Joe Ella Bright

On Sunday, September 13, 2020, Joe Ella Bright, loving wife for more than 50 years to Jerry Wayne Bright, passed away at the age of 76. Joe Ella was born in Baltimore, MD on December 24, 1943. She and Jerry together raised two daughters – Angela Smith and Amanda Brownson. She leaves five grandchildren: Jacob, Reid, Regan and Camarin Smith and Sarah Brownson. She also left behind her sister, Martina Rapp, and an uncle, Fred Barnabei.
Joe Ella graduated from Eastern High School in Baltimore and then received her bachelors in business administration from the University of Houston at Clear Lake. She worked for roughly two decades at Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority as a computer programmer/analyst before retiring.
Joe Ella spent much of her time volunteering – she believed in giving back to her community. Whether as a PTA volunteer, room mom, Sunday school teacher, girl scout troop leader, meals on wheels driver, Family Outreach volunteer or Faithful Friends volunteer, most of her “free” time was spent helping others.
She loved her family fiercely. Her strength, wisdom and compassion will be missed terribly by those she leaves behind. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a memorial donation to one of her favorite causes may want to consider the Houston SPCA ( or Doctors Without Borders (


  1. My love to Jerry, Mandie, Angie and families. Joe Ella was wonderful, wise, loving woman and my best friend. She will be so missed.

    Martha Hoffmann
    • JoElla WAS such an amazing friend to you, Martha, and you to her. She was an amazing, brave lady and a true force. I feel lucky to have known her.

      Nancy Stephens
  2. My deepest sympathies. Leaving behind Jerry Bright, Amanda Bright Brownson, Angela Bright Smith, Sarah Brownson, Jacob Smith and others is a legacy and gift to all of us that is as good as it gets. She told me, a year or two ago, that when she died she wanted no fuss or events, and COVID-19 has nearly given her her wish, but Joe Ella Bright will surely be missed. Much love to all her family (and I’m immensely proud to be considered part of this family), Uncle Ed.

    Ed Buckner
  3. We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Mrs. Bright. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Bright, Angela, Amanda, and their families during this difficult time. May you each find the strength you need to carry you through the coming days as well as moments of peace,comfort, and even joy in the memories you shared.

    Cheryl Brueggeman
  4. The Brights were wonderful neighbors. We have missed them since they moved and offer our condolences to Jerry and the rest of the family.

    Barry Brueggeman
  5. Joe Ella was a wonderful person and a very loyal friend. My heart breaks for her family. Sincere condolences.

    Doris Haydon
  6. Jerry,
    Our sincere condolences to you and your family on Joe Ella’s passing. Our prayers are with you during this most difficult time.
    Very truly yours,
    Your neighbors,
    Roy and Patti Kessmann

    Patti Kessmann
  7. I will always smile when I think of Joe Ella. Her love of animals matched mine. She cherished her family and was so proud of them.
    Judythe Miller

    Judythe Miller

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