Heaven welcomed an extraordinary and devoted soul when Martha Jane “Janie” Bryant Tagert passed away on Sunday, June 28, 2020, at her home with her family by her side in Pleasanton, at 95 years of age, after a brief illness.
Janie and her beloved twin sister, Alice, were born on July 26, 1924, in Crystal City, to Jim and Sunshine Bryant; they were the youngest of six children. In 1929 when Janie was 5 years old, the family moved to Pleasanton. Janie enjoyed school, graduating in 1941 from Pleasanton High School, where she played baseball. She participated in Girls’ Auxiliary at church, played alto horn and piano in the band and was FFA Sweetheart her senior year and Duchess of Pleasanton in a county-wide festival. She then graduated from Howard Payne College in Brownwood in 1945 with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, with minors in English and Bible. At Howard Payne, which she attended on a band scholarship, she served as a reporter on the campus newspaper and was Senior Class Favorite, Queen of the Harvest and in “Who’s Who in American Universities and Colleges” her junior and senior years.
She returned to Pleasanton to teach school for a year, after which she attended Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth for a year while working toward a Master’s Degree and considering a career in religion.
In 1947, Janie married Herbert E “Whitie” Tagert, whom she had met two years previously at First Baptist Church in Pleasanton through his parents, Will and Sara Tagert, when he moved to Pleasanton after service in World War II. Janie and Whitie lived on a farm outside of Pleasanton for 3-1/2 years, raising strawberries and corn and rearing their first two children, until Whitie took a position with a company that was in Pleasanton building a refinery. Because of Whitie’s job requirements, the family moved a number of times over the years, living chiefly in Texas and Louisiana; two more sons completed the family. Each time the family moved, one of the first things they did was join the local Baptist Church and continue their faithful stewardship, even as their later moves included Canada, Virginia and Saudi Arabia.
In the late 1970’s, Janie and Whitie retired to Pleasanton, which they had always considered their home, to their extended families and to service to both the community and to the First Baptist Church of Pleasanton.
A devout Christian throughout her life, Janie was devoted to God, her church and her family. She played the piano and served on the church handbell choir for many years. She was a talented artist, winning awards in the Brush Country Art Club for her oil paintings, which are cherished by her family and friends. Renowned for her chocolate chip cookies and her pecan pies, she took great pleasure in noting that at church potluck meals, often people would get a piece of her pie before getting their meal. An accomplished seamstress, she created her daughter’s wedding dress, prom dresses for her granddaughters (reminding them that “pretty is as pretty does”), Humpty Dumpty dolls for the births of grandchildren and greatgrandchildren and beautiful clothes for their dolls. She doted on her grandchildren, making sure that her delicious chocolate chip cookies were waiting for them in her freezer when they visited. To this day, many of her grandchildren, now adults, prefer their chocolate chip cookies straight out of the freezer. Her grandchildren noted that memories of their grandmother and of spending time in Pleasanton with their grandmother and granddaddy, in addition to those cookies and the Humpty Dumpties, include her piano and paintings, shelling pecans, playing Chinese checkers, watching birds at the backyard birdbath, sticker burrs, her candid honesty and playing in the field behind their home (now a subdivision).
Janie was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 64 years, Whitie; her parents, Jim and Sunshine Bryant; her in-laws, Will and Sara Tagert; and her siblings, Richard (Ruby) Bryant, Gwen Humphreys, Eldon (Hattie Mae) Bryant, Chester (Mary Bryant Richardson) Bryant and Alice (Ernie) Frazier. She is survived by her children, Linda Gober, Michael (Renee’) Tagert, Patrick Tagert and Timothy Tagert and 10 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson.
A graveside service was held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, July 7 at the Pleasanton City Cemetery. Honorary pallbearers are Janie’s grandsons and grandsons-in-law, Alan Stepura, Chris Ward, Jared Moore, Ian Tagert, Derek Tagert, Rob Dearman, Matthew Tagert, Brady Daneliuk and Joel Tagert.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Janie’s memory to:
First Baptist Church
400 N Reed St.
Pleasanton, Texas 78064 fbcpleasanton.org/ give or, to support the ministry in Spain of Janie’s niece, Susan Dixon and husband David. Donations can be made to:
First Baptist Church
2104 W. Louisiana Ave.
Midland, Texas 79701
Please designate on your check that it is for Dixon´s ministry in Spain.