Carol Jan Black
Jan Black was born on January 13, 1945, in Portales, NM to Henry Eugene Simmons and Norma Ruth Mason Simmons. She died peacefully June 6. 2020 at her home in Hobbs, New Mexico. She graduated from Dora High School and earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree (Summa Cum Laude) and her Master of Arts Degree from Eastern New Mexico University. When Ron Black saw her cheerleading at a high school basketball game when they were both teenagers, he knew she was the one and they were married August 25, 1963 in Portales, New Mexico. She truly loved the Lord and was a long -time member of Taylor Memorial Baptist Church in Hobbs.
She taught English at Highland Junior High, Hobbs High School, and then for a number of years at the University of the Southwest. Despite no experience or training in journalism, she sponsored the annual at Hobbs High for two years and one of her annuals was so outstanding that the company producing the annual asked for permission to print 2,000 extra copies to use as an example for other schools nationwide. At Hobbs High School she learned of an academic contest called the Texaco Star Challenge. On her own initiative she formed a team of students and worked after school with them and entered the contest. The Hobbs High team won the state championship, beating teams from schools like Albuquerque Academy and Los Alamos. They then went to Houston and won the regional championship and an all-expense paid trip to New York City for the national championship. Hobbs High School was the only public school among the eight finalists, with all of the other teams coming from private academies and schools. Hobbs High finished second nationally and brought home a $25,000 check for HHS’s scholarship fund. After moving to the University of the Southwest she continued to win awards for her teaching. She loved teaching writing and loved her students. She took great pride that many of them went on to teach English in the schools of Lea County. She was a teacher who truly made a difference in her student’s lives.
In 1994 she suffered a devastating illness that brought a premature ending to her teaching career. However, she was still able to enjoy her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She also enjoyed traveling in her family RV. She loved her church and her friends from Sunday School and always looked forward to Sundays. She had a special empathy with people who were hurting and had a unique ability to bring joy into people’s lives. She was a surrogate mother to hundreds of young men who played on her husband’s basketball teams at NMJC.
She is survived by Ron, her husband of 57 years. She is also survived by son Kevin and wife Pam of Hobbs, daughter Karla Crow and husband Jeremy of Roswell, and son Shannon of Bellingham, Washington. She is also survived by 4 grandchildren, Alyse Reed and husband Jacob, Mackenzie Black of Hobbs and Tanner and Sydney Crow of Roswell and 2 great grandchildren, Lucy and Ethan Reed of Hobbs.
In lieu of flowers the family would like donations made to Taylor Memorial Baptist Church Mission Fund, 1700 E. Yeso, Hobbs, NM. 88240.
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Taylor Memorial Baptist Church Mission Fund
1700 E. Yeso, Hobbs NM 88240