After 103 years, Mary died peacefully in her sleep, surrounded by her family, in Gainesville, Florida on July 6, 2022.
Born May 31, 1919, Mary was the third of nine children born to Bob and Annie (McCall) Thomas of LaCrosse, Florida, all of whom preceded her in death. She was also preceded in death by her husband of 73 years, Frank W. Towers, Sr., and her son-in-law Peter Teal. She is survived by her four children: Jane King, Anne Kuhns (Rolf), Frank, Jr., and Kathy Teal. Also surviving her are four grandchildren Duane King (Elizabeth), Lori King, Jason Towers, Evan Teal, five great grandchildren, Jonah Towers, Nora Towers, Davin Miller, Stephen King, Mackenzie King, two great great grandchildren, numerous cousins, nieces and nephews all of whom she loved and who adored her, and numerous caregivers who all loved “Miss Mary”.
Mary graduated from Alachua High School, Florida Southern College, and the University of Florida where she majored in elementary education. She taught school for 30 years, most often first grade, in Jacksonville, Alachua and Gainesville. She loved teaching early education children because she felt she could “help get them started off right.”
While teaching in Jacksonville she met a handsome soldier stationed at Camp Blanding who, in 1943, became her husband. During World War II, while Frank was serving his country in Europe, she lived in Boston, Mass. with Frank’s mother. Shortly after the end of the war she got permission to join Frank in Germany where they lived for three years then moved back to Florida to build their home, where Mary lived until near the end of her life.
During retirement, Mary loved traveling, researching family genealogy, crocheting, reading, fishing, and crafts projects, such as reupholstering furniture and basket making. But most of all she loved having her family around.
Mary was the most kind, gentle person you could ever meet, and never met anyone who wasn’t an immediate friend. She always found the good in everything, never had a bad word to say about anyone, and always put others before herself. She was an angel on Earth.
In her later years, she became quite adept at technology, had video calls with family on a regular basis, had her own PC, iPhone and iPad and knew how to use them.
Mary was recognized by the Florida Genealogical Society as a descendant of a Florida Pioneer and was accepted into membership of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
She was formerly a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Gainesville and St. Madeleine’s Catholic Church in High Springs.
Visitation will be at Milam Funeral Home, 311 S. Main St., Gainesville, Fl on Thursday, July 14, 2022, from 5:30-7:30 pm.
Funeral services will be held at St. Madeleine’s Catholic Church 17155 NW US Hwy 441 High Springs, FL on Friday, July 15th, with sharing at 9:30 am and funeral mass at 10:00 am.
Interment will follow immediately at Forest Meadows Memorial Park East, 3700 SE Hawthorne Road Gainesville, Florida, 32641.
Milam Funeral Home Gainesville is handling funeral arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, the family request you make a contribution in memory of Mary Towers to the Dementia Society of America by mail to PO Box 600, Doylestown, PA 18901, or online www.DementiaSociety.org/donate.