Jewel McCary Harp

March 7, 2013 • Obituaries

No services are scheduled at this time for Jewel McCary Harp, 95, of Roswell, who passed away March 6, 2013.

Jewel was born to John and Tenie Kirby McCary, on Oct. 28, 1917, at her family’s ranch in Young County, Texas. She lived there with her parents and brother outside of Olney, Texas, until she left to attend Texas Women’s University. She graduated in 1939 with a Bachelor of Science degree and began her long teaching career.

In 1940, Jewel traveled alone by train to Roswell to accept a teaching position in the Roswell Public Schools. Her father was very apprehensive about her moving to New Mexico as he often said, “there is [auth] nothing out there but Indians and rattlesnakes.” Her father’s fears were eased when, soon after her arrival, she met her future husband Ernest Harp, who had been teaching in Roswell for a few years. Thus began a great love affair with Ernest, with teaching and with Roswell. She continued to teach generations of Roswell students for more than 30 years. She truly loved her vocation.

Jewel and Ernie were fortunate enough to take many enjoyable and educational trips, visiting every state in the U.S., as well as Europe, Mexico and Africa.

Jewel also enjoyed volunteering in the community. She volunteered at Eastern New Mexico Medical Center, was secretary of the Roswell Community Concerts and the Roswell Symphony Guild. After retiring from teaching, she taught bridge to many retirees at the Roswell Adult Center, a very rewarding experience for her. Retirement also enabled Jewel to spend more time playing golf with Ernie and their many friends.

Jewel was a longtime member of the 1941 Book Club, Chapter K, P.E.O. and a member of First United Methodist Church for more than 50 years. The church was a very dear part of her life. There will be a family memorial service in the garden of First Methodist Church, where she will be laid to rest.

Jewel is survived by a dear nephew Jim McCary, of Littlefleld, Texas; grandnephew Dr. Brad McCary, of Katy, Texas, his wife Dixie, and their three children, Jared, Katy and Kyle; her sister-in-law Peggy McCary, of Lubbock Texas; and her niece Brenda Hawthorne and her husband Rich, of Alto. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of more than 65 years Ernest L. Harp Jr.; her parents; and her brother John.

Jewel will be lovingly remembered by her family and friends, and literally thousands of students who were fortunate enough to have had Jewel Harp as a positive and lasting influence in their lives.

Condolences may be offered online at

Arrangements are under the direction of LaGrone Funeral Chapel.

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