Mary Napier

Mary Napier

CELINA- Mary Frances Smalling Napier, 86, of Celina, TN, loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin and friend, passed away on Thursday, January 6, after a brief illness.  She was born July 21, 1924, in Gamaliel, KY. She is preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, Joe Frank Napier; parents Bevie and Meredith Ellis Smalling; sisters Mildred Bateman, Mattie Comer and Edith Bray; brothers James Smalling, Gene Smalling and Henry Dunn; and granddaughter, Kiley Dale Wilt.  Mary was the pianist and founding member of the First Baptist Church of Celina, retired Clay County Trustee’s Office Assistant and ongoing treasurer of Fitzgerald Cemetery.  Much gratitude is given by the many families touched by her ardent work, pride, and insistence on the highest quality of maintenance of the cemetery.

Mrs. Napier is renowned for her clever wit and contemporary spirit, open home, compassionate care-giving, dignity, grace.and beauty.  She loved travel and exploration and visited throughout the fifty states and Europe.  Mary meticiously served the role of family historian and gave each member of her large extended family a place to call home once the physical presence of their childhood was gone.  She lived to the fullest and life’s amusing predicaments became folklore as she faced every challenge and opportunity with a happy-go-lucky smile and positive attitude.  She will be so missed, loved, treasured and celebrated.

She is survived by two daughters Barbara Wallace and husband, Phil, of Hopkinsville, Ky; Brenda Wilt and Carlton Brown of Nashville, TN; brother, Jerry Smalling  and wife, Cathy, of Decatur, IL; granddaughters Whitney Paulowsky and husband, Ryan, of Atlanta, GA, and Angela Considine and husband, Deon, of Dixon, IL; grandson Joe Carter and wife, Janice, of Midland, Texas; six great grandchildren, Mary Kiley Paulowsky, Will Paulowsky, Haley Foster, Ava Considine, Noah Considine and Jaedin Considine; and countless loving nieces and nephews.

Funeral Services were held Sunday, January 9, 2010 at Upton Funeral Home with burial to follow at Fitzgerald Cemetery.  Memorial contributions may be made to Fitzgerald Cemetery or the First Baptist Church of Celina, TN.

Upton Funeral Home in charge of the arrangements.