Mary R. Henry was born in Alexander, N.D., on June 13, 1924, to George and Fannie (Overstreet) Henry. She was raised on the land her Mother had homesteaded on in 1909, approximately 5 miles southwest of Alexander. Mary lived there with her parents and 4 siblings; her brother Pat; and sisters, Alta (Hannah), Helen (Trowbridge), and Genie (Hall). She attended grade school at Rowe and then Alexander High School.
Her Uncle’s (the Overstreet boys) introduced the ever inquisitive Mary to the joys of a good cigar at the age of five. From then on she was known to her Uncles’ as Tobacco Mary!!! Needless to say, Mary never touched tobacco again in her life.
Her younger sister Helen was terrified of crickets so when walking to or from school, when they had to cross a field, Mary would offer to carry Helen across. Halfway across Mary would “drop” her and we now know for a fact that the Wright Bros. were not the first people airborne.
Mary fell in love with her shy classmate, Ford Sims and for the next 60 plus years she wondered whatever had become of his shyness. Ford was enlisted into WWII and like many women; Mary held the family together until he came home from the war. Mary and Ford started a farm 13 miles south of Alexander and there they raised their family; Wally, Becky, Iris, Alan, Lynn (1955) and Andy.
Mary had loved to sew and bake as a child and she spent the next 20 years as a 4-H leader sharing her joy of sewing and baking with so many others. She is probably best remembered for her homemade bread and buns. On any given day, no matter how many people showed up for a meal, Mary could put together enough food for a thrashing crew. It was always obvious that no Sims kid ever left the table hungry. Another of Mary’s specialties, were her donuts. She made donuts for many community doings. Even though the folks milked cows and were very busy with their five sweet children, Mary always found time to call on a sick neighbor or to take food over to those in need. She sewed quilts all her life. All her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and many, many other people were so fortunate to have one of her quilts. When a neighbor passed away before finishing a quilt for her daughter, Mary went over and picked up the quilt, finished it and then gave it to her daughter. She would knit hats that were so soft for neighbors that were going thru chemo. She would sew lap quilts for the residents in many of the area old folk’s homes. She was a prolific letter writer and she kept up correspondence with friends all over the country. She was also very interested in local history.
Mary was a much loved wife and mother, always a caring and loving sister and aunt. She was many things to many people, but hopefully she will be remembered for the unconditional love she always gave to all her family and friends. If she saw or heard something she thought was wrong, she wasn’t adverse to letting that person know exactly how she felt about it, especially her kids. We so loved her and her memory lives on in us.
Fulkerson Stevenson Funeral Home of Tioga is assisting the family. Friends may sign the on-line register and give their condolences at www.fulkersons.com. No further services are planned.