Baylor Mourns Loss Of Regent EmeritusSept. 23, 2011
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J. Harry Jeanes, Regent Emeritus, alumnus and faithful friend of Baylor University, passed away Sept. 22. A native Wacoan, Jeanes lived a humble life of service and philanthropy, garnering repute as a steadfast pillar in the community. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Anna Sturgis Jeanes, and his parents, Joe Hackney Jeanes and Lena Jeanes.
"Harry Jeanes represents the best of Baylor - a man of perseverance and integrity who fervently stewarded his time and resources for the service of others," Baylor President Ken Starr said. "Though we are saddened to lose a dear friend, Harry's legacy of devotion to Baylor and the Waco community will endure for generations as we fondly remember his life of service and sacrificial generosity."
After graduating from Baylor in 1934 with a bachelor of business administration degree, Jeanes embraced every opportunity to support his alma mater - most notably through 18 years of service as a member of the Board of Trustees and as Regent Emeritus since 1990. In 1999, Harry and Anna Jeanes were awarded the Founders Medallion, the University's most distinguished award reserved for men and women whose service and contributions have been unusually significant to the life and future of the University. In 2006, Jeanes received an honorary doctor of humane letters from the University acknowledging his lifelong service. He also was recognized as a recipient of the W.R. White Meritorious Service Award and as a 1999 Distinguished Alumnus.
"I have been blessed in knowing Mr. Jeanes for 42 years," said Larry Smith, assistant vice president of gift planning. "He was a caring employer who became a wonderful mentor and a loyal friend. He touched the lives of many people in the Waco community with his service and generosity. Mr. Jeanes will be missed dearly, but his and Anna's legacy will continue at their beloved Baylor University where students will be impacted through their generosity until the Lord returns."
Harry and Anna, who also was a Baylor graduate, expressed their love for the University in countless ways. They established an endowment for the Academic Honors Week program and made vital provisions for the Harry and Anna Jeanes Discovery Center, the centerpiece of the Mayborn Museum Complex, which benefits both children and adults in the Waco community and beyond.
"It was indeed a joy to know Harry Jeanes," said Dr. Ellie Caston, director of the Mayborn Museum Complex. "The extraordinary gift that Harry and Anna Jeanes gave speaks volumes about their love of our community. With no children of their own, they wanted the Jeanes Discovery Center to be for all the children of Central Texas. Their legacy lives on as countless children continue to discover the joy of learning at the Jeanes Discovery Center."
After the passing of his wife in 2007, Jeanes established endowed scholarship funds in athletics, music and business in her loving memory. Harry and Anna Jeanes were recognized in the Judge R.E.B. Baylor Society at the bronze level of the Medallion Fellowship for their faithful and selfless generosity, received the Herbert H. Reynolds Award, were inducted into the Diamond Circle of the Endowed Scholarship Society and also were members of Old Main Society and 1845 Society.
Throughout his life, Jeanes adamantly contributed to the well-being of others through quiet service and diligent leadership. Jeanes enlisted in the Army Air Corps during World War II and earned a Bronze Star for meritorious service during the invasion of Iwo Jima. He spent the following years building the largest savings and loan institution in Central Texas and achieved the highest pinnacle of his profession during his 51-year career at First Federal Savings and Loan of Waco. He was a member of the prestigious Executive Committee of the United States Savings and Loan League and of the Federal Savings and Loan Advisory Council. In 1984, Jeanes received the coveted Texas Savings and Loan League Award for Outstanding Public Service.
An ardent civic leader, Jeanes served as president of the Waco Rotary Club, Junior Chamber of Commerce, Symphony Associates, Waco Boys Club Board and the Texas Savings and Loan League, and as campaign chair for the Greater Waco United Fund. He was a long-time member of Columbus Avenue Baptist Church.
Jeanes' faithful stewardship of time, talents and financial resources has left a deeply imbedded imprint on the Waco community and Baylor University. He will be dearly missed, but his legacy will not be forgotten.
A memorial service will be held at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home in Waco, with a graveside service following at Oakwood Cemetery. Dr. Marshall Edwards, retired pastor of Columbus Avenue Baptist Church, will deliver the eulogy and Larry Smith of Baylor will preside.
In honor of J. Harry Jeanes' life of exemplary service and generosity, memorial gifts may be made to Baylor University, One Bear Place #97026, Waco, Texas 76798, and directed toward the Harry and Anna Jeanes Discovery Center.
Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275