BROCKETTE, Mary Findley|
Mary Findley Brockette died March 7th, 2014 at the age of 97. She was the heart of the family and will be missed.
Mary Winnette Findley was born Feb. 12, 1917 in Hillsboro, Texas, the daughter of Oscar H. and Gretta (Bosley) Findley. Her father was a fireman, but he also worked in his father's grocery store and sold grocery orders to the small stores in the county. Gretta stayed at home and raised Mary and her two brothers, Carl and Harold.
Mary grew up playing with her cousins and eating homemade ice cream. After high school she worked at the Hill County Courthouse where she met Geraldine Thompson. Gerry wanted Mary to meet her cousin, Marlin Brockette. They dated, fell in love and were married March 12, 1943, during WWII. Marlin was a lieutenant who fought in France, Belgium and Germany. It was a hard time for both of them, but he returned and they shared 57 years of marriage. When their daughter asked her father what was the most important historical event during his life, he immediately replied, "Marrying your mother!"
Mary had been raised in the Church of Christ, but Marlin's father was a Methodist minister, so she jumped enthusiastically into the new denomination. She fixed so many dishes for pot luck suppers and to take to the homes of the bereaved, that her son, Bob, once saw her icing a cake and asked, "Is that for us or the church?"
Mary and Marlin instilled their values and beliefs in their children, but encouraged them to find their own direction. Betty became a school librarian, Merlin spent 30 years caring for the disabled and Bob is the music director at the Austin Waldorf School.
In 1967 Marlin took a job at the Texas Education Agency in Austin, Texas, eventually becoming the Commissioner of Education. They bought a house on Mt. Bonnell, joined St. John's Methodist Church and Mary became a member of the Optimistic Garden Club. She served as the clubs representative to the Austin Area Garden Council at Zilker Botanical Garden for over 20 years.
Both of Mary's brothers died in their 50's; Harold in 1970 and Carl in 1976. It would have been devastating to her if not for Marlin's family. He had 3 sisters (Fran, Margo and Mary Ruth) and a brother, Claude. When she married Marlin, she became part of their extended family. From then on she had "sisters".
Mary became a widow May 2nd, 2000 when Marlin died of kidney failure and cancer. She suffered a stroke in 2004, but continued to live in their house on Mt. Bonnell. She was an active member of her garden club and was still delivering Meal-on-Wheels at the age of 88...but she was lonely. She moved into the independent living section at the Heritage at Gaines Ranch in 2005 and made some wonderful new friends. At the age of 90 she even learned to play pool! She, Joan and Imogene had a discussion at dinner one night and decided that "women didn't used to play pool, but times had changed".
Mary is survived by her children Betty Hager (husband, Stacey); Merlin Brockette; and Robert Brockett (wife, Wendy). She has 5 grandchildren: Scott Hager (wife, Michelle), Mary Alice (Hager) Johnson (husband, Shannon), Kaira Brockette, Nathan Brockett and Christopher Brockett. Her great-grandchildren are Nicholas, Sabrina and Alyssa Hager. Her surviving "sisters" are Margo Cowan, Mary Ruth Cruise and Bennie Brockette. She will be missed by her cousins, Virginia (Findley) Munroe and Kenneth Smith, her sister-in-law, Virginia (Bankert) Findley and by a very large number of nieces, nephews and friends.
The family would like to thank Hill Country Home Health and their excellent staff for help in caring for our mother at home. Equal thanks go to Heart of Texas Caregivers, especially our friend, Renee Thomas. Also, we could not have kept mother at home until the end without Odyssey Hospice Care. Thanks to all of you.
Family Visitation will be held at Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral home on North Lamar, Friday, March 14th from 6 - 8 pm. The funeral will be at St. John's Methodist Church on Koenig Lane at 1:00pm, Saturday, March 15th with burial to follow at Austin Memorial Park Cemetery on Hancock Dr. Mother was a "home body" and we invite you to join us at her home for a reception following the internment.
If you wish, donations can be made to St. John's United Methodist Church, Zilker Botanical Garden or Meals-on-Wheels.
Obituary and memorial guestbook available online at www.wcfish.com
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Mar. 12 to Mar. 13, 2014