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Jimmie P. Cokinos

Obituary
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Jimmie P. Cokinos, 96, of Beaumont, died Tuesday, November 5, 2013, at Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas, Beaumont. He was born in a house on College Street, near the intersection of Railroad and College, on June 27, 1917, to Elizabeth Velliantis Cokinos and Pete Demetrios Cokinos. Jimmie was one of four brothers to Andrew, Mike, Jimmie, and Genel; and one sister, Helen. He graduated from Beaumont High School in 1934, then from Texas A&M University in 1940, and started his career selling insurance. Jimmie served his country in the United States Army during World War II in the Pacific Theater eventually attaining the rank of Major. He retired from the Army Reserves as a Colonel in 1974. Jimmie was elected City Councilman in 1948 and was reelected three times. Also in this time, Jimmie and his brother, Mike, created their business, Cokinos Insurance Agency. Jimmie decided to run for Mayor in 1956 and won the election. His proudest accomplishment was the de-segregation efforts at Lamar in 1959. To this day, Jimmie Cokinos is a hero in the black community for what he did at Lamar and is not forgotten. In 1959, Jimmie met a pretty dancer named Bonnie Sohlinger. He had actually met her earlier when she was in high school; their romance blossomed and they married in August of 1960, at St. Anthony Catholic Church. Jimmie and Bonnie were blessed with two children, Andre and Stacie. The call of politics came and he was asked to be City Manager in 1968. In 1988, he was approached to run for Commissioner of Jefferson County, then ran again in 1992 and won. Jimmie was Commish for twelve years and started strong friendships. He spent the years from 2004 to 2013 helping Miss Bonnie at the studio and at home, talking politics and enjoying his family. Survivors include his wife, Bonnie; children, Stacie Jimmie Cokinos and her partner, Pamela Radford; and Andre Jimmie Cokinos, and his wife, Elizabeth Street Cokinos; and grandchildren, Grace Elizabeth Cokinos and Christopher Andre Cokinos. The family wishes to thank Charity and Altus Hospice, Juanita, Roslyn, Shacole and Morgan for their loving care. A gathering of Mr. Cokinos' family and friends will be from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., with a Trisagion at 7:00 p.m., Friday, November 8, 2013, at Broussard's, 2000 McFaddin Avenue, Beaumont. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, November 9, 2013, at St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica, 700 Jefferson Street, Beaumont, with interment to follow at Magnolia Cemetery, Beaumont. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Lamar University Foundation, Jimmie P. Cokinos Endowed Scholarship for Equality in Education, P.O. Box 11500, Beaumont, Texas 77710. This scholarship is in recognition of Mr. Cokinos leadership and courage in integrating Lamar University in the 1950's. Please visit http:// advancement.lamar.edu/development. Complete and updated information may be found www.broussards1889.com

Published in The Beaumont Enterprise on Nov. 8, 2013
Funeral Home
Broussard Mortuary
2000 McFaddin Street Beaumont, TX 77701
(409) 832-1621
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