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August 10, 2014

Mary Elizabeth Mills Thompson passed away on Thursday evening, August 7 from complications resulting from lung cancer.  Mary Elizabeth was born in Carthage, Mississippi on May 9, 1931.  She is survived by her husband of 61 years, Hal Richard Thompson Sr.; her sisters Marjorie Kyzar and Louise Cameron Mason; her son, Hal Richard Thompson Jr and his wife Jenny;   her daughter, Mary Lane Thompson and her husband, Robert Knuth; and, five grandchildren:  Hal Richard Thompson III, Meaghan Louise Thompson, Thompson Mills Knuth, Grace Agnes Knuth and Mihret Elizabeth Tadele Knuth, as well as numerous nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews.  She is preceded in death by her parents, Emily Louise Garrett Mills and James Dickens Mills and five siblings, Maury Mills, James Dickens Mills, Jr, Eleanor Tolles, Joseph Garrett Mills, Virginia Thomas, and Frances Jones.
Mary Elizabeth (or Puggar to her family and childhood friends) graduated from Carthage High School and received an Associate’s Degree from Hinds Junior College where she was a student leader and an enthusiastic majorette.  In her younger years, she loved singing and dancing, once winning a talent show for dancing the Charleston.  She was a beautiful young woman and was crowned Miss Carthage in 1950.
After graduating from Hinds, Mary Elizabeth moved to Houston to work and lived with her beloved sister Louise.  There she met her future husband Hal, an industrial engineer with Union Carbide.   They married in Carthage on August 15, 1953.  Their two children were born in Texas. 
In 1966, Hal received a career opportunity in New York City and the family moved away from dear family and friends to make a new life in Stamford, Connecticut. While in Stamford, Mary Elizabeth was a homemaker, and, when the children were older, she became successively, a bookkeeper, a real estate broker and an office manager.  While in the northeast of the United States, the family enjoyed numerous visits from family and friends to see the sights.  They enjoyed exploring New England, Canada and New York City. 
In 1985, Mary Elizabeth and Hal retired to Mississippi to be nearer to family.  There they lived in a house that they designed and built themselves.  In Mississippi, Mary Elizabeth pursued her interest in genealogy, earning membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution where she served as Regent.  She was an active member of several bridge clubs and garden club and a member of First United Methodist Church of Starkville.
Although she was the baby in a family of nine children, she gave endlessly of herself to her family and friends.   In her younger years, she cared for nieces and nephews and later for her own children whom she adored.   She was a doting grandmother who could calm even the fussiest baby.  In her later years, Mary Elizabeth devoted herself to caring selflessly for her husband in spite of her own illness.  Her kindness and generosity and giving nature will be missed by loved ones all over the country.
Visitation is scheduled for Monday, August 11, 2014 from 9-11 a.m. at Welch Funeral Home in Starkville, MS.  A graveside service will be held on Monday, August 11, 2014 @ 1 p.m. at Carthage Memorial Park in Carthage, MS.
In lieu of flowers, gifts in her honor may be made to Palmer Home for Children, PO Box 746, Columbus, MS 39703 or First United Methodist Church of Starkville Mission Fund, 200 West Lampkin Street, Starkville, MS 39759.
You may go online and sign our guest register at 

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