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Lillian Marie Ogburn Jackson, devoted wife, beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother (Mimi), accomplished musician and faithful friend, passed peacefully from this world to the next on November 22 at her home in Georgetown, Texas. She was 98.
Lilree, as she was known for most of her life, was born in Houston, Texas, on May 23, 1925, to Hamil P. and Lillian Moody Ogburn. Her first years were spent in Tampico, Mexico, where her father worked for a pipeline company. She was bilingual as a toddler! The family moved home to Brazoria, Texas, and soon after welcomed her baby sister, Betty Jo, her best friend for life. Lilree graduated from West Columbia High School and entered the University of Texas at Austin in 1942, where a few years later she met her life-long love and partner, William Joseph Jackson, who was then a first-year law student. They married April 20, 1946, in Brazoria.
After passing the bar exam in 1948, Bill moved Lilree with their new baby daughter Janie Lynn to his hometown of Canadian, Texas, where they would be at home for the next 50 years. During those first years in Canadian, daughters Diane and Lillian Eileen were born, Bill developed his law practice, and Lilree returned to her passion of music. She loved the piano and by her early teens was the pianist for the Presbyterian Church in Brazoria. Growing up, she served as accompanist for many vocalists, including her talented sister. Once settled in Canadian, the Jacksons joined the First Presbyterian Church where they served as deacons, elders and choir members through the years. She directed the choir and continued as pianist for Sunday school and worship. She was also the pianist for Rotary Club, Eastern Star and other organizations, and accompanied her daughters and many other students in Band solo and ensemble contests. Her most prized musical accomplishment was becoming a gifted church organist. She began sharing the organ bench at First Presbyterian, then became principal organist for over two decades. When she and Bill retired to Salado in their later years, they became charter members of the Salado Presbyterian Church, and she continued there as pianist and organist for several years. She spent countless happy hours at the piano, entertaining her friends, daughters and grandchildren, but mostly playing for her own joy. Her favorite possession was the white grand piano Bill gave her, which was a fixture in her home to the end.
Lilree’s nimble fingers also had a long career on the typewriter, as she became Bill’s legal secretary once her youngest entered kindergarten. She often laughed that she had to work since she might be the only person who could read Bill’s longhand. They both enjoyed many long and devoted friendships in Canadian, often playing bridge (another passion), entertaining and traveling with other couples. Lilree was a member of the Delta Deck bridge club with many of her closest friends. After retiring in Salado, she also picked up the game of golf and she and Bill spent happy hours on nearby courses. She continued to play bridge and gin rummy every chance she got - even after her 98th birthday! Lilree was an avid NFL and college football TV fan (Chiefs and Longhorns especially) and when it wasn’t football season, she was watching pro golf every weekend.
Lilree and Bill were lucky to have two daughters, Janie and Diane, who returned to Canadian to raise their families, making it possible for them to be ever present for their first four granddaughters. Lilree was always active in the community, serving on the School Board and through ESA, WCTU Women’s Club, Girl Scouts and Meals on Wheels. Her legacy lives on in Rachel’s Little House childcare center where she supported its founding through the Women’s Association of First Presbyterian Church and served as the first secretary on the Board. Mimi was rewarded when three of her granddaughters attended the original Little House on Purcell Street. After giving up her office work, Lilree partnered with daughter Diane to open In the Moody, a record and bookstore in Canadian, where young customers were usually surprised at how much Lilree knew about the latest rock ‘n roll. When ready to retire, Bill and Lilree chose to move to Salado to be closer to Eileen’s family and Lilree’s sister Betty Jo’s family. Diane soon followed, and Janie and husband Charles later.
Lilree was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, William J. Jackson, her daughter Diane Jackson, and her sister Betty Jo Mahon and husband James A. Mahon. She is survived by daughters Janie Jackson Kessie and her husband Charles Kessie, and Eileen Jackson Kuhn and her husband John Kuhn, all of Georgetown; granddaughters Christina Grace Kessie (Robert) Barritt, Elizabeth Jane Kessie (Clint) Junell; Kathleen O’Quinn Crouch; Sara Pat Crouch (Nathan) Schmidt; Mary Lillian Kuhn (Chad) Jones; Margaret Kate Kuhn (Christopher) Fawal; and grandson William Jackson Kuhn. Great grandchildren are Samuel and Abigail Barritt; Brock, Kolbi and Korbin Junell; Wyatt Schmidt; Emmylou Jones; and Anna and Liam Fawal. Also surviving are her nephew James H. Mahon, and nieces Julie Mahon (Felipe) Rocha, Jenny Jackson, Robin Santos and Holly Smyth. She is also survived by her very devoted cat of 13 years, Muffin, now residing with Janie.
A celebration of life will be held at Salado Presbyterian Church at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023, under the direction of Broecker Funeral Home. A private family interment is planned for a later date in Brazoria, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to one of Lilree’s favorite charities: Rachel’s Little House, 1201 S 4th St., Canadian TX 79014; Presbyterian Children’s Home, 5920 W. William Cannon Dr., Bldg. 3, Austin, TX 78749; Presbyterian Church of Salado, Box 865, Salado, TX 76571; The Carter Center, 453 John Lewis Freedom Pkwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30307-1406; or to a charity of your choice.
The family wishes to express our deep and heartfelt gratitude to the wonderful, generous and loving women who cared for Mom over the past several years and became her steadfast friends: Marcela Rosas, Janice Shiwnath-DeSouza, Ariel Ortiz, Rosemary Bookman and Cynthia McDuffey. Additional thanks go to Gracie and others at Scott and White Hospice for their thoughtful and expert support.
We are happy to think that Mimi is now playing the organ to accompany a heavenly choir.
Services in care of Broecker Funeral Home of Salado