond No. 39. Johnny Fondren was a member of one of the largest Pledge Classes (1960) in the Foresters history -- 28 pledges (if memory still serves me!).

Johnny was quite possibly one of the finest members of his pledge class and always had a welcoming smile and hello for all of us. Following my graduation from SFA in 1960, I began teaching English at Justin Kimball High School, Dallas, Texas and remained there until May of 1963.

In the summer of 1963, I accepted a position at M D Anderson Cancer and Research Institute, as a grant writer, Experimental Surgery, Houston, TX. It was in 1964 that I learned that Johnny had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and was now a patient at the nearby Children's Hospital. Unfortunately, Johnny passed away before I was able to visit with him in person. I'll never forget Johnny's kind, bright spirit and love for life, as well as his love for and dedication to all that he associated with the Foresters. Johnny was a good friend of another Forester pledge in his class, Justin Hawthorne. Regrettably, I lost touch with Justin and so many other Foresters in his and Johnny's Pledge Class. Let it suffice that the Foresters initiated some of the finest men on the SFA campus that year. I can only imagine their impact and influence on so many others on campus and in the years that followed: an incredibly wonderful legacy--in the true spirit of all that we identify with as Foresters and the Bond of Phi Delta Theta.

My final year at SFA, 1959-1960, will always remain as one of the most memorable years of my undergraduate experience because of such men in the Foresters as Johnny and Justin. To be sure, there were and are many others. Their Pledge Class was non-pariel on SFA's campus and among all social organizations and fraternities at the time. The proverbial icing on the cake was my initiation as a Founding Father of the Texas Eta Chapter, Phi Delta Theta, in 1962. 

Fast forward to Texas Eta's 50th Reunion in 2012: indeed, I was honored to be initiated as a Golden Legionnaire along with the other Founding Fathers of Phi Delta Theta's Texas Eta Chapter, SFA University, Nacogdoches, Texas. 

Only recently, on January 10, 2017, I celebrated my 80th birthday....not much fanfare, but a meaningful period in my life because it has prompted me to reflect on much that and many who have had such meaningful, memorable impacts and influences on me and that person that I am today: a proud member of the Foresters Social Club, and even more so, the Texas Eta Chapter, Phi Delta Theta.

To each of you, I extend my special thanks and written words of appreciation.

Yours in the Bond,

Russ (Russell) Cobbs, No. 39

01/26/17 10:44 AM #4    

William E. (Billy) Harrison #2

Johnny, as I called him, and I roomed together, caroused together and basically had a ball together---the trip to securing the Phi Delt chapter was a memory I will always have----I did visit Johnny in the hospital to say good by----the visit was with his parents as Johnny was in a coma---I had the privilege of leading the ceremony in the Phi Delt fashion at his grave site----He was quite a guy


Bill Harrison Sr. bond #2

01/26/17 11:34 AM #5    

Joel Moore #334

Would one of you please provide me a photo of John.

Joel #334

01/27/17 04:49 PM #6    

Robert M. Peters #9

Johnny died of a brain annurism.  His funeral was well attended in a small church in his home town and there wasn't a dry eye with all those who could get into the church.  Many of his friends were only able to stand outside the church during the service.  I can still remember my tears and the fact that I didn't have a handkerchief with me. It was the music the really broke us up.  We all loved Johnny and were really proud that he was going to go to Washington and work on the staff of the democrat house representative that he had worked so hard to get reelected.  Johnny was such an outgoing guy and a lot of fun to be around.

Robert Peters  bond #9

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