Henneke Funeral Home
1515 Montezuma St
Columbus, TX 78934
(979) 732-2143
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Joan Krenek Whitcomb

February 11, 1938 - March 18, 2018

Joan Krenek Whitcomb passed away peacefully on March 18, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Throughout her life, Joan blessed her family and community with a love of learning and serving others.

Born in Rosenberg, Texas, on February 11, 1938, Joan grew up next to a cotton gin with her two sisters and brother. She had an idyllic life growing up in a small town and visiting Houston for special shopping trips with her mother and sisters. Joan attended the Southwest Texas State University, where she was class president, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education. After graduating, she married Jim, her high school sweetheart, and moved to Houston, where she was an English teacher at Memorial High School. While teaching, Joan furthered her education by attending the University of Houston and obtaining a Masters in Education. Although both Jim and Joan enjoyed living in Houston, they never forgot their small-town roots and moved their young family to Columbus, Texas in 1969, where Joan worked as a school counselor at Columbus High School. When a librarian position became available, she spent four days a week obtaining a Masters degree in Library Science at Sam Houston State University. She worked for over 34 years as the librarian at Columbus High School and mentored many high school students during that time.

Both Jim and Joan thought of community service not as a duty, but rather as a privilege and Joan was an integral part of the Columbus community. She served as a Board member of the Columbus Historical Preservation Trust and the coordinator of the Magnolia Belles for over 25 years. She was the Treasurer of Delta Kappa Gamma for 20 years where she was honored with the Chapter Achievement Award. Both Jim and Joan were members of the First United Methodist Church for over 47 years where Joan served as Treasurer for 20 years and managed the day to day bookkeeping for over 20 years. Joan was one of the founding members and President of the Ladd and Katherine Hancher Library Foundation. After retiring, Joan took great pride in her work with the Columbus Community Hospital’s Auxiliary Guild where she volunteered as a “pink lady”, greeting visitors and comforting patients.

Joan’s greatest love and accomplishment was her family. She worked every day to instill values and be a role model for her children by demonstrating love, honesty, and perseverance through her own day to day activities. Joan took great pride in her azalea blooms every year and her “organic” vegetable gardens which she tended with great care. At Christmas time, she tirelessly baked, her famous coffee cakes for friends and family. Her grandchildren will cherish sleep overs at Mimi’s house and birthdays were never complete without one of Mimi’s orange cakes. Joan’s happiest moments were spent chatting with her grandchildren, hearing about their lives and learning the newest technology with their patient tutorials.

She is survived by son James Howard Whitcomb, Jr and daughter in law Kelly of Houston, daughter Jill Jelinek and son in law Chris Jelinek of Detroit and daughter Jo Helen Venglar of Houston. Her favorite times were when she was surrounded by her grandchildren, Daulton Robert Venglar, James Howard Whitcomb III, Elizabeth Hayes Whitcomb, Haley Nicole Venglar, Christopher Paul Jelinek Jr. and Nicholas James Jelinek. She is survived by her sister Betty Jo Everett of Fort Worth, Texas and sister Carol Jean McNutt and brother in law James McNutt of Rosenberg, Texas as well as many nieces and nephews. Joan is preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, James H. Whitcomb, her brother, Dan A. Krenek and her parents, Wilber and Bessie Krenek.

With gratitude, the family thanks Gloria Gonzalez, Joan’s trusted caregiver, for her unending, dignified and compassionate care over the past 9 months. Additional thanks to the doctors and nurses at MD Anderson Cancer Center for their empathetic and expert care during the last year.

Visitation with the family is scheduled for 5pm to 7pm on Friday, March 23, 2018 at Henneke Funeral Home. Funeral services are scheduled at 11am on Saturday, March 24, 2018 at Henneke Funeral Home with a reception following at the Stafford Opera House. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Joan’s honor to the Columbus Historical Preservation Trust - Magnolia Belles, 425 Spring Street, Columbus, Texas 78934; Columbus Community Hospital Ladies Auxiliary, 110 Shult Drive, Columbus, Texas 78934; or the charity of choice.


Joan Krenek Whitcomb
February 11, 1938 - March 18, 2018



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