Jeannine Marion LaBounta Graham
LONGVIEW — Jeannine Marion LaBounta Graham was born February 17, 1937, in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Jeannine is the daughter of Aurelia Eisenmenger LaBounta and Gerald Charles LaBounta. She is preceded in death by broth- ers Gerald C. LaBounta, and John “Jack“ Howard LaBounta, sister, Mary LaBounta Bengston, and son, Edgar Madison Mims, Jr.
Jeannine is survived by five daughters, Joan Therese Mims, Julie Ann Roberts and spouse, Murray Roberts, Sherry Lynn Graham, Terry Jeannine Graham Parks, and Tracy Lea Graham. She is also survived by six grandchildren, Madison Ann Parks, Jenna Clare Parks, Willie Joe Parks, III, Andrew Wade Parks, Avery Lea Parks, and Eliza Ann Parks.
Raising six children was a full-time job, but Jeannine also worked tire- lessly in early childhood education. As an adult who was already rearing six of her own, Jeannine had a desire to return to school. She earned her Associate’s Degree in ear- ly childhood development from Kilgore College, and dedicated much of her life to the welfare of children from low income families. As a teacher for six years, and subsequent Executive Director for eight years, of The Gregg County Early Childhood Development Centers, Inc., Graham fought for subsidized child-
care for working mothers
in school or job training. Her aim was to break the cycle of poverty by giving mothers the skills they needed to support them- selves, and by preparing their children for school. Graham believed building a foundation in early child- hood, of self-esteem and social skills, could make a difference in success and failure in a child’s life.
Jeannine knew parent- ing was a tough job, and must be learned. Crucial to her mission for the chil- dren, was her relentless work at raising funding to pay for training and educa- tion for child care workers at her centers. Her belief: “These are our children. Any species takes care of its own young. Let’s take care of ours.”
Ms. Graham went on to work as a Child Development Specialist at the Texas Department of Human Services in Tyler, and subsequently, served as Director of Tyler Day Nursery.
Jeannine was featured in Van Craddock’s East Texas Heroes in 1992, and Longview News Journal‘s ‘People in Our Community Who Make a Difference’.
She volunteered for Longview Community Ministries, Meals on Wheels, the Stew Pot, and the Food Box.
While her daughters and grandchildren remember Jeannine for a life of con- tribution, they also cele- brate many other aspects of who she was: A green thumb. An amazing cook. Her sense of humor. Her love of cats. Her kindness
to everyone. Her joy of na-
ture. Her passion for read- ing and books! Listening to country music with her sister, Mary. Her sharing of memories of her broth- ers Jack and Jerry. Visits from her mother Aurelia. Her integral involvement in politics.
Jeannine was so many wonderful things; there is no one way to sum up such a life well lived and loved. If there was, it would be found written on a card ad- dressed to her, from a par- ent at her childcare center, once upon a time: “ I don’t forget people who care about my child, but not just mine. I’ve seen you with the other parents’ kids and you’ve been wonderful. So I won’t say goodbye, but just remember us. I hope the Lord keeps his eyes on you and takes care of you and your family.”
A memorial service will be held Saturday, November 21, at 11:00 a.m., outside, at First United Methodist Church in Longview, Texas, in Jeannine’s honor. Close friends, family and any community members who were touched by Jeannine’s work, are invited to attend.
It is with our deepest sorrow that we inform you of the Transition of Mrs.Jeannine.A life so beautifully lived deserves to be beautifully remembered.
The Bigham Mortuary ask that you please keep this family in your thoughts and prayers.