After a long, joyful, and purposeful life, Jessie Lee Boynton Day passed away peacefully on Monday, April 15, 2019, engulfed by her family's love. Fully engaged and active until a brief illness just weeks before passing, she left a legacy of inspiration for those she leaves behind.
Jessie Lee was born June 11, 1922, to G.E. and Rachel Tiner Boynton, on a farm near what was known as "The Gap", near Blanket in Comanche County. She grew up experiencing farm life with her sisters, parents, grandparents and extended family members nearby. She spoke often of orchards, natural lime kilns, and cooperative farming among her neighbors and family members. A natural beauty, the summer of her senior year, she was crowned runner up to the queen of the De Leon Peach and Melon Festival — now the oldest running festival in Texas.
After graduating from Comanche High School in 1940, she moved into town and went to work and soon, the rest of the nation braced for war. She married the love of her life, Windell Day on June 4, 1943. Leaving town for the first time in her life, she rode the train, alone, to Bossier City, Louisiana, in order to meet him while on short leave from his U.S. Army station in Italy. After the war, the couple moved to Brownwood and eventually gave birth to their only child, a daughter, Kristy Kyleene.
Jessie Lee enjoyed her family, friends and church life — often hosting parties and teaching Sunday School for the Young Married Women's Class. She was a dedicated member of the Melwood Baptist Church in Brownwood, and the Crescent Park Baptist and Mission El Dorado Churches in Odessa. With a brief five year hiatus in Brownwood, she lived in Odessa for almost sixty years working in retail, managing a Christian book store, and ultimately owning and managing The Arthritic Thumb Brace Company. Finally, at 93, she decided to retire to Austin, to be near her daughter and granddaughters.
While leaving her home in Odessa at age 94 was a challenge, Jessie made the most of it with new friends and adventures. She enjoyed eating out and shopping for herself and — most of all — her greatest friend of all, a one eyed, Maltese rescue named Rocky. She resided in an Austin Independent Living facility for the past two years until June 2, when she experienced a series of strokes leading to her death. In spite of the illness, she maintained a strong memory and agile cognition, enabling her to enjoy many visits from her family and friends during her last weeks.
Jessie was preceded in death by her oldest sister, Francis Carrol of Brownwood, 2017; her younger sister, Nettie Williford of Proctor Lake, 2004; her husband, Windell, 1978; her niece, JoDell Townsend, 1977; beloved brothers-in-law; and far too many treasured friends. She is survived by her daughter, Kris Day Donley and her companion, Robert A. Richey of Austin; her granddaughters, Carey Hight and Sue Hight of Austin; her great-granddaughter, Violet Lincoln; her sister, Modelle Townsend of Brownwood; nieces, Billie Francis Clausen (Alwyn) and Barbara Tate (Jim); nephew, Victor Williford (Deb); and many wonderful great nieces and nephews. She is also survived by a host of dedicated friends from Odessa, Brownwood, Crowley, and Austin. She treasured you all!
Graveside services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday, April 19 at Eastlawn Memorial Park in Early. Arrangements are being handled by Heartland Funeral Home in Early. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to your local animal rescue facility or charity of your choice.
Condolences, memories and tributes can be offered to the family online at heartlandfuneralhome.net.
Life is not about winning the race. Life is about finishing the race, and how many people we can all help finish this race, how we can start being kinder to each other. - Marc Mero