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Sunray Fire Department


January 11, 1914


Lewis Albert or L.A. Broxson was born January 11, 1914, in Venus, Texas to Charles Washington and Dora E. Smith Broxson and was the seventh of 10 Children. In 1923, L.A. moved with his family to Quitaque where he graduated from Quitaque High School in 1932.

On March 31, 1934, L.A. was married to Violet Opal Bedwell. The first year after their marriage, they lived in Fairmount and farmed with L.A.'s brother, Jack Broxson. Then, in 1935, they moved to a farm near Quitaque where their first child, Lewis Edwin, sadly died at birth. Soon after, the couple moved to Quitaque and operated a service station. On Aug. 17, 1937, their second child, Bobby Leroy, was born. Then on April 10, 1939, they welcomed their daughter, Norma Louise.

Years later, in 1942, L.A. and Opal moved to Amarillo where he took a machinist course at Amarillo College. After graduating, L.A. worked as a machinist at Amarillo Air Force Base. Then, in 1943, he went into the Civil Service and worked as a machinist in the Pearl Harbor shipyards in Hawaii. After 18 months, he came home and went into business as co-owner of a grocery store in Quitaque. In 1947, he sold his part of that business and moved to Cactus, where he was employed by Phillips Chemical Company.

In 1949, L.A. recognized a community need and stocked his living room with small appliances and hardware. As his business grew, he purchased a government building in Dalhart and moved it to Cactus. In 1950, he decided he would quit his job and go into business altogether. L.A. and Opal bought the Fred Carter Furniture Store. They continued to live at Cactus for another year and drove back and forth to the business in Sunray. Then in 1951, they purchased the building and their home in Sunray.

The family took a week's vacation to Colorado in July 1956. On Saturday, July 28, there was a liquor election in which L.A. felt strongly about coming home to vote. The following morning, Sunday, July 29, the firemen were called to a fire at the Shamrock Plant. L.A. was a volunteer fireman and answered a call that morning to serve his fellowmen. He was killed tragically by a tank explosion along with 18 others.

As a civic-minded person, L.A. was involved in the Lions Club, Served on the school board and city council. He was a 32nd-degree Mason. But more than these, he was dedicated to sharing his faith in Jesus with others. He helped to organize and build the First Baptist Church in Etter, where he was ordained as a deacon and served until moving to Sunray. He was active in the Sunray Baptist Church until the time of his death.

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