It is with great sadness that the family of Mary Estelle “Sis” Pace Thrash Whipple announces her passing. At home surrounded by family and special caretakers, she lost her long battle with illness on May 29, 2020.
Born in Bessemer, Alabama, to Clarence Hoye and Addie Mae Nester Pace on Sept. 12, 1927, she was the fourth child and oldest daughter of six children. She is predeceased by her parents; husbands, John T. “Jack” Thrash and Frank R. Whipple; brothers, Hoye E. Pace (Glyn), Stanley G. Pace (Jean) and Tommy N. Pace (Pauline); sister, Martha Pace May (William); and nephew, John Pace.
She is survived by her sister, Pat Pace Tatum (Oscar); nieces, Theresa “Terri” May Vance (Larkin) and Kathy Pace Pope (David); nephews, Glen Pace (Cate), Barry Pace (Rhonda), Garry Pace (Wanda), Mike Pace (MarChelle), Kim Pace, Ricky May (Carol), Jerry May (Gina), Jeff May (Teresa); special caregiver, Pat Brown; and numerous great nephews and great nieces and their families.
After graduation from high school, she started a long career at Bell South, starting as a switchboard operator. When she married Jack Thrash, she helped to support him as he continued his education in engineering at Mississippi State University in Starkville. His career took them to California where they lived for many years before they returned to Newton, her home since retirement. She was widely traveled and particularly enjoyed spending time on the beach. She also was an avid gardener, loving her houseplants, yard, and bird watching. Her large family was very important to her, and many of her trips included one or more sisters and nieces. She will be sorely missed for her strength, intelligence, lively sense of humor, and independent spirit.
A graveside service was held at Conehatta Methodist Cemetery with Bro. Tommy Tanner and great-nephew Stan Pace officiating on May 31, 2020, at 3 p.m., with visitation at 2:30 p.m. at the cemetery. Pallbearers included Shane Pace, Stephen May, Stephen Pace, Eric Vance, John May, Scott Vance, Jeremy May, Phillip Vance and Zach May. Honorary pallbearers included Oscar Tatum, Glen Pace, Barry Pace, Garry Pace, Mike Pace, Kim Pace, Ricky May, Jerry May, Jeff May, Larkin Vance and David Pope.
The family would like to thank friends and extended family members for the prayers, calls, visits, food, flowers and cards during this difficult time. In addition, the kind care and treatment of caretakers Lou Wilkinson, Caroline Graham, Diane Gunter and Mildred Ponder, and the Sta-home Health and Hospice staff are greatly appreciated. Memorials may be made to the Gideons International or American Cancer Society.