Jackie Ledbetter Sones was born in 1932 in Carlisle, Texas, in Rusk County. As a young child, she and her parents, whom she always called “Hallie and Gorman,” moved to Whiteface in West Texas to farm the flat, dusty land.
When Jackie was 10, Gorman moved the family to Houston to “help with the War Effort” as well as to be near extended family. Jackie remembered great fun with her cousins, dancing in USO shows, and being obsessed with Hollywood stars and the “gorgeous GIs” stationed at Ellington Air Force Base.
When the family returned to Whiteface during her high-school years, she reconnected with old friends and at 15 became sister to twins, Mike and Jo. After graduation she went back to Houston, ostensibly for secretarial school; but it wasn’t long before she married Warren Sones, a tall, good-looking Navy vet and metalworker. They then had four children within seven years, the delight of their lives.
In 1957 they moved to the outskirts of southeast Houston to post-war suburbia and the blessing of Aves Street, where there was an abundance of children, enduring relationships, and lots of fun, memorable times. Theirs was a welcoming home full of music, artwork, family, and friends.
Bucking the norms of the day, at age 40 Jackie enrolled at San Jacinto Junior College; she persevered in this pursuit until she had an MA from University of Houston at Clear Lake City. She then began teaching English at South Houston High School.
Jackie became a widow at a young age, but she faced this trial with courage and without bitterness. She retired to the Texas Hill Country, enjoying country life, writing, reading, a steady line of dogs, and a back-porch view of Lake Whitney. She opened her heart and home to her 11 grandchildren, where there were few rules but an abundance of adventures among the cliffs and woods around the lake.
She is survived by her four children: Rhonda Gedeon, Cheryl Irish, Russell Sones, and Andrea Stramp; by her brother, Mike Ledbetter; by her sister, Jo Freeman; and by her 11 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made to: Stilwell Retirement Residence, 5400 Laurel Lake Dr. Waco, TX 76710.
You may sign the online guestbook at www.oackcrestwaco.com.