Mary Evelyn Still Bales
April 26, 1921 – November 4, 2018
The life of Mary Evelyn (Still) Bales, who has died aged 97, reflects the challenges and triumphs of the ‘Greatest Generation’. Born in 1921 in Sherman TX, her early childhood on the family farm was comfortable and secure, but everything changed when the farm was lost in the Great Depression. Throughout the Dustbowl Days her family lived precariously, travelling and scrapping through those hard times like so many other Okies. They settled in Madill OK, where she met, and then married at age 19, Jack Bales from nearby Healdton OK. Their lives were dramatically changed in 1940 when Jack secured a job with the FBI in Washington DC. After joining him there, Mary also secured a job in the FBI that she held until the birth of their first child Sandra in 1943. Throughout World War II the young family moved often as Jack, now a Special Agent, did crucial security and counter-espionage work. In Alabama, their son David was born, but with the end of war they were transferred home to Oklahoma. They lived in Midwest City, then Tulsa, where son Kevin and daughter Mary Janet were born, and for many years in Ponca City where their children grew up. Jack retired from the FBI in 1970, but continued training Oklahoma police and law enforcement as he and Mary moved to Oklahoma City. After Jack’s death in 1985, Mary continued her lifelong pursuits of active participation in her church, care for others, and civic volunteering. In 2009, she moved to The Woodlands, TX, to live near her daughter Mary Janet, and in 2012 she moved in with Mary Janet and her husband Steve. Her 95th birthday included a parade of Model T Fords and a letter of thanks and congratulations from the Director of the FBI. While her body became frail, her mind remained clear, inquisitive, and sharply funny right up to her last day. She was a voracious reader, avid crossword completer, regular bowler, and active citizen. But her essence was most clearly seen in the deep and abiding faith that supported her through all adversity and was expressed in the quiet wisdom and unconditional love that her extended family came to rely upon. She is survived by three of her four children, 11 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren who miss her sturdy self-reliance, her graciousness, her contagious humor, and her simple but inspiring presence.
Funeral services will be held at Britton Baptist Church at 1:30 pm on Saturday November 10, 2018. Those wishing to commemorate Mary’s life are welcome to make a donation to Britton Baptist Church.
- She is survived by three of her four children, 11 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren who miss her sturdy self-reliance, her graciousness, her contagious humor, and her simple but inspiring presence.
- Zachary Anna, Active Pallbearer
- Gabriel Bales, Active Pallbearer
- Jeremy Bales, Active Pallbearer
- Brian Bales, Active Pallbearer
- Craig Cott, Active Pallbearer
- Blake Scammahorn, Active Pallbearer
- Harry Bales, Active Pallbearer
- Funeral Service Saturday, November 10, 2018
Mary Evelyn Still Bales
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