Mary (Hines) Sicilio

February 17, 1921 – June 9, 2008

Mary Hines Sicilio passed from life to eternal life at her home in College Station, Texas on June 9, 2008. Born to Atsie and Robert Lee Hines in Simsboro, Louisiana on February 17, 1921, Mama grew up on the family cotton farm. Her mother taught her and other sharecroppers’ children in a one room schoolhouse. Mama attended teacher college, Louisiana State Normal School in Nachitoches, and received her degree in education from Louisiana Tech in Ruston.

Mama met Papa at when he was stationed at Barksdale Army Air Force Base during World War II. When she was teaching third graders at Simsboro, Louisiana, she was notified that he, a B-17 navigator on his first mission, was shot down over Vienna and was Missing in Action. After evading capture by the Nazis for seventy days, he returned to the United States, and they were married two days later.

In addition to loving Papa, family, and teaching children, Mama first loved God. Papa, born in Italy, had been raised in the Catholic Church. When he returned from being M.I.A., there were inadequate gas rations for the priest to travel to marry them. Thus, they were married by Mama’s Methodist preacher. Subsequently, Papa joined the Methodist Church.

She raised her family throughout Louisiana, Tennessee, Georgia, and Texas as Papa was pursuing studies in Chemistry at Centenary and Vanderbilt and faculty appointments in Chemistry at Georgia Tech and Texas A&M. To support educational programs for Aggies, a former student, Dr. Bill Howell, other former students, faculty, friends, and family established the Fred and Mary Sicilio Presidential Endowed Scholarship
in Chemistry at Texas A&M University.

In reviewing her Bible, Mama had noted, from Ephesians 4, the various callings of Christians, and wrote “My special ability was to teach children.” Indeed, Mama taught elementary students in Louisiana, Tennessee, and Texas, and completed the last twenty years of her teaching career as an outstanding third grade teacher at College Hills Elementary in College Station.

Mama and Papa joined A&M Methodist Church one week after they moved to the A&M College of Texas in 1961. They remained devoted members until their deaths. Lovers of Christian music, Mama and Papa donated the Steinway grand piano to the historic gothic sanctuary. The sanctuary American flag is donated by the Sicilio family to the memory of Fred Sicilio, Earl Rudder, and all who love God and country. The sanctuary Christian flag is similarly donated in memory of Mary Sicilio, Margaret Rudder, and all who love God and family.

Always the teacher, Mama donated her body for medical education and research to the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.

Mama was preceded in death by her mother, sisters, brothers and Papa.

Mama is survived by her son, Lee, and wife, Jan, of Fort Worth; daughter, Rebecca Sicilio Lewis, and husband, Neeley, of College Station,grandson, Stuart Barron Lewis, and wife, Autumn, great-grandchildren, Grace Rebecca and Graham Barron, of Conroe, granddaughter,Rachel Ruth Moore, and husband, Casey, great-grandchildren, Lauren Elizabeth and Luke Davis, of College Station; daughter, Mimi Sicilio, and husband, Joseph Kluszcynski of College Station; son, Mark, and wife, Lisa, grandchildren Sarah Elizabeth, Mark Stephen, Matthew Lee,and Rachel Anne of College Station; numerous other relatives including great-niece, Deena Hardin and family, of College Station; and many former students and friends.

The family thanks Choice Home Care, Mary Ann Braden, and Mama’s beloved physician, David Hackethorn, M.D., for their excellent and compassionate care.

A memorial service celebrating her life, death, and resurrection will be held at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 11, at A&M United Methodist Church. One may leave condolences at www.callawayjones.com.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to A&M United Methodist Church, the Methodist Children’s Home in Waco, Texas, or the charity of one’s choice.

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