Obituary: Claude Willis Jacks

Claude Willis Jacks Jr., former Texas Baptist pastor and associational director of missions, died April 8. He was 98.


Claude Willis Jacks Jr., former Texas Baptist pastor and associational director of missions, died April 8. He was 98. He was born Nov. 5, 1925, in Belton to Claude and Viola Jacks. He attended Texas A&M University until he was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II. He was assigned to 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, Mindanao, Philippine Islands, and was wounded in June 1945. He returned to action, serving until the end of World War II in the southern islands of Japan in the army of occupation. Jacks was the recipient of a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. After he completed his military service, he surrendered to the gospel ministry and attended the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and Baylor University. He married Delma Garner on Aug. 25, 1947. He earned a Master of Divinity degree and a Master of Theology Degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth and was ordained to the ministry in 1948. He was pastor of First Baptist Church in Floresville, First Baptist Church in Cotulla, First Baptist Church Heights in Houston and First Baptist Church in Odem. He served 12 years as director of missions for the Blanco and Coastal Bend Baptist Associations in Beeville, ministering to 125 congregations and being involved in starting 40 churches. After he retired in 1992, he and his wife served as international missions volunteers in Trinidad, West Indies, Philippines, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Belgium, England and China. He was a member of First Baptist Church in Katy. He was preceded in death by his wife of 73 years, Delma Garner Jacks, and a grandson, Kristopher Kervin. He is survived by daughters Claudia Flora and Melanie Hilburn, sons Jeff Jacks and Kevin Jacks, six grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and nine great-great-grandchildren. Family visitation will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on April 15 at the Schmidt Funeral Home Grand Parkway Chapel in Katy. Memorial gifts can be made to the Delma Garner Jacks Scholarship at the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor.

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