The Port Arthur News
Jill Anne Avery, 61, of Groves, TX went to be with her Lord and Savior on October 8, 2013, after a long and courageous battle with breast cancer.
Jill was born in New York City on September 11, 1952 and attended school there until her father was transferred to Texas in 1960, where she attended St. Catherine’s Catholic School and graduated from Bishop Byrne High School in 1970. While attending Bishop Byrne, she was a member of the Bishop Byrne Colleens and was named “Colleen of the Year”.
After graduation, she started her college years at Lamar University, majoring in Special Education. She was a member of Gamma Phi Beta Sorority and became a “Little Sister” to the ATO Fraternity. She graduated from Lamar in 1974 with a B.A. in Special Education and earned her Masters of Education in 1990.
She taught for 27 years in the PNISD and 11 years in NISD as Head of Special Education at Hillcrest and Helena Park Schools in Nederland, where she was also Assistant Principal.
Among Jill’s many organizations, she was a member of the Alpha Delta Kappa National Teaching Sorority, Lifetime member of the PTA, was named “teacher of the Year” in 2011-12, and was also a member of the Port Arthur Service League. She was a member of the St. Peter’s A.C.T.S. Community Team and also taught CCD at both St. Catherine’s and St. Peter’s Catholic Churches, where she was also a Eucharistic Minister.
Jill was also a huge lover of animals and was a big supporter of the Humane Society. She had a lifelong love of gardening, and she shared many cuttings and bulbs with friends and family.
Jill is preceded in death by her father, John T. McCarthy. She is survived by her husband, Bill of 37 years; her mother, Lucille McCarthy; mother-in-law, Virginia Avery; sisters, Jean Philpot and her husband, Dean of Kingwood, Nancy Whitsitt of Port Arthur; and Janet DeTorre and husband, Victor of Houston; and brothers, Richard McCarthy of Kountze and John McCarthy of Austin.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 10, 2013 at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Groves with Msgr. Kenneth Greig celebrant. A gathering of family and friends will be held at Melancon’s Funeral Home in Nederland on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Memorial donations may be made to the Humane Society of S.E. Texas or the American Cancer Society.
Details and registry available at Melancons.org.