Mary Nelle (Woolsey) Parsons, 91, passed away on August 2, 2021, at her home in Santa Fe, Texas. Mary Nelle was born on March 30, 1930 to Jim Kenney Dale, and Loretta Holland Dale in Texas City, Texas. She was always very proud of growing up in Texas City, and spoke of her hometown often. She resided in Santa Fe for 9 months. Before moving to Santa Fe, she retired from Southwest Business Corporation, and moved to Horseshoe Bay, Texas. Mary Nelle enjoyed her career for several years until retirement where she made many friendships while living in Horseshoe Bay for thirty-two years.
In her younger years, she grew up and endured many hardships of the depression era. She survived the 1943 hurricane that the government was unable to give warning to the residents of impending landfall. There was a censorship on weather information because they did not want the Germans operating in the Gulf of Mexico to know about the risk of the storm. Many of the Troops, who were secretly stationed in Texas City during the hurricane only had protection from their tents and several were killed. In 1945, she suffered the loss of her brother, who was her best friend, Jimmy. He was killed during the last month of WWII on April 2nd in Tiefenbach, Germany and earned the Silver Star for valor.
In 1947, as a senior in high school she survived the Texas City Explosion, which was the deadliest industrial accident, and the largest non-nuclear explosion at the time. It was difficult, but an honor for her to be chosen as one of the escorts for all the local families through the high school gymnasium. So many lives were lost that day the high school gymnasium was the only place large enough to serve as the morgue. She recounted often about her many close friends, and what was required to identify their lost loved ones.
Mary Nelle will always be remembered as a "survivor." She was able to rise above the Great Depression era, numerous wars, several hurricanes where she lost most everything, the Texas City explosion, and outlived two husbands. When asked how she felt during those traumatic years, she replied, "That is just part of living." Through it all she kept a keen sense of humor, and a very determined spirit. Mary Nelle was a disciplined woman, who strongly believed in hard work. Her frugal, creative approach to life shared her philosophy of turning lemons into lemonade. Throughout her life she was involved in many different passions, which included golf, bridge, parties, crossword puzzles, and reading. She loved watching and feeding the birds, but was most passionate about her plants, which was evident in the large wholesale nursery she built on thirty plus acres full of tropical plants that were sold nationwide.
She was a devoted daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. Mary Nelle was preceded in death by her mother, father, brother, and granddaughter, Lauren. Mary Nelle is survived by daughters Sherry Woolsey McNeil (Laird), Marlene Woolsey Summers (Bob), and son Jimmy Woolsey (Joanne). She is also survived by nine grandchildren - Marcus, Allison (Jeff), James (Jamie), Claire, Caroline, David (Casie), Sherry (Mike), Mary Alyssa (Brice). Mary Nelle is also survived by eight great-grandchildren, and soon to be "baby Hafner" to be born August 13, 2021.
Honorary Pallbearers will be Marcus Amato, David Summers, Bob Summers, Laird McNeil, Mike Miller, and Tim McCray.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Grammy's Cookie Convoy, Inc., or the charity of your choice.
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