Tufts, Mary Ragan (Ball)
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Our "Memphis Mama" died February 20, 2013. She was the last of true-Southern matriarchs in this small family and the last surviving member of her birth family. She was just shy of her 89th birthday. Although she lived in Phoenix from 1958 until the end, she always considered Memphis and Gibson County, Tennessee as home. Her strong values of family, loyalty, responsibility and work were passed along and engrained in each of us. She was our counsel on many things. Even if she didn't agree with our decision or path, we knew she would support us. Mother was a 50+ year member of Beta Sigma Phi. She held Council leadership positions and many chapter positions. The friendship of her Sisters was very important to her. In addition to BSP, she was a life member of the Eastern Star. She is survived by her daughters Cecile Woodward (Phx) and Gary Ann Lord (Texas); granddaughters Diane (Darrell) Gibson (Az) and Mychele Lord (Melanie Grimes) (Texas); great-granddaughter Donica (Az) and her faithful, loving four-legged dog-kids Magan and Chloe. Her pain is gone and she can once again breathe freely. For all who knew this Southern belle, this soft-spoken woman....wish her well on her journey. A memorial service will be held in the near future. In lieu of flowers, Mary loved animals. If inclined, contributions to no-kill animal shelters are appreciated.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Feb. 24, 2013