Mary Jean McCarty Gist February 18, 1927 - January 9, 2007
Mary Jean McCarty Gist died on January 9, 2007, just short of her 80th birthday. Jean died in the loving care of her friends, whom she considered family, at Crestpark of Helena, on November Drive, where she resided for the past year and a half. At Crestpark she was known fondly ďJeannie PearlĒ because of her gentle spirit and happy countenance. Jean leaves her husband, Morse Upshaw Gist, Sr., of Helena, who is consoled by Jeannieís entry into the presence of her Lord. She has also joined the faithful company of her parents, Katherine Louise and Alto McCarty, and of her son, Charles C. Gist, who died in 2004.
Jean was born in Helena, Arkansas on February 18, 1927. Her brothers and sisters were Alto, Harry, Patrick, Walter, Gordon, Irene and Katherine McCarty (Katherine White, surviving), and baby brother Jimmy, who died as an infant. Jean graduated from HelenaHigh School. During World War II, she served as a secretary to the British Department at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., where she observed Winston Churchill at work and learned the formalities of British tea service. Jean then served as a secretary to administration at the HelenaHospital. She was residing at the nursesí dormitory when she met Morse Gist, who had returned home from duty in the United States Army Air Corps. Morse arrived at the dormitory to pick up Jeannie for a blind date arranged by a friend. Morse passed inspection by the matrons on duty that evening, was introduced to Jeannie, and reports that at that moment his life changed forever. Jean and Morse were married at the HelenaMethodistChurch on All Saintsí Day, November 1, 1951. While raising her children and assisting at Gist Music Company, Jean attained an Associates Degree in Nursing from PhillipsCountyCommunity College. She worked as a Registered Nurse at the HelenaHospital until she retired. Jeanís work inspired both daughter Mary Ann Mizell and granddaughter Katherine Mizell to select nursing as their chosen professions.
Jeanís older son, Morse U. Gist, Jr., is a practicing attorney in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where he lives with his wife, Jody. Jeanís younger daughter, Pamela, practices law in northern Virginia with her husband, David Nace. Jeanís younger son, Charles, was a physician specializing in child psychiatry. His widow, Laya, and children Emma and Hayden continue to reside in Little Rock following Charlesí automobile accident. Jeanís eldest grandchild, Benjamin Mizell, and his fiancť, Sarah Grant of Benton, reside in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where Ben works in the real estate industry and Sarah has begun her nursing career at WashingtonRegionalHospital. Mary Ann Mizell is married to Philip Mizell, M.D. They live in Little Rock with their daughter Katherine, who will begin working at Arkansas Childrenís Hospital in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
Memorial services will be held at St. Johnís Episcopal Church in Helena at on Saturday, January 13, 2007. Memorials may be made to St. Johnís Episcopal Church, 625 Pecan St., Helena, AR72342.
St. John's Episcopal Church
Perry & Pecan St.
1/13/2007 at 1:00 p.m.
Obituary Provided By: Roller-Citizens Funeral Home
508 East Plaza Street
West Helena, AR 72390