Mildred Elmore

November 01, 1942 - October 01, 2020

Mildred Elmore

Mildred Mars Tonahill Elmore passed away peacefully on Thursday, October 1, 2020, at the age of 77.

Mildred was born November 1, 1942, in Washington, D.C., the first child of Joe H. Tonahill and Violett Smith Tonahill. Her early years as a child were spent with her cousin, Lucinda Smith Seale, at their grandparents’ home known as Cedar Hill in Fauquier County, Virginia, where they lived with their mothers until their fathers returned from World War II.

Her parents moved after the War to Beaumont and then Jasper, Texas, where she formed life long friendships. Five siblings followed Mildred and in many ways she was a second mother to them, as well as a sister. She returned to Virginia to attend High School as a boarder at St. Agnes School in Alexandria, Virginia.

Mildred graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Lamar University on August 27, 1966. She was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha and remained friends with many Zeta sisters throughout her life. She received her teaching certificate and began a long and memorable career as an English and French teacher with her first teaching job in Rosenberg, Texas. She went on to receive her Master of Arts in English at Lamar University in 1989. Toward the end of a thirty year teaching career, she taught at Lamar University and then finally, Monsignor Kelly High School. To this day, her students tell stories of their time in her English classes, including a weekly writing assignment from the New Yorker magazine, a curriculum she created.

Mildred was known for her irreverent and sharp wit, gift of playing the piano by ear, watercolor paintings, singing in the Choir, putting on a play at the local theatre, being an ear to those in need, leading book clubs, her unconditional love and her generous, forgiving heart. She lavished these gifts on her two children Grace and Ben; she raised her children in Jasper and Beaumont and she would often refer to them as her greatest achievements.

In retirement, Mildred followed her children, some friends and family to Austin, Texas, where she spent countless hours volunteering with a hospice home, Christopher House, sitting with hospice patients, talking about their lives and helping them find peace in their final days. She also formed her own tutoring company, “Put it in Writing”, helping college students with English assignments and papers.

Mildred is survived by her daughter, Grace Nichols of Beaumont, Texas; son, Ben Elmore of Houston, Texas, Sisters, Rebecca Tonahill of Houston, Texas; Susie Tonahill Hile and husband, Richard of Austin, Texas; Anne Tonahill Smith of Jasper, Texas; brothers Howard Smith Tonahill and wife Donna of Austin, Texas and Joe Tonahill, Jr. of Boulder, Colorado. She is also survived by her pride and joy, grandchildren, Elizabeth Addison Elmore, Jake Tonahill Elmore and Joe Isaac Nichols. Mildred leaves behind her beloved cousins, nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews, and her godson, all of whom she was quite proud.

Special thanks to Joje Frantz and Myraflor Morrisett for their devotion and loving care of Mildred in her final days at her home in Beaumont.

A memorial service is being held on 1:00 p.m. on Friday, October 9, 2020 at Broussard’s, 2000 McFaddin St. Beaumont, TX 77701. In light of COVID concerns and social distancing guidelines, please join the family REMOTELY for the service through ZOOM. At a later date her family will bury her cremated body in Little Georgetown Cemetery in Broad Run, Virginia.

Memorial contributions are suggested to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 680 Calder Avenue, Beaumont, Texas 77701 or Hospice Austin’s Christopher House, 2820 E. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Austin, Texas 78702.

The video may be viewed here: 
Password: Elmore


Memorial Service
Broussard's Mortuary - McFaddin Ave.
2000 Mcfaddin Avenue Beaumont, TX 77701
Friday, October 09, 2020
1:00 p.m. with a reception to follow
Broussard's Crematorium
5150 Stivers Street Beaumont, TX 77705

Comments (23)

  • Detrick Mays

    29 October 2020 at 00:48 | #

    Rest In Peace Ms.Mildred I enjoyed the few years that’s I was around you ..learned so many good things from you ..prayers for the you always Ms.Mildred


  • Faye Solly Buteaud,, Jasper, TX

    12 October 2020 at 19:03 | #

    I enjoyed sharing rides to Lamar University w/Mildred when we were both studying English there . Also, I recall that she picked me up for lunch on the day Pres. JFK was assassinated to tell me about the tragedy. Then ironically, her Dad, Joe Tonahill, went on to represent Jack Ruby. Mildred was a great friend that I really looked up to and will miss so much. Condolences to all her family In their great loss.✝️


  • Donita Templeton

    10 October 2020 at 15:08 | #

    Grace I'm so sorry to hear the passing of your mom. If there is anything Tony or I can do please don't hesitate to let us know. Comfort for you and your family in the days to come.


  • Joje Frantz

    09 October 2020 at 19:58 | #

    I have only known Ms Mildred for a short time taking care of her on the final stage of her life. Although it was only for a few months but it was remarkable, she would order her favorite fried chicken,seafood from Floyd's,Mexican food,English muffins with lots of butter and her favorite Strawberry Boost.I always look forward for 7PM, my shift. We have a blast watching those movies and TV shows that I didn't know existed. I also learned a lot of life lessons from her. I don't want her to go but I also don't want to see her in pain,I talked to her before she left this Earth and I said "Ms Mildred, you met your QUOTA,so you can go ahead ang see JESUS".. I think she heard me and finally went to rest after couple hours.Ms Mildred, You may have left this world but your LEGACY lives on FOREVER


    • Joje Frantz

      09 October 2020 at 20:33 | #

      And she knows that her children Grace and Ben are successful in their chosen fields and the grandchildren are taken care of, so she was at peace.WHAT A NICE FAMILY and Lest we forget, COKE ADDS LIFE! HAVE A COKE AND A SMILE!!!


