Mama attended school in Smithville, Oklahoma, where she was a “hot shot” basketball player, and on a weekend trip to Mena, she met a young, good-looking sailor named Doyle Pate. Instead of graduating high school, Mama and Daddy married on March 8, 1946 in Mt. Ida, Montgomery County, Arkansas, when he returned from the Pacific Theatre. One of her greatest accomplishments in her life was studying and passing her GED in the 1990’s. She also enjoyed taking history classes at RMCC.
Marie and Doyle had six children: Frank Dennis, of Mena, Lula Mae “Luge” Hardman (Paul), of Waynesville, Missouri, James Craig (Jeanie), of Mena, Doyle Wayne (Debbie) of Mena, Kelly Marie (Ken Whisenhunt), of Mena, and Randy Lynn (Tommye Rae), of Mena. Mama and Daddy spread their children over three decades, with two being born in the 1940’s, two in the 1950’s and two in the 1960’s. They kept them young and involved. Mama and Daddy were very proud of their children.
Mama was a Christian and was baptized at a young age. In her later years, she was an active member of Salem Baptist Church at Nunley. As a young mother, Mama made sure we were in Sunday School and attended Vacation Bible School. As she was leaving us, we sang her favorite gospel songs. She was smiling knowing that we knew most of the words.
Our Mama was a member of the “greatest generation”. She lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Raising three sets of children gave her a unique perspective on events of the 20th Century. Mama worked for over 40 years helping to support our family. She worked at Renova, Cowden’s, the Lee Factory in Missouri and Aalfs. Mama loved attending the Mena Senior Center and had a host of friends there. After Daddy’s death, she lived in Missouri for several years with her daughter. She leaves friends from Missouri to Arkansas and almost everyone she met, left as a friend.
Mama loved to dance at the American Legion and sing at the weekly Housing Authority get-togethers. She was always playing Bingo, Pinochle and Dominoes. She loved to travel and one of her favorite memories was a trip to Hawaii with her two daughters. Mama loved her family and cherished all our family get-togethers, which always included her homemade coconut cream or chocolate pie.
Besides her six children, Mama is survived by 13 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren, a sister Pat Yarbrough, of California, a brother Ken Perry of Oklahoma and a host of nieces, nephews, friends and other family.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her beloved husband Doyle in 1979, 3 brothers, and 4 sisters.
Funeral services will be held Friday, February 21, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. at Salem Baptist Church with Reverend Jack Schoeppy officiating. Interment follows in Pleasant Grove Cemetery in Big Fork, beside her husband, Doyle. Arrangements are under the direction of the Beasley-Wood Funeral Home.
Visitation will be Thursday evening, February 20th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home.
Serving as pallbearers and representing each of her six children are her grandsons Paul Stanley, Trey Hardman, Nick Pate, her granddaughters Ericca Pate, Marissa Pate, and Ken Whisenhunt, and as honorary pallbearers, the other grandchildren: Matt Pate, Ryann Hardman, Hannah Rogers, Robbin Bunyard, Billy Pate, Michelle McAnelly, Samantha Stovall, and Heather Goss.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Clarice’s Room of Hope at The Look Salon or the Polk County Senior Center.