Obituaries | Eastgate Funeral Home
December 01, 1930 February 25, 2020
December 01, 1930 -- February 25, 2020

Dr. James (Jim) Wesley Tunnell

Dr. James Wesley Tunnell (Jim) of Garland, Texas passed away on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 after a brief illness. He was 89 years old and was born on December 01, 1930. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Molina and Thurman Tunnell, his wife, Ann Tunnell, brother, Lawrence Edward Tunnell and grandson, Jake Picard. Surviving family members are his sister, Betsy Simpson, Children, Kathy Wilson (Mike), James W. Tunnell, Jr. (Dodie), Larry Tunnell (Cindy), Melanie Estrada (Lena), Susan Gibson(Eric) and Lisa Worthington (Earl) Grandchildren: Laura Brown (Ron), David Wilson (Ale), James W.Tunnell,III, Mary Lee Tunnell, Michelle Tunnell, Luke Tunnell (Hunter), Jarrod Tunnell (Lauren), Karlyn Tunnell, Logan Tunnell, Chad Picard (Jessie), Trey Picard (Erica), Raylen Worthington, Katy Small (Cody) and Lawrence Worthington. Great Grandchildren: Ava Wilson, Bella Wilson, Henry Brown, Liam Tunnell, Cilla Rose Smith Tunnell, Jaxon Sanger Picard, Marlee Ann Picard and Brydon Small. Jim graduated from Lakeview High School in San Angelo and is a member of the Lakeview High School Athletic Hall of Fame. He received his bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University under a baseball scholarship, his master's degree from Sul Ross State University and his Doctorate from Texas Tech University. He was superintendent of Wall ISD (1953-59), Principal in Ralls ISD (1959-1962), Doctoral Fellow at Texas Tech University (1962-63), Director of Instruction and Assistant Superintendent at McAllen ISD (1963-66), Staff member on Governors Committee for Public School Education (1967-69), Dean of Instruction at Oscar Rose Community College, Midwest City, Oklahoma (1969-1971), Professor and Professor Emeritus at Texas A&M, Commerce (1971-2001). Jim was instrumental in creating the first Head Start Program in the state of Texas. Later in his career he was a pioneer in establishing community college education in the state of Texas. He was passionate about making educational opportunities available to to all children, regardless of their economic circumstance. Jim loved spending time with his family and continually stayed in touch with all of his children and grandchildren. He was the true Patriarch of the family.