Jeanie Marie Coleman
October 29, 1951 - July 5, 2021
"A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches." - Proverbs 22:1. And no better name than that of Jeanie Marie Coleman, also known as Jammy and Jeanie Ree to loved ones.
Jeanie Marie Coleman was born in 1951 in Ballinger, Texas, as the third daughter to Buck R. and Ivy Belle Linn Coleman. She graduated from Ballinger High School and was attending Odessa College when she met Roger Howard Howe, a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. They were married in December 1971 at the First Baptist Church in Ballinger and remained married for almost 50 years. In Jeanie's own words, "Marrying Roger was the best decision of my life!"
The couple welcomed their first son, David Joshua, in 1973. Jeanie graduated from California State University Sacramento in May 1976 with a degree in Political Science, shortly after giving birth to her second son, Aaron Britt. The family relocated to Irving, Texas, later that year, and were foster parents to several children, before the birth of their third child, Laura Susan. They moved to Whitewright, Texas, in 1981 to their house on Grand Street, where they remained for the next 40 years. Despite several early moves and the scattering of family to different regions, Jeanie remained tied to her family's roots in the west Texas soil, including the communities of Ballinger, Bronte, and Nolan.
Jeanie and Roger encouraged their children in their love of education, music, and family. Jeanie repeatedly reminded her children of the saying, "To whom much is given, much is required," and taught them to steadfastly support the underdog. She also constantly expressed her love for her family and friends, both in word and deed. One of her common phrases was, "You are loved!"
Jeanie was perhaps best known in her local community and among friends for her whimsical personalized artwork, support of the band program, and love of books, as evidenced through her service to the Whitewright Public Library as a volunteer and board member. She was also a fiercely loyal Democrat and feminist who enjoyed following politics. Jeanie also worked for several years at the nursing home in Whitewright. There, she infused her love of people and history into care of the residents. She often brought in musicians and performers to spark nostalgic joy and ensured that none of the residents were forgotten on holidays.
Jeanie's life ended at age 69, shortly after being diagnosed with a terminal illness. Toward the end of her life, Jeanie reiterated a strong faith in the afterlife. She expressed no fear of death and described it as wading into a stream - muddy at first, with the water becoming clearer and clearer, until one reunites with beloved others. For Jeanie, those include both of her parents (Buck R. and Ivy Belle Linn Coleman), her older sister (Judy Linn Coleman) whom she never met, many cherished relatives, and her very best friend (Linda Brand) who was lost to us too early in 1999. The anticipation of these reunions brought her a great deal of comfort and she commented at the end, "I have a lot to look forward to!"
Jeanie is survived by her spouse, Roger Howe of Whitewright, and sister, Susan Hope Everett of Irving, as well as Jeanie's three children and their families - David Joshua Howe of Spring, Texas (wife Edris and children Alexis Renee, Valerie Brooke, and Ashton Aaron), Aaron Britt Howe of San Diego, California (partner Janice and granddog Matilda), and Laura Susan Howe-Martin of Fort Worth, Texas (husband Chris and children Avery Michelle, Coen Michael, and Olivia Susan). She is also survived by close friends and family, including the Brand and McDaniel families, and dear friend, Beverly Hall.
The family will have a private celebration of life with family and close friends. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Whitewright Public Library.
Posted online on July 20, 2021