Jessie Jeffers Dyess, born April 15, 1929 in St. Louis, died Monday, December 10th at her home in Scenic Hills, Cibolo, TX. She was the daughter of a Baptist Pastor/Evangelist and the maternal great-granddaughter of an East Texas itinerant Baptist minister. She experienced in early childhood the calling from Jesus Christ to be Savior and Lord of her life. Over time, she became convinced her vocational calling was that of a pastor's wife and homemaker. During early childhood, while living in Los Angeles, her parents involved her in the Hollywood scene: she participated in movies with Jeanette McDonald and child star, Shirley Temple. She was also enrolled in private lessons in voice and violin.
When 8 years old, at the divorce of her parents, she moved to Tyler to live with her maternal grandmother and there, through her school years, became an active member of the Queen Street Baptist Church, established by her great-grandfather. During these years, she was soprano soloist in school musicals, community concerts and performances of duets with her musical mentor, the director of the high school and community choruses. In her senior year, a member of the National Honor Society, she was "adopted" as daughter of the Tyler Rotary Club
and offered a scholarship toward a career as a professional singer. She chose, instead, to follow the direction of her Lord. On June 4, 1949, she was married to Odom Dyess, Baylor graduate and pastor of a small rural Baptist church in East Texas.
After serving with her husband in churches in East Texas and Houston from 1949-1970, she was employed by Shop in Denmark, a Danish furniture import shop where she worked for 18 years, serving as store manager for the majority of that time. In 1988, she moved with her husband into retirement in Wimberley, TX. For the past 8 years, she has been an active member of FBCSA. Up until the onset of her fatal illness, she was still making melody from her heart to the Lord in her church's choir.
She has fulfilled her calling and is now, according to His promise, at home with the Lord, no doubt singing, again, God's praises in the heavenly choir.
Mrs. Dyess is survived by her loving husband of 63 years, Odom D. Dyess; son, William D. "Danny" Dyess and his wife, Lynell of Clifton, VA; son, David Lee Dyess of Houston, TX; daughter, Donna Garmany and her husband, Larry of Houston, TX; 7 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren; and sister-in-law, Antonia Jeffers of Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.
The family suggests memorial contributions to FBCSA TV Ministry or Choir Ministry or Building Fund, 515 McCollough Ave., San Antonio, TX 78215; Samministries, 5254 Blanco Rd., San Antonio, TX 78216; or Baptist Child and Family Services, 1506 Bexar Crossing, San Antonio, TX 78232.
Friends may call on the family from 5-7 p.m., Thursday, December 13th at the
Thomason Funeral Home in San Marcos, TX. The funeral will be held on Friday, December 14th, 10:00 a.m. at the First Baptist Church of San Antonio. Pastor Don Guthrie will officiate. A graveside service will follow at the Wimberley Cemetery in Wimberley, TX beginning at 2:00 p.m. Please sign the online guest registry at www.thomasonfuneralhome.com
. (512) 396-2300.