Maria Emma Nunn

Maria Emma Nunn
August 7, 1940 - December 27, 2020

Maria Emma Nunn passed away at the age of 80 on December 27, 2020 in Tyler, Texas.
Maria Emma Nunn was born August 7, 1940 in Linares, Nuevo León, México to the late Alfonso de la Fuente and Elvira Raquel Valencia de la Fuente. She had been a resident of Tyler for 58 years where she pursued her passion for teaching for 44 years.
Emma Nunn was a driving force in breaking down the language barrier in East Texas. After finishing high school in México in 1956, she moved with her family to Mercedes, Texas, where she was put in the fifth grade at age 15 because she didn’t know English. By the time she reached eighth grade, she was 18 and her teacher suggested she skip grades. Soon after, she married Rex Clinton Nunn, Sr. on June 10th of 1961. They moved to Tyler, where she graduated from John Tyler High School in 1962. She then attended Tyler Junior College for two years and later Stephen F. Austin State University where she obtained a Bachelor's degree in 1966 and Master's Degree in 1967 majoring in Spanish and History. Mrs. Nunn also attended the University of Texas at Tyler where she obtained her Bilingual and English as a Second Language Certifications. She taught at Lon Morris College, Robert E. Lee High School, Grand Saline High School, Texas College, Stewart Middle School, John Tyler High School, East Texas Christian Academy, Tyler Junior College, Kilgore Junior College, and The University of Texas at Tyler.
Emma enjoyed planning and chaperoning student trips to foreign countries such as Spain, Italy, France and Mexico. She also traveled with students to Washington D.C.
She was instrumental in organizing Cinco de Mayo celebrations throughout East Texas. Particular loves of hers were the dancers and the mariachi bands.
Mrs. Nunn taught hundreds of adults English literacy, US history, and government to pass the Immigration and Naturalization Service exam.
She served the community as a translator for various churches, hospitals, and civic organizations.
Some Honors and awards she received include:
*Outstanding Educator of America, 1975
*Appointed by the Commissioner of Education to the State Board of Examiners for Teacher Education for two terms, 1976-1978 and 1978-1980.
*Teacher of the Year at John Tyler High School, 1988-1989
*Texas Excellence Award for Outstanding High School Teachers, 1990
*Women Who Inspire, City of Tyler 2005
*Women Changing the World, Texas College 2008
Survivors include her husband of 59 years, Rex Clinton Nunn, Sr. of Tyler; children, Rex Clinton Nunn, Jr. and wife Almira, René Carl Nunn and wife Jamie, Rachael Christine Blackstone and husband Jeff; six grandchildren, Maigen Parham and husband Ryan, Carly Nunn, Carter Blackstone, Jade Nunn, Tanner Nunn, and Sapphire Nunn; and three great-grandchildren, Madeline Parham, Ryleigh Parham, and Michael Parham.
In lieu of flowers and to honor her, the family requests that donations be made to the Tyler ISD Foundation to the Maria Emma Nunn Memorial Scholarship by using this link Donations can also be made by check made out to and mailed to The Tyler ISD Foundation at 807 W. Glenwood Blvd. Tyler, TX 75701.
A graveside service will be held for Maria Emma Nunn at 12:00 pm Noon on Saturday, January 2, 2021 at Mt. Sylvan Cemetery on Hwy 110. Visitation will be held at Hilliard Funeral Home in Van on Friday evening, January 1, 2021 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.