Mary Ann Mills closed her eyes for the last time in this life to open them in the next life on Monday, July 13, 2015. Mary Ann had suffered with Alzheimer’s for several years and more recently from complications due to a broken leg. As her mind lost its hold on reality, her memory of her only son and his soon returning was one of the last things to go. In our minds’ eyes, we can see their tearful and joyful reunion.
Born Mary Ann Johnson on April 1, 1932, in Edmond, where she spent most of her life, she graduated from Edmond High School in 1950. She and her mother both worked at the old Wide-Awake Cafe for many years and she also worked at Cain’s Coffee and Parkway Cleaners before attending Midwest Beauty College. Some time after graduating as a cosmetologist in 1968 she set up and ran her own beauty shop for many years. Later she worked as a bookkeeping clerk at a local bank before retiring to care for her husband, who had a debilitating illness.
Mary Ann had been a member of the First Baptist church since 1975, where she loved to serve and be active. She sang in the choir and was a member of the Vota Vita class. She was a true believer and had a great faith in Christ for everything to work out according to His plan. She was helpful and very loving and even started her own ministry reaching out with “The Daily Bread” to anyone who was interested. She would buy multiple copies and would not only give them to people she ran into, but went out of her way to deliver them to many–both in person and by mail—on a regular basis. She also maintained a prayer list so she could pray for the people God had placed in her life. Even stricken with Alzheimer’s she was found to be cheerfully ministering to the other residents in the facility she was at. It didn’t matter that she could barely remember her own name. She was about her Father’s business.
She was the youngest and last of her immediate family. She will be remembered for driving around in her yellow 1953 Buick when she was young, her neatly styled red hair and stylish dress, and her bubbly personality. She liked to crochet and was a long-time member of the Elmwood Social Club. But what she loved the most was her family and friends. Her house was full of photos and cards she had saved. Her favorite song was “The Mary Ann Song,” which stated “even little children love Mary Ann”. It was obvious she loved them, too, and treasured all her dear little nieces and nephews and their children and any other children who happened to be a part of her life.
With her son so far away, she doted on her precious little poodles and often talked about getting another one some day. She appreciated pretty things. She enjoyed working in her yard and garden. She paid great attention to her appearance, kept a neat home until her infirmity overwhelmed, and she would spend hours cutting up and saving little pictures of cute, precious and interesting things to send to her son.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 48 years Harold Dempsey Mills who died in 2008; her son Jesse Robert “Rob” Mills; her grandparents Ausia Pollard and Samantha Victoria (Smith) Johnson, and George Lee Compton and Edith Ann (Starling) Johnson; parents Henry Washington and Mary Elizabeth Johnson; brothers Albert Eugene, Elmer Lee, Delmer Dee, Lloyd Edward, Roy Alfred and Charles Bruce Johnson; sisters Dorothy Lorene Cossey, Wauneeda Grace Johnson, and Evelyn Fern Byers; numerous aunts and uncles including Grace Cauthorn and Maggie Phillips, both of whom had no children but treated Mary Ann as their daughter; nephews Tom Byers and Pete Byers; niece Paula (Johnson) Baker; sister-in-laws Doris (Jones) LeFevre and Patricia (Jacobs) Johnson; brother-in-laws Lester Cossey and Paul Byers; and many other family members and dear friends. We like to think of her having a joyous time reuniting with those who have gone before her.
She is survived by her sister-in-laws Allene and Martha Johnson and Moya Carney; nieces Jann Newland, Carolyn Pinkley, DonnaEiler, Joyce Johnson, and Linda (John) Hollman; nephews Ron (Teresa), Darrell (Hazel) and Les (Barbara) Cossey; Richard (Freddi), Stephen, Charles Raymond, Larry (Judy), and Ken (Glenda) Johnson and Jerry (Jerri) Byers and Jerry (Terri) Jones; nieces and nephews of her deceased husband Harold Mills which this writer cannot name; and a host of cousins and grand and great-grand nieces and nephews as well as her church family and dear friends.
The family would like to express their appreciation to the Comfort Keeper caregivers for their excellent care of Mary Ann during her final months, as well as Lifespring Home Health and Hospice and the many other caring nurses and other caregivers and service providers who assisted with her care during her final year. The family would like to encourage donations in lieu of flower to the Alzheimer’s Association, Lifespring Home Health and Hospice, or Harold and Mary Ann’s favorite charity Baptist Boys Ranch Town.
Funeral Services will be Wednesday July 22, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. at Matthews Funeral Home Chapel. Interment to follow at Gracelawn Cemetery in Edmond, OK.