Jessie Frances Neal Coonrod passed away December 6, 2023 in Laredo, Texas, where she lived with her husband, Clifton W. Coonrod (†) for 23 years. She was born on August 19, 1936, in Tom Green County, San Angelo, Texas. She spent her early years attending school and being an active member in the First Christian Church, where she enjoyed playing the piano for her congregation. She also participated in Sunday school, singing groups and afternoon teas. She played the organ for weddings and church, as well as the piano for a dancing studio. She attended TCU and San Angelo Business College from which she received her Business Degree.
Her later years were spent in Corpus Christi, Texas, where she was congregant and board member of the First Christian Church. She volunteered at Spohn Hospital, worked for the Marine Division of Reynolds Metals Company, and managed her family's oil and gas business. She married Clifton W. Coonrod, January 24, 1976, in Laredo, Texas. She helped him run and manage his business, Coonrod Electric Co., Inc. Jessie's hobbies included painting porcelain china, crocheting lapthrows for nursing homes, and making sweaters and bedspreads. She also enjoyed needlepoint and sewing some of her own clothing. She delighted in cultivating beautiful gardens in the homes where she lived. Her father was Jess J. Neal, a West Texas Rancher with ranching and oil and gas interests in Upton County, Texas. Jessie was especially proud of her father and maintained her interests in the original property which he gave her. She continued to work the land and the oil and gas interests from such land throughout her life. She was equally proud of her husband, Clifton Coonrod who began his contracting business in Sinton in 1956, and incorporated his business in 1975.
Jessie was especially proud of the Jessie Frances Neal Foundation, which she founded in 2014 to provide 4-year scholarships to business students at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christy. Since its inception, the Jessie Frances Neal Foundation has awarded scholarships to 64 Islander students through graduation and 23 current Islander students. In recognition of its generous support, the Jessie Frances Neal Foundation received the Platinum Inner Circle of Excellence award from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in 2019. She was also awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters from Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi. A special thank you to the unwavering dedication, support, and care offered by her dear friend and office assistant, Carmina M. Butler, her committed household staff, Jesus "Chuy" Estrada, Argelia Estrada, Consuelo "Chelo" Martinez, Isaura Lopez, and her devoted medical team, Dr. Carlos Cigarroa, Dr. Eliel Nataki, Dr. Mohsen Ghadimi-Mahani, Karina Gonzalez, and Lamar Acevedo.
A graveside service will be held on Wednesday, December 13, 2023, beginning at 12 noon at the Sinton Cemetery in Sinton, Texas.
Contributions may be made to a charity of your choice.
You may express your condolences, share your favorite memories, and sign the guestbook online at: www.joejacksonfuneralchapels.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care and direction of the funeral service professionals at Joe Jackson North Funeral Chapels & Cremation Services, 1410 Jacaman Rd., Laredo, Texas 78041; (956)722-8850.