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Jean Chamness


1916 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Jean Chamness Obituary
Chamness, Jean Jean Chamness, born October 20th, 1916 in Dallas, Texas, passed peacefully at her home on August 14, 2014. Christened Vivian Eugenie Letot, Jean was a descendant of Nathalie and Clement Letot, a Frenchman, who was a veteran of the Crimean War who settled in Texas in 1874. He founded the town of Letot which is where the Calvary Hill Cemetery now stands. A church, store, post office, family cemetery and school were also established. A century later the school became the Letot Center, a facility to house, counsel and rehabilitate adolescents who have experienced traumatic events in their lives. The center was officially opened and dedicated in 1990 with many dignitaries and city officials present. The concept was the first of its' kind in the United States and later became the model for centers all over the country. The Letot Family Cemetery was officially designated a Texas State Historical Site in 1984 with Mayor Pro Tem Annette Strauss dedicating the marker and many officials and Letot descendants attending. Jean loved her rich heritage and spent many hours with volunteers and historians to preserve and leave the legacy of the Letot family for next generations. Jean loved to travel and was also an ardent Cowboys fan. Her favorites were Tom Landry and Tony Romo. She looked forward each fall to football season and those who knew her well knew not to interrupt her if the Cowboys were playing. Jean was a lifelong Methodist and was in the first Confirmation Class in the New Sanctuary of HPUMC in 1927. She was also a member of the First Methodist Church for a while and then returned to HPUMC where she also had many friends, many of whom were volunteers at the Letot Center. Jean loved God, her family, her church, her dear friends and her beloved dog Lovee. The family wishes to thank her companion Ronda Tucker and the caring friends with whom Jean loved to spend time. Our sincere thanks and appreciation also go the Seasons Hospice and their wonderful nurses and Chaplain Ron Scott. Jean was predeceased by husband R. Howard Chamness, son Paul Cole, and brothers Gus, Oliver and Paul Letot. Her survivors include Diane Chamness Upchurch, grandchildren Kelly Cole Anz, Kristie Cole, Maureen Carnevale, Jason Calloway, Michelle Gilbert, Mitchell Cassey, 8 great grandchildren, 1 niece and 2 nephews. In lieu of flowers donations may be given to the Letot Capital Foundation % Claudia Avila, Letot Center for Adolescents, 10505 Denton Dr., Dallas, TX 75220. Funeral service will be held Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at Sparkman Hillcrest Chapel East of Hillcrest Mausoleum. Interment will follow at the Letot Family Cemetery on the grounds of Calvary Hill Cemetery 3235 Lombardy Ln. Dallas, TX. 75220.

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Published in Dallas Morning News on Aug. 19, 2014
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