January 1, 1921 - March 28, 2015
San Antonio, Texas | Age 94
Mary Daughtry was called home to be with her Lord on March 28, 2015 at the age of 94 years. She was born and raised on her father's farm and ranch near Hawley, Texas where she graduated from high school as her Class Salutatorian in May, 1939. Her mother died when she was 8 years old and as the second oldest of four siblings, she was called upon to help cook, do housework and help care for her younger brother and sister while her older brother helped their Dad with ranch chores before and after school. But growing up on a ranch was not all work, and some of her fondest memories were of playing "rodeo" where she rode bucking animals just like the boys did. She proudly displayed a life-time "Trophy" in the form of a prominent wrist bone that was broken when pitched off a calf. She remained nimble until late in her life and could still kick her outstretched hand held almost head high even into her eighties. Her family worked hard, played hard and her Dad survived the Great Depression financially intact at a time when most small farmers and ranchers did not. Lessons learned working in the fields and taking care of livestock along with household duties while making straight A's in school were great discipline and preparation for what would unfold in her life.
On June 1, 1939 she married Henry A. Daughtry, Sr. Their only tangible assets were a 1939 Ford Sedan, a rocking chair and a radio. But their intangible assets were what would prove to be valuable beyond measure. Faith, Family, and Friends became the core values that they lived by and shared with their two sons and all they encountered. An abiding Christian Faith sustained them during serious illnesses and financial hardships. Family was not just them and their blood relatives but also the Friends and co-workers who always knew that Mary and Henry would be there to help in any way they could.
During the first 13 years of Mary's marriage, she, her husband and two sons lived in numerous rural locations in South Texas where sometimes "home" was a one or two room house with no running water or electricity. Lessons learned growing up meant her family had a year-round vegetable garden, plenty of chickens and a milk cow. She knew how to make butter, butter milk, cottage cheese, and sour cream and sold what the family did not eat. Saturdays meant a trip to town to trade butter and eggs for grocery staples. Her cooking skills were the envy of her sons' friends who often "just happened" to stop by about supper time. Homemade biscuits, corn bread and yeast rolls were usual fare. She sewed most of her own clothes and those of her sons. Livestock feed came in cloth bags that were saved to make a "feed sack" dress for her or shirts for her sons. Two pair of "store bought" jeans for each son with extra long legs turned up at the cuff started out the school year and by Spring, they sometimes had a big patch on the knees and were a bit short in the legs, but Mary managed to do with what she had to do. While she always made any house a home, her husband was often away from home working long days hauling hay or cattle to pay off some bad farming loans and to pay for five acres of land that they had purchased after World War II located "way out" Bandera Road outside of San Antonio.
In December of 1952, her husband obtained employment in San Antonio and the family put down deep roots in NW Bexar County that persist to this day. The resourceful, loving wife and mother of two sons proved to be a woman of many talents. She forged a remarkable career outside the home that began in the mid-fifties. First, she graduated from San Antonio College as a Dental Technician and worked for a dentist for several years where she became proficient in working with ceramics and gold in dental procedures. During that time she discovered her artistic talent and what began as a hobby in oil painting eventually became a source of income as well as pleasure. Although, largely self-taught, she began teaching art classes to others, both adults and children. The extra income she provided helped purchase an old wood-frame farm house that was moved to the 5 acres of land that she and her husband had worked so hard to acquire. Just a few years later, in the late 1950s, it was announced that Loop 410 would be built and pass right in front of their home. Today, that location is the corner of Loop 410 and Daughtry Drive at one of the entrances to the HEB Shopping Center.
Mary, by then a budding entrepreneur, quickly realized that this location would have commercial potential and decided to work out of her house and become an antique dealer to compliment her art work and teaching. She became an expert in American and European furniture along with glass ware, china and Hummel figurines. The business prospered. Her husband had helped lead an effort to incorporate Leon Valley and became the second Mayor. By the early 1970's, Mary's sons were both grown with college degrees in business thanks to her and her husband's sacrificial assistance. A commercial real estate developer began acquiring all their neighboring land parcels to develop what would eventually become the HEB Shopping Center at Bandera Road and Loop 410. Mary and her husband proved to be tough negotiators and were the last to sell to the developer who told them they could move their house to another location. They moved the house further out Bandera Road where it still stands near the Leon Creek crossing. That became the location of Mary F. Daughtry Antiques until she retired in the late 1990's.
But before she retired, Mary discovered that she could use skills learned as a Dental Technician along with her mastery of how to mix oil colors and make repairs to china and Hummels that in many cases were virtually impossible to detect. She quickly became highly sought after for that skill. Insurance companies and the Department of Defense discovered her ability and also began retaining her to do appraisals for military member's antiques damaged in moving. On one occasion the Air Force flew her in an executive jet from Randolph AFB to resolve two VIP appraisal disputes at another AFB and then back to San Antonio in the same day. In the event of a dispute of value, it was understood that her decision was final. Everyone knew she called it like she saw it and could support her conclusions with research and sales data at time before the internet was even remotely imagined.
China and Hummel repair was quite tedious and eventually became just too physically demanding and, sadly, she developed an allergy to oil paints. So, she decided to close her shop and retire. But, for her, retirement meant keeping on working. She remained very active and helped her younger son in his business part time for a number of years. She also traveled and spent quality time with family and many friends. She was a member of the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio for several decades and cultivated countless friendships that she thought of as extended family among the membership there.
She continued to live in her own home and drove her car until her health failed just after her 92 birthday. She then resided at Brookdale Shavano Park until her death March 28, 2015. Mary's family wishes to sincerely thank the entire staff and other residents at this superb assisted living facility for, as Mary repeatedly said, "Taking real good care of me here."
Mary was preceded in death on May 26, 1990 by Henry A. Daughtry, Sr., her husband of 51 years and her younger son, Dallas Daughtry who died February 4, 2003. Her immediate family survivors are her older son, Henry A. Daughtry, Jr and his wife Kaye; daughter-in-law, Carol Daughtry; grandsons Todd and Kirk Daughtry; granddaughter Meredith Daughtry Martin and her husband Ashley. Great grand children include Megan Daughtry Fuentes, Joshua, Caleb and Micah Daughtry and Matthis and Ashton Martin.
Mary the Dental Technician, Artist, Art Teacher, Antique Dealer and Appraiser, China Repair Artist, and Entrepreneur was indeed a woman of many professional talents, but her greatest talent was in leaving a legacy of Faith to her family and friends that is poetically described in Proverbs 31:10-31....which concludes: "Charm can fool you, and beauty can trick you, but a woman who loves the Lord should be praised. Give her the reward she has earned; she should be praised in public for what she has done."
A private family graveside service is pending under the direction of Porter Loring Mortuary North where Mary's friends are encouraged to visit www.porterloring.com and share their memories of her there. In lieu of flowers, the family will match memorial donations to either of the following: Cherokee Home for Children, 13355 S. Hwy. 16, Cherokee, TX 76832 or give on line at www.chc4kids.org OR Christian Hope Resource Center, 321 N. General McMullen Dr., San Antonio, TX 78237 or give on line at www.sachrc.org
A Memorial Service and Celebration of Mary's life is scheduled on Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 10 A.M. at the Oak Hills Church, located at 19595 IH-10 West, at the Camp Bullis Rd. Exit.