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Mary Cunningham Boone

Obituary for Mary Cunningham Boone

September 27, 1922 - April 28, 2017
Austin, Texas | Age 94

Obituary

Mary Cunningham Boone, "GrandMary," died on April 28, 2017 in Austin, Texas at age 94. She was born in San Antonio, Texas, to May "Dear" Price and Frank Cunningham. She was the next-to-youngest of five children. After graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School, Mary met her husband, Arthur, while both were attending Baylor University. They were married in 1944 while he was on leave from the Navy during World War II. Following the war, they moved to Austin, Texas where Arthur founded Frostex Foods and Mary taught elementary school. With the births of their three children Bill, Jim, and Carol, Mary devoted herself to full-time motherhood, community service, and continued support of Arthur in his business and philanthropic endeavors.

Mary's gift of hospitality touched countless lives, whether cooking for someone in need, hosting friends on their private "Boonesborough" railcar, or planning events to celebrate loved ones' accomplishments. She loved her Westwood Tennis League, her bridge group, and her Sunday School classes (both as a teacher and a "student"). Mary was an avid bridge and tennis player, known for her competitiveness and skill. Even late in life, Mary could play a mean game of ping pong! She was a devoted follower of Jesus Christ from an early age, and lived a steadfast faith throughout her life. She and Arthur were active, "front row" members of Hyde Park Baptist Church for over 40 years. In 1982 they donated the beautiful steeple and bell tower, inscribed in honor of their parents, to the new sanctuary building.

Mary's generosity and devotion to her family and her community were inspiring. In addition to service at Hyde Park, she volunteered for many years in leadership capacities at The Junior Helping Hand Home for Children and The Settlement Home for Children. Mary loved being a grandmother and became widely known as "GrandMary". She hid silver coins inside of homemade birthday scotch cakes, dressed up on Halloween, hosted countless swimming parties, and arrived at the first sign of illness with chicken and rice and banana pudding in hand. She wrote weekly letters to her grandchildren away at college, and made trips to visit them. She loved deeply, and this will be her greatest legacy.

Mary loved a little mischief. There is family lore about her as a pre-teen, running and hiding in the car when her older sister was picked up for a date. She loved practical jokes throughout her life and had an enviable sense of humor. She loved the color red and she loved roses. There was always a red car in their Rockmoor garage, and she took great pride in tending her beautiful rose garden on the corner.

Mary's joyful disposition, contagious laugh, and beautiful smile never wavered even as her health declined in recent years. She was preceded in death by her loving husband Arthur Upshaw Boone II, her beloved daughter Mary Carol Boone, and her siblings Frank Price Cunningham, James William Cunningham, and Sara May Cunningham Coleman. She is survived by her brother, Sam Cunningham and his wife Nell of Havana, Florida; her children William Price Boone and his wife Ann Knoebber of Austin; James Arthur Boone and his wife Susan Hobbs of Houston; grandchildren Mary Nell Boone Suell of Houston; Jennifer Susan Boone Sappington and her husband Brad of Austin; Arthur "Trey" Upshaw Boone III and Tyler McIntosh Boone of Houston; and great-grandchildren Doug, William Steen and Sarah Jane Boone Suell of Houston; and Grace Margaret Sappington of Austin as well as other extended family members.

Our family would like to extend heartfelt gratitude to Bruce Duncan, Georgia Tucker, the employees of The Plaza at Querencia, and especially to Nimfa Robes-Delacruz for their loving care of Mary in her declining years.

A memorial service celebrating Mary's life will be held on Sunday, May 7th at 3:00 pm at Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, 3125 North Lamar, in Austin, Texas. A private burial at Austin Memorial Park will follow. Memorial contributions may be made to Hyde Park Baptist Church, 3901 Speedway, Austin, Texas 78751; The Helping Hand Home, 3804 Avenue B, Austin, Texas 78751; or The Settlement Home for Children, 1600 Payton Gin Rd., Austin, Texas 78758.

Recommended Local Florist

Suggested Memorial Donations

  • Hyde Park Baptist Church
    3901 Speedway
    Austin, TX 78751
  • Settlement Home
    1600 Payton Gin Road
    Austin, TX 78758
  • Helping Hand Home
    3804 Avenue B
    Austin, TX 78751

Arrangements By

Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home North

3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705
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