Mary Lee (Davis) Bounds
January 21, 1918: Washed quilts. Baby born.
Journal entry of Will Davis recording the birth of his daughter, Mary Lee.
Mary Lee Davis was born on January 21, 1918 in Shamrock, Texas to Ida and Willie Davis and died peacefully on November 20, 2021 in Weston, Florida at 103 years old surrounded by her family.
Mary Lee spent her childhood at her family’s farm in Shamrock, where she enjoyed playing with her beloved younger brother, Glen. Her relationship with her brother Glen was most precious to her and his death in 1944 in World War II left a deep hole in her heart. Mary Lee attended West Texas State College and graduated with a degree in Education in 1938. After college, she lived in Sausalito, California during World War II and worked in a munitions factory. This adventurous spirit would propel Mary Lee throughout her life. She returned to Texas after the War to begin her teaching career and soon thereafter met her future husband, Hubert.
Mary Lee met Hubert Bounds and after refusing his multiple invitations to go on a date (“Because he was already dating my friend and I thought he was a gigolo.”) Mary Lee finally relented after Hubert offered her a ride home when she was walking in the rain. 48 years of marriage followed including a daughter, Glenda (Bounds) Abbate (Florio) and a son, James Hubert Bounds, Jr. (Sharon).
After countless moves through Texas followed by moves to New Jersey and Kansas, Mary Lee and Hubert retired to Fort Worth in 1977 where they were active members of St. Luke United Methodist Church. Mary Lee never met a stranger and was constantly entertaining friends and relatives (no matter how remotely related the relative may be). In fact, sometimes Mary Lee did not know the remote cousins she invited for lunch and famously greeted the Avon lady at the door with an embracing hug and invited her into their home for lunch. Mary Lee learned that her guest was there to sell her makeup and not, in fact, her distant cousin. This gracious and friendly spirit was the essence of Mary Lee. She was the consummate hostess, but also had a witty sense of humor and made guests wear silly glasses, open a can of mints that would dislodge a springy snake into the petrified guest’s face, and even serve guests purposefully disgusting food to laugh at their reaction. Her home was filled with warmth and joy without an ounce of pretention and was a gathering place for friends and family. Mary Lee’s joyous spirit was palpable and made everyone in her presence happy.
She was a devoted grandparent to Lindsay Lee (Abbate) Ballotta (Raymond), Ryan Charles Abbate (Jennifer), Lee Anne Bounds, and Christopher Glenn Bounds and a loving great-grandparent to Caroline Leigh Ballotta, William Davis Ballotta, Grace Catherine Abbate, and Jackson Ryan Abbate. There are many Lees and a Davis in the names of Mary Lee’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren in her honor.
During their retirement, Mary Lee and Hubert enjoyed traveling with family and dear friends. Mary Lee perfected her skills as a seamstress and was on the forefront of the “smocking” movement. She was active in the Smocking Guild, seniors exercise classes, her Sunday School class, and an avid card player. Mary Lee could walk into her local Luby’s or Braums and know half the patrons at any given time. She was a beloved friend to many and always the light in any room she entered.
Mary Lee tirelessly and selflessly cared for Hubert in the final years of his life. After Hubert’s death in 1994, Mary Lee continued to travel around the world with her college roommate, Bobby, and even went snorkeling in Micronesia at the age of 79. She also became a frequent visitor to Southern Methodist University where her granddaughter, Lindsay, was a student and was often spotted on campus with her gold Grand Marquis (illegally parked) and laden down with food and baked goods.
Mary Lee moved to Florida in 2001 when her health began to falter. She graciously accepted this new chapter of life and was never without a smile for her family and her cherished friend of almost 60 years, Mickey Abbate. Even in her final years, Mary Lee maintained her sense of humor. When her grandson-in-law accidentally set fire to the kitchen in 2009 with Mary Lee sitting nearby, Mary Lee calmly said, “I am just going to leave now. You can deal with this.” Nothing could upset Mary Lee – not even a raging fire.
Texas was always Mary Lee’s home (even if not always geographically) and held her heart. When she lived in Florida during the final years of her life, she would always tell her granddaughters who lived in Texas to “Kiss that Texas ground for me.” It is fitting that Mary Lee’s final resting place is in the State of Texas next to her beloved husband, Hubert.
Mary Lee’s blue eyes always sparkled with joy. Her laugh was contagious. Her optimism in the face of difficulty was remarkable. Her faith was unfailing.
She passed peacefully holding the hands of her beloved children, Glenda and Jim. It was a fitting conclusion to a beautiful life.
Memories of Mom
First and foremost was her love for family. Every holiday, every birthday every accomplishment no matter how small was celebrated on a grand scale. Cards and letters of encouragement were constantly flooding the mail services, to her family and friends and acquaintances. She had a unique sense of calling you just when you needed it most. Sometimes with a message, sometimes just to say hello. She always had time to make your day brighter by letting you know she cared.
She was the most positive person I’ve ever known. There was never a struggle or problem that didn’t have a positive outcome. She found good in everybody and everything. If things didn’t go our way, she would say, “If nothing else we would learn from the experience.” If there was conflict her first solution was to pray for guidance. She respected contrary opinions and believed that the best solution would evolve if everyone stayed open to it. She was never vindictive. Her faith in God and his teachings were her compass. She was reared to apply them to every facet of her life and did.
Her legacy lives on in her family. God granted us many rich years of her love. She taught us how to love each other and forgive our shortcomings. Her life was like watching a giant shooting star go across the sky in super-slow motion. She indelibly touched everyone that was lucky enough to know her.
Our hearts are heavy with her departure. We will all carry forward her gifts and wisdom. We remember her words and reaction when she lost friends and family: “Do not try to second guess God. He has a plan for each of us and we are not supposed to understand his logic. Believe in His wisdom and go forward rejoicing the relationships in your life, every day. Some day we will all be together.”
Funeral Service to honor Mary Lee will be held 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, November 30, 2021 at St. Luke's United Methodist Church 3200 Denton Hwy. Haltom City, Texas 76117. Burial to follow in Pleasant Grove Cemetery #3 in Chico, Texas. Rev. Mel Beshara will officiate.
If you are so inclined, you may make a donation in Mary Lee's honor to the Vitas Community Connection, 255 East Fifth Street, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45202 http://www.vitascommunityconnection.org or St. Luke's United Methodist Church, 3200 Denton Highway, Haltom City, Texas 76117.
Hawkins Funeral Home
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