Obituary of Jimmie Gene Choate
Jimmie is affectionately known as Odie, a name given to him by one of his grandchildren. He began his life’s journey on April, 6, 1931 at his grandfather’s farm in Milam, Texas. He spent his childhood pedaling watermelons and plowing the fields with a mule and Georgia stock. He married Marilyn in 1949 and cut pulp wood with a cross cut saw until the early fifties.
He moved to Beaumont and began working at Mcintosh Marine Service company as an apprentice electrician. He worked his way up to motor shop foreman. During this time, he completed an International Correspondence course in electrical engineering. He began running the outside service department in addition to the motor shop, performing electrical troubleshooting, engineering, manufacturing and installing switchgear and controls globally. It was then where he designed, manufactured and installed the controls for the world’s first self-propelled diesel electric drilling rig.
During the reorganization and renaming of Mcintosh Marine to M & I Electric, he became part owner of the new company. In addition to running the outside service department and motor shop for M & I Electric, he continued electrical troubleshooting, engineering, manufacturing and installing switchgear and controls globally while attending courses at Lamar University.
He left Marine and Industrial Electric in the late seventies to open his own business, International Electrical Systems, Inc. (IES) in Lumberton. IES provided electric motor repair, switchgear manufacturing and troubleshooting globally until his retirement in the early nineties.
He again farmed his grandfather’s farm in Milam, Texas with a tractor rather than a mule until he suffered a heart attack and began farming in his back yard. He also started making some of the best jellies in the state according to those fortunate enough to sample it.
He was an avid freshwater sport fisherman which took him throughout North America many times with his wife and children.
A memorial gathering of family and friends will be held Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Farmer Funeral Home's chapel, located at 415 N. Fourth Street in Silsbee, Texas.
Per his wishes, in lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Human Society of Southeast Texas.