Mary W. Pugh

Published 2:28 pm Monday, November 15, 2021

Mary W. Pugh, 91, of Tallahassee, Fla., passed away Monday, Nov. 8, 2021, at Seven Hills nursing home.

Mary was born Sept. 6, 1930, in Fairhope, Ala., the youngest child of Roscoe and Bertha Walthall. At the insistance of her mother, Mary and her older brother, Jimmy Walthall, graduated together from Leon High School in Tallahassee. She later attended the University of Wyoming in Laramie where her older sister, Dorothy Tresler, suggested the West was where the real men were. Sure enough, she met her husband and father of their children, Charles Edward Pugh, where they were married at the foothills of Grand Teton National Park and spent their honeymoon mountain climbing.

They made their home in Denver, Colo., where their four children were born. The marriage lasted for 16 years. Following their divorce, Mary returned to Tallahassee, Fla., where she worked at McKenzie Tank Lines, Seminole Flying Service and eventually earned a real estate license and worked with her oldest brother, Joe Walthall. It was with him that she found her calling in assisting him with building a mini-storage business and managing such Tallahassee landmarks as the Exchange Building near the Capitol. She eventually owned her own industrial park and business, Capital Industrial Park.

Not one who shied away from laughing, dancing and having fun, Mary moved to Mashes Sands, Fla., near Panacea, and in Bainbridge, Ga. Her passion soon became clear with having joined her brother, Joe and his wife, Fannie Walthall, on their houseboat and joining the “boat family” on various outings on Lake Seminole or down the Apalachicola River. She soon bought her own boat, Proud Mary. Playing Tina Turner’s version of the song was a must while docking.

Her other passions included politics, becoming an alternate delegate to the 1976 Republican National Convention in Kansas City as she was an early supporter of President Reagan; and, meticulously chronicled her days and the lives of her family with diaries,  photo albums and beautiful remembrances.

Her parents and her siblings, Joe, Dorothy, Jack and Jimmy, preceded her in death.

Mary is survived by her four children; Glenn Pugh and his wife, Cairn, of Beverly Hills, Fla.; her three daughters, Vashti, (Cindy Shaw) and Leslie Vanette, both of Tallahassee, Fla., and Carol Heard and her husband, Terry, of Bainbridge, Ga.; eight grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and one great, great grandson.

A private burial will be held for the family. Culley’s MeadowWood Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.