Categorized | Obituaries

Obituary September 4

Mary Catheryne Phipps McCalla died peacefully at home in Rosemark, on Aug. 23, 2014.  She was born in McComb, Miss. on Sept. 21, 1919, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Leeper Phipps.  Her family moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1933.  Mary Catheryne graduated from Central High School in Memphis and the University of Tennessee in 1940.  After graduation, she began teaching sixth grade in Millington where she met Alfred Knox (A. K.) McCalla who was teaching vocational agriculture and was in the Army Reserve.  They married at Idlewild Presbyterian Church on Aug. 8, 1941 and lived in Millington until A.K. was activated for World War II.  They moved to Ft. Benning, Georgia, then to Ft. Meade, Maryland where she worked for the War Department in Washington, D.C. where Frank, their first child, was born.  When A.K. was deployed overseas she returned to Memphis to be  near her parents.  In 1946, her husband returned from Japan to Rosemark where he taught vocational agriculture to returning veterans and farmed, and the couple began construction of their home in Rosemark, Tennessee. Twins Jon and Molly were born in February, 1947 and the family moved to their new home.  Their fourth child, Tom, was born in 1952.  Mrs. McCalla returned to teaching two years later.  In 1970 she became Principal of Millington East Elementary School, retiring in 1983.  After retirement, she was an active volunteer in the Brooks Museum League and enjoyed serving as a docent at the Wonders Series.  Her hobbies included traveling, reading, knitting, gardening and flower arranging.  Mrs. McCalla was a devoted member and Deacon of Richland Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (Rosemark), where she also served as a member of several Pastoral Search Committees, as Assistant Treasurer of the Church, as a member of the Building Committee for the Memorial Hall addition, a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and a member of Alpha Delta Kappa International Honorary Sorority for Women Educators, serving as President of Alpha Chapter of ADK (1980-1982).  She served as President of the Shelby County Education Association and Chairman of the Shelby County Heart Fund Drive.  An avid gardener, she was a member of the Garden Club of Rosemark, where she served as its President.  She served as Treasurer of the Tennessee Federation of Garden Clubs and on numerous of its State and District Boards.  She was a National Garden Clubs Life Member.  As recently as this Spring, daffodils from her garden won Blue Ribbons at the Mid-South Daffodil Society Show. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, A. K. McCalla and her sister, Frances Phipps Plunkett.  She is survived by her four children, Frank Knox McCalla (Linda) of Collierville, Jon Phipps McCalla (Mary) of Memphis, Molly McCalla Hampton (Kennon) of Rosemark, and Thomas Lee McCalla (Terri) of Bellingham, Washington; and eight grandchildren, Cathy Zavodny (Doug), Fran Kelsey (Carr), Lee Hampton (Kristen), Jon Knox Hampton (Lucy), Kate McCalla, Clair McCalla, Kurt McCalla, and Lorraine McCalla; and seven great grandchildren.  The family received friends on Aug. 26 at Memphis Funeral Home, at 5599 Poplar Avenue, in Memphis.  Funeral services were held August 27, at Richland Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, 8658 Rosemark Road, Rosemark, Tennessee, with interment at Rosemark Cemetery.  The family requests that memorials be made to:  Richland Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (Richland Presbyterian), or to Historic Archives of Rosemark & Environs, Inc. (HARE), 6177 Mudville Road, Millington, Tennessee  38053, or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

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September 2014
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