Johnnie N. Haynie
of Navarro County, Texas


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6/24/2003 Haynie leaves grand legacy behind

From Staff Reports

J. N. "Neil" Haynie, longtime Corsicana oilman and entrepreneur died early Sunday at the age of 82.

Son of Virgil and Maudie Ray Haynie, he was born in the Powell community in 1920. He worked with his father in the Powell Oil Field from the age of 6, tailing sucker rods behind mules. As a youngster, he moved with his family to Overton in the East Texas field. The family returned to Powell in 1933 where Haynie continued to work with is father in the oil field and at any manner of employment available during the Great Depression years.

Graduating from Powell High School in 1937, Haynie began employment at Oil City Iron Works, learning welding and machine work. These skills were invaluable to him during World War II. As an aviation machinist and mechanic aboard the USS Intrepid in the Pacific Theater and aboard the USS Card in the Atlantic, he kept Allied war planes flying. After his wartime service, Haynie returned to Powell and opened a partnership business with his cousin W.F. "Pete" Ray. Their businesses, a grocery concern and a garage, catered to the agricultural community in the postwar years.

In 1946, Haynie married Gerry Carden. Their first son, Bradley Neil, was born in 1947, and during the next 11 years three more children were born: Stephen Bruce, Betsy Gail, and John Byron.

In 1955, Haynie and his partner Lonnie Hair began a thriving wrecker business at 810 S. Seventh St. This business expanded to include oil field service work, and they later moved to the 1200 block of South Seventh Street. Related businesses were a Premier service station and K&N root beer stand. Hair's sudden death in 1965 resulted in a reorganization as Haynie Drilling Company. Haynie's son Bruce, assuming primary responsibility for the wrecker business, worked for the company until his untimely death in 2000. Brad joined the firm in 1975 and continues to manage the oil field service company, now located a 1725 S. U.S. Highway 287.

In due course, Haynie Drilling Company expanded its operations to include oil production and supply services. The wrecker company closed for a period as oil operations expanded, was re-opened as Haynie Towing and Recovery in 1981, and was operated by Bruce until his death. Two younger children, Betsy and Byron, though pursuing other careers, joined ranks in the family business from time to time as particular needs arose.

In addition to the business interests described above, Neil Haynie was an active participant in Corsicana banking through his association with City National Bank. He remained a friend to local law enforcement through the years, after early service with the Texas Highway Patrol. Haynie was a member of Northside Baptist Church, where he enjoyed the musical programs and lent support toward the church's expansion.

Haynie will be remembered by many friends and colleagues as a self-made, successful businessman with a powerful work ethic, fiercely loyal to his family and friends -- a man outspoken in public affairs and always in the front rank of response to emergencies. He believed in hands-on management of his business and, to the end, was never afraid to get his hands dirty or confront a problem. These qualities and achievements assure that Haynie will be remembered for his integral role in the life and fabric of Corsicana and Navarro County.

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OBITUARY

J. N. (Neil) Haynie

J. N. (Neil) Haynie, 82, of Corsicana passed away Sunday, June 22, 2003 in Corsicana.

Visitation will be 6 to 8 p.m. today at Griffin-Roughton Funeral Home in Corsicana.

Services will be 4 p.m. Wednesday at Northside Baptist Church with Dr. Bob Webb and Dr. David Hale officiating. Interment will follow at Resthaven Memorial Park.

Pallbearers will be Glen Smith, Jody Thomas, Fritz Kloecker III, Curtis Ivie, Osye Pritchett and Tim Vickery.

Mr. Haynie was born Oct. 16, 1920 to Virgil Thomas and Maudie O. Ray Hanie at Phillips Chapel, Texas.

He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, and son, Bruce Haynie.

Mr. Haynie is survived by his wife, Gerry Haynie of Corsicana; son and daughter-in-law, Brad and Lori Haynie of Corsicna; son, Byron Haynie of Corsicana; daughter and son-in-law, Betsy and Mark Stroder of Corsicana; eight grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Memorials may be made to Northside Baptist Church Sound System.

Arrangements by Griffin-Roughton Funeral Home, Corsicana.

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Edward L. Williams & Barbara Knox