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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: 

https://www.gofundme.com/f/kathleen-r-jimenez-memorial-fund?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1

  1. August 7, 2020

    I was sorry to hear of kathleen’s passing. She was a kind, wonderful, and outstanding lady. Also, an excellent BISD Administrator. It was an honor to know her. I extend my sincere condolences to Dr. Jimenez and family.

  2. August 8, 2020

    My deepest condolences to Kathleen’s family. I met her when we both attended Russell Elementary a long time ago. She was a sweet girl and good friend. I had not seen her in many, many years, but it’s very apparent she made a huge impact on people, personally and professionally. Rest in peace, Kathleen.

  3. August 8, 2020

    Joe I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers and thoughts are with you, your children, and the family. Kathleen was a remarkable, awesome, sweet, warm person who will be deeply missed. Peace be with you.

  4. August 9, 2020

    My most sincere condolences.

  5. Joe, please accept our sympathies and prayers for you and the family. We are sure your loving wife is resting in God’s tender embrace. We will continue to pray for you and your family. Sister Vianney and I were sharing the other evening and want to share with you that we think Sister Evelyn was there to meet Kathleen. Sister Evelyn will also be around to comfort you. Blessings.

  6. August 9, 2020

    My sincere condolences to the Jimenez family. Rest in peace mrs. Jimenez. God blessed you.
    Tommy B.

  7. August 11, 2020

    To all of Kathleen’s family and friends I send my prayers and love. I was heartbroken to hear of Kathleen’s passing. Kathleen was a student of mine in 3rd grade at Russell Elementary. She was a darling girl. So sweet and kind. She did well in everything she attempted and was very creative. Years later we would see each other occasionally and she would always remember me

    It always warmed my ❤️ to see her. II was so happy that she had become an educator. She will be missed. Love you Kathleen.
    Mrs. Merrill

  8. August 14, 2020

    Kathleen was a great person the times that I did have the opportunity of being around her was always delightful I’m sure that y’all are saddened dearly by her loss my prayers are with y’all and I’m thinking of y’all.May you find peace.

  9. August 14, 2020

    My deepest condolences to Kathleen’s family.
    38 years ago she was a my running partner in cross country at Pace H.S.
    I remember one time Coach Corona said go ahead and run the course, I’ll pick y’all up after a couple of miles! Well, it was more than a couple of miles…when I was ready to give up, she kept me going and vice versa!
    She was a very sweet gal but strong!
    I’m sure she fought hard to make every day, one more day, to enjoy her life with all whom she loved.

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