Anita Lara Jacques, 95, passed peacefully into the arms of her Savior on November 7, 2021 in Abilene, Texas. Anita was born in Christoval, Texas on May 5, 1926 to Escolastico and Elisa Lara. She grew up on the Tweedy Ranch in Knickerbocker, Texas where her father worked as a ranch hand. Her days were filled with the joyful activities of outdoor living which included fishing and swimming in the Concho River, playing and caring for the small ranch animals and sharing time with her siblings and cousins who lived nearby. Her mother lovingly took care of the home, prepared delicious, simple meals and raised her children all while teaching them to always be faithful to the Lord. It is from her mother and father that Anita witnessed the traits of hard work, gratitude, service, generosity, humbleness and the most important trait of always relying on the Lord for her daily direction.
Anita was a longtime resident of Abilene and a devoted member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church. She is preceded in death by her husband of 73 years, Jesse Jacques. She is survived by her 7 loving children, Sylvia Herrera (John), Ginger Lewright (Jack), Danny Jacques (Linda), David Jacques (Yolanda), Edward Jacques (Jodi), Terry Hall (Chanc) and Caroline Howard (Toby), 21 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-granddaughter. Pallbearers will be her 12 grandsons. Honorary pallbearers will be her 5 great-grandsons. Anita was the matriarch of her family that had grown to 72 members.
Jesse and Anita met at a picnic in Knickerbocker, Texas and began dating when both families had moved to San Angelo where they were attending school. In 1942, shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Jesse enlisted in the Army but prior to leaving, he and Anita married at St. Mary’s Catholic Church on May 5, 1943. After Jesse’s training and transfer to the Philippines, Anita made San Angelo her home while working at a department store in downtown San Angelo. It was during this 3-year separation that Anita began gathering items for their future home, learned to cook and sew and like other military wives, waited and prayed for the return of her husband.
After WWII ended, Jesse found employment in Abilene and it was there that they planted their roots and made Abilene their home. As time passed, Jesse worked hard in growing his business while Anita worked diligently in their home raising their 7 children all while living a life of simpleness, hard work, humbleness and service … everything her parents taught her. Once their children were grown, Anita joined Jesse and worked alongside him helping in secretarial, bookkeeping and delivery duties. Deliveries to local dentist offices were often delayed if she came across a garage sale, the Hallmark store on Butternut or a local convenience store for her daily Snickers bar. During these deliveries, she also found time to pick up sweets from Snowhite Bakery or Jack N Jill Donuts to deliver to her grandchildren.
Anita loved Sacred Heart Catholic Church and was very active in serving by membership in The Parish Council, The Women of Sacred Heart, The Legion of Mary, the prestigious Knights of The Holy Sepulcher and teaching religious education classes. She and Jesse often opened their home to various church groups and nuns or priests that were visiting Abilene.
Anita loved people! Anyone who came into their home always felt welcome and “at home”. She loved hosting for family and friends, preparing meals and snacks and impromptu pool parties. She was happiest when she was surrounded by her family and friends. Conversation was often shared of the time spent at their cabin on Coleman Lake and their farm in Potosi. Anita always felt the more the merrier! Throughout their life, Anita and Jesse were the biggest cheerleaders for their children and grandchildren. Having such a large family allowed them to attend various sporting events, school programs, choir concerts, pep rallies, dance and piano recitals…anything that involved their family.
Fervently devout and faithful to the Lord, Anita will be missed by family and friends! At her most recent 95th birthday the message she conveyed was a testimony of her life to rely on the Lord and to be “prepared”. She approached every day with an attitude of the same values that she demonstrated her entire life, especially her dedication to serving the Lord in every way. She will be remembered as a SERVANT and our ultimate prayer warrior.
A visitation will be held from 6:00PM - 8:00 PM Monday, November 15, 2021 in the Elmwood Funeral Home Chapel, 5750 Hwy 277 South. A Funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 AM Tuesday, November 16, 2021 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 837 Jeanette Street. Interment will follow the service in Elmwood Memorial Park.
In Lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Sacred Heart Building Fund. The family expresses gratitude to Ms. Sherri Thetford for continual care she gave to our mother, Anita. She was blessed by Sherri’s dedication and the relationship of love that she and our mother developed. It was because of Sherri’s unwavering love and care for our mother, that she was able to stay in her home that she loved so very much!
The family of Anita praises the Lord and gives thanks for the life of our sweet mother!