Margie “Janell” Jefferies Cockerell (85), lovingly known as “Denny” by her family and close friends, of Abilene, Texas passed away peacefully in her home on July 11, 2019. Janell was born the daughter of Alvin Hollis Jefferies and Thelma Inell Neas Jefferies on August 25, 1933, in Roby, Texas. She grew up on a farm near Lake Fort Phantom, where her father was a farmer and dedicated employee of the US Department of Agriculture. The family moved to Abilene and Janell attended Abilene High School where she found the love of her life, Earl Grafton “E.G.” Cockerell. The two were married on June 8, 1953 and enjoyed more than 53 years of happy marriage.
Janell received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from the University of Houston in 1955. She and E.G. quickly started a family and Janell became the proud mother and stay-at-home mom to four boys, Clay, Jay, Ray, and Tray. She was a member of the Abilene Country Club, where she and E.G. often entertained, and a member of the Junior League of Abilene and the Women’s Auxiliary, as well as the Petroleum Club. She was also a member of St. Paul United Methodist Church.
E.G. and Janell were constantly side-by-side through their romance and marriage. The two drove in and won many rally races throughout West Texas and occasionally hunted and played golf together. In their retirement years, they bought a second home in Palm Springs and spent winters there together, making new friends, dining at new restaurants, and playing golf. They were constantly surrounded by their beloved dachshunds, including Chip, who was by Janell’s side every day until her passing.
Janell was preceded in death by her husband, E.G., her son Jay “J.C.” Cockerell, and her sister Wanda Cates. She is survived by three sons, Clay Jefferies Cockerell of Dallas, Ray Grafton Cockerell of Abilene, and Tray Earl Cockerell of Dallas, as well as by three daughters-in-law, Brenda West Cockerell, Susan Bowers Cockerell, and Sondra Cockerell Adams, nine grandchildren, Quintan Luke Cockerell (wife Kristen), McKinsey Cavuoti (husband Whitney), Charlie Cockerell (wife Jessica), Caroline Bohne (husband Trent), Spencer Cockerell, Kailey Cockerell, Daulton Cockerell, Kelsey Cockerell, and Lily Cockerell, and five great-grandchildren Emma, Hollis, Vivian, Brooks, and one on the way.
We love and will miss you, Denny!
Memorials may be made in honor of Janell Cockerell to the American Cancer Society, 209 South Danville, Building B, Suite 107, Abilene, Texas 79605; or to the Humane Society, 3811 North 1st Street, Abilene, Texas 79603.
Visitation will be 1:00 till 3:00 PM, Sunday, July 14, 2019 at Elmwood Funeral Home, 5750 Hwy 277 South. Funeral service will be 10:00 AM, Monday, July 15, 2019 in the Elmwood Funeral Home Chapel. Interment will follow the service in Elmwood Memorial Park.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.elmwoodfuneral.com