Jesse Joe Contreras

Jesse Joe Contreras, 78, passed away on Friday, December 30, 2022, in Taylor Lake Village, Texas.  He was born on November 10, 1944, in San Marcos, Texas; the third son of Alfonso Contreras and Lucia Garza Contreras.

Jesse is survived by his wife of 52 years, Diana Gonzalez Contreras, his son, Christopher Contreras, his daughter, Vanessa Matallana and his son-in-law, Cesar Matallana. He is also survived by twin granddaughters, Isabella and Mya Contreras, grandson, Evan Matallana and step grandsons Jonathan Matallana and Tristan Matallana. Jesse’s surviving siblings are sister, Linda Gutierrez, brothers, Al, John, and Charles Contreras. He was preceded in death by his, parents and brothers Edward and George Contreras.

Jesse was a 1963 graduate of San Marcos High School where he excelled and lettered in several sports. Jesse earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Physics from Texas State University, a Master of Science in Mathematics and Physics from Texas A&M Kingsville, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston Clear Lake.

Jesse’s career at NASA’s Johnson Space Center spanned 36 years. While at NASA he was selected as a fellowship recipient and attended Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Business. During his early years at NASA, Jesse worked several positions as a Systems Engineer primarily with the Space Shuttle. Later in his career he was Program Control Manager for Space and Life Science and when he retired in December 2010, he was division Chief Manager of the Cost Estimating Office.

Jesse had a passion for family, especially his grandchildren. He was active in every aspect of their lives especially sports and academics. You would find him at all his grandchildren’s sporting events and academic achievement awards programs. Most vacations taken by the Contreras/Matallana families usually included every family member.

Jesse will be sorely missed as he left a footprint in so many people’s lives.

On Friday, January 6, 2023, at 1:00 pm a Funeral Mass will be held at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, 18223 Point Lookout Drive, Nassau Bay, TX 77058. Those wishing to make a memorial donation in Jesse’s memory may do so to: Shriner’s Children’s Hospital, Donor Development suite 523, 815 Market Street, Galveston, TX 77539.


  1. Love you, Mr Contreras. Truly one of the greatest men I ever met.

  2. Diana, you and all of your family are in my prayers. I am so sorry for your loss.

    Robin Glines
  3. Jesse my friend,primo ill miss you but will never forget the good times in Corpus helping you n Diana move We love you n until we meet again, I will always cherish the wooden pony you made for my son which was passed on to Little Noe.

    Noe v Garcia
  4. So sorry to hear of Jessie’s passing. He was so very supportive of his kids and their endeavors. The world will miss this man.

    Jerry C Hampton
  5. My deepest condolences on the passing of your dear husband, father and grandfather. Dear cousin, know that you and your family are in my prayers as you navigate life without Jesse.

    Love Always,
    Selma and Julian Gonzalez

    Selma Gonzalez
  6. Diana,Chris,and Vanessa.
    I really feel so Sad,for this lost,my prayers and my heart are with You!
    I hope God send You relief.

    Sincerely Yours:

    Francisco Escobedo
  7. Vanessa, We are so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in our prayers. May his beautiful memories bring you peace. May God be with you.
    Sending all our love,
    Lanie & Fred Vervaet

    Rachael & Fred Vervaet
  8. Our heartfelt condolences to our dear Contreras Family knowing your pain. The light Jesse brought into the world will always remain in the hearts of everyone He knew and love most. He will never be forgotten and his legacy will leave on. Much love to all of you.

    Matallana Family
  9. Diana. I still remember your wedding day and that era of history. Together you and Jesse succeeded in a tough life and raised a beautiful loving family. Your children and grandchildren will continue to love and honor Jesse, as they too follow your lead. Jesse will live through his legacy.

    Lee, Annabel, Lee Aaron and Annemarie Canales
  10. Dear Mrs. Contreras & Family –

    I am very sorry to hear about your loss. Our heartfelt sympathies are with you and your family. Know someone so special will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers.

    Paula Cashion (Skelly) & Family

    Paula Cashion
  11. Diana you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. We have some great memories from our NASA times that lives on. Much love.
    Izella and LD Dornell

    Izella Dornell
  12. I got to know Mr Jesse thru his grandson Evan, as he was on our baseball team. He was a kind man and truely was at every practice and game. He will be missed.

    Patrick Bellene
  13. Our deepest condolences to your families. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    J. Frank Dobie Booster Club,
    Lan, Angie, and Angelica

    J. Frank Dobie Booster Club
  14. In 1974 our family was blessed to have Jesse and Diana move into the house across the street. Always caring and kind, Jesse and Diana watched over my parents as they aged and helped them often in many thoughtful ways. This type of loving kindness and support is a comfort that can’t be measured. For one example: every single morning Jesse would bring my parents their newspaper up to their front porch and set it upright, so that they wouldn’t have to bend down to pick it up. While most of us did not, Jesse spent time talking to his neighbors. He kept us all informed when a neighbor experienced a life event that we should know about. This gave us the opportunity to help each other and kept us connected. Jesse and Diana, as always, were there for us when my parents died, and in 2019 my husband and I moved back into the home across the street from them. The Bible says, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” and Jesse lived it. We will miss him deeply. Jesse was one of the finest people that I have ever known. ~Ann Brunkow Cook

    Ann Cook
  15. Dearest Diana, Chris, Vanessa and grandchildren. What wonderful memories you must have accumulated by having this , very special, husband, father, grandfather in your lives! I will always remember Jesse as a caring, intelligent mild mannered man. You now have your very special Saint in heaven! Still there for you, only whole and more powerful in his prayers. I love all of you!

    Irene González Rosales
  16. I am so sorry to see that my good friend Jesse has passed. I knew him as a friend, fellow NASA employee, hard worker, and great guy. It was my privilege to have worked with him for several years. I know he retired from NASA some years ago; now he has been promoted to God kingdom. Well deserved, old friend. I look forward to joining you when God sees fit.

    Billy Pratt
  17. Jesse’s passing was a real blow to all who knew and loved him, myself included. Jesse was my second boss at NASA back in 1990, and he became a very dear friend over these 3+ decades. He and Diana (and Christopher and Vanessa) were so giving and sharing with me as my family didn’t know anyone in Texas outside of work at that time. Jesse was such a good role model for me as I grew into becoming a leader myself, and so always willing to meet when I needed a “sounding board” even long after he retired. He was a rare breed, and leaves a shining legacy to which all of us should aspire.

    Mike Read

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