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In Memoriam: Former Baylor First Lady Mary McCall

The entire Baylor family is mourning the loss of former First Lady and Founders Medallion recipient Mary McCall, who passed away Nov. 13, at the age of 95.  Mary McCall was the wife of Baylor’s 11th President (and later Chancellor) Abner V. McCall and was well-loved for her “servant heart, grace, and passion for supporting the University’s students,” according to a tribute posted today on the University’s website.

“We celebrate today the life and legacy of Mary McCall, whose service to Baylor University was informed by her strong faith and whose dedication touched the lives of so many of our Baylor men and women,” said Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr, in the university’s post.  “We mourn Mary’s passing, yet we rejoice at her life and Christian legacy.  Mary invested in Baylor as a student, a professor’s wife, a parent, an alumna, and as First Lady, and for her truly selfless service, we give heartfelt gratitude.”

Visitation will be from 3-5 pm on Monday, Nov. 17, at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home, 6101 Bosque Blvd., Waco, TX 76710.  Funeral services for Mrs. McCall will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, at First Baptist Church of Waco, 500 Webster Ave., Waco, TX 76706.  The family will have a private burial.

For those of you who knew Mrs. McCall or were impacted by her in some way, we invite you to share your memories of a life well lived in the Comments section of this Line Notes post.

Thanks to our members and friends for these photos:

Mary McCall (right) accepts a rose from Amber Thompson, Baylor Round Table’s 2004-05 president-elect, at the group’s 100th birthday party.
Mary McCall (right) accepts a rose from Amber Thompson, Baylor Round Table’s 2004-05 president-elect, at the group’s 100th birthday party (Summer 2004 Baylor Line)
From Colbert Held: Mary was bravely visiting the exhibit of my Middle East photographs in Poage Library during the spring of 2013 and sat for this photo, since she (and Abner McCall) and I were old friends—and about the same age.
From Colbert Held: Mary was bravely visiting the exhibit of my Middle East photographs in Poage Library during the spring of 2013 and sat for this photo, since she (and Abner McCall) and I were old friends—and about the same age.

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4 thoughts on “In Memoriam: Former Baylor First Lady Mary McCall”

  1. I met Mrs. McCall early in 1980 when her son-in-law, Rev. Dwayne Martin, invited me to come down to Texas to visit Baylor as a prospective new student from Wisconsin. President and Mrs. McCall were so gracious to put us up for the night in their home and arranged a terrific campus visit for me the next day. Baylor was the clear choice for me as I later returned in the Fall as a new freshman. At the end of the year, Mrs. McCall was gracious enough to store my belongings in her attic until I could return in the fall to start my sophomore year. I tried to express my gratitude to her, and her response was as though she had no choice but to help others. She hoped I would do the same during my life time. She certainly defined graciousness and kindness, and I will remember her fondly.

  2. My first job after graduating from Baylor in 1962 was teaching at West Junior High School. How fortunate was I to have Mary teaching across the hall. She became my mentor and the person I admired so much. Her demeanor was always calm and encouraging.

  3. Paula McMullen Ray

    As a child growing up on the BU campus, I was blessed to know the McCall’s. I remember this gracious Southern lady for being so kind and always taking the time to talk with me when I was with my mother or dad. My parents were in the faculty bowling league with Judge and “Miss Mary”. Oh what great fun the faculty members had in that bowling alley. Even as kids, we ALL knew who were some of the more ‘competitive’ faculty. The loving, kind, caring souls of both McCall’s and all the faculty I got to know as a child and then when I became a student taught me some very valuable lessons of how to treat others. Mary McCall blessed me in so many ways and when I was talking to some BU students in my office this week, they couldn’t believe I actually knew her!! Once again she blessed me by sharing what a remarkable lady and amazing asset she was to Baylor and Waco. I can only imagine she is now presiding at the Baylor Round Table in heaven. God Bless the entire family.

  4. Mary McCall was a gentle, thoughtful, and graceful presence in our Baylor community, providing a silent but attractive contribution everywhere she appeared. She made rough edges smooth.

    Daniel G. Bagby, Ph.D…
    Former Baylor Trustee
    Ted Adams Emeritus Professor of Pastoral Care
    Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond

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