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Born February 26, 1933, in Beaumont, TX, our dear mother, grandmother, great grandmother, great great grandmother, aunt, and sister, Ethel Juanita Laird Justice, passed from this world the evening of Thursday, May 18, 2023. She was 90 years and about 3 months old.
Born to poor Scottish folk, James Warren Laird (1908-1974) and Ethel Katherine Davis (1914-1982), during the ravages of the Great Depression of the early 20th Century, she wasn't even 10 when WWII broke out. She grew up in the woods of rural southeast Texas with her three brothers, Clyde Warren Laird (d. 2018), Hubert Allen Laird, and Robert Wayne Laird (d. 2022), and many aunts, uncles, and cousins of the Laird, Davis, Brown, Frazier, Anderson, and other families.
On January 30, 1950, "Nita" married Joe Harry Justice (d. 1994) with whom she had three children, Janice Carole, Denise Joann (estranged), and Joe Harry II. For many reasons it wasn't the best marriage and Nita divorced Joe in 1963.
Nita, sometimes known as "Ms. J" to her coworkers, had many careers in her long 90 years on this planet. She opened a beauty shop in her own home when she was married to Mr. Justice. After her divorce, she went on to work for Texas Instruments where some of her soldered circuit boards made it onto the Apollo rockets to the Moon.
For a time, she was the x-ray technician at the Tennisson Clinic in Silsbee, Texas. But mostly she enjoyed her bookkeeping jobs for various trucking companies and hotels, like the Holiday Inn. Her last job was with Conn's Appliances in Beaumont, TX as a bookkeeper.
And everywhere she worked she made wonderful friends with her coworkers. They all became family in her heart as they were all on the same team. I know how her coworkers would feel. She would organize us kids at home like a team to get the housework done or to get ready for a day trip to the Houston Zoo or the Alamo in San Antonio.
We had so much fun growing up with her. She had fun right along with us kids. She was always looking out for a gang of nieces and nephews along with her own children. She was a wonderful daughter, sister, mother, aunt, and cousin. Everyone loved her.
In her later years after she retired, she moved in with her son, Joe H. "Jay" Justice II in his home in Albuquerque, NM where they have lived together since October 31, 2004. Later, her daughter, Janice Carole "Jan" Nelligan moved in with her mother and brother in 2013. The three of them have enjoyed growing old together and enjoying family as much as possible.
Nita was always spiritual. She was raised in the Little Rock Assembly of God Church in Southeast Texas. And she enjoyed many years with Clyde Patton's huge church in Houston. At one point before she was married, she dreamed of being a Christian missionary and a teacher in places of the world starving for such. But life had a different path for her. She always read her Bible every day and prayed to God, her Father in Heaven. She always said grace for us before our meals. But later in her life she became disillusioned by most organized religions and kept to herself with her beliefs and her spirituality. But it was truly the basis of the love she held for everyone.
She is survived by her brother, Hubert Allen Laird; her three children, mentioned above; three grandchildren: Henry Louis Nelligan (Colorado Springs, CO), Miranda "Mindy" Fern Van Colen (Sour Lake, TX), Jeremiah Spurlock (Buna, TX); six great grandchildren; and seven great great grandchildren.
A Graveside Service will be held Tuesday, May 23, 2023 at Fairview Memorial Park, 700 Yale Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM.
Daniels Family Funeral Services
3113 Carlisle Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110
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