  • Corrie Coco Woody

    09 October 2020 at 16:46 | #

    I absolutely loved the video tribute to your beautiful Mom. Mildred had such a way with words and was always ready for a laugh. Prayers and love sent to your families during this most difficult time.


  • Celia Crittenden

    09 October 2020 at 15:21 | #

    I just watched the video of her life and was so moved. Heaven has a new teacher and piano
    player and friend. We will all miss her and Grace and Ben-I am really thinking about you. But what wonderful memories you have of this fine human being.


  • Jean Moncla

    09 October 2020 at 13:58 | #

    What a special and kind lady! Mildred will be missed by all. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.


  • Denise Owen

    09 October 2020 at 01:49 | #

    Mildred blessed my life in so many ways. She loved the Lord and had a deep desire to understand Him more in the later years of her life. I am honored that we could share our relationships with Christ while sharing Chicken Salad on a “Croissant” roll around her dining table.. ( the Croissant was her request) of course! . Prayers to her family. I know she Rest In Peace.


  • Mark Sparks

    08 October 2020 at 07:26 | #

    I grew up with Miss Elmore since I went to school with Grace and Ben. What an extraordinary human being. First, what a keen intellect. Second, what an amazing sense of humor. Third, what a formidable mother who raised two awesome kids. And fourth, what humility. It wasn’t until college that we were all together one Christmas Eve that I learned she was so musically talented, you could name a song and she could just play it on the piano—beautifully. Where is keen humble intellect today in our leaders and on social media? Where is this humble talent in today’s world? For Miss a Elmore, it was importantly spent not selfishly or hastily, but quietly with her two awesome kids as she raised them to be two of the most wonderful people I know—smart, funny, humble, talented. Now I just wonder where Grace and Ben got all that from...Rest In Peace, Miss Elmore—you definitely raised the bar.


  • Mary Kathryn Sims Woods

    06 October 2020 at 22:17 | #

    Mildred was a suite mate to me and Mary Neil Bailey during summer college semesters at Lamar right after I graduated from high school. She was such a sweet person and took us under her wings to show us the ropes and help us in whatever way she could.. When my daughter was in high school in Jasper, she insisted on taking French instead of Spanish because she loved Mrs. Elmore, and I understood why.


  • Robert Dies

    06 October 2020 at 20:57 | #

    To the Tonahill family I give my thanks for having known Mildred we enjoyed our visits and our love of books.Prayers to all of you.



    06 October 2020 at 16:06 | #

    Lots of great memories about Mildred, Jasper High School, and the big house on Wheeler Street.


  • Frances Adams Thomas

    06 October 2020 at 14:04 | #

    Condolences in the passing of Mildred. She was a lifelong friend. Peace to her family!


  • Jimmie Jay Jackson

    04 October 2020 at 23:21 | #

    Grace and Ben, I am so sorry for the loss of your Mother.   You and your children were her world.  She was a wonderful mother and grandmother. I admired her whit and intelligence.  Know you are in my thoughts and prayers.


  • Mary Lester Zeigler

    04 October 2020 at 19:24 | #

    I am saddened to learn about Mildred. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. She was always such a fun person. My memories of her from JHS are priceless.


  • Mary Oxford Englander

    04 October 2020 at 00:04 | #

    To Grace and Ben, I am so sorry for your ( and really ALL of our loss.) your Mother’s wit, courage, straight forward ness, musical talents were all blessings in our lives. What a wonderful person she was to talk to. She blessed us all.


  • Kathy D Munger

    03 October 2020 at 23:32 | #

    To Grace, Ben and the Tonahill Family,,
    My thoughts and prayers are with each of you in remembrance of a smart, exceptionally devoted mother and teacher whose love of literature was an inspiration to the purer, long-lasting things of this world. Love, Kathy


  • Carol Hahn

    03 October 2020 at 14:47 | #

    Mildred and I met at Lamar University as University of Texas expats and became room mates for the rest of the year and summer! We had such fun and I give her credit for me marrying my husband of 54 years! She had the driest wit and was a wonderful person!


  • Sharon & Johnny Passmore

    03 October 2020 at 03:55 | #

    Sweet Sweet lady!!! We have only lived across the street on the corner fir 2 yrs... whenI would be outside working in the yard she would pass by in the car with her caregiver & tell me know honey don’t get too hot or your yard is looking so pretty! Bless her & prayers for her family. Sincerely Sharon & Johnny


  • Heather (Sokol) Morris

    02 October 2020 at 12:57 | #

    Ms Elmore was one of the best teacher I was blessed to have. She was my senior English teacher . She always got us through even the toughest ligature assignments ...example Baowolf ...she worked with us and gave us understanding. She spoke about her family often with much love and admiration. This word is going to miss such a great person.


  • Kathleen Brennan

    02 October 2020 at 00:50 | #

    One of the most beautiful and intelligent women I have ever known.. Although, I haven’t seen her for awhile , she will always be in my heart.
    Rest In Peace my dear friend.


  • Charlie Coco

    01 October 2020 at 22:11 | #

    Grace and Ben and to all the Tonahill family, we are so sad today to learn of Mildred’s passing. Her wit and humor always brought a smile to my face and the laughs we shared are memory’s that I will cherish always. Prayers to all of you,
    Charlie Coco and family.


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