Jala Adrena Minnfee’ s life journey began May 3, 1979, at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. She was the first born to the late SMSgt (ret) Lynx Minnfee, and Jo Ann Franks Minnfee. They were so excited when they heard the doctor say, “It’s a girl.” Throughout the years as her body and mind matured, Jala grew into a beautiful young woman both physically and spiritually.
Having been born into a Christian family, Jala loved the Lord and accepted Christ as her personal Savior at the age of six (6) at the New Light Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. A. G. Stewart. She was active in the Youth Department serving on Usher Board #6, Drill Team, and sung in the Youth Choir. Jala was a Sunday School scholar and enjoyed Training Union where she learned scripture and developed her oratory skills. She enjoyed attending the American Baptist State Youth Conventions and often was elected as a Delegate.
In 1998, she became a Charter Member of New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church and continued to faithfully serve in the Youth, Young Adult and various other ministries. Because of her oratorical skills, she was often asked to participate on numerous Church programs.
Jala completed her primary and secondary education in the Northeast ISD graduating from James Madison High School. Jala’s parents emphasized two things in their household: education and strong work ethics. They reminded their daughters that education is the basic prerequisite for everything that they desired to do. Getting a high school diploma was not enough for Jala. She attended St. Phillips College earning an Associate in Liberal Arts & History Degree; The University of Texas San Antonio earning a Bachelor of Speech Communication Degree; and Brightwood College completing the Pharmacy Technician Program. Before her death, Jala was accepted into a post graduate program that would lead to a Master’s Degree in Political Science.
There is a familiar quote that says, “when life hands you a lemon, make Lemonade.” Despite her health issues, Jala was not content just sitting at home. Jala understood what JoAnn told her “No one defines who you are and what you can do.” The strong work ethic that was instilled in Jala gave her an I can-do attitude. She faced her life’s challenges by going out and finding employment. She was like the little train that could. She worked as a Substitute Teacher for the IDEA Public Schools, as a Teacher’s Assistant at the JAJ Academics and Kids R Fun Daycare. She did her Pharmacy Tech Internships at CVS and Walgreen Companies. While an undergraduate student at St. Philips College, Jala volunteered in the office of City Councilman Mario Salas. Each of her jobs gave her a new challenge that enabled her to increase her knowledge and her skills.
Jala had a passion for her community and always felt it was her civic duty to serve others and to do good. Jala was an active member of Zeta Amicae of San Antonio and participated in numerous social action activities. Jala was an active member of the Black Student Education Network at the University of Texas San Antonio.
Never satisfied with being a passive participant in community affairs, Jala felt a need to respond actively by addressing the social needs of San Antonio. In Jala’s own words, “I established Defeat Hate with Unity, because I saw how young black and brown men, women and children were being racially profiled and murdered by police. I wanted to do something about it.” For Jala, standing by the sidelines was not an option. Jala hosted a series of Forums established in various parts of the city where the participants and speakers included community activist and leaders, judges, educators, and State Representative.
PARENTING FIRST PRIORTIY
Like her dad, Jala was a laid-back person who enjoyed her family and being a good parent to Joshua. Jala never complained about her health. She took everything in stride and kept the Faith in knowing that God was in control.
Jala enjoyed the successes of many educational and professional accomplishments. But none can match her greatest personal accomplishment, and that was raising her son, her pride and joy, her gift from God, Master Joshua Elijah Minnfee-Morgan. Wherever you saw Jala, whether working in the community, or other activities, you saw Joshua. Jala encouraged Josh to do his absolute best in school. She supported him at his football practices and games and even volunteered and worked the Concession Stands and any other place where she was assigned. She supported Josh’s other interests which included the Library, Morgan’s Wonderland, Six Flags Over Texas, the Children’s Museum, Urban Air, and his favorite, swinging at the local park. Jala worked to expose Joshua to what she had been exposed to. She wanted him to know and see the world as she had. For Jala, Joshua valuing education, understanding that all people had worth and knowing that he must make the world better, would be a priority. More importantly, Jala took her son to Sunday School and Worship Services. Josh attended Bible School and participated in the Easter, and Christmas Programs for Jala obeyed the scripture of Proverbs 22:6 (KJV) which says: “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
On the morning of Monday, August 9, 2021, Jala asked her mom to call the EMS - The Everlasting Merciful Savior heard her call. That evening, Jala was moved from the Emergency Room to ICU (Intensive Care Unit). Unknown to us, it would be the Inspirational Calming Upper Room where she would complete life’s journey. The Master Physician was on Duty – the one who told her “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:3) in a land where there is no more medication, no more eye appointments, no more podiatry appointments, no more vascular appointments, no more Dialysis, and no more pain. Written on the assignment board in her room was:
Patient: Jala Adrena Minnfee
Discharged: Healed by the Blood of the Lamb of God! You are in my care!
Follow-up: Not needed covered by the Blood of the Lamb of God!
Embracing Jala’s Arrival
Loved ones who preceded her in death are her father, Lynx Minnfee, maternal grandparents, Mr. & Mrs. E. J. (Adrena) Franks, Paternal grandparents, Mr. & Mrs. Lenex (Nellie) Woodson, Godparents, Mr. & Mrs. Earl (Barbara) Young, and God Brother, Joshua Luke Bedford.
Cherishing Jala’s precious memories are her loving son, Joshua Elijah Minnfee-Morgan; her devoted Mother, Jo Ann Franks Minnfee and her attentive sister: Renee’ Lyn Minnfee: sister: Marchelia Minnfee Hallmon (Chester); Aunt, Nealie Briggs – Memphis, Texas. Also, cherishing Jala’s memories are nieces, God sisters, and a host of other relatives and friends.
There is now a hush in our hearts as we have gathered to pay our respects to the memory of one whose full life was ended when she was called to join that Heavenly Caravan.
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