Jack Martin Puryear

Portrait of Jack Martin Puryear Headstone Photograph

Full Name: Jack Martin Puryear
Location: Section:Statesman's Meadow, Section 1 (E)
Row:J  Number:22
Reason for Eligibility: Approved, Texas State Cemetery Committee 
Birth Date: August 8, 1923 
Died: September 9, 2022 
Burial Date: September 19. 2022 

PURYEAR, JACK MARTIN (1923 ~ 2022). The following is an obituary for Jack Puryear who was approved for burial at the Texas State Cemetery by the Cemetery Committee in 2003. The obituary was provided by Cook-Walden Funeral Home of Austin.

Jack Martin Puryear, 99, passed from this life on September 9, 2022. He was born in Beaumont, Texas to Onie B. and Ida Lillian Puryear on August 8, 1923. He graduated from Beaumont High School in 1941 and attended Lamar College. Jack was called to active duty in 1943 and was trained as an aerial photographer serving with the Pacific Fleet’s Air Photo Squadron One.

During World War II, Puryear's photographs were used to make preinvasion maps of islands in the South and Western Pacific. Before Japan's surrender, he also made flights over Japan to help prepare for a U. S. invasion. For his service, he was awarded seven battle stars and three air medals. He was honorably discharged as a Photographer's Mate First Class at Camp Wallace, Texas on March 2, 1946.

Following his separation from the Navy, Puryear returned to Texas and joined the U. S. Navy Reserve and finished his education at the University of Texas at Austin. He received a Bachelor of Business Arts in May of 1948. Shortly after graduation, Jack married Janet Marie Felsman on July 8, 1950 at the famous Rose Garden in Tyler, Texas.

In 1951, Puryear was once again called to active duty, this time to take part in the Korean War. For three years, he served as a Supply Officer aboard the USS Philippine Sea and USS Brush. In all he served 22 years in the U. S. Navy, active and reserve duty, and retired on August 8, 1983, as a Lieutenant Commander.

After the Korean War, Puryear and Roger Hanks started Hanks-Puryear Co., a real estate and general insurance agency. As their business flourished, they purchased, in 1958, Robbins, Montgomery & Nieman Co. and the company became Nieman, Hanks, and Puryear. Throughout the 1980s, the three principal partners retired. Puryear was the last to step down in 1988.

Jack loved his family, traveling and painting. He also loved his community and always made time to help others.

Throughout his career and retirement, Puryear was committed to the Catholic Diocese of Austin. He served as the Chairman of the Building and Property Committee. He also helped start the Catholic Charity, Marywood, a program for pregnancy support, foster care and adoption in Austin. For his service, Jack and his wife Janet were given Papal Appointments to The Equestrian Order of The Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, the highest honor granted to clergy and laity by the Holy See. Puryear also served as Chairman of this Order for twenty-two years under three different Bishops. The Puryear’s have also received the Silver Leaf of Jerusalem award from the Holy See.

In 1968, Puryear and Dr. Ralph White, a teacher with the Texas School for the Deaf, secured funding and support through the Hogg Foundation to develop a change in the method of treatment for the deaf in state hospitals. They helped provide volunteers who could communicate through sign language for hospital staff members thus allowing the number of deaf patients to be reduced in state facilities.

Puryear has also donated his time to numerous civic activities, including: the Holy Cross Hospital Board which started Hospice Austin and the Shivers Cancer Treatment Center, the Shivers Cancer Treatment Center Board where he served as Chairman and Secretary/Treasurer, the Shivers Cancer Foundation Board, the Dell Children’s Blood & Cancer Center board, Capital City Kiwanis Club, Knights of the Symphony, Sierra Club of Austin, the Austin Chamber of Commerce, and was a founding member of the One Hundred Club of Central Texas.

Jack is survived by his wife of 73 years, Janet Marie Puryear; sons, Jack M. Puryear, Jr. and wife Monica, James B. Puryear and John R. Puryear and wife Ulrike Puryear; daughter, Jo Ann Taylor and husband Alan; seven grandchildren, Marie Puryear, Elisabeth Puryear, Matthew Puryear, Patrick Puryear, Jordan Puryear, Oliver Puryear and Jacqueline Morgan Taylor, and seven great-grandchildren.

Funeral mass will be held at Saint Theresa Catholic Church on Monday, September 19, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. followed by a reception at the Family Center. Burial will be at the Texas State Cemetery at 1:30 p.m.

The family requests that remembrance gifts be made to Dell Children’s Blood and Cancer Center, Hospice Austin, or a charity of your choice.

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