On January 18, 2021, Jesydean Tabb, age 85, passed from this earth. She was born on August 18, 1935 to Flora and James Peyton Bowman. A celebration of her life will be on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at the McCaulley Methodist Church in McCaulley, Texas followed by burial at Hamlin Memorial Cemetery in Hamlin, Texas.
Monroe and Jesydean were always a team. They married on July 4, 1951, as Dad says, “because that was his only day off!” He often held down 3 jobs at a time to support our family while Mom devoted each moment and every ounce of energy to Daddy and us children. One of his jobs was at Celotex. Mom would prepare him a hot lunch every day and drive with the younger kids out there. That way Daddy would have a good lunch, and they could spend his lunch break together. She soon went to beauty school, and Dad added a room to the back of our house, so Mom could do hair while also being a stay at home mom.
Our parents were young and smart! Maybe they didn’t realize it, but they preserved our family’s history while creating memories to last a lifetime. Every once in a while, they would set up the old-time movie projector and screen. We kids would pile up in the living room with total excitement to watch and re-watch family movies. Furthermore, our young lives were often sprinkled with the memories that Mom and Dad shared with us. These memories empowered us to travel to a time before our own. We learned about the difficult days of the Depression and the years that followed. There were stories of picking cotton to get by, saving all bits of aluminum foil by rolling it in a ball to contribute to the war effort, and reading by the light of a kerosene lamp – plus hundreds of other stories. This knowledge planted seeds of respect and appreciation in us for all who persevered through that time and instilled in us a determined work ethic.
In 1968 Dad landed a job with Shell Pipeline, and our family of 6 moved to Odessa. Right off the bat Dad was seriously injured when a load of pipes rolled off a truck onto him, breaking his back. So, Mom took the Civil Service Exam and began working at the post office in Odessa while Dad’s back healed. With money tight (although we children didn’t realize it), we had the greatest fun after church on Sunday nights. They would take us to Burger King for the Sunday night special of 5 burgers for a dollar! Money was scarce, but they found a way for a fun treat!
1969 took us to McCamey, TX, courtesy of Shell Pipeline. We all thought that McCamey was the end of the world -- It was pretty desolate. But Mom and Dad took the situation and made it great. Dad continued in the oil field, and Mom became a bookkeeper. She kept books for Pip Petroleum from 1972 to 1979, and then for Reynold’s Welding from 1979 to 1982. Mom and Dad worked with determination as a team with their unrelenting long-term goal of sending 4 kids to college. Mom did haircuts for our family of six, and she made clothes for all of us, including the shirts for the guys. Plus, she always had a hot meal on the table. In the fall of 1975 Mom and Dad invited a German foreign exchange student to spend the year with us, and Andrea Fink became a forever part of our family. During our time in McCamey Mom also spent some time as the activity director of the nursing home. She did such an outstanding job. The biggest drawback was her love for the people she served and the heartache when they passed away. No matter where we lived, Mom served, served, served.
From a child’s perspective, the most precious gift that parents can give is their obvious faith in God and their time. They gave us both. They showed us their love by always having time for us. Over the years Dad found time to coach Little League baseball, hunt, fish, and work on cars with the guys, while Mom could be found playing paper dolls, teaching about cooking and sewing and helping with homework. All of that while being a Cub Scout den mother and a Girl Scout leader. They made it to every football, basketball, and track event, as well as every school program. Mom and Dad’s presence and support repeatedly reassured us that we were important to them. They never gave us an opportunity to doubt their love for us!
Their love for each other remains unending. Mama always mentioned that she couldn’t carry a tune, but Dad kept the music going! As kids we loved the songs they would sing together, like “You Are My Sunshine,” “I Love You Because,” “Hey, Good-Lookin’,” and “Put Another Nickel in the Nickelodeon.” Sweet, sweet memories!
In the early 1980’s Dad accepted several tours of inspection with Shell which sent them to Colorado. This time their goal was to save enough to buy a farm near Hamlin so they could eventually move back to their hometown. In 1986 their dream became a reality when Shell transferred Dad to Hamlin. They bought a farm and headed back “home.”
We don’t know how Mama accomplished so much. She always said she wanted two words on her headstone: “I tried.” Daddy said there’s no way those words are going to be there. He said Mom didn’t try – SHE DID!!! And we agree!
Jesydean is preceded in death by her parents; her baby boy, Tommy Tabb; two brothers, Bill Bowman and Jim Bowman; and three sisters, Imogene Cleveland, Doris Jones, and Viva Ann Bowman.
She is survived by her husband, Monroe of Hamlin; her children, Bob Tabb (Cindi) of Edmonson, Eric Tabb (Ava) of Midland, Vance Tabb (Lori) of Dawson, and Linda Yarbrough of Hamlin; eleven grandchildren, Corie Ash (Brian), Cristie Chadwick (Tyler), Robert Tabb (Megan), Micki Major (Mike), Erin Firch (Ryan), Preston Tabb (Gabby), Peyton Tabb (Candace), Christie Mann (Aaron), Heather Wilson (Roy), Joshua Yarbrough, Bonnie-Marie Yarbrough; and twelve great-grandchildren.
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