Mary Catherine (Elders) Pounds of Cuba, Missouri was born May 18, 1925 in Rolla, Missouri to the union of William Patrick and Gertrude (nee Knox) Donahoe. She left this life on July 7, 2019 at the age of 94 at Cuba, Missouri.
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Mary was united in marriage to Frank Alvin Elders, M.D. in 1944, and to this union three children were born; Frank Michael, Mary Judith and Patricia Catherine.
Frank was recruited in 1946 to open a family practice in Cuba, so Frank and Mary opened their first Cuba Medical Clinic in their home on old Highway 66. Trained by Dr. Frank as a practical nurse, Mary worked with her husband for 40 years. She was on call if he wasn’t available and her house calls were as welcome as Doc’s to patients needing medical attention or having a baby.
During the 1960’s and 1970’s Mary and Dr. Frank built Cuba’s first airport, which Mary named ‘Flutterbug’s Roost’, in Cuba, MO. They both loved to fly and were active in dozens of proficiency air races all over the country. Mary usually piloted, while Frank navigated. Mary was designated ‘National Female Pilot of the Year’ in 1970 by the National Pilot’s Association.
Mary was very active in serving her community. She and Dr. Frank were instrumental in bringing ambulance service to Crawford County, and Mary worked as an EMT for the first few years of operation. She was also a member of the Cuba Arts Council and the Garden Club.
After Dr. Frank’s death, Mary married a wonderful gentleman, Lloyd Pounds, of Bourbon, Missouri. They married on May 28, 1988 and shared eight wonderful years until his death in 1995. They loved to travel, and during their marriage travelled throughout the Western United States and also to England.
Mary’s musical gifts blessed this community for over 60 years. In the 1960’s and early 70’s, her beautiful soprano voice was a highlight of the Cuba Community Chorus under the direction of Audrey Ove. She was also a member of the Rolla Chamber Singers, and sang solo events too numerous to mention throughout the community, once singing for the Governor when he visited Cuba. With her husband, Frank, on drums, Mary even tickled the ivories with a pop and jazz group. In later years, Mary served as the organist for the Holy Cross Church until she was 83 years old.
Underlying all else was Mary’s deep faith, and she was a loyal member of Holy Cross Catholic Church for almost 75 years.
Mary was a devoted Mother and Grandmother. As children, her four granddaughters spent a great deal of time with their grandmother. Not only did Mary teach them how to feed peanuts to chipmunks out of their hands, she taught them about other animals as they sat on the porch swing and talked. Mary also loved to take the girls out in the jeep for picnics in the woods & go for long walks along the many trails she and Frank had created. The girls remember each Halloween being special because Mary would make homemade caramel apples, popcorn balls and miniature pumpkin pies for each of them.
Mary instilled a love of music in each of the girls, taking them to musical performances in Rolla and St. Louis. In turn, they attended all of her musical performances, looking forward to her Christmas and Spring concerts each year. Their real love was spending time with Mary in her home around the piano. She would play piece after piece, never seeming to tire of playing ‘Teddy Bears Picnic’ or Scott Joplin’s ‘Ragtime’ as the girls sang and danced all around the living room & piano. As the girls grew, Mary continued to support them by attending their school parties and events. She even sent care packages of homemade chocolate chip cookies off to college for the girls and their roommates to enjoy. All of the girls now have children of their own who have been blessed to have had such a wonderful great-grandmother who loved them dearly.
Mary was preceded in death by her beloved daughter, Judy, her husband Frank A. Elders, M.D., and her husband Lloyd Pounds.
She is survived by her loving daughter and constant companion, Patricia Elders of Cuba, her son Mike Elders, of Cuba; four wonderful granddaughters: Jennifer (Chris) Abercrombie of St. Louis, Becky (Phil) Kesel of Odessa, Fl., Rachel (Spencer) Mehl of Cuba, and Dana (Ronnie Dean) McDowell of Nashville, TN; and seven greatgrandchildren, Devin Halbert, Brian & Ellen Kesel, Lauren & Andrew Abercrombie, Morgan Weber and Garon McDowell.
Once again Mary is soaring above the clouds, this time in the arms of the angels. May God keep her enfolded in his loving arms forever.
Visitation will be at Holy Cross Catholic Church Saturday, July 13 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.. Funeral Mass officiated by Father Richard Boever will be at 11:00 a.m.
Final prayers and interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Holy Cross Church 415 School St. Cuba, Missouri 65453.
The Mizell Funeral Home of Cuba is honored to be serving the Elders-Pounds family.