Joe Nell “JoNell” Southern Smylie passed away at 87 years of age in Beaumont, Texas, on October 1, 2019, as a result of natural causes. A resident of Llano, Texas, she had recently moved to Beaumont to be closer to her family.
Joe Nell was born July 14, 1932, in Stockdale, Texas, to Woodrow Wilson “Pete” Southern and Gladys Marie McKinny. She was the older sister of retired Commander Wilson Edwin Southern, recently deceased, and Wilburn Leslie Southern of Houston.
She moved to McCamey, Texas, where she met the love of her life, James Calvin Smylie Jr. They were married on December 29, 1956.
Joe Nell was raised in the Methodist church. She was valedictorian of Cuero High School at age 16 in 1949 and valedictorian of Southwest State Teachers College in San Marcos in 1952 at age 19. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and was a member of Alpha Chi, Kappa Delta Pi, Sigma Tau Delta, and Aonian Literary Society.
She went on to teach school in Corpus Christi, McCamey, and Snyder for a total of 25 years. She retired from teaching at age 62 and moved to Llano. Places of residence were Stockdale, Texas; Floresville, Texas; Taft, Texas; Cuero, Texas; San Marcos, Texas; Corpus Christi, Texas; McCamey, Texas; Tyler, Texas; Farmington, New Mexico; Everman, Texas; Snyder, Texas; Llano; and finally, Beaumont.
Joe Nell is survived by five children, 12 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren with one great-granddaughter on the way. Children are James Wilson Smylie and wife Julie of Lumberton, Texas, Glenn Stuart Smylie and wife Mary of Quitman, Arkansas, John Calvin Smylie and wife Stacey of San Antonio, Sue Ann Daywalt and husband Michael of Stafford, Virginia, and Elaine Gomez and husband Rey of Marble Falls, Texas. She is also survived by her brother Wilburn Leslie Southern, sister-in-law Billie Southern, sister-in-law Eva Jean Smylie Bell, sister-in-law Caroline Smylie, cousin Bill Hare and wife Karen, and cousin Mariann McMullan.
Joe Nell was preceded in death by her husband, James Calvin Smylie Jr. (March 8, 2010), brother Wilson Edwin Southern (March 10, 2019), sister-in-law Betty L. Southern (March 15, 2012), father Woodrow Wilson Southern (May 13, 1997), and mother Gladys Maree McKinny Leck (Jan. 29, 1997).
A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, October 6, at Waldrope-Hatfield-Hawthorne Funeral Home in Llano with Associate Pastor Tommie Tucker officiating. Interment will follow at Llano City Cemetery.
Pallbearers are William Smylie, Steven Smylie, Kyle Manning, Mark Smylie, Christopher Smylie, and Thomas Daywalt.
Honorary pallbearers are Calvin Smylie and Bill Hare.
In lieu of flowers, please contribute to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
Thank you to the staff and residents of Collier Park Senior Living and the staff at St. Elizabeth Hospital for all the love and care shown toward our mother.
Proverbs 22:6, Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it.
Matthew 19:14, Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.”
Condolences may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.