A Memorial Service for Mary Rye, 94, of Belton, will be held at 11:00 AM Saturday, November 3, at the First Presbyterian Church in Belton with Rev. Rebecca Fox Nuelle officiating.
Mrs. Rye died Saturday, October 20, 2018 at a Temple Hospital.
The family will welcome friends for visitation Saturday morning at 10:00 AM at the church, prior to the Memorial Service.
Mrs. Rye was born September 1, 1924 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the youngest daughter of Martin Lee and Mary Louise (Wheeler) Wilson. She grew up in Chattanooga and was a 1941 graduate of Chattanooga Central High School.
She married William Clay Rye on November 15, 1941 in Summerville, Georgia. By 1942, the United States had entered WWII, her husband had enlisted in the Army Air Corps, and he was on active duty undergoing flight training to become a bomber pilot. She accompanied him to training sites when she could, and their first son, Bill Jr., was born during this time. Mrs. Rye moved back home with her parents when Lt. Rye was deployed overseas to an airbase in Italy in June 1944. His plane was shot down during a raid over Ploesti, Romania and he was taken prisoner that August. Mrs. Rye delivered their second son, Jerry, in December 1944, and Lt. Rye did not receive word of the birth until after his P.O.W. camp was liberated in April 1945. He returned to the United States in June 1945.
The young couple settled down in the Chattanooga area after the war was over, and continued to raise a family, adding a daughter, Patricia, and another son, David. Mr. Rye went to work for the Tennessee Valley Authority and Mrs. Rye spent her time being a homemaker and a loving wife and mother. They were both involved in Baptist Churches wherever they lived, serving as Sunday School teachers, choir members and church camp counselors. They were also active in their communities, especially with the local schools, both serving as PTA presidents and as school event chaperones. Mrs. Rye was often a room mother and provided transportation for school trips or for children needing off-campus appointments, such as speech therapy.
Once their children were grown, Mr. and Mrs. Rye discovered a love for travel and they spent the next phase of their lives on the road, usually in a recreational vehicle. They visited almost all of the states in this country and a few spots in Mexico and Canada. When they were at home in the Chattanooga area, they worked with one son in a family-owned printing business, and later helped another son care for a disabled loved one.
Mrs. Rye, having grown up in a loving, caring family herself, undertook the role of care-giver willingly and ably. She eventually provided most of the care for her husband as his health failed in his later years. Although raised a Baptist, Mrs. Rye began attending the First Presbyterian Church in Belton with her daughter and quickly fell in love with the people there. She faithfully attended worship services and other events and enjoyed spending time with friends whom she met through the church.
She was preceded in death by her husband in 2007, by her son, Martin Jerald Rye, in 1997, and by her two sisters, Georgia Louise Garmeson and Frances Emma Hoopes. Survivors include her daughter, Patricia Rye and husband Richard Creed, of Belton, a son and daughter-in-law, William C., Jr. and Patty Rye, of Franklin, Tennessee, and a son, David Rye, of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Other survivors include five grandchildren, Reese Forsberg, Valerie Jordan, Timothy Rye, Joshua Rye and Abraham Rye; eleven great-grandchildren, four great-great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to the First Presbyterian Church in Belton.