NACOGDOCHES – Gladys “Mimi” Marie Jeter died peacefully on Sept. 6, 2013, in her home in Nacogdoches, Texas.
Service is 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at Central Christian Church with the Rev. Danny Couch officiating. The church is located at 1602 S. Main Street, Weatherford, TX 76086. Burial service will follow with interment at Parkdale Cemetery, 538 E. 2nd St., in Arlington. Visitation is 6-8 p.m. on Friday at White’s Funeral Home, 130 Houston Ave., in Weatherford.
Pallbearers will be Justin Jeter, Ross Jeter, Joshua Jeter, Ben Jeter, Jordan Jeter and Chris Nelson. Honorary pallbearers will be David Miller and Clint Miller.
She was 94 years old and was ready to unite with her family and friends who have crossed over before her. She was an accomplished woman known for her strong faith, wit, unconditional love and resilient constitution.
Gladys was born in Arlington, Texas, on May 17, 1919, to Al Ervin Sisson and wife, Ida “Beulah” Sanders Sisson. They had four children together, with Gladys being the oldest. In 1928, when Gladys was 9, Ervin died as a result of an infection to a cut on his hand that turned into blood poisoning. His passing left Beulah and their four children without a husband or father. This was the beginning of the Great Depression and jobs were becoming scarce and times were very hard.
Beulah did her best as a single mom to provide for her children. She found a job as a cook and housekeeper at the Eastern Star Home and the Reynolds Tea Room in downtown Arlington. In 1930, she met Charles Johnston and they were married on March 27, 1931. “Daddy Charles” later adopted her children as his. Daddy Charles saved this family. He took them to church and provided them with love, affection and a father.
Gladys graduated from Arlington High School in 1937. After high school she studied one year of business classes and then attended North Texas Agricultural College (UTA). She also worked in the Agricultural Department, where she met and eventually married Fred Thomas “Tommy” Jeter from Gladewater. Tommy was in the ROTC and was studying for a degree in Agriculture.
Because he was in the ROTC, they were secretly married on March 22, 1940, eloping to Carlsbad, N.M., with Beulah and Daddy Charles in the back seat. They announced their marriage during the end of the school year’s Coronation Ball, where Gladys was also announced as her class’s Favorite Princess. What a night that must have been. They remained married for 57 years until Tommy’s passing on July 17, 1997. Early in their marriage they were separated while Tommy served his country fighting in the “European Theater” during World War II. He was part of the 134 Infantry Regiment, 35th Infantry Division, and was awarded with a Bronze Star.
Upon Tommy’s return, their journey together continued. They raised four boys, participated in various oil and gas ventures, farmed and ranched in Artesia, Hobbs and Mountain View, N.M., and Alpine, Eagle Pass, Burleson, Thorpe Springs and finally in Graham, Texas. Together they owned and operated Jeter Lumber Company and built hundreds of homes starting in College Station, then Odessa, Fort Stockton, Andrews and later in Arlington, Dallas, Tyler and Marshall. They also owned the Howard House Hotel in Big Springs and the Flamingo Truck Stop in Weatherford.
Gladys was a wonderful, loving provider for her family. She had a great sense of humor, relished family gatherings and maintained her faith throughout the many hardships she endured. She overcame cancer three times and was a source of inspiration to others stricken by the disease. She was always active in her church serving whenever and wherever needed. Outside of her home, a few of her individual honors included serving as the chair person of Tri-County Republican Women and being elected president of State Republican Women’s Party. She was also commissioned as “The Yellow Rose of Texas” in 1989 by Gov. Bill Clements. In addition, she was active with the Friends of the Library Club and the Weatherford Newcomers Club.
Gladys is survived by her three sons, Charles Richard Jeter and wife, Crystal, of Hudson Oaks; John Kimbrough Jeter and wife, Dr. Elizabeth “Betsy”, of College Station, and Timothy Lea Jeter and his wife, Leslie, of Nacogdoches; 10 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; sister, Margaret Tolle and husband, Verne, of Arlington; sister, Charlene Miller, of Green River, Wyo.; brother-in-law, Glen Jeter and wife, Abbie, of Austin; sister-in-law, Grace Johnston, of Fort Worth; brother-in-law, Pat Massey, of Dallas; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Gladys was preceded in death by her husband, Fred Thomas Jeter Sr.; her first son, Fred Thomas Jeter II; brother, Ervin L. Johnston; sister, Marjorie Glass and her late husband, Fred; brother-in-law, J.D. Miller; sister-in-law, Lassie Massey; sister-in-law, Nita Piper and her late husband, Johnny; brother-in-law, Jack Tullous; and nephew, Mike Miller.
The family wishes to express its deepest appreciation for the compassionate care Gladys received from her caregivers that enabled her to remain in her home: Shirley, Mona, Amiee, Karen, Ruby, Sophie, Brandee, Kathy, Teresa, her angel Donna Williams and many others associated with Accolade Hospice and One on One Home Health Care.
In lieu of customary flowers and remembrances, the family requests with gratitude that memorial contributions in Gladys’ name be made to Accolade Hospice, 2708 N. University Drive, Ste. 100, Nacogdoches, TX, 75965, and/or the Central Christian Church Memorial Fund, 1602 S. Main St., Weatherford, TX 76086.
White’s Funeral Home