Cover photo for Tommie Jewell's Obituary
Tommie Jewell Profile Photo
1925 Tommie 2024

Tommie Jewell

February 23, 1925 — March 28, 2024


On March 28, 2024, the Jewell family lost its beloved patriarch, Tommie, at the age of 99. In addition to his presence as a stoic and supportive role model for his family, his legacy includes the thousands of students he reached in the course of more than seven decades spent as a public school teacher. Though often recognized for his indefatigable commitment to social events and community improvement, his children and grandchildren were always happy to see him relax, put his feet up in a recliner, and watch a football game. 


Tommie was born on February 23, 1925, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His family moved to Arizona to treat his mother’s tuberculosis and remained in the state after her death in 1928. He served in the Army from August 1944 to August 1946, and his tour of duty included a stint in the Pacific theater, where he won a medal for good conduct.



While at Phoenix College he joined OMEGA PSI PHI Fraternity Inc. through Alpha Epsilon chapter on February 28, 1948 and went on to became life member 1228 of the Fraternity. He is the chaplain emeritus of Nu Rho chapter of the Fraternity. 


He later received his bachelor’s degree at the University of Arizona in Tucson where he met Bobbie Dees in an art class. Bobbie would later say Tommie copied her class assignment and got a better grade. They were married on Christmas Day, 1952. Throughout their 56 years of marriage Tommie and Bobbie loved to dance and particularly loved swing. Even at the age of 97 Tommie could still be found on the dance floor at events. He played the piano and the harmonica, inspiring multiple generations of his family with his love of music.


After finishing his degree, he found his first teaching job at the all black, Dunbar School in Tucson, Arizona and later completed his Masters of Education at University of New Mexico. At Bobbie’s suggestion, Tommie applied for a job at the Albuquerque Indian School, and in 1954, the family relocated to New Mexico. In the early 1960s, the family joined the congregation at La Mesa Presbyterian Church for the warm, welcoming atmosphere. He would go on to serve as an elder and deacon in church leadership and was a longtime member of the choir. In 1971, the family moved from Vermont street in the all black east end addition to a house they built on nearby Utah St. in Albuquerque’s International District. Tommie would continue living in the home for the rest of his life. He was a founder of the La Mesa Community Improvement Association, and in honor of their efforts Bobbie and Tommie had a community room named after them in the International District Library in 2022.


Tommie spent nearly four decades as a substitute for Albuquerque Public Schools. Working tirelessly until his retirement in 2019, he was a regular face in classrooms around the city well into the 21st century, often teaching multiple generations of local families. His final years were spent continuing to worship at La Mesa services, attend Omega meetings, and enjoy life—especially chocolate ice cream—in close companionship with his children. 


He was predeceased by his wife Bobbie in 2009 and granddaughter Saundra White in 2020.   He is survived by his sister-in-law, Earmond Hinson and her children; Jonathan Williams (and wife Christine), Jackie Matthews, Doris Harrison, and their family members, children; Mattie Coleman-Hopkins, Tommy Jewell (and wife Angela), and; Michelle Jewell Hayden, grandchildren Kevin Hopkins, Taja Jewell, Thomas Jewell (and wife Brittany), Erin Vanderhoof (and husband Max), and Dennis Hayden Jr;  great-grandchildren Corey Hawkins, Katrina Bailey (and husband D’Angelo), Markita Taylor, Brittany Taylor, Devin Hopkins, Ian Jones, Skyler Jones, Chase Christmon, Ryland Washington, and the family’s newest addition, Emery Jewell who arrived on March 17, just in time for Tommie to see her first photograph and great-great grandchildren Kamdon Taylor, Jimmy Bailey, and Noveanna Taylor. 


He is also survived by a large and tight-knit extended family, and an innumerable group of former students, friends, and community members who will miss him dearly.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Tommie Jewell, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, April 5, 2024

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Mountain time)


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Funeral Service

Saturday, April 6, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Mountain time)

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Monday, April 8, 2024

10:30 - 11:30 am (Mountain time)

Santa Fe National Cemetery

501 N Guadalupe St, Santa Fe, NM 87501

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