October 30, 1934 - November 14, 2020
Eva Mae Choate Gilson, born on October 30, 1934 in Port Neches, Texas, died peacefully on Saturday, November 14, 2020, in Corpus Christi, Texas on a quiet morning. She is predeceased by her parents, Reynold Choate and Annie Rapstain Choate Daigle Breaux. She fought courageously since July 23, 2018 when her health suddenly declined and she went into a coma. Eva awoke from the coma after approximately a week and requested seafood gumbo. Her family was overjoyed. Over the last couple of years, always with the best attitude, Eva survived bouts of pneumonia, debilitating arthritis, kidney failure, sepsis and COVID-19. Despite her tenacious spirit and will to live, in the end she was not able to overcome fractured bones and a severe pressure wound. She made the decision to transition in peace. Eva is survived by her beloved husband and life partner of 67 years, Claude F. Gilson; their children, Gordon C. Gilson, of San Antonio, and Gay E. Gilson, of Corpus Christi, the lights of her life of whom she was immeasurably proud; her daughter-in-law, Tina Gilson, who gave her the greatest gifts, her grandsons, Eric A. Gilson and Michael A. Gilson, a source of immeasurable joy. Eva is survived by her dear sister and best friend, Emma Gean Dossey, and her husband, Don Dossey, of Georgetown, Texas. She is also survived by her grand kitties and bunnies whom she loved. Through the Rapstain lineage, Eva was a descendant of one of the original Polish families to settle in Panna Maria, Texas, which is the oldest Polish settlement in the United States. Also, she was second cousin to Harry Choates who was the "The Godfather of Cajun Music." On a special family Thanksgiving trip in 2007 to Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, the family visited Mulate's. Eva requested that the band play Jole Blon which is known as the "Cajun national anthem" as it was made popular by Harry Choates. Her family enjoyed the music and her grandsons danced. She met the love of her life, Claude, at Lamar University where she earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in 1961. She received her Master's Degree in Education from the University of Houston-Victoria in 1973 where she was one of the first graduates. Eva was a teacher for over 30 years including teaching at Vidor, Victoria High School and Stroman High School. She loved her students and she attended numerous football, basketball and extracurricular events in support of them over the years. Eva had a humble beginning and overcame many obstacles which made her sensitive to others who may have struggles. She always remembered birthdays, babies, graduations and special occasions with a generous heart. She made several turns throughout her life which lead her to meet some very interesting people which held special memories. Eva and Claude were blessed to know football coach Bum Phillips when Claude coached under him at Nederland High School in the 1950s and Eva followed Bum's progress when he coached the Houston Oilers and New Orleans Saints. She was over the moon when she received a note from Wade Phillips when he became the coach of the Dallas Cowboys. In the late 1970s, Sam Jones, who won 10 NBA Championships with the Boston Celtics, made a visit to the Gilson home in Victoria, Texas. In 1984, she and Claude were part of a group that spent an evening with coach Guy Lewis after the University of Houston Cougars won the Southwest Conference Basketball Championship. In her youth, she was very active and loved sports. Her love of sports was life long and, until the end, Eva loved to watch televised games of her favorite teams and you could hear her rooting for the University of Houston Cougars, San Antonio Spurs and Houston Astros. While living in Houston in the early 1970s, Eva worked at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center for Dr. T.C. Hsu who was a pioneer in cell biology. In 1971, Time Magazine published an article on "Dr. Hsu and His Frozen Zoo," suggesting that cloning of endangered mammals from their frozen cells might be a future possibility. Eva transcribed and received many letters and correspondence for Dr. Hsu from all over the world from those working on this project. This experience was very special as she met several interesting people and had the opportunity to learn about different cultures which she shared with her family. Rather than fly, she enjoyed long scenic drives. Some of Eva and Claude's favorite trips included the drive between Ouray to Silverton, Las Vegas, Florida Keys and Key West, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Biltmore Mansion, Ashville, North Carolina, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, Natchitoches, Louisiana, and Ruidoso, New Mexico. We are very grateful for the many years we had with Eva. She had a beautiful voice which will be missed, but she will live forever in our hearts. We celebrate Eva's life as she truly is a blessing. A visitation for family and friends will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 21, 2020 at Levingston Funeral Home in Port Neches with a graveside service to follow at 10:00 a.m. at Oak Bluff Memorial Park.
Eva Mae Choate Gilson, born on October 30, 1934 in Port Neches, Texas, died peacefully on Saturday, November 14, 2020, in Corpus Christi, Texas on a quiet morning. She is predeceased by her parents, Reynold Choate and Annie Rapstain Choate Daigle... View Obituary & Service Information
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