A Bittersweet Goodbye

It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Mrs Jo Nell (BOGGS) MOORE.

Mrs Moore was born near Kress, Texas in Swisher County; the youngest child of Eunice (COLLINS) AND Robert Dennis Boggs. She went to school all her life there. At the young age of 11, she learned to drive and took all the nearby neighborhood kids with her to school. “I was the school bus” she would say. Jo Nell grew up to be very tall and enjoyed playing basketball in high school. She did her chores on the farm which included going out to the chicken house and selecting one for dinner, killing it, and dressing it. She got quite quick at snapping their necks, she didn’t use a hatchet. The chickens really didn’t even know what was coming.

As all the girls did back then, Jo Nell dreamed of being the perfect housewife. She fondly told of meeting a handsome young man named James Winston MOORE (son of Minerva Mae WOOD and Furd MOORE) who recently came back to Kress on leave from the Navy, serving in WWII. He also was born and raised in Kress. She chuckled as she remembered how he always seemed to show up at her parents door just as she was getting in the bath. Showing up early naturally worries young teenagers even today, however, in those days, the bath was not in it’s own room. It was a large container which had to be filled by buckets. He would have to wait on the porch until she was decent. They loved to go out riding on his bike in the field and “jumping ditches” and flying in the family crop duster.

James and Jo Nell Boggs Moore

Jo Nell ended up marrying James before she finished high school. She remembers all her friends teasing her; saying that she wouldn’t be going on the Senior trip because she would want to be with her husband. She assured them she would be there, after-all, she was serving on the committee. But they did not believe her and did not book Jo Nell and one of her other classmates a room. She said one of the boys had to sleep on the bus so they could have the room.

After she graduated, James and Jo Nell made their home in Kress and had no intentions of leaving. They had a daughter and built half of a house until they could save up money for the other half. James drove a truck for his father’s company, but tragedy struck when his father unexpectedly passed away. They were forced to sell their father’s company and their new house they were in the process of building. James, his new bride and daughter moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma where James had decided to go to school to become and aircraft mechanic.

After he graduated, James became employed at American Airlines and the couple went on to have five more children, one passing away at just a few months old. James worked at American until he retired. Jo Nell worked as a secretary for Camp Fire for a while when her youngest kids were a bit older.

James and Jo Nell lived out the rest of their life enjoying their time with family. Jo Nell lived to love and care for her family and when they came over, you would not find her out socializing too often, she was always busy in the kitchen, making their favorite meals. All three of her daughters grew up to be great cooks and wives, just as she was.

Survivors include two sons (a third died in infancy), three daughters, three sons-in-law, one daughter in-law, five grandsons, one granddaughter, four grandaughters in-law, one grandson in-law, two step-granddaughters, two step-grandsons in-law, five great grandsons, three step-great grandsons, nine great granddaughters, one step-great granddaughter, one adopted great granddaughter, one second great grandson and one great grandchild on the way.

James passed away in 2009 and Jo Nell had been heartbroken ever since. She was certain she would pass soon of a broken heart at least. Shortly after, she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Early in 2011, she had a chest x-ray and it was clear. Since she did not intend to have treatment, she never went through with a biopsy. It turned out to be just a really bad case of pneumonia. The doctor had never seen one that bad. Though she was relieved not to have cancer, she had already made all the preparations of her passing.

Jo Nell was losing her mobility and became confined to her wheelchair, chair or bed. That was not the life she wanted since she could no longer care for her family. Her beloved companion Susie Q died a few months ago and she became more heartbroken than ever. She passed away quietly in her sleep on Thursday, September 22, 2011. She lived a long and wonderful life and will be greatly missed by her family but we are comforted to know she is where she longed to be.

James and Jo Nell Moore are the reason I came to sponsor Swisher County as its County Coordinator. I met and married their grandson and they welcomed me into their home as their own while he attended Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, OK to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps. To pass the time while he was away, they told me many stories, and showed me photos and documents about their family and of their beloved Kress and Swisher County. I have never lived there or even have been there, but I know it like I did through their stories. I know they both passed with many more stories that I will never hear, but I greatly treasure those that I did.

Their grandson and I divorced quite a few years after they welcomed me into their home, and it’s already been quite a few years ago. But they continued to treat me like family until the end. I’m sure they represent many of the families that lived and still live in that area. I am truly honored to have known them and to do this in their memory and for all the pioneer families of Swisher County.

~*~ Sharon Bart


**** If you would like to announce the passing of a Swisher County relative, please contact me at the email address in the image above or use the contact link in the menu. You can also comment to this page but it will not appear unless I approve it. I will just make another post and instead of approving the comment here (except of course unless it’s relative to the Moore family).****

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