Obituary of Mary Katherine Deal Vance
Mary Katherine Deal Vance, age 88, was surrounded by her family when she went to be with her Savior on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 after a short illness. Mary Katherine was born in Cerro Gordo, Tennessee and moved to Tupelo, Mississippi at a young age where she lived until 16 years old. During her childhood and teen years she enjoyed church, going to the movies, and eventually worked at the theater concessions stand selling popcorn. She also worked at the local drug store as a soda jerk and at the hospital as the operator where she developed her exceptional people skills and sense of humor that would later contribute to her success.
Mary Katherine graduated early at the age of 16 from Tupelo High School and then moved to Atlanta, GA, working for Southern Airways as a reservationist. She was recognized for her excellent work and was asked to relocate to Memphis, TN to help open the new office for Southern Airways. It was in Memphis that she met the love of her life, Joe Deal, as he was working for Braniff Airways as a sales representative. She noted that he was so handsome, had the best personality, and was real friendly. They fell in love and were married June 13, 1953 at the First Baptist Church in Tupelo MS. After they were married, they lived in Memphis and had two little girls. Working in Sales for Braniff airlines, Joe and Mary moved to Tulsa, OK where he soon changed to a career in the Petroleum Industry in 1957. During this time, Mary was a homemaker and three more daughters were born between 1957 and 1967. No boys!
In 1972, Joe and Mary started their own business and continued for 30 years as the owners of Deal Energy. In addition to Mary’s career in the Oil Industry, she had her hands full running a household with five daughters. She was very active in her children’s lives supporting all of their activities and making sure everyone got to church. We were there every time the doors were open and if we got there before it was over, we were on time. Mary was a member of Brookside Church of Christ for her early years and later, Central Church of the Nazarene. Mary’s priority was her family. The grandchildren have many happy memories of their “Memaw” and her devotion to them through the gift of time and lots of love. We love you Memaw!
In 2001, her precious husband, Joe went to be with the Lord. As time went on, Mary was introduced to Dennis Vance by mutual friends and they fell in love and started a new chapter for both of their lives in 2003. One of Mary’s gifts was the ability to remember names and relations to each other which was a good thing because Dennis has a large family. Her blended family was a blessing to Mary Katherine’s life.
Mary Katherine had a tender heart and the gift of empathy. She always made everyone feel special as she welcomed everyone into our home. It is with gratitude and love that we thank our Mary Katherine for the wisdom and lessons of life that she shared with us and carry in our hearts every day.
Mary Katherine is preceded in death by her husband, Joe Deal; parents Chloe and Horton Lee; Nola and Clarence T. Deal; Sister, Willa Dean York; Daughter, Rachael Deal; Sons-in-Laws, Eric Webb and Steve Parkhurst. She is survived by her loving husband of 20 years, Dennis G. Vance; her four daughters, Rebecca Parkhurst; Ramona (Bill) Gaddis; Ruth (Tom) Perry and Robin Webb. Thirteen Grandchildren: Scott (Julie) Parkhurst; Hannah Parkhurst, Laurel (Luce) Ramirez; Matt (Amber) Gaddis; Katie Gaddis (Andy Baydala); Alex (Amber) Perry; Andrea (Sam) Abbott; Wesley Perry and fiancé Olivia Foos; Victoria Haney; Aidan Haney; Rhett Kent; Levi Kent and Keller Kent. Mary Katherine also has 9 Great Grandchildren, Royce Parkhurst, Kirsten Ramirez, Archer and Sawyer Gaddis, Phillip and Bohdan Baydala, Charlotte and Josephine Perry and Vivian Abbott.
A celebration of life will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, April 15, 2023 at Central Church of the Nazarene.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Central Church of the Nazarene Youth Program, Tulsa Oklahoma.