Services for Mrs. Jean Breckenridge, age 93, of Tyler, are scheduled for Monday at 10 a.m. at Green Acres Baptist Church Chapel with Dr. David Dykes, Dr. Paul Powell and Kevin Dinnin officiating under the direction of Burks Walker Tippit Funeral Home. Burial will be at Rose Hill Cemetery in Tyler. Visitation will be Sunday 5-7 p.m.
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Mrs. Breckenridge died peacefully at her home surrounded by family and friends. She was born on January 2, 1920, in Marshall to Robert Lee and Ethel Jean Bell George and was the youngest of five children.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, Robert L. Breckenridge, their son, Robert L. (Bob) Breckenridge Jr., her parents, three sisters, Mignon Pierce, Dorothy Bartlett, Lillian Pressler, and one brother, Robert L. George, Jr.
Jean graduated from the college of Marshall, now East Texas Baptist University and also from North Texas University with a BA in business administration and a master's degree in elementary administration. She attended the University of Texas in Austin where she received her certification in special education. She taught school in Port Arthur, Dallas, Austin, and briefly in Tyler. Jean retired from teaching in 1963 when their son Jimmy was born with Downs Syndrome. Jean devoted her life to his loving care.
Robert and Jean purchased land and moved to Tyler with a dream to build a home for individuals like their son, Jimmy. Jean, along with her late husband Robert, were very instrumental in the beginning years of the ARC of Smith County. She was involved with teh Fun Lovers Dance and Speicial Olympic events across the east Texas area. Robert and Jearn were advocates for those in our community with intellectual disabilities.
After the death of Robert and her son, Bob, Jean kept the dream alive, and in 1996, she donated 78 acres of land, her home, and a trust fund to BCFS to construct homes for adults with mild to moderate developmental disabilities. Groundbreaking began in the summer of 1997. Approximately 350 Texas Baptist Men Reiree Builders showed up to assist in the construction of six homes, an administration building, and a large vocationsal center. Additional donations from individuals and foundations made this mother's dream a reality. The facility was dedicated and officially openeed on April 4, 1998. In 2000, the Texas Baptist Men Retiree Builder returned tot he BVT campus to build the beautiful Robert M. Rogers Chapel. Jean Breckenridge was a longtime member of Green Acres Baptist Church.
Survivors include her son, James Lawrence (Jimmy) Breckenridge and serveral cousins, nieces, and nephews. Mrs. Breckenridge will be greatly missed by her many close friends and her BVT family. Special thanks to Donna Wilkerson, who was not only Jean's friend, but her main caregiver. Donna's hard work, love, and devotion allowed Jean to live her life to the fullest.
The family and friends would also like to acknowledge with gratitude the care and support of The Hospice of east Texas during her final hours.
Pallbearers will be Kevin Dinnin, Gary Hanes, Morris Taylor, Charles Dodson, Jim Anderson and Bill Orr.
Honorary are Arthur Kennedy, Ardene Hendley, Dr. Duane Andrews, Dr. F.P. Reuter, Members of the TBM Volunteer Builders, BVT volunteer Grounds Keepers.
Memorials may be made to Breckenridge Village of TYler scholarship fund at 15062 County Road 1145, Tyler, 75704 or to The Hospice of East Texas Foundation, 4111 University Blvd., Tyler, 75701.
Published in Tyler Morning Telegraph on Feb. 3, 2013