Maria "Mary" Luna Bullock of Nacogdoches passed away on Sept. 1, 2013. She was born on July 6, 1921, in Nacogdoches to Jack C. Luna and Laney Poskey Luna. Mary was born and raised in the Harmony/Bonaldo community. She is a descendant of the pioneering settler of Nacogdoches, Antonio Gil Y'Barbo. In 1938, she graduated from Bonaldo High School and went on to attend Massey Business College. After completing the business college, she worked at Anderson Bookkeeping in Nacogdoches. When World War II began, she moved with her cousins to Ft. Worth to work as a "Rosie the Riveter" for the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation for 2 years. Here, she helped assemble the B-24 liberator bombers that were used in the war. When the war ended, she was laid off and moved to Shreveport, La., where she worked at Barksdale Air Force Base as a court clerk. She later chose to move with her sister, Velma, to Orange to work at the naval shipyard. While in Orange, she met a Navy sailor, J.B. Bullock, who became the love of her life. They later married in 1951 and enjoyed 60 years together until his passing in 2010. During their life together, they shared many experiences. As the wife of a Navy officer, Mary traveled with her husband and they lived in many states. Upon J.B.'s retirement from the military, they lived in Lufkin and later settled in Mary's hometown, Nacogdoches, where they owned and operated Bullock's Grocery from 1971 to 1989. She and J.B. also purchased a farm where they raised cattle and gardened. She was a devout Roman Catholic who never questioned God's plan. Her faith was especially evident with the untimely death of her two sons, Mark and Brent. She always said, "God needed them more than me." Through the years she was very active in her community. She was a member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church (Moral) and belonged to the Ladies Altar Society. Through the Altar Society, she assisted with cleaning and preparing the church for Mass and many fundraisers. The most cherished fundraiser was the annual tamale dinner, where she shared her culinary expertise with the younger generation. Mary also loved to volunteer her time helping others. She was a lifetime member of VFW Post 3893 Ladies Auxiliary. She and J.B. spent many Friday nights assisting with bingo and cooking hamburgers. This is also where they spent many Saturday nights dancing the night away, which was a favorite past time. In addition, she was a pharmacy volunteer at the Lufkin Veteran's Administration Clinic, and for numerous years she volunteered her time as an election judge for Nacogdoches County. She enjoyed spending time with her family as often as possible. It was a Sunday afternoon tradition to eat lunch at her house which often times consisted of her famous chicken and dumplings. She enjoyed those Sundays even more when her favorite football team, the Dallas Cowboys, were playing. In addition to her parents, Mary was preceded in death by her husband, J.B. Bullock; sons, James Brent and Mark Bullock; brothers, Louis Luna, James Luna, and Thomas Luna; and sister, Velma Luna Crow. She is survived by her daughter, Bonita Bullock; grandchildren, Melanie Vardeman and husband, Clay, and Lisa Hale and husband, Shane; great-grandchildren, Jordan and Landon Vardeman, and Hollie and Collin Hale; brothers, Robert Luna, Lonnie Luna, and Johnny Luna and wife, Lorraine; sister, Marie Luna Cure and husband, Bobby; sister in laws, Jean Hogan and JoAnn Bullock; and numerous nieces and nephews. Visitation for Mary will be on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, at Laird Funeral Home from 5 to 7 p.m. with a Rosary following. The Mass of Christian Burial will be on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, at 10 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church officiated by the Rev. Monsignor James E. Young and Father Joseph Lourdasamy. Burial will follow at Moral Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Gayland Fletcher, Brent Watson, Mike McClain, Charles Montes, Lynn Ainsworth, David Collins, Chris Snyder, and godson, Doug Cortines. Honorary pallbearers will be her beloved nieces and nephews. A special thanks for the exceptional care provided by Willowbrook nurses, aides and staff, Memorial Hospital, Hospice of East Texas, Margo Russell, and many beloved private sitters. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Mark Bullock Sigma Chi Scholarship fund, SFASU P.O. Box 6096, Nacogdoches 75962 or the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 1422 CR 724, Nacogdoches 75964. To leave condolence or sign the online guest register, please visit www.lairdfh.net. Arrangements for the services are under the direction of Laird Funeral Home, Nacogdoches.
Published in The Daily Sentinel on Sept. 4, 2013