Jonell Cristiani

Jonell Cristiani


Lenore Jonell Cummins Cristiani, 87, of Midland, died peacefully on March 9, 2013 in Katy, Texas.

She was the daughter of Grace Taylor and Elmo Cummins, Sr. and was born July 16, 1925 in Uvalde, Texas. After graduating from high school in Uvalde, she attended The University of Texas and Hardin-Simmons University.

Through her aunt, Adell Vosatko, Jonell met and married Michael Cristiani, who was stationed in the Army in West Texas and worked for Adell at her Midland store, Vosatko’s Jewelry.  Jonell and Michael were married on October 12, 1942 and lived in Midland, where they eventually had four children and opened Cristiani’s Jewelers, located in downtown Midland, which remains there today.

Jonell helped ends meet by working at Lone Star Abstract and Title Company for many years. She was also very involved in Midland Community Theatre, Midland Symphony Guild, Midland Women’s League, and First Baptist Church. She had a passion for playing the piano and singing, inspiring her children and grandchildren to be involved in the musical arts. She also loved to read and to learn, which was manifested in her quick wit and engaging conversations.

Known to many as “Jo,” she was a fiercely loyal mother and she was dedicated to her family. Hosting family dinners and weekend get-aways to their lake house in San Angelo was one of her favorite activities. Her grandchildren, who endearingly called her “Mimi,” recall fond memories of game nights at her home, hot summer days spent by the pool, refreshing with her favorite chocolate malt from Baskin Robbins, and the loving compliance to requests for Mimi to “tickle my back.”

Jonell was preceded in death by her husband, Michael Cristiani, and her parents. She is survived by her brother, Elmo Cummins, Jr., and her children:  David Cristiani and wife, Carlene; Paul Cristiani and wife, Dana; Carole Cristiani and John Cristiani.  She is also survived by her grandchildren: Courtney Varner and husband, Andrew, and Paige Davis and husband Tres, daughters of David and Carlene; Amy and Michael, twins of Paul and Dana; and Alexandra and Juliana, daughters of Carole.

Jonell became a very proud great grandmother on May 2, 2011 to Ava Grace Varner, daughter of Courtney and Andrew.

Other surviving relatives include niece and nephew Chris Cummins and wife, Cindy; Beth Warren and husband, Bud; and numerous great-nieces and great-nephews and their families.

The family appreciates all the loving care Jonell received from various caregivers in Midland and Katy.

There will be a celebration of life gathering in Uvalde during the Cummins annual family reunion, followed by a graveside service in Reagan Wells on the weekend of July 20-21, 2013.

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Memorials may be made to Hospice of Midland or to a charity of your choice.

Of the many songs, rhymes and riddles Jonell shared over the years, we shall not forget that “hearts, like doors, will open with ease to very very little keys… and don’t forget that two of these are ‘I thank you, sir’ and ‘if you please.’”