Minnie Jo Bell Liles passed away peacefully at her home in College Station, Texas the morning of Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012 in the company of Charlie Hillman Liles, her husband and life partner of 70 years.
A viewing for family and friends will be held Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012 from 5-7 p.m. at Memorial Funeral Chapel in College Station, Texas.
A memorial service will be conducted 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26, 2021 at Memorial Funeral Chapel in College Station.
Interment will follow at the College Station Memorial Cemetery.
Minnie Jo Bell was born Jan. 17, 1923 in Moorhead to Jonathan Raford Bell and Lula Mae Colston Bell. She was the fifth of ten children. Jo was reared in the Starkville-Maben region of northeast Mississippi. Like many children of that era, she had to quit school and work in the cotton mill at the age of 13. In the summer of 1942, she met the love and partner of her life, Charlie Hillman Liles, in an ice cream parlor in Starkville. Hillman was from McComb, and was attending school at Mississippi State prior to entering duty in the Army Air Corp. After a short courtship, they married in Starkville on Oct. 21, 1942.
After Hillman returned from the war in 1945, he and Jo began to build a family. After numerous moves because of Hillmanâ€™s job in the federal government, they settled in Jackson in 1957. Jo was a stay-at-home mom who reared her four children. The aroma of fresh-baked biscuits was better than any alarm clock in her house. As her four children grew, Jo was finally able to return to school and complete her high school education, an accomplishment she and her family were exceptionally proud of.
After receiving her high school diploma in 1973, at the age of 50, Jo worked for the Hinds County Welfare Office in Jackson, retiring after ten years of service. In 2002, she and Hillman left Mississippi and moved to College Station, Texas, to be near two of their daughters. She enjoyed cooking, beating family members at dominos, and conquering crossword puzzles throughout her retirement. She continued to care for family and was able to continue cooking her â€śfamily-famousâ€ť dishes until her health declined the past couple of years. Her family frequently wondered whether she would prepare her wonderful pot roast or fried chicken. It will be difficult for any of them to ever take a bite of cornbread without comparing it to any pan of cornbread that Jo baked.
Although Joâ€™s family will miss her greatly each and every day, they will always know how blessed they were and how enriched their lives were made by her presence.
The family appreciates all those who helped care for Jo over the past couple of years: Dr. Denise Turner, Dr. Mario Lammoglia, Diann Smith, St. Josephâ€™s, College Station Medical Center, Health Quest and the staffs at Texas Home Health Care and Compassionate Care.
Jo was preceded in death by her first grandchild, Dana-Lyn Nelson-Lane, and great grandchild, Mahaila Grace Nelson.
Survivors include her husband, Hillman, brother Frank Bell of Princeville, Ill.; daughters Karen Parchure and husband Shri Parchure of College Station, Cindy Jo Liles of College Station, and Sandra Kay Nelson and husband Robert Howard Nelson of Belhaven, N.C.; son Charles A. Liles and wife Judy of Albuquerque, N.M. Other survivors include grandchildren, Robert Hillman Nelson and wife, Jill, of Lewisville, N.C., Kevin Sawyer and Kurt Sawyer of College Station, Texas, and Jonathan Matlock Liles of Albuquerque, N.M. She is also survived by the following great grandchildren: Holly Sawyer, Heather Sawyer, Emily Sawyer, and John Sawyer, all of of Cedar Park, Texas, Robert Patrick Nelson and Dana Colleen Nelson of Lewisville, N.C., and Dylan Relyea of San Diego, Calif. Survivors also include numerous nieces, nephews and grand nieces and nephews.
Pallbearers will be Kevin and Kurt Sawyer, Cindy Jo Liles, Robert Hillman Nelson, Jonathan Matlock Liles, Robert Howard Nelson and Shri Parchure.