In Loving Memory of
Netta Jackson Simek
April 25, 1939 â€" November 26, 2015
Netta J. Simek passed away at home in Bryan, Texas on Thursday, November 26, 2015. She was born in Little Rock, Arkansas on April 25, 1939, to Merritt Luther and Maurine Elliott Jackson, who preceded her in death, as did her niece, Meredith Lee Hawkins.
She is survived by her loving husband of 23 years, Major General John E. Simek (USA, Ret.) and his family, including son and daughter-in-law, J.B. and Kimberly Simek; daughter, Monique Stewart, all of Bryan, Texas; sister-in-law, Frances Engelbrecht of Beaumont, Texas; niece, Paige Engelbrecht Mann, of Houston, Texas; nephew Darrin Engelbrecht and wife Kim, of Nederland, Texas.
Netta is survived by her sister, Annette Jackson Hawkins and husband, Jim; niece Madeline Hawkins Cox, husband, Oscar, and great-nephew Dalton Jackson Cox, all of Little Rock, Arkansas, as well as a host of cousins and dear friends as family, including goddaughter, Lisa Rubin, of Boston, Massachusetts, and Bryan Stewart, of Bryan, Texas.
Growing up in Little Rock, Netta graduated from Little Rock Central High School in 1956, and University of Arkansasâ€"Fayetteville, in 1966, where she was a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority. Throughout her life, Netta remained close to so many in her high school class; most recently, they led the way in restoring the historic Steinway piano at Little Rock Central High School.
Netta began her career with Coty Cosmetics in Kansas City, Missouri. She moved to New York City where she was the national sales director for Coty. From there she joined Allercream/DuBarry Cosmetics in San Antonio, Texas, and, later, worked for Maybelline Cosmetics in Memphis, Tennessee.
When Netta joined Mary Kay Cosmetics in Dallas, Texas, she traveled constantly, nationally and internationally, conducting training seminars, holding many titles of increased responsibility including Vice President for Marketing. Ultimately she retired as Director of Products for Mary Kay in Dallas.
John and Netta were married in Dallas on May 23, 1992, and made their home in Bryan. Netta became involved in the community immediately and was quickly welcomed to membership in the Womenâ€™s Club of Bryan. Together, she and John enjoyed the sights and sounds of world travels together, making new friends as they went, as well as being joined by dear friends on cruises and trips to her favorite destination, Paris, France. When in Bryan, their home was often the scene of legendary brunches and holiday gatherings with dear friends from the community and fellow members from St. Andrewâ€™s Episcopal Church.
The arts community in the Brazos Valley was greatly enhanced by Nettaâ€™s philanthropy and active support. Netta served the Board of Directors of the Arts Council for the Brazos Valley in many capacities, including President, and she orchestrated several of their signature fund-raising events. She was also a founding member of the Childrenâ€™s Museum of the Brazos Valley.
Together, she and John enthusiastically participated and were integral to successful major events for Texas A&Mâ€™s Memorial Student Center Opera and Performing Arts Society, including the annual OPAS Galas. Netta was active in fundraisers for the Brazos Prenatal Clinic and was distinguished as an honoree at one of their "Youâ€™re The Tops" community luncheons.
For many years Netta and John were active in the local American Heart Association, a poignant act of giving, both prior to, and after, both underwent heart procedures. Her bravery in battling heart disease was highlighted as she shared her "heart" story in a 2010 television news segment, reminding others to support research to fight heart disease and stroke.
Truly she put her heart into everything she did; Netta recruited her willing husband, John, to join "his redhead" in serving on the team of Co-Chairs for the American Heart Associationâ€™s annual signature event, the Heart Rock Gala, which they did for several years. Even when health did not permit her more intense involvement, Netta continued to attend the Galas, showing her heartfelt support.
Netta generously gave her time to inspire so many women in her life, reaching out to them at various stages of their careers and offering encouragement and support for their dreams. She was a benchmark for excellence in her career field, often referred to as "legendary" in Mary Kay circles. She was best known as a cherished friend by so very many civic and community leaders during her years in Bryan-College Station and will be remembered fondly by all who knew her.
Visitation is scheduled for Saturday, December 5, with a viewing from 1:00 â€" 2:00 p.m. and Celebration of Life Service, including eulogy, reflection, and prayers, set for 2:00 p.m. at Hillier Funeral Home, 4080 State Hwy 6 South, College Station, Texas, 77845. On Sunday, December 6, at 2:30 p.m., a Funeral will be held at St. Andrewâ€™s Episcopal Church, 217 W. 26th Street, Bryan, Texas 77803, followed by a reception in the Parish Hall.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts be directed to the American Heart Association-Brazos County Chapter, 801 Dellwood St., #100-111, Bryan, Texas 77802, or to a charity of the donorâ€™s choice.
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