Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Veneita James Tuggle Russell ~ 1918 - 2014

Veneita James
Mineral Wells High School
Class of 1936

Day of Graduation
Mineral Wells High School

It is with a heavy heart that I write this memorial tonight. I spent many hours in Veneita's home when in school in Mineral Wells. Her daughter, Melody Joy, and I were friends or classmates through all of our school days, and since Mineral Wells is basically a small town, everyone knew everyone else. I think everyone knew how special her mother was. She always asked about me in later years. She was a great cook and enjoyed having Joy's friends over so she could feed us. I loved to brag on her cornbread.
Veneita was 96 years old when she passed away Saturday, May 17, 2014, in Mineral Wells. She was one of but a few of our precious Mineral Wells High School Alumni of that generation still with us to celebrate last year's annual 50 Year Club Reunion. She was a charter member of the Mineral Wells High School Historical Preservation Committee for the old high school building.

Veneita James
1935 MWHS Junior

In the 1935 MWHS Burro it was written beside her picture that her secret ambition was "to be a model house-wife."
She was very active throughout her four years in high school, being in Spanish Club, working as a Staff Student and being on the girls' Volley Ball team all four years, and as its Captain her Senior year.

1935 MWHS Girls' Volley Ball

1936 MWHS Girls' Volley Ball 
Veneita James, Captain

Veneita's parents were Jesse Lee and Rosa Catherine Harris James. She was born in Eastland County on February 16, 1918. After coming to Mineral Wells, she met and married Wesley Tuggle on October 18, 1940. He preceded her in death on April 10, 1973. Veneita was a member of the VFW Auxiliary and the 11th Avenue Church. She worked for 30 years as a supervisor in the sewing room at Perry Equipment. Veneita and Wesley had one daughter, Melody Joy, who, along with the help of Veneita's dear grandchildren and great-grandchildren, lovingly cared for her mother.
I can't leave out the fact that Veneita loved to dance. Her love of music and dancing was known far and wide ~ she could two-step better than anyone on the dance floor, way into her 90s. Her daughter brought her to our 50 Year Class Reunion in 2012 in a wheelchair, and she still danced!
 Veneita, Melody Joy, and Wesley Tuggle
Weatherford, Texas
Circa 1946

 Veneita James Tuggle Russell
Melody Joy Tuggle Carroll
Circa 2002
Veneita married Clide T. Russell in Granbury and he preceded her in death in 1984. She is survived by daughter, Melody Joy Tuggle Carroll, of Mineral Wells; grandchildren and spouses, Wesley and Kim Young of Tolar, Shawn and Michelle Young, of Mineral Wells, and Monica and Stephen Hartt, of Aledo, great-grandchildren, Blake, Wesli, Mckenzie, Kendal, Morgan, Audra and Lexton; and numerous nieces and nephews. 
She also was preceded in death by her parents, one brother, and four sisters. Services for Veneita were held at Baum-Carlock-Bumgardner Funeral Home at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 21, with burial in the Sturdivant Cemetery.

Obituary, Veneita James Tuggle Russell, Mineral Wells Index,
1935 and 1936 Mineral Wells Burros, digital format,scanned originals belonging to MWHS 50 Year Club, Judith Richards Shubert
Melody Joy Carroll, digital format, accessed May 20, 2014, originals property of M J Carroll, Class 1962 Scrapbook


  1. What a special gift from a precious friend, Judy! Accept our family's gratitude. No wonder Mom loved you! I missed having you @ Mom's service with other classmates; & we'll miss you @ the 52nd reunion...but you're always here in our hearts. Love you. Melody Joy Tuggle Carroll

  2. Thanks so very much, Joy! Your words mean the world to me. I missed being there so much! Yes, I know I am there with you all in your hearts.
    Love, Judy


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