Jack Quirey '49 September 16, 2020 4:20 PM updated: September 16, 2020 4:48 PM
Jack Austin Quirey
December 22, 1927 - August 28, 2020
Jack Austin Quirey of East Bernard, Texas, passed away August 28, 2020, after 92 years of a wonderful full life.
He was born to the late Jones A.(Jack) and Gertrude Stockton Quirey on December 22, 1927. Jack (known as “Bam” to all family and friends) was born in Sturgis, Kentucky, but learned to walk in Louise, Texas. He spent his boyhood enjoying the simple country life of hunting, fishing, working cattle and playing sports. An excellent athlete, he led the Louise Hornets to district championships in football and basketball his sophomore year. In 1943 he had the opportunity to attend San Marcos Academy where he met the love of his life, Ramona Cavness. After they graduated in 1945, he attended A & M College of Texas. He continued being active in sports, earning the SWC pole vaulting championship and became commanding officer of the B Athletic Company. He graduated as a Fighting Texas Aggie Class of ’49 and commissioned into the United States Army in the Reserves for four years.
Jack and Ramona married on June 18, 1949, a union which lasted over 70 years until her death this past March. They moved to East Bernard where Jack took a job coaching football and baseball and teaching biology. He then joined Tennessee Gas Transmission Pipeline Company and stayed with them until his retirement in 1985. He and Ramona built a house just west of East Bernard on land which had been purchased by his grandfather H.P. Stockton in 1884. There he raised their two children, Mike and Melissa. Jack always had cattle, and oversaw crops grown on family land.
Jack never met a stranger, and was active in supporting his community. He was on the school board, Capital Farm Credit board, Lion’s Club and many agricultural organizations and committees. He was generous in supporting young people, and was proud to be the first member of the EB Brahma Booster Club. In everything he did he strove to serve God first, and was a faithful member of the Church of Christ.
In addition to his parents and his wife, Ramona, Jack was preceded in death by his brother Stockton Quirey. He is survived by his son Michael and wife, Debbie of Stillwater, Oklahoma; daughter, Melissa Locke and husband Marshall of Hungerford; grandson, Russell (Valerie) and Matthew Quirey; Mason and Miles (Emily) Locke; and great-grandson Jackson Quirey. Special appreciation and thanks goes to Patricia Kolafa for her love and care.
Memorial donations may be made to:
The 100 Club of Wharton County,
PO BOX 46, El Campo, TX 77437
any local first responders (EMS or VFD).
Visitation will be held on Friday, September 4, 2020 from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. at Wharton Funeral Home. Funeral Services will b) at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 5, 2020 at the Chapel of Wharton Funeral Home. A private family burial will follow.
By Melissa Q. Locke
I never thought of it before, but I suppose I was a “daddy’s girl”, if that means that a father and his daughter adore each other. I always wanted Daddy to be there. Mother told me about when I was just a toddler, and I had a cold and I wouldn’t blow my nose for her. She tried all day long, but I refused. When Daddy got in from work, he held his white handkerchief to my nose and said “Blow”. I dutifully expelled the days’ worth of mucous.
One of the earliest memories I have is when I was still small enough to be hoisted on top of his shoulders. We lived in the little white house, and with my right hand tightly gripped across his face I reached up and touched the ceiling with my left hand. I felt 10 feet tall.
While Daddy was very attentive, he wasn’t a softie. If I were whining and crying about something his solution was, “If you want to cry, I’ll give you something to cry about.” Which mean a whipping. And I had plenty. He used only his broad hand for the punishment, but it was effective, and never deterred my affection for him. Another admonition he gave taught me to handle adversity. I played baseball and tackle football in our front yard with him and Mike. If I got hurt Dad just said, “Get tough”. That’s a lesson that can help in many situations.
His work ethic was exemplary. As a boy he stacked cut rice stalks into shocks to be loaded on to horse drawn wagons. He herded cattle for 25 cents a day. When he and Mother bought the small white house to put on the family farm and took out a loan for some cattle from Mr. Boettcher, the drought of the early 1950s hit. The cattle market fell to nothing and his young family had a sparse pantry. But hard work at TGT and with the cattle paid off, and he was able to build a nice brick home on the farm, and buy more land.
When my brother went off to school, I became Dad’s right-hand man. I learned to handle cattle, fix fence and back a trailer. I didn’t spend much time with Mother in the kitchen. While Marshall has never complained about my outdoor skills, sometimes I think he wished I’d spent just a little more time in the kitchen.
I got my love of horses from Daddy. I learned to ride on a Dun horse Dad received when he was 15 years old as a gift from a Louise rancher. In 1968 Dad was seriously injured while training a young filly. He was never able to ride a horse again, but he never discouraged me, and hauled me to many Tuesday Night Roping Club barrel races at the Rocking W Arena.
It’s been mentioned that he never met a stranger. If he stood by someone for more than a minute, he would extend his hand in a firm handshake, look them in the eye and say, “Howdy, my name is Jack—Quirey”. He always put a pause between his first and last name, as if to let it sink in. Then he’d ask, “Where are your from, where did you go to school, and do you know so and so?” Most likely they did. If you were new to town, he would be one of the first people to meet you. He even stopped on a county road to introduce himself to a new neighbor who was building fence. Our road trips always had extra stops. Before cell phones and Facebook, we would pull into a town and find a phone booth. Dad would peruse the phonebook to find the name of an Aggie classmate and give them a call. For some reason I found this very embarrassing and secretly hoped no one would be home to answer the phone.
He loved East Bernard, the town that his grandfather’s Stockton and Leveridge helped build. He believed that everyone should be part of a civic organization to help give back to their community which precipitated his over 60 years as a member of the EB Lion’s Club. He was generous beyond words, helping young people and more organizations and individuals than I can name.
Dad was one of a kind. There were people who didn’t care for him, mostly because he stood firmly on his principles and didn’t back down from a challenge. But they respected him for it.
As years go by and memories fade, I hope that you will make the world a little better by doing this: If you stand next to someone for more than a minutes, extend your hand in a firm handshake, look them in the eye, introduce yourself and meet a new neighbor. And remember by dad, Jack Quirey.
To view the tribute to Jack A. Quirey please visit:
Wharton Funeral Home
Friday, September 04, 2020 from 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
515 E Boling Hwy
Wharton, Texas 77488
Wharton Funeral Home
Saturday, September 05, 2020 at 10:00 AM
515 E Boling Hwy
Wharton, Texas 77488
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