Longtime ETX businessman, former state rep dies - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Longtime ETX businessman, former state rep dies

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Jimmy Earl Mankins (Source: Rader Funeral Home) Jimmy Earl Mankins (Source: Rader Funeral Home)

A longtime East Texas businessman and former state representative died on Tuesday.

Jimmy Earl Mankins Sr. died in Longview. He was 87. Mankins was a longtime trucking operator and former member of the Texas legislature where he served five terms as a state representative.

According to his obituary, Mankins was born in Electra on February 9, 1926. He moved to Kilgore at the age of five. After graduating from Kilgore High School, he attended Texas A&M University but interrupted his education to join the military in 1944. He served in the United States Army Air Force as a tail gunner during World War II. 

After the war, he earned his associate of arts degree from Kilgore College in 1948. It was at Kilgore College that he met and married Virginia Henley. He completed his education at North Texas State University with a bachelor of business administration in 1950.

Mankins began his political career as a City Commissioner of Kilgore in mid 1960's. In 1974, Mankins was elected to the Texas House of Representatives serving Gregg County for five terms. As a legislator, Mankins was appointed to the House Committee on Energy Resources and House Committee on Transportation serving as Chairman of various sub-committees. In 1977-78, he was Chairman of Appropriative Matters on Transportation. In 1979-80, he served as Chairman of Employment Practices Committee as well as member of the Transportation Committee and in 1983 served on the Transportation Committee, Business and Commerce Committee and Local and Consent Calendar Committee as Vice-chairman.

Mankins is survived by his wife Virginia and five children. The family will receive friends at Rader Funeral Home on Thursday from 6-7:30 p.m. Services will be held on Friday at 10 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Kilgore.

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