Roy Vallon Jeffrey


Roy Vallon Jeffrey, 75, gained his wings on February 4, 2021 in Warm Springs Nursing Home in Luling, Texas.

He was born in Luling Hospital on October 28, 1944 to Luther and Reba Jeffrey.  For most of his life he lived in McMahan, Texas but also lived in Luling, Austin and Houston, where he owned his first BBQ restaurant.

Roy played little league baseball growing up and was coached by his uncle Sam Starr.  Roy was very talented and there was even talk of him going into the major leagues.  He worked for TxDot for almost ten years until he was laid off for 10 months.  He later stated in a Texas Monthly interview, “those 10 years was the only time he wasn’t cooking BBQ.

He married Grace Sassman, the love of his life, on December 3, 1971 and they were married for 46 years.  He was a dedicated husband, devoted to Grace.  No matter what she needed, he was always there, and they were always there for each other.  Grace worked with Roy side by side at both BBQ businesses until her passing. Through all of life’s ups and downs, their love never wavered, not even after death.  He is home with her now, and for that we are all thankful.

Roy was a great Bar-B-Que chef, it was his passion.  He started this career early on in life working for City market in Luling.  He then took his skills to Houston and with another partner, started Luling City Market.  It was here where he fell off the roof and broke his back in 3 places, which caused him pain throughout the rest of his life.  He was interviewed and had multiple articles published in magazines and newspapers, such as Texas Monthly and The Houston Chronicle, over his extensive BBQ career.

While Roy and Grace lived in Houston, they loved taking their nephews and niece to stay with them for weeks at a time.  They would take them to places like Astroworld, play games and watch movies.  They always made sure to make the kids stay a fun one.  Curtis, Randa and Barret treasure these fond memories of the time they got to spend together.

They would also come home from Houston and park their motorhome at Gordon & Janice’s and stay for a week at a time just to visit.  They would often be there Christmas morning to video Randa & Barret opening gifts.  Not to mention always showering them with bags full of gifts each time they came.  The kids would open all their gifts and then Roy, Grace and the kids would sit around the table and play with all the new stuff, which was just as much fun for them as it was the kids.  The time together putting puzzles together and playing games were always something to look forward to.  What the gifts were never mattered, it was the time together having fun that was the real gift.

He also loved all his friends, new and lifelong. He loved playing cards, dominoes, singing karaoke and of course, drinking beer.  He especially treasured this time with his friends after he lost Grace.  He will always be remembered for his “Howdy” and his “gently worn” cowboy hat.

Roy was preceded in death by his loving wife Grace, his parents Luther & Reba Jeffrey, brother-in-law Tom Sassman, Father-in-law John Karnstadt and mother-in-law Annie Karnstadt.

He is survived by his sister Nancy Smith and her husband Edward of Lockhart, sister Janice Sassman and her husband Gordon of Uhland: 6 Nephews: Charlie Powell, Curtis Smith, Travis Sassman, Barret Sassman, Chase & Clay Smith & Mike Bishop: 2 nieces: Randa Bishop & Amanda Sassman: 2 Great Nephews: Jackson Bishop & Hunter Sassman: 6 Great Nieces: Catherine DeLong, Paityn and Emma Williams, Taylee & Tobie Sassman & Madison Sassman.

The family would like thank Ascension Seton Hospital and Warm Springs Nursing Home for the care they gave Roy as well as a special thanks to Jimmy Worsham for taking care of anything the family needed during Roy’s hospitalization and since his passing.

A funeral service was held  at 2 PM on Monday, February 8, 2021 with burial following at Jeffrey Cemetery where Roy will be laid to rest next to his beloved wife Grace.


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