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Officials await answers in deaths of former publisher, husband

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  • Officials await answers in deaths of former publisher, husband
    The Elgin community mourns the loss of Kenneth and Beverly Daughtry. Kenneth is a former mayor, and Beverly was the publisher of the Elgin Courier for more than 50 years. Funeral services are Saturday for the couple. Courtesy photo

The Elgin community this week continues to mourn the loss of a prominent husband-and-wife team who helped tell the town’s stories over several decades, even as authorities try to learn more about their deaths.

The Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office so far remains tight-lipped about the circumstances of the couple’s demise, but results from an autopsy should be available in a week or so, officials said Monday.

Deputies are hoping the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office in Austin can shed more light on the episode.

The bodies of former Elgin Courier Publisher Beverly Ann Lotta Daughtry, 81, and husband Kenneth “Ken” Wayne Daughtry, 83, were found March 14 in the Cedar Hills development in southern Elgin, according to investigators.

Calls to the Elgin Courier’s office and a flood of social-media postings the last few days offered messages of grief and shock mixed with warm remembrances of the Daughtry’s positive impact on the town over several years.

“We are all saddened by the news of losing Beverly and Ken. They made a lasting impression in the community and worked to build the Elgin Courier into an outstanding newspaper,” said Jason Hennington, area editor of the Elgin Courier. “Their work will never be forgotten, and we will strive to keep their legacy alive.”

According to family members, the couple was well known and loved by the community.

“[They were] the best neighbors, just really, really good people. They went out for lunches and never got into trouble,” said one neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous. “He watched over her, he took her where she wanted to go, anything she wanted.” 

The neighbor revealed that Beverly suffered from dementia, and that the husband-and-wife team never came out to get their Meals on Wheels delivery, March 7. The close friend held on to the meal for them, knocking on their door throughout the week without response.

“They cared for each other, and the neighborhood — always waving,” said another resident.

The two born-and-raised Elginites were genuinely admired throughout the city and strived to improve it for all residents, according to relatives.

A visitation with the family is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, March 23, at Providence-Jones Family Funeral Home, 604 Texas 95, with a service to follow at 11 a.m.

Relatives ask that in lieu of flowers, mourners can make a donation in the couple’s name to the Elgin Public Library, the American Heart Association, the Alzheimer’s Association or Texas Sealife Center in Corpus Christi.

According to obituary information supplied by the funeral home, Ken Daughtry was born Dec. 20, 1940, and his wife on May 29, 1942.

Both grew up in the Elgin area and graduated from Elgin High School. They married Sept. 12, 1979.

According to relatives, Ken Daughtry enjoyed several successful careers in Elgin including as a banker and a realtor. Family said during his first job as a bank teller in 1973, he became something of a local hero after chasing a bank robber who had snatched a cash box from another teller.

Following his retirement, he enjoyed photography and worked as a photojournalist for the Courier.

Friends and family said he will be remembered for the public service he provided to Elgin, including as a trustee and president of the Elgin Independent School District board from 1974 to 1986, and serving as mayor from 1986 to 1991.

Daughtry received the Outstanding Citizen Award from the Elgin Chamber of Commerce in 1984.

In addition, his newspaper photography won the Courier first place for feature photo in 2009 from Texas Gulf Coast Press Association and in 2010 from South Texas Press Association.

Beverly Daughtry worked for the Courier more than 50 years and retired as editor and publisher. The Texas Press Association in 2007 honored her with the Golden 50 Award for half a century of service to journalism.

Other accolades included Most Worthy Citizen of the Year Award from the Chamber in 2001. For many years, she was a Frontier Bank board member.

According to the family’s account, “Ken and Beverly were well known for their love of restoring older homes in the Elgin area along with elegant landscaping for those homes. They expanded their remodeling endeavors to condos in Port Aransas and spent much time enjoying the coast.”

Ken Daughtry was preceded in death by his parents, Rufus and Leona Daughtry, and his son, Damon Daughtry.

Beverly Daughtry was preceded in death by her parents, Lee and Adelee Almquist; her brothers, Oscar “Bubba” Lee and Edwin Almquist; and her first husband, Jack Williams.

Ken Daughtry’s survivors include his daughter, Shannon (Clarence Goins) Lollar, as well as several cousins.

His wife is survived by her daughters, Kim (Mark) Ryman and Tammy (Scott) Martin; sister, Marie (Raymond) Ott; sister-in-law, Mary Almquist; and several nieces and nephews.

Both are survived by grandchildren, Katelyn (Robert Wood) Lollar, Ashton (Kevin) Yargo, Ty Lerche, Lane Lerche, Will Martin and Jenna Martin; and four great-grandchildren.

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