Lois "Honey" Johnson Radley

September 29, 1930 - November 25, 2018

Lois Radley

Lois Johnson Radley—a grand matriarch, fiery, loving and strong—died on November 25, 2018.

She was born in trying times, on September 29, 1930, to Edgar and Gertrude Johnson in Grayburg, Texas. The eldest of eight, she graduated from Sour Lake High School in 1948, then married her high school sweetheart, J. Howard Radley, on December 24, 1949. She always joked that she did so in order to move to Sour Lake, where there was indoor plumbing. They were married for 56 years, until his death in 2006.

Lois’ life was defined by her faith, her love of her family, and her close ties to her community. It was also marked by her work ethic, which was unflagging. After high school she took a job as a switchboard operator at the Southwestern Bell telephone office on Ann Street, making connections between her fellow townspeople and, when she got bored, listening in on the conversation. She worked there up to the day she went into labor with her first child.

Later, after her four children had all entered school, Lois took over the bookkeeping at Radley Electric, which her father-in-law had founded back in 1945. In that role, and in subsequent positions in the family’s various enterprises, she was astute and thorough, staying late to reconcile accounts and wrap up paperwork long after everyone else went home. Along with her long-term strategic vision, her diligence was a crucial component in the success of the family ventures in oil and gas production, oilfield supply sales, vacuum truck services, and real estate.

In addition to her work for family enterprises, Lois was civically engaged. Beginning in the 1960s, she served as president of the Sour Lake chapter of the Friends of the Libraries, and later of the Women’s Club of Sour Lake. She was committed to her hometown, and from serving as a den mother to her son’s Cub Scout troops to funding scholarships for local high school students, she worked to make the future brighter than the past.

Lois was an endlessly curious person who loved talking to friends and strangers alike and was always armed with a playful, often irreverently edgy quip. She could whistle like a songbird, and she loved all things green and growing, from the thickets and pine forests around her home on Pine Island Bayou, to the potted plants—the many palms, the mother-in-laws’ tongues and a generations-old redbird plant—which flourished in her care.

But arguably, Lois’s most distinctive characteristic was her generosity. Her home was open for anyone who wanted to drop in, be it an old friend or her grandchildren, who often stayed all weekend. She kept a pantry stocked with good food to share, her freezer with popsicles for her grandchildren and Blue Bell for everyone. She gave to anyone who asked and even those who didn’t. She was always astounded that she had been so fortunate in life, that the Lord had blessed her beyond what she thought she deserved, and she directed her good fortune toward anyone she thought might need succor.

Lois was a faithful and strong Christian; she attended Grayburg Baptist Church and later First Baptist Church of Sour Lake, where she was a member of the Senior Sunday School Class and worked with the prison ministry. She found great comfort in the word of God and his assurances of steadfastness and favor for those who followed his Son. Her life was a long and good one, and in the years leading up to her passing, she said many times that she was ready for the Lord to take her home.

Lois was preceded in death by her parents; her siblings, Lillie Mae Jacobson, Alma Jannise, Ernest Johnson, and Beth Davis; her husband, J. Howard Radley; her daughter, Colleen Radley Gatewood; and her son, Joe Keith Radley.

She is survived by her siblings, Edgar “Ollie” Johnson, James Johnson, and Beverly Logsdon; her son, Donnie Radley and his wife, Julie; her son, Terry Radley and his wife Kerry; her son-in-law, Guy Gatewood and his wife, Gail; her 14 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to PurpleStride, 1500 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 200, Manhattan Beach, California 90266; the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, 28 West 44th Street, Suite 609, New York, New York 10036 or First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 537, Sour Lake, Texas 77659.

A gathering of Mrs. Radley’s family and friends will be from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 27, 2018, at First Baptist Church, Sour Lake. Her funeral service will be at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 28, 2018, at First Baptist Church, 765 6th Street, Sour Lake. Interment will follow at Rosedale Cemetery, Sour Lake, under the direction of Broussard’s, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont.


Gathering of Family and Friends
First Baptist Church of Sour Lake
765 6th Street Sour Lake, TX 77659
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Funeral Service
First Baptist Church of Sour Lake
765 6th Street Sour Lake, TX 77659
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
2:00 p.m.
Rosedale Cemetery
Old Beaumont Road Sour Lake, TX 77659

Comments (21)

  • Karen Payne Wilson

    30 November 2018 at 04:34 | #

    I am so sorry for your family’s loss. When I met Lois she made me feel as if I knew her my whole life. David always told me what a great lady she was. The last time we sat and talked for awhile was right before David passed and she came over . What a visit it was they had me in stitches.


  • Melanie Nunez

    30 November 2018 at 02:10 | #

    I will never forget the day I ran into Honey at the grocery store and she asked about my daughter and college ! After talking for a while she said, “you and Kerry sending those girls to Austin, they’ll never get married!” I’m sure my belly laugh echoed through the store! Honey will be missed! Love you guys!


  • william white and wife Betty

    28 November 2018 at 18:44 | #

    So sorry for loss.Betty Sirman Whiite and Siman children


  • NL

    27 November 2018 at 20:11 | #

    My sincere condolences to the family at this difficult time. May you all seek God for comfort, peace, strength and support (2 Cor 1:3).


