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Jeanette Nass

Obituary for Jeanette Nass

September 23, 1932 - July 4, 2020
San Antonio, Texas | Age 87


On the 4th of July, Jeanette Nass left her earthly bonds after a brief hospital stay resulting from a long illness. She was born on a farm in High Hill Texas (near Schulenburg) on September 23, 1932, the oldest of three children.

While in high school, she excelled in music playing the tuba and found her talent in drama. Graduating high school in 1951 and as a maverick for her time, she entered Sam Houston State University on scholarship and matriculated to the University of Texas at Austin in 1953. There, she met the love of her life and the father of her five children, Harry Nass.

Jeanette did not finish college as her husband had just finished law school in 1955 and they relocated to his hometown of San Antonio already having their first of five children. She resided in San Antonio for the rest of her life raising their five children in the home where she lived from 1959 until her recent passing.

Jeanette was a busy mother with five children, including a set of twins, born from the mid 1950's to early 1960's. Through that time, she was involved with many of their activities (that spanned band, Scouting, sports, ballet and Indian Princesses). Costumes to sew, stage props to build, uniforms for games, science projects to construct, mechanical things to "fix", were all part of her toolbox. She was president of the Mended Hearts Society to promote support for patients and families based on her personal experience. However, this did not keep her from other artistic pursuits for herself.

She was a member of the acting troupe which performed many plays at the San Antonio Little Theater in the '60s, keeping up with her interests in drama. At the same time, she continued her college education with broadcasting and even performed some short stints on local radio.

For many years, she was a member of her church choir. This later blossomed into performance with the Society for the Preservation and Propagation of Barbershop Quartet Singing as she joined and performed with the award-winning San Antonio Mission Bells.

After her children grew and left the nest, in the mid '70's, Jeanette joined a local church school and became an early childhood educator. This would span a 25-year career which included membership in the American Orff Schulwerk Association where she studied the Orff approach to childhood music education.
She joined the Jewish Community Center shortly after that and spent more than two decades as an early childhood educator including music and Jewish foundational values. She held many posts with the JCC assisting the directors along with teaching in and managing their childhood education school.

She arranged music. She wrote poetry and loved words and wordsmithing. She loved birds, color, nature and rocks!

Along the way, she took up painting in oil, watercolor and drawing pastels. She also embarked upon a period of clay sculpture including having her own kiln and finishing apparatus in her garage. She liked to draw on anything with anything! She became quite proficient in her art as she left quite a legacy of work behind.

She also taught herself how to use several graphic arts and free art programs that run on personal computers as she was not going to let that medium leave her behind.

In the '90s, she and her husband took up the hobby of orchid growing. Never doing anything in a small way, soon there was a new greenhouse added on from the den, full of all sorts of irrationally named hard to recall species of orchids. There was a computer-controlled watering system, environmental controls and it was a sight to watch our parents "categorize" a new flower with big thick books and a completely scientific method of classification. Of course, she exhibited her flora at several shows and won all sorts of awards as she was a member and then officer in the local orchid growing society.

In retirement, she became an advocate for residents in low cost or community provided housing units. She was a member of several housing related boards in the community and was very highly regarded by both ownership and residents as the person who could facilitate action where it was needed and warranted. She was tireless in her advocacy for residents in community-based housing needing a voice. Truly, she had a voice!

After her second retirement, she took up quilting. By now you must realize that this meant a big sewing machine, a large table with all sorts of plastic templates, patterns and piles of cloth samples to be sewn into all sorts of coverings. As her eyesight failed her, she was unable to process color to paint and draw but she was relentless with quilting, sewing and yes, cooking.

Her children have told many dinner guests visiting in her later years that "this is not the food with which we grew up". She became somewhat of a Gastronome in her second retirement as she always loved to cook, then it became serious. There was never a stranger in her house and her table always had plenty for all.

She spent the last twenty years of her life in the company of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Given her gift of years, even the youngest will have great memories of times spent at "Nettsie's" working on any of the myriad of projects always ready for the next pair of small hands.

Everything she ever attempted, she mastered. She left a great many projects unfinished but all of us are richer for being in the sphere of her spirit and will to experience life. She encouraged everyone to find their passion, follow their dreams, work hard and enjoy the beauty of nature.

She is predeceased by her parents, Alfred and Annie Winter, her husband Harry A. Nass, Jr., her brother Harlan Winter and grandchild, Lilly Rose Nass.

She is survived by her sister JoAnn Dye, her five children: Harry A. Nass, III and Sara, Sharon A. Aten and Van, Michael Nass and Melinda, Thomas Nass and Jeanne Nass-Franks. Grandchildren Meredith, Taylor, Thomas, Shawn, Kassidy, Ella Grace, Ruby and Abby. Great grandchildren Hayden, Carter, Brayden and Mason. She also leaves many, many friends with whom she was social and involved for so many years.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you consider a tax deductible donation in her memory to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, or to Musica Sacra San Antonio, PO Box 700131, San Antonio TX 78270-0131; or of course, to the charity of your choice.

For those who would like to view the recorded service, please use the link:

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • Musica Sacra San Antonio
    P.O. Box 700131
    San Antonio, TX 78270-0131

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Porter Loring Mortuary North

2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232
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