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Funeral Set Wednesday, June 22nd for Jake Pickle

By J. Lyn Carl, GalleryWatch.com

Austin, TX –

Memorial service for former Congressman J.J. "Jake" Pickle of Austin will be at 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 22, at the First United Methodist Church, 1201 Lavaca. Pickle died Saturday morning in Austin. A private burial service at the Texas State Cemetery will follow.

Following is the obituary for the longtime Austin public servant as listed on the Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home web site:

James Jarrell "Jake" Pickle died on Saturday, June 18, 2005, following a lifetime of service to the people of Texas.

Jake was born in 1913 in Roscoe, Texas, and grew up in Big Spring. His parents were Mary Duke and Joseph Binford Pickle, former school teachers who prized education, hard work and honesty, and instilled those values in their five children.

In 1932, Jake moved to Austin to attend the University of Texas. While at the University, he was elected Student Body President, acquiring a lifelong taste for politics. After graduation, he went to work for the National Youth Administration until he was commissioned in the United States Navy in 1942. That same year, he married Ella Nora "Sugar" Critz. After four years' service in the South Pacific, Lieutenant Pickle returned to Austin, and in 1945, co-founded radio station KVET with seven other World War II veterans. Sugar and Jake's daughter, Peggy, was born in 1946.

In 1949, Jake left KVET to co-found the public relations and advertising firm of Syers-Pickle & Winn. In 1952, Sugar Pickle died of breast cancer. Throughout the 1950's, Jake served on the State Democratic Executive Committee, including as its Executive Director.

During the 1950's and early 1960's, Jake participated in or managed the political campaigns of many state and national officials, including Meade Griffin, Lyndon Johnson, Price Daniel, Allen Shivers and John Connally. In 1960, he was appointed by Texas Governor Price Daniel to serve on the Texas Employment Commission.

In 1960, Jake married Beryl Bolton McCarroll, a widow with two teenage sons, Dick and Graham. In 1963, when U.S. Representative Homer Thornberry resigned to accept a Federal judgeship, Jake ran for his Congressional seat. In 1963, Texas' 10th Congressional District consisted of ten counties; Jake campaigned so vigorously that he lost 25 pounds. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 1963 and sworn into office on Christmas Eve 1963.

For the next 32 years, Jake represented Texas' 10th Congressional District, spearheading Central Texas' transformation into one of the high-tech capitals of America. As an ardent Democrat and member of President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society, Jake was involved in the major legislative and social reforms of late 20th century America. He was one of only six Southern congressmen to vote for the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and often referred to that vote as the one of which he was most proud.

Jake was a loyal protector of "my University," making sure the University of Texas was the recipient of favorable tax legislation. Throughout three decades in Washington, he never lost touch with the home folks, returning to Austin weekly, and during political campaigns - which he loved - two or three times a week. Because of the frequency with which Jake traveled, whichever airline he flew was dubbed "the Pickle Special." While in Congress, Jake served on the Social Security Subcommittee and the powerful Ways and Means Committee.

Jake retired from Congress in 1995. And yet he never really retired - he served on the Mayor's Advisory Committee on Bergstrom and dozens of other projects. He lent his name and fund raising capacities to many Central Texas charities. Almost daily, he and Beryl continued to receive calls from former constituents, and whenever possible Jake continued to help them.

He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Beryl, his daughter, Peggy Pickle and her husband, Donald Cook; stepsons Dick McCarroll and his wife, Missy, and Graham McCarroll and his wife, Marsha; his brother, Joe Pickle; his sister, Judith Pickle Lancaster and her husband, Jonathan; six grandchildren: Bennett McCarroll, Bergan Casey, Todd Mack, Christine McCarroll, Matthew Jake McCarroll and Bradley McCarroll; four great-granddaughters, Ferrell Mack, Katherine McCarroll, Maggie McCarroll, Peyton Critz Casey, and a loving extended family.

He is predeceased by his first wife and sisters Jeanette Pickle Bailey and Janice Pickle Harris.

During his lifetime Jake received many awards, including Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Texas, the Meals on Wheels Community Keepsake Award, the Austin Board of Realtors Most Worthy Citizen Award, the Austin Chamber of Commerce Austinite of the Year Award, and the Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. Named in his honor are the J.J. "Jake" Pickle Research Center, The J.J. "Jake" Pickle Federal Building, the J.J. "Jake" Pickle Elementary School, and the Pickle Runway at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

In October 2003, Jake became the third of his siblings to celebrate a 90th birthday. Family and friends from all over the country traveled to Austin for a reunion. Many "Pickle stories" were retold, and Jake did what he loved best - work the crowd.

Jake was a Texas legend and a work horse, but what his family and friends loved most about him was his humor, decency, enthusiasm for life and sweet nature.

His body will lie in state beginning at 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 21st, 2005 at Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home.

A memorial service will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 at the First United Methodist Church, 1201 Lavaca. Interment at the Texas State Cemetery will be private.

Memorial contributions may be made to the J.J. "Jake" Pickle Chair in Congressional Studies: (512) 471-5424; Hospice Austin: (512) 342-4700; or The Choice Project, Planned Parenthood of Austin (512) 275-0171.