Church service for Veta Jean McKinstry Allison, 97, of San Antonio, formerly of Muleshoe will be held at First United Methodist Church in Muleshoe, Texas with Rev. Monty Leavell of Artesia, New Mexico officiating. Jean was lifted into the Lord’s loving embrace on June 20th, 2020.
Jean came into this world on November 8th, 1922, just one day after her parents’ 10th wedding anniversary in Hagerman, New Mexico. Second of three children of Sam and Loveta McKinstry, Jean grew up with older sister Sammy Nan and younger sister Mildred Adeline on the family farm north of Hagerman on the Felix River where a rural upbringing instilled the values of hard work, loyalty to family, and civic duty to set the stage for her entire life. Never afraid to get her hands dirty, she participated in local 4-H activities under the guidance and support of her father, and in April 1936 the Hereford calf she raised was among the winners at the Roswell 4-H calf show. She would fondly recall being one of the few girls present at such 4-H activities, as well as one of the few girls to wear pants. In school she participated in several sports but perhaps most enjoyed beating all her classmates at racing that is, all but Joe Nail. Jean was a 1941 graduate of Hagerman High School. Following high school, Jean enrolled in courses at Roswell Business College, but she soon began working in the Transportation Corps at Roswell Army Air Field at the outbreak of the Second World War to assist the effort to preserve the greatness of the United States of America.
During her time in Roswell, Jean began dating Harold Lamar Allison, a pilot and 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Air Forces. The couple married at the Hagerman Presbyterian Church on March 26th, 1944 and spent the first 18 months of marriage moving across the nation from Roswell to Columbia, SC, Sacramento, CA, Tampa, FL, Alexandria, LA, and Dyersburg, TN fulfilling Harold’s various assignments for pilot training.
After the war, Harold and Jean initially settled near Roswell to farm and begin a family, but they left for Texas in 1948 with daughter Veta to farm a newly opened and unbroken section of land on the Blackwater Draw near the Pleasant Valley community between Muleshoe and Earth. This farming operation coincided with the families of Harold’s brothers, the Gerald and Ethel Allison family and the Oscar and Sammy Allison family. Jean and Harold raised five children on the farm there: Veta, Carolyn, Fred, Jack, and Jim. This stage of her life was perhaps the most fulfilling as she was able to teach and pass on the values she learned as a child to her children. These values are still appreciated and practiced by her family today.
Towards the end of child rearing, Jean returned to college and earned an undergraduate degree in 1977 in Secondary Education with double majors in English and Social Studies. Later that year, she began teaching at Muleshoe High School where she taught American government, American history, world geography, and economics. During her tenure, Mrs. Allison coached the Muleshoe Mock Trial teams which won regional honors and competed at the state level numerous years. She took great pride in seeing her students succeed while pushing them to their fullest potential by teaching unyielding optimism and perseverance.
Mrs. Allison also sponsored the Student Community Action Club (SCAC) at Muleshoe High School for many years while teaching and after retirement in 1992. Founded in 1983, SCAC was instrumental in efforts to save local Muleshoe and Bailey County historical buildings. The group organized several fund raising campaigns which raised enough money to relocate and restore the 1913 Muleshoe Santa Fe railroad depot to the newly created Muleshoe Heritage Center in 1985, the Janes Ranch House in 1986, and numerous other structures through the mid-2000s. Jean spoke proudly and humbly of her dedication to these endeavors and instilled the values of historic preservation to students, family, and friends alike. She was named the Muleshoe Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture “Woman of the Year” in 1990 and 2009 for her work within the community on so many different levels.
Jean was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Muleshoe from 1948 to 2011. Jean strongly supported the church and credited her happiness and resilience in life to her powerful faith. She fostered connectivity and buoyancy through her presence in the church, in the educational system, and in the community.
In October 2011, Jean left the Muleshoe area and resided at Raider Ranch in Lubbock until August 2018 when she moved to San Antonio’s Brookdale Alamo Heights.
Jean is preceded in death by her husband, Harold, parents, Sam and Loveta, two children, Jack and Carolyn, and two sisters, Sammy Allison and Mildred Osborn.
She is survived by three children, Veta Skogland and husband John of San Antonio, Fred Allison and wife Martha of Katy, TX, Jim Allison and wife Nancy of Lubbock, TX; seven grandchildren, John Skogland, III of New York, NY, Olivia Allison and husband David of Kiev and London, Daniel Allison and wife Erin of Houston, TX, Stuart Allison and wife Lizzy of Washington, D.C., Wyndi Ludwikowski and husband Jake of Mobile, AL, Marissa Montalbano and husband Henry of Seattle, WA, and Austin Allison of Lubbock, TX; three great-grandchildren, Camilla and Cora Allison of Houston, TX, and Maddox Ludwikowski of Mobile, AL. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. Known to each of them simply as Aunt Jean, she shared a unique and cherished relationship with all of them that rivaled the relationship she had with her own children. And, as she would say, there wasn’t a bummer in the entire bunch.
Although she loved flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Muleshoe Heritage Foundation, PO Box 201, Muleshoe, Texas, 79347 in lieu of flowers to best honor Jean’s memory.