Jo Theresa Morrell Sowell

September 26, 1929 - August 15, 2021

Jo Theresa Morrell Sowell, 91, of China, died Sunday, August 15, 2021, surrounded by her family at Jefferson Nursing Home in Beaumont, Texas. She was born in Beaumont on September 26, 1929, to Mary Culotta and Nunzie Morrell.

As the family’s matriarch, she would be delighted to see her four children, 12 Grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren, and 14 great-great-grandkids, gathered together in these challenging and sad times, remembering her.

Jo’s journey began as she attended St. Anthony High School and married James Sowell on December 16, 1948, and the newlywed couple established their life and home in Southeast Texas.

In Jo’s young life, she enjoyed working at Morrell Bakery alongside her mother and dad in the family business on Wall Street. She attended St. Anthony High School, where she was a drummer in the band. After high school, she met and married the love of her life, James Earl Sowell, and the following year, their first child, Patricia Ann, was born, followed by Rodney Earl, Mike, and Mary Katherine.

A devout Catholic, Jo’s life centered around the family – her family. She was a present mother taking time to attend all her kids’ games, sporting events, and school activities while coaching volleyball at St. Anthony’s Catholic School. With Jo cheering them on, Rodney, Mary, and Mike played basketball and Patricia played volleyball.

As a mother and sister, she was known to have a great sense of humor, enjoyed a good game of dominos and cards, and was a woman who spoke her mind and stubbornly defended her own opinions.

After her kids graduated, she and James moved to the family farm in Huntington, Texas and Jo enjoyed a new job working for a doctor in Lufkin.

She had a passion for life and enjoyed many hobbies, including planning trips with her sister to visit her brothers in Colorado. Jo loved restaurants, weekly card games, dancing, bowling, crabbing, and lazy summer days at the beach.

Jo returned to Beaumont in 1992, where she could enjoy her favorite hobby and pursue a daily life as a Grandma Jo to 12 grandchildren. Jo was the center of the family and never missed an opportunity to attend their birthdays, sporting events, activities, and attended as many Christmas and Thanksgiving meals as she could pack into one day.

A lifetime sports fan, Jo supported her beloved Astros thru the good and bad years and rarely missed an opportunity to watch baseball.

“Grandma Jo is keeping an eye on all of us and waiting for us to meet in Heaven when our time comes.”

Jo Sowell is preceded in death by her parents, Nunzie and Mary Culotta Morrell; her husband, James Sowell; brother, Peter Morrell of Greely, Colorado; and sister, Rosemary Luke of Beaumont.

She is survived by four children, Patricia Sowell Schroeder (Bill); Rodney Sowell (Janice); Mary Sowell Hutson; Mike Sowell (Carrie); 12 grandchildren, Patty Schroeder LeBlanc (Darren); Billy Schroeder (Kim); Chad Schroeder (Amy); Lance Schroeder (Amber); Daina Sowell Cook; Rebecca Sowell Anschutz (Don); Shelly Duke (Tilford); James Sowell (Elizabeth); Justin Sowell (Tracey); Jeanie DuBois (John); Jared Sowell; and Danny Hood (Stephanie).

A gathering of Mrs. Sowell’s family and friends will be from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., Thursday, August 19, 2021, at Broussard’s, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont. A Rosary for Mrs. Sowell will be recited at 9:15 a.m., with a Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated at 10:00 a.m., Friday, August 20, 2021, at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church 245 West Highway 90, China. Her interment will follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Beaumont.

Memorial contributions may be made to Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, P.O. Box 38, China, Texas 77613.

Please observe social distancing guidelines. By attending any public event, you are acknowledging the risk of exposure to the Coronavirus. Please follow the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control:


Download Program

Gathering of Family and Friends

Broussard’s Mortuary Major Dr.
  • 1605, North Major Drive, Beaumont, Texas, 77713,
  • August 19, 2021
  • 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church
  • 245, US 90, China, Texas, 77613,
  • August 20, 2021
  • 9:15 am

Mass of Christian Burial

Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church
  • 245, US 90, China, Texas, 77613,
  • August 20, 2021
  • 10:00 am


Forest Lawn Memorial Park
  • 4955, Pine St, Beaumont, TX, 77703,
  • August 20, 2021

Comments (12)

    Gary Boswell says:

    Sorry for your loss. I know you loved her a lot. God Bless Always and RIP.

    Salvador Culotta says:

    Dear All of Jo Theresa,
    Charles, Olivia, & Joseph all send their prayers and sympathy to Jo Theresa’ family. All of them live in Louisiana and are prevented by doctors’ appointments except Joseph who cannot leave work. They express their sympathy to all of you.
    Father Culotta

    Janet Schroeder says:

    So sorry to hear of your Mom s passing! God bless all of you! She will be missed! Prayers, Bubba and Janet Schroeder

    Charlotte Law says:

    So sorry to hear that Ms. JO has passed. I know that here on earth you mourn her loss, but so happy that she is now with our Lord in heaven. No more pain and suffering.
    Praying for you all!

    David Dewees says:

    Praying for comfort for the family & friends. May God give you strength to overcome the sorrow & remember the memories.

    David Dewees says:

    Praying for comfort for the family & friends. May God give you strength to overcome the sorrow & remember the memories. ????????????????

    Judy radcliff says:

    I know this special lady will be missed by everyone who knew her. Keep those sweet memories of her in your heart and they will give you peace.
    Judy Radcliff.

    Debbie Mobley says:

    Prayers for the family – May God fill your hearts with precious memories of Ms Jo and God’s love. Praying for peace and so sorry for your loss.

    Darla Bean says:

    Patricia,our deeest sympathies to you and Grandma Jo’s family.

    Darla & Dale Bean

    Martha Aucoin says:

    So sorry for your loss.

    Carol derousell says:

    Mary & family..
    Sorry to hear of your mom’s passing..
    Great memories of her when we would
    all be visiting at Rosie & Oscar’s…
    Carol & Doris derousell

    Judi and Ronnie says:

    We are so sorry to hear about your Mother.
    Ms. Jo lead a good life and I know she will
    be missed by all.

    Thought and prayers,

    Judi and Ronnie

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