McConnell Funeral Home


Mescal Marie (Wilson) Bair

22 enero , 19276 junio , 2021

Mescal Marie Wilson Bair was born on January 22, 1927 on a farm in southern Illinois after the doctor arrived on horseback during a snowstorm. After living independently in her own home through her 94th birthday, she passed away at her daughter’s home this Sunday, June 6, 2021. She loved cooking and sharing meals with family and friends, working on complicated jigsaw puzzles, and watching Jeopardy. Since she was quite witty herself, she also appreciated interesting obituaries.

She was born to George Henry Wilson and Mary Kinsall Wilson. She and her younger sister, Marian, drove tractors in the fields after school and studied by kerosene lamps until high school, when the family home finally got electricity. (The farm continues in the family — once growing popcorn, now corn and soybeans.) After graduating from Ridgway High School, she ventured off to St. Louis and did clerical work for the Katy Railroad. After several years, she moved to Chicago, where she attended beauty school and became a hairstylist. Four months after meeting Irwin Robert “Buddy” Bair, they married on the best man’s birthday. Following her lifelong love of cooking, she took several premier culinary courses. One year, she made over 300 lbs. of chocolate creams in her small kitchen.

Her life dramatically changed when the couple received a call asking if they wanted to adopt a newborn baby girl. Three days later, they were parents to Mary Clare. In 1974, the “three Bairs” moved to Palm Beach Gardens, Florida where Mescal (May) continued to make (and cook for) countless lifelong friends. She took care of Buddy through his diagnosis of muscular dystrophy, progression to a wheelchair, and eventual death in 1992. Moving to Fort Smith, Arkansas, in 1993 allowed her to fully enjoy two of her greatest loves: her grandchildren, Ken and Colleen. She attended numerous school and sporting events, walked daily on the treadmill at Marvin Altman for years, and made her unique pineapple curry for numerous special occasion family dinners. Gathering many cookie recipes, she mailed homemade cookies monthly to Ken during his four years of college. She always had a pile of cookbooks within reach, reading each one cover to cover.

Mescal is survived by her only child, Mary Clare Flanagan (Dean), grandson Ken Flanagan (Emily), and granddaughter Colleen Flanagan. Local friends are invited to visit from 5 – 7 p.m., Wednesday, June 9 at McConnell Funeral Home Chapel in Greenwood. Further services will be held near her farm in southern Illinois at a future date.

Since Mescal spent her life feeding others, the family asks that a donation be made to her favorite charity, the River Valley Food Bank, 1617 Zero St., Fort Smith, AR 72901 or to your local food bank in place of flowers (she did not like irises, anyway).


  • Mrs. Bair is survived by her only child, Mary Clare Flanagan (Dean), grandson Ken Flanagan (Emily), and granddaughter Colleen Flanagan.


  • Family Visitation

    miércoles, 9 junio , 2021


Mescal Marie (Wilson) Bair


Betty Pittman

23 junio , 2021

Your mother was a bright light in my life. She was always smiling when we met and we had such fun talking. My family and I looked forward to her Christmas cards each year!

Victoria Hand

8 junio , 2021

I loved your mother as my sister and we spent a few years paling around in Palm Beach Gardens. We enjoyed time together at her home as she did not go very often because of her caring for Buddy but that did not stop us from having fun with each other’s company. I will surely miss my friend and our talks on the phone as she kept me up on all the family news.
My prayers are for and with you Mary Clare and your family . I fondly remember you when you visited her in the Gardens
Vicky Rainey Hand

Joan Taylor

8 junio , 2021

I am sorry for the death of your mother. Your mom was a very special person. I am blessed to have known her in my life and she left me with many wonderful memories.