Kathleen Ryan Jimenez (55), passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family on August 5, 2020 after an intense battle with cancer.
Born in Austin Texas, on January 20, 1965, Kathleen was the daughter of Geoffrey and Mary Nell Ryan. Although she was born in Austin, she very much grew up in Brownsville. She attended Pace High School (Class of ’83) in Brownsville, where she was a State Qualifier Track and Field Star – her high school track and field nickname was the “Ryan Express.” She also ran track for North Texas State University. She graduated from Pan American University (currently UTRGV) earning her Bachelor’s degree in Special Education and her Master’s degree in Education from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Kathleen met and then married the love of her life, Joe Jimenez in the summer of 1985 and it was love at first sight. Joe has stated many times that… “falling in love with Kathleen was easy – and I’m very lucky to have found someone that sparks my soul – and she does just that”!
As an Educator Kathleen started her career at Brownsville ISD. She was an outstanding Administrator and a great employee for the BISD. She also worked at Northside ISD in San Antonio – when the family relocated to San Antonio for some time. When it was time for the family to return to Brownsville; Kathleen rejoined BISD and served as a Supervisor for Special Ed and eventually she became the Director of Special Education for BISD. She also served as Principal for Besteiro Middle School and Garcia Middle School, as well as Administrator for Professional Development and Interim Administrator for Fine Arts. She was a big time BISD Loyalist. Everyone that knows Kathleen, knows she loved her work, she adored the kids at BISD, and was very creative. She really enjoyed working in Fine Arts and felt at home with the Fine Arts Family and was beyond excited to share her arts and crafts talent to help the District. She was a champion for BISD. Standing proud as a BISD product herself – she was a huge advocate for public school education and her beloved Brownsville ISD.
We are so touched and moved by the overwhelming love many of the BISD Family and friends have shared with our family as we deal with this huge void in our lives – we will celebrate Kathleen – because she demanded happiness and excellence. Her heart was pure and perfect – and she will forever impact us as human beings.
Kathleen is preceded in death by her paternal and maternal grandparents and a maternal aunt and uncle. Kathleen is survived by Joe, her loving husband and life partner of 35 years, her children Ryan Jimenez (Sabrina), Kelley Jimenez (Gregory), and Austin Jimenez (Alyssa), as well as her parents Geoff and Mary Nell Ryan and her only sister, Aileen Ryan Abliss and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
More than anything in the world, she loved her family and friends. She was so proud of her kids (Ryan, Kelley and Austin) and how they have grown up to be responsible adults and productive citizens. As you can imagine, she has many friends who loved her and is highly respected as an Educator and as a person. She was so happy to have her BFFs (Monica Rosales & Becky Berletch) always by her side as well as her very close friends – Ida Saenz, Rose Lorenz, and Sue Berlin as well as many other friends including her extended BISD Family.
Throughout their marriage, Kathleen and Joe loved traveling with their family and friends. Kathleen was an avid artist and loved arts and crafts. She was a member of the exclusive “Chingonas” club – of which she enjoyed being a part of very much.
She will be remembered as a great person, an outstanding Administrator and Educator. She was a gentle soul with an enormous heart who was generous, professional, and was a Class Act all the way. More importantly, she was a wonderful wife, mother and daughter and because of that we are all better people.
Due to gathering restrictions, the family will have a private service.
The family will also be producing a virtual memorial and tribute to her so her beloved BISD Family can participate in and appreciate.
In lieu of flowers and memorials; the family will be creating a Go Fund Me account – in Kathleen’s name and honor – with all proceeds benefiting the BISD schools and programs of which she was a part of as well as New Hope Alliance Church in Brownsville. Donations can be made in honor of Kathleen R. Jimenez using this link: