Children of Flora Agnes James (1900- 1982) and Mathew Lovel Rutledge (1893-1986)
of Merkel, Jones County, Texas:
1. Nellie Joye Rutledge: born January 31, 1923 in Noodle, Jones County, Texas;
married February 18, 1941 in Abilene, Texas to Marion Z. Stevens; died May 5, 2017
(aged 94); buried at Rose Hill Cemetery, 4th Addition, Block 11, Lot 51, Space 4
in Merkel, Taylor County, Texas; known children include: Ronnie Stevens.
2. Flora Jean Rutledge: born February 4, 1929 in Noodle, Jones County, Texas; married
April 20, 1947 to Ollie Higgins (1926–2014), son of W.O. Higgins and Ida Taylor;
died July 17, 2016 (aged 87) in Bronte, Coke County, Texas; buried at Rose Hill Cemetery,
Merkel, Taylor County, Texas; known children include: Wantha Kay Higgins and Steve
3. Janice Lynette Rutledge: born 1939; married in Taylor County, Texas to Johnnie
Deloss Edwards (born 1936), son of A Murel Edwards, Jr. and Ada Lee Brown; known
children include: Darla Deann Edwards, Donnie Dale Edwards and Jana Lynn Edwards.
Nellie Joye “Rutledge” Stevens (1923-2017) worked in the Banking-Payroll Department
for First National Bank of Anchorage, Alaska. She was a member of the Pioneer Drive
Baptist Church. At the time of her death she was survived by her husband Marion
Z.. Stevens of Abilene, Texas; one son, Ronnie Stevens and wife Gaylene of Salida,
Colorado; her sister, Janice Edwards & husband Dee of Abilene; four grandchildren
and three great-grandchildren.
Flora Jean “Rutledge” Higgins (1929-2016) was a bookkeeper for her family’s business,
Abilene Aero, from 1968 to 1989. She was a rancher from 1989 until her death. She
enjoyed spending time with her family, checking on the cows, and caring for the dogs.
At the time of her death she was survived by her son, Steve Higgins and wife Cathy
of Abilene, Texas; two sisters, Joye Stevens and husband Marion of Abilene; Janice
Edwards and husband DeLoss of Abilene; two grandchildren, Jenee' Higgins of Big Spring
and Cory Higgins and wife Jessica of Clyde, Texas.
Ollie Higgins (1926–2014) was a longtime resident of Abilene, Texas. He was born
in Merkel, Texas on September 16, 1926. Ollie joined the Army Air Corps, serving
during World War II as a Flight Engineer on a B-24 in the South Pacific. On April
20, 1946 he married Flora Jean Rutledge in Merkel. After the war, he became a road
contractor, building highways all over the State until 1966. Ollie and Kent Waddell
started Abilene Aero in 1966 and Chaparral Airlines in the early 1970's. In 1989,
he and his son, Steve Higgins, started a registered Angus ranch at Bronte, Texas
which he enjoyed doing until the time of his death. Ollie was a member of Pioneer
Drive Baptist Church and served on the Board of Directors of Hendrick Hospital in
Obituary for Joye Rutledge Stevens Published in Abilene Reporter-News on May 6, 2017.
Obituary for Jean Higgins Published in Abilene Reporter-News on July 19, 2016.
Obituary for Ollie Higgins Published in Abilene Reporter-News from May 22 to May
Find A Grave Memorial for Nellie Joye Rutledge Stevens (1923-2017), Memorial ID No.
179104129, created by Michauel Bryan, added May 6, 2017.
Find A Grave Memorial for Flora Jean Rutledge Higgins (1929-2016), Memorial ID No.
167137608, created by Dennis Alan Deel, added July 18, 2016.
Find A Grave Memorial for Ollie Higgins (1926-2014), Memorial ID No. 130146795, created
by Dennis Alan Deel, added May 21, 2014.