“Well done, good and faithful servant” are the words that Jan Carper heard as she entered into the presence of her Lord and Savior on January 9, 2023. She had a fierce two month battle with brain cancer, but fought to celebrate one last special Christmas surrounded by family. She packed a lifetime of service, faith, love and family into 68 years.
Martha Jan Harmon Carper was born to Kenneth and Jo Ann Harmon of Agua Dulce on June 16, 1954. She was born with a servant’s heart. She enjoyed helping her daddy and papaws on the farm working cattle and driving grain trucks, baking and sewing with her grandmas and playing paper dolls and dress up with her sisters and cousins. Jan came to know Jesus as her savior at a young age and spent much time at Agua Dulce Baptist Church. In high school, her sweet spirit was contagious as she played sports, participated in agriculture and homemaking events, won the Betty Crocker Homemaker of the year award, was elected as Homecoming Queen, was a cheerleader for the Mighty Longhorns, qualified for State in Prose and won many belt buckles in rodeo.
In the summer of 1972, that little cheerleading cowgirl met her football playing cowboy and the rest was history. Jan became Mrs. Mike Carper on June 11, 1973. She followed him to Arlington where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from North Texas University. After graduation, Mike and Jan returned to South Texas where they began their careers and their family. Jan thrived in her new titles of Mrs. Carper and mommy.
Jan was truly the epitome of a Proverbs 31 woman. She served the Lord, her family, her church and community faithfully. She taught at Calallen Middle School, Welder Elementary in Sinton, Schallert Elementary in Alice and spent the final 20 years of her career as a 1st grade teacher in Agua Dulce. She was also an active member of First Baptist Sinton, Agua Dulce Baptist Church, and Bethany Baptist Church in Realitos where she taught Mission Friends, GAs, VBS, Sunday School and served as a youth pastor’s wife and preacher’s wife. She used her beautiful hands to love and serve her children, her husband, her family and even took care of her grandmother, father-in- law, mother-in-law and mother and father in their older years.
Twenty years ago, Jan received her favorite title: Mamaw. She was the best mamaw ever! She would go anywhere and do anything to be with her grandkids from reading to helping them with school, playing baseball, singing songs, fixing hemlines, baking the best oatmeal cookies and peach cobbler and most importantly teaching them about Jesus. How fitting that she saw her last two grandkids baptized the week before her diagnosis. She loved and served like no other.
Jan was met with a heavenly reunion by her father Kenneth Harmon, father-in-law Bill Carper, grandparents Joe and B (Billie) McNair, and Roy and Tennessee Harmon, brothers-in-law Jim Carper and Bill Dodge, sisters-in-law Sarah Carper Johnson and Betsey Carper, her nephew Chris Carper, her unborn grandchild Happy Carbajal.
Jan has passed on the torch of faith and love to her loving husband of 50 years Mike Carper of Leakey, her children Linlee and Jesse Carbajal of Kyle, Matt and Emeigh Carper of Las Cruces, NM, Luke and Lhea Carper of Japan, her grandkids Hayley-Jan and Hannah Carbajal of Austin, Timmy and Tommy Carbajal of Kyle, Noah, Jeriah and Sadeigh Carper of Las Cruces, and Tres and Vanessa Riviera of Belton, honorary granddaughter Kenzie Hallmark of Buda, her mother Jo Ann Harmon of Agua Dulce, mother- in-law Mildred Carper of Sinton, sisters Lynn Dodge and Paul West of Wimberly, Cherry and Terry Sears of Houston, cousins who were like sisters: Marylee Crane and Joanna and Rusty Roach of Banquete, numerous nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, January 28, 2023 at Agua Dulce Baptist Church. Visitation will occur at 10 a.m. and the service will begin at 11 a.m. To continue Jan’s legacy of faith and service, we ask that in lieu of flowers, please consider making donations to Agua Dulce Baptist Church, South Texas Children’s Home, Kameron James Memorial Scholarship Fund (426 Whitney, Aransas Pass, TX 78336), or Turning Point of Las Cruces.