In Memory

Mary Anne Gibson

Mary Ann Gibson died on April 15, 2005

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04/30/15 04:25 PM #1    

Taylor Uzzell

The tragic death of Mary Ann affected me deeply after hearing about it several years ago. Recently, memories and emotions were rekindled after a conversation with Ron Hulon about the Class of ‘65’s  50th Class Reunion. I went to the Class website and was bothered to see there was nothing posted on her “Memory” page.

I am probably not the one who should be memorializing Mary Ann. After the 7th grade, I had limited contact with her. But, she changed my life.

Mary Ann was my first love. I remember in the 7th grade when Don Gregson invited a small group of boys and girls to his house for a “get acquainted” dance. Boys and girls were paired-up ahead of time by Don. I was paired with Judy Joseph and Don was paired with Mary Ann. As soon as I saw Mary Ann, I was captivated by her genuine smile. I was overcome by her beauty. She totally won my heart. For the shy, self-conscious boy that I was, I made a bold move! I “broke the rules” and danced with Mary Ann! (I don’t think Judy or Don minded too much.) It was a slow wonderful dance – “Theme from a Summer Place” by Percy Faith (still a favorite). She seemed to understand my shyness and made me feel at ease and comfortable. She was vivacious. She was unpretentious. She was beautiful. If I had died right then and there, my life would have been complete!

Even though I thought about her day and night, I was too shy (or maybe didn’t know how) to approach her again. Many nights, I would ride my bike on the dark country road to John’s Station just to ride by her house and be closer to her.  I even did it one time in a thunderstorm. One day I stopped by to talk to her friend Nan McDonald which somehow made me feel closer to Mary Ann. I guess I never thought someone so beautiful could care about someone like me. We made little contact in high school until ….

Soon after we moved to Cary, Mary Ann was up in the area visiting relatives and she called me to get together. She came over to our house and said hello to my folks. (They always liked her.) We went out for dinner and had a great time. She was as beautiful as ever. But, I had met and fallen in love with someone else – my future wife Susan. We didn’t make contact again, until ….

Sometime in the 1980’s, I was going through Laurinburg on business and decided to try to get in touch with Mary Ann. We were able to briefly meet and she invited me to have dinner with her and her husband Mac. I had a great time. Mac was a gracious host. We had steaks Mac cooked on the grill and Mary Ann and I looked at old High School Annuals and she filled me in on what had happened to former classmates. I wanted mostly to hear about her. She told me about her children. She told me about the tornado that destroyed their home and the impact it had on her son. We talked a long time. She seemed to be happy and that gave me a sense of peace that is hard to describe. She was as beautiful as ever…. I never saw her again after that. Now she is gone and the circumstances of that loss give me no peace. Maybe with time ….

Mary Ann is worthy of being remembered. What is the worth of a person anyway? Surely it’s not measured by things accumulated, by knowledge gained or by power controlled. Maybe, just maybe it can be measured by the impact that person had on someone else’s life; the way another’s heart was stirred; the way another’s life was enriched. Because of Mary Ann, the grass is greener, the sky is bluer, the stars are brighter. Because of Mary Ann, I am able to care more compassionately, to feel more deeply and to love more completely. She was and is a blessing. Thank you God for the life of Mary Ann.

Taylor Uzzell (4/28/2015)

04/30/15 05:36 PM #2    

Louise White (Jackson)

Thank you for sharing. Mary Ann now has her "in memory" on our site. She always seemed to be so happy and had so much energy! I hope her family, especially her children, have the opportunity to read your reflection on how her life affected you...

05/01/15 08:19 AM #3    

Archie Paul

Thank you for the memories. Mary Ann was my 3rd cousin and we went to church together from time we were kids. She was always bright and cheerful and had that beautiful smile.
Last time I saw her was at a church in Maxton that was selling BBQ at their annual ingathering. She still had that beautiful smile that I fell in love with at a very young age.
It still pains me to think of her death. She was very special to me.

05/03/15 10:37 AM #4    

Becky Peurifoy (Stearns)

Taylor,  I never met you as I only moved to Laurinburg for my senior year in high school, but I surely remember Mary Anne.   She was one of the first to welcome me to the new school and she was always around to be sure that we (there were several of us) were included.  Her happy smile and peppy attitude was so memorable and as I saw her around town as we aged and raised our families she was still the same sweet gal.  I was very saddened by her death and I only knew her for a short time.  Just goes to show what an incredible influence we all have on each other.  Becky Stearns

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