|Birth: ||Sep. 14, 1924|
|Death: ||Dec. 22, 1992|
1st wife's death saddens Christmas
Her name was Mary Olive Dailey but all the way back to when I used to date her at Port Arthur High School I called her "Mary O." I also called her "slender, tender and tall," she was five-eight and walked real pretty.
Never changed, not all her life and about 30 years married to me and our eight children.
I have a private prayer each Sunday before church begins, saying each name on a finger tip so I can keep count of them. Beginning with Mary, then our eight, then Jenny and Diane.
Last Sunday I was thinking how odd that all of us have lived so long without a death in the immediate family. It was as if God was preparing me.
Mary had her massive heart attack the next day. She lived just 24 hours more. Just long enough for Laurie and Drew to get in from the long drive from Midland.
We were all at her bedside in the intensive care room, sometimes holding hands and praying aloud. I told her that Laurie was here now, all of us.
From some experiences of my own I have learned that the hearing is the last to go, that a person who can no longer respond in any way can still hear what is being said around her.
Mary lived about five minutes more after Laurie got there. One of the Nuns came in and said "She's gone."
The rules of St. Elizabeth are only three members of the immediate family in the room at one time. Mary was living from various life support devices, some of us had waited the whole night long.
I don't know how many were crowded in there at the end. All our sons and daughters, yes, and maybe all the spouses. I couldn't see well. But the folks at St. E. went out of their way for us and for Mary. And we thank you.
At the time of Mary's heart attack I had been preparing for a Christmas trip to Dallas. Diane had said, "It's been so long since I've had a Christmas with my family." Her mother, all four of the grown kids, grandkids, all of her family were under the same roof for the first time in eleven years. A special time for Sally Tittle, Diane's mother who is a lady about my age and is dear to me, too.
When I got the call Monday to get out to the hospital soon as I could, Diane read the conflict in my face. Then she said something I'll never forget. She said, "Go. They need you. Stay with them long as you need to now. Come to Dallas when you can." That's class.
On Wednesday the 23rd I was a pall bearer at Mary's funeral with my sons. She carried them into this world, they carried her out. Next day I flew to Dallas where Christmas was being celebrated.
When we got back to Beaumont Sunday night there was a letter fro Diane, signed by all eight of my first family, "... that Dad was with us through our sorrow ... is appreciated more than you can imagine."
They all signed it with love. Mary O. would have been proud of them, too.
Columns by local author Gordon Baxter appear on Sunday in the Port Arthur Dec. 1992 written in ink.
Ralph Russell Dailey (1892 - 1962)
Ethel Mary de Valcourt Dailey (1903 - 1984)
Charles Otto Engebretson (1921 - 1943)
Gordon Francis Baxter (1923 - 2005)
Marjorie Baxter Davis (1953 - 2011)*
Ralph Russell Dailey (1923 - 1982)*
Mary Olive Dailey Baxter (1924 - 1992)
Merlyn Cecil Dailey (1927 - 2003)*
Greenlawn Memorial Park
Maintained by: Greg de Valcourt
Originally Created by: W & L
Record added: Dec 05, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 81580699