The family of Mary Frances McCay Pendergrass Terrell bids farewell to our Mom, Sister, Grandmother and Aunt. We celebrate a wonderful and steadfast Christian life. Mary Frances was born on January 22, 1930, on the family farm in Green Hill, near Monticello, Arkansas. Mary Frances’ parents, Bob and Mae McCay, left the farm and eventually moved the family to Crossett.
Other than following her Army husband, Curtis, the first several years of their marriage to various Army bases, Mary Frances lived the majority of her life in Crossett.
Mary Frances was an original charter member of the Presbyterian Church of Crossett, founded in 1949, when she was only 19. She has been a lifelong faithful servant to this same Church serving as elder, session member choir member, secretary, commissioner, and Sunday school teacher. In the early 1980’s, Mary Frances and Curtis began what is now the Greater Crossett Area Food Pantry, still located within the Presbyterian Church.
In 1957, Mary Frances would decide that military bases were not ‘home’ and that she needed to permanently move her children to Crossett where she would rear them on her own and threw herself into the workforce to provide for the family. First, she was a reporter, junior editor and weekly columnist at the News Observer. Mary Frances was often the first one on a scene and became quite adept at photography as well. A keen editor, she strived to protect the English language until her last days. Then she began a 35-yr career at the First National Bank of Crossett retiring in 1996. She was an avid reader and a voracious crossword puzzle expert. Mary Frances pursued her love of travel when she visited a daughter in Japan, and also travelled to Canada, the Bahamas, Europe, Alaska and New England.
Mary Frances lost her first husband to cancer in 1990. Almost ten years later, a new love found her when she met Doyle Terrell and married in 1999 - the two were inseparable until his death in 2008. She was blessed to have been loved by three families in her lifetime – the McCays, the Pendergrasses and the Terrells.
While Mary Frances has moved on to be with the God who walked with her through life, we are left to celebrate an extraordinary woman and to always remember her beautiful smile. She lived her values every day and taught her children to think for themselves, question everything and most importantly, be kind and generous to others. Those who await her are her parents, Robert F. (Bob) and Ethel Mae Walton McCay; her first husband, Curtis Pendergrass (1990), Doyle Terrell, her second husband (2008); her sister, Betty, and brothers Bobby, Paul and Gene (Samuel) McCay.
She leaves behind two brothers; David McCay (Rhonda) of Boulder, Colorado, and George McCay of Crossett; her children: Rick Pendergrass of North Little Rock, Beti Gunter (Mike Smith) of North Little Rock, Sharleen Bakeman (Mark) of Olympia, Washington and Susan Pendergrass of Crossett; four grandchildren: Josh Pendergrass of Grand Junction, Colorado, Kimzey Gunter of Mancos, Colorado, Gordon Pendergrass (Megan) of Reno, Nevada, and Delia Samblanet (Tom) of Westborough, Massachusetts; and seven great-grandchildren. Mary Frances’ Terrell family includes a stepson, Clark Terrell (Martha) of Crossett, six grandchildren: Scott Sweet of Springdale, Arkansas; Matthew Sweet, Michael Terrell and Christin Hankins (Edwin IV), all of Little Rock, Arkansas; Lisa Reed (Justin) of Crossett, Arkansas and Mark Terrell of Hot Springs, Arkansas; thirteen great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
A Celebration of Life service and reception will be held March 16, Friday, at 2:30 pm, at the Presbyterian Church of Crossett, 309 Pine Street, Crossett, Arkansas. Officiants are Reverend Bonnie Wilkins of Omaha, Nebraska and Reverend Lauren Moore of Lake Village, Arkansas.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Mary Frances’ name to the Greater Crossett Area Food Pantry, 309 Pine Street, Crossett, Arkansas, 71635.