  • Sandra Chenault Gresham

    27 November 2018 at 16:30 | #

    Lois was a perfect match for cousin Howard. Their personalities complimented each other perfectly. Two things I will always hold dear is her laughter and her whistling. They seemed to represent her true joy in her life, family and God. Our thoughts, prayers nd love to all our Radley cousins.


  • Susan Hogg

    27 November 2018 at 15:38 | #

    May God comfort and bless the Radley family with wonderful memories of Mrs. Radley. When I would bring my Mom and Dad back to Sour Lake to visit, she would have the biggest smile on her face and would reach out and hold their arms while she talked to them. She truly was a friend to all.


  • Michelle (Lowrie) Jou

    27 November 2018 at 03:34 | #

    Ms. Lois will always have a special place in my heart. She showed love to everyone in her path. My prayers and love are with each of the family. I pray for strength for each of you.


  • Jackie Griffin

    27 November 2018 at 03:30 | #

    Beautiful Lady..You will be misssed!!


  • Nancy Hogg Cornwell

    27 November 2018 at 01:05 | #

    Saddened to learn of Mrs. Radley's passing. What a dear, sweet lady! Praying that the family feels the comfort that only God can provide.


  • Kerry and Terry Radley

    27 November 2018 at 00:49 | #

    She welcomed me into the Radley clan, she taught me how to cook, she loved and helped take care of my children, she supported me in my marriage, she took me shopping and paid the bill, We planned holidays together,. We did projects together, she listened to my stories and I listened to hers. We evacuated from storms together and went back together to pick up the pieces. We talked about our love of Christ and His love and plan for us. We helped each other through losses of family and friends. We had fun together..
    I was blessed to share my life with Honey, I am grateful for all she did for me and my family, I loved her and will miss her very much.


  • Jim and Delese Cobble

    26 November 2018 at 23:50 | #

    Mrs..Radley was a great lady. I have so many fond memories of her during my younger days. Our thoughts and prayers are with her friends and family.


  • Sour Lake Health and Medical

    26 November 2018 at 22:42 | #

    Mrs. Radley was a truly great friend who showed her genuine appreciation in many ways. We rejoice in her Victory, and pray that God will comfort you all.
    Sommer and Staff


  • Billy and Emy Kolander

    26 November 2018 at 22:40 | #

    You all are in our hearts and prayers. She was a great lady. I am so happy for her, but know too well how she will be missed by those left behind.


  • Linda Griffin

    26 November 2018 at 22:20 | #

    What a lady and what a legacy! Sour lake will not be the same without her.


  • Teresa Attaway Dumphy

    26 November 2018 at 22:09 | #

    I first met Lois when Colleen and I were junior high cheerleaders together. She next came into my life when my mother asked me to buy some light bulbs for the post office at Radley Electric. I walked into REI and lois was standing at the front counter. She asked if I had a job; I said no. She asked me if I wanted a job; I said yes. I was 19 years old then and it began the saga of my life in the oilfield. I will be forever grateful to her for giving a naive young woman a chance. She taught me most everything about business that I know today. We started out with manual typewriters and carbon paper and ended up in the computer age together. I was a shy person, but with Lois as a boss, I quickly had to become as outgoing as she was. We even wrote a newspaper column together. She was one of the most generous people I knew, not only sharing her good fortune with others, but allowing me the time off when needed for my sick daughter. We shared a painful bond because of our daughters, but she taught me to accept what life had dealt us with grace. I will never forget you, Lois.


    • Anna Radley Lepine

      27 November 2018 at 20:33 | #

      What a wonderful story, Ms. Teresa. Thank you for sharing.


  • Fred & Barbara. Blanchette

    26 November 2018 at 20:05 | #

    We will miss Lois but I we remember her tell us it was right that she loose two of her children before she could be with Howard.. I sure Howard has the street clean past the gates to Heaven with Collene and Joe in waiting. What a joyful renunion it would have been.
    I guess we will have to do our best without her until we meet again. Our prayers are with the family and friends that are here on earth.


  • Carmen Williamson

    26 November 2018 at 19:58 | #

    Enjoy your heavenly retirement Ms. Lois. You will be thought of fondly.


  • Ruth dorsey

    26 November 2018 at 19:43 | #

    She was the most sweet lady I have every met I loved seeing her come in shopping here at Brookshire brothers she sure would bring joy with her everywhere she went . But she is in a better place


  • Shannon Garrod

    26 November 2018 at 19:04 | #

    I am so sad to hear of the passing of Honey! She brought so much joy and laughter to those that knew her! Colleen, Joe, and Howard, I'm sure, met her at Heaven's gates. My heart hurts knowing I will not be able to visit her again while walking this earth, but I know I will see her again in Heaven.
    My love to all the Radley family!
    Shannon Garrod


  • Bud Cowart

    26 November 2018 at 18:32 | #

    Beverly and family: So sorry to hear of your sister's passing. I had the pleasure of meeting her back when I was a kid. She was funny, energetic, and great lady. Our prayers are with you during this time.


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