After a brief illness, Mary Dell Thomas Ingram peacefully passed away at West Georgia Hospice, Saturday, December 8th. Mary, the youngest of five children, was born in Rockingham, North Carolina on August 2, 1929 to the late Brack Wilson and Eunice Hudson Thomas.
Mary Dell was educated in Rockingham schools and began her career as a bookkeeper at Hough Hardware in Rockingham. Her late husband, Carl, was in the jewelry business and as his job took the family from North Carolina to New York, Texas, and Alabama before finally settling in West Point, Georgia; Mary Dell continued working as a bookkeeper in a variety of venues.
In 1973, Carl opened a jewelry store in Lanett, Alabama and Mary Dell joined him in the jewelry business where she remained for twenty-five years. The success of the Lanett store led the duo to be joined by their son, Jim and his wife, Janet, and to the purchase of an existing store in LaGrange. Later, opening a third store at the West Georgia Commons Mall. The family successfully operated the three stores until the closing of two stores in the mid nineties. Carl and Mary Dell continued as owners and operators of the LaGrange store until retirement in the late nineties.
Retirement proved not to be for Mary Dell. After Carl passed away in 2000, she reentered the world of retail and joined the Oswalt Family as a part-time employee of the Shoe Outlet where she remained for fifteen years until a hip injury forced her to retire yet again.
“Miss Mary” as she was so lovingly called will be remembered for her dedication and love for family and friends, her gentle nature, her love and care of “homeless cats”, and her “smiling eyes”. Mary Dell was a lady of many talents who never failed to tackle any task regardless of the difficulty. Her love of flowers, gardening, and decorating is evident to both visitors and passers-by. She called everybody “Hon” and always bade her good-byes with “I love you.” “Miss Mary” will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved her.
Mary Dell was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Carl; her only son, Jim; her parents; and four siblings, B.W., Benjamin, Houston, and her only sister, Irene; nephews, Edward Thomas and Ben Thomas, Jr., and niece, Martha McMurray Ruggiano, and great-niece, Kim Calvert Fusinaz.
Mary Dell is survived by three nephews; Bill Thomas (Lucile) of Concord; Jerry Thomas (Barbara) of Rockingham, Wilson Thomas of Rockingham; and four nieces, Rita Thomas Chance (Tony) of Laurinburg; Pat Thomas Smith of Denver, NC; Jean Thomas Way of Rockingham; Susan McMurray of Marietta, Georgia, and a number of great nieces and nephews.
A service celebrating her life will be held at Zion United Methodist Church at 3:00 Friday, December 13th with burial following in the church cemetery.
The family requests that memorials be made to First United Methodist Church of West Point, 306 East 7th Street, or West Georgia Hospice, 1510 Vernon Road, LaGrange, GA 30240.
Online condolences may be made at www.watson-kingfuneralhome.com Watson-King Funeral Home in Rockingham is serving the Ingram family.