Jesse T. Ybarra




Jesse T. Ybarra, 88, of Center, passed away Tuesday, September 17, 2019, in Nacogdoches.
A funeral mass will be held at 11AM, Monday, Sept. 23rd at St. Therese Catholic Church in Center.

Jesse Theodore Ybarra was born July 20, 1931, the second of four children, in Texarkana, Texas living there until his senior year of school when the family moved to Houston.

His love of horses began as child.  After high school he went on the rodeo circuit riding bulls with his best friend Buck.  Jesse left the rodeo circuit to serve his country in the Navy as a Corpsman with two tours in The Korean War where he earned; a National Defense Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Korean Service Medal and a Good Conduct Medal. After serving his nation he returned to The States and used the medical skills working at Memorial Hospital in downtown Houston, then Spring Branch Hospital later opening his own business “Clinical Laboratory of Huntsville”.  The love of rodeo still in his heart he began rodeo clowning on the weekends.  In 1997, he started to ride cutting horses on Miss Big Lynx.

Jesse loved spending time with his children, he was a football, softball, tennis coach as well as helping with the Special Olympics on equestrian events.  Sharing his love for horses with his children he spent many happy weekends travelling to various horse shows where they participated.  Jesse was also involved in Boy Scouts from being a Boy Scout as a child to helping scouts earn their Horsemanship and First Aide badges along with camping trips.

Jesse was very much a true Texan (Texas the friendship state) He carried a Texas flag to Korea during his tours.  He loved music from classical to his favorite country music.  His bucket list became complete when he visited Tombstone, with his love of westerns.  If you did not have the pleasure of watching Westerns with him, you do not know what you missed.  From John Wayne, James Arness in the early years, Gunsmoke, to Bonanza as we got older (continuing in the never-ending repeat cycle today)

As a child Jesse always wanted to live on a ranch.  He was 61 years old when his dream was fulfilled by moving to Center Texas.  He left his 165-acre ranch on September 17th at the age of 88 years old with a big smile on his face. 

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Ybarra of Center, children; Jesse Ybarra of Spring, Jana Lynne Ybarra Viviano of Jersey Village, Jennifer Anne Ybarra Mock of Spring, Michael Ruark of Center, and Gavin Ybarra of The Woodlands, 9 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren, sisters; Hope Smithson of San Antonio and Sister Mary Ybarra of San Jose, California, numerous nieces and nephews.

Preceded in death by his parents, Jesus Ernesto Ybarra and Maria Esperanza Gonzalez, and his brother, Ruben Tamez.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Jesse T. Ybarra to the SFASU Foundation, PO Box 6092, Nacogdoches, TX  75962 or online at


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