Mary Jean (Kimbrough) Tidwell, 86, of Garrison, Texas, passed away on December 18, 2022, in Nacogdoches, Texas. She was born on May 7, 1936, in Garrison, Texas to the late Mervil and Mattie (Teer) Kimbrough. A private inurnment will be held at a later date.
Mary Jean Kimbrough Tidwell, a beautiful soul who loved and was loved deeply, went peacefully to the Lord on December 18, 2022 at the age of 86 at the Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital. She was born on May 7, 1936 in Garrison, Texas to Murvil T. Kimbrough and Mattie Lynn Teer Kimbrough, who both predeceased her. Mary Jean’s generosity and boundless capacity for human compassion will live forever in the memory of all of us fortunate enough to have known her.
Mary Jean was also predeceased by her husband Tracy D. Tidwell, her stepfather David L. Gilley and her sister Tommye Lynn Kimbrough Herbert.
Survivors include one son, Mark A. Ross and wife Melinda of Tyler, Texas, two daughters, Alice D. Weissman and husband George of Garrison, Texas and Linda M. Brandon and husband Donald of Crosby, Texas and her “Bulgarian daughter”, Dr. Margarita Marinova and husband Dr. Enrico Rossi of Newport News, Virginia.
Mary Jean is survived by 11 grandchildren: Cody Ross, Alexia Jean Rice and husband Greg, Dr. Melody Ann Ross and husband Dr. James Grama, Wesley Darrell Monteith, Jr. and partner Gina Chavez, Samuel M. Weissman and wife Jamie, Daniel J. Weissman, Jeffrey Brandon, Brian R. Perwerton and wife Mallissa, Waylon K. Brandon and wife Veronica and Elanor and Isabel Marinova
Mary Jean is survived by 9 great grandchildren: Caleb and Carly Rice, Imzadi Grama-Ross, Kiara Montieth, Jenna Brandon Bailey and husband Tristian, Brooke Young, Abby Perwerton, Vivian and Wade Brandon and one great-great grandchild, Brooks Bailey.
Mary Jean is also survived by her Aunt, Frances L. Sanders, her half-sister Sandra L. McCormick and husband Joe, her niece Catherine L. Ross, her nephew David H. Ross and by a multitude of friends.
Mary Jean graduated from Jacksonville High School with the Class of 1954 and earned her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Stephen F. Austin University and her Master’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Texas at Tyler. She was an elementary school teacher for 36 years in the Chapel Hill, Clear Lake, Houston, Jacksonville, Richardson and Tyler School Districts. After retiring, she tutored at Lon Morris College for 8 more years while also assisting at the day care at the Central Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Texas, where she was a longtime member.
Mary Jean loved Jesus, her family and Texas above all else. Although she was small in stature, her heart was as big as Texas; she was always willing to help anyone in need. She enjoyed travelling, cooking, shopping for antiques, entertaining her feline pets, teaching arts and crafts and creating beautiful quilts. Her beauty, generosity and sharp wit were boundless. As her father passed away when she was young, she spent much time with her farming grandparents and learned a true respect for the hardships of that life. In her later years, Mary Jean was called to return to her birthplace in Texas from her temporary home in Pennsylvania. There were only three things she didn’t like about the North: the climate, the food and the people. Blessedly, she was able to spend the last three of her twilight years in Garrison, Texas.
Consistent with Mary Jean’s final wishes, a private family inurnment ceremony will be held at Cold Springs Cemetery in Garrison, Texas at a future date. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations in Mary Jean’s honor be directed to the Cold Springs Church, 21712 North Farm-to-Market Route 95, Garrison, Texas 75946 or to the American Legion Post 86, 3623 East Main Street, Nacogdoches, Texas 75961.
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