Linda Brock

Obituary of Linda Jewel Brock

The End of an Era, the Continuation of its Legacy...Joe Maeberry sighed as he said, "Once Linda Brock is gone, there will be no one left to remind people what happened at the colored school." This reflection by Linda's neighbor and friend, just nine months before her death, encapsulates the reason why the San Benito Historical Society established the Callandret Black History Museum, located on the original Joe and Fannie Callandret farm, and later, the Joe Callandret School for colored children. Linda died on November 18, 2020 three months short of the 100th anniversary celebration of her grandparents' legacy: the first colored school of the 20th century in the Rio Grande Valley - a little wooden building where black children could go to school, built by the railroad tracks in 1921, replaced by a more permanent structure in 1952. Linda Jewel "Callandret" Brock was born in San Benito to Bertha Callandret and her husband Finas Nelson on Oct. 8, 1951. Her mother was one of the six children of Jean Marie (Joe) and Fannie Sayon Callandret who emigrated from Louisiana to San Benito in 1908. All her life, the pride she felt as the granddaughter of the first pioneer black family in San Benito, motivated Linda to write letters to editors and superintendents, give newspaper interviews, appear before boards and mostbespecially, cultivate her deep and lasting friendships with local historians, all to one end: to focus on educating and reminding the community the importance of observing black historical events. It gave Linda pleasure to share the story of the gift her grandmother, Fannie Sayon Callandret gave to the future when she donated land from her estate to SBCISD in 1948, "So that the colored children would have a place to go to school." The desire for educating the future ran deep in each generation. Linda received her LVN license and worked at Valley Baptist Medical Center earlier in life while she cared for and reared her sisters, Doris' and Penny's children. Always stressing the importance of education, Linda spent the last decades of her life providing a home on Callandret land for her daughter Charlene's children right across the street from the Callandret school playground. The girls grew up listening to their grandmother recount stories with pictures of the past, and the actual building where black children were educated, was a daily reminder of the strife their aunts, uncles and great grandparents endured during segregated times. Preceding her in death were her parents, Finas and Bertha Nelson, ex-husband Charles Brock, daughter Charlene, brothers Joe Anthony Nelson, Michael Hurd (1st black graduate of SBHS), sisters Doris Baker, and Susan "Penny" Williams. Linda is survived by her son Charles Brock, and his children: Charles III and Faith Brielle; the children of her daughter Charlene: Trianna and Vivianna; the children of her sister Penny: George Cole and Catherine Cole Wagoner; the children of her sister Doris: Michelle Stephenson, Estelle Hardin, and Nicole Baker; her brother Joe Nelson's son: Joseph Nelson, Jr.; as well as many great nephews, nieces and life-long community relations. Linda also had four caregivers on whom she relied: America, Lucy, Lucy and Maria. Visitation will be held at Thomae Garza Funeral Home on Friday, November 27, 2020 from 5pm-9pm, with a 9:30 am chapel service on Saturday, November 28, 2020 at Thomae Garza Funeral Home in San Benito, Texas followed by burial at Solis Cemetery, La Feria, Tx. You may sign the online guestbook, light a remembrance candle, or send words of comfort to the family of Linda Jewel Brock at Funeral arrangements entrusted to the care of Thomae-Garza Funeral Home and Crematorium, 395 S. Sam Houston, San Benito, Texas, (956) 399-1331.
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5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Friday, November 27, 2020
Thomae-Garza Funeral Home
395 S. Sam Houston
San Benito, Texas, United States

Chapel Service

9:30 am - 10:00 am
Saturday, November 28, 2020
Thomae Garza Funeral Home
395 S Sam Houston
San Bentio, Texas, United States


10:00 am - 10:30 am
Saturday, November 28, 2020
Solis Cemetery
Solis Rd., 1/4 mile south of Memorial Drive (County Road 814)
La Feria, Texas, United States