Mary Sue McWilliams Bingham, 102, passed away peacefully in her sleep on December 28, 2022, at her home in Amarillo. All of us who grew up spending the night with Mimi, know that every night she prayed for each one of us by name and we take great comfort in knowing that sometime after her nightly talk with Jesus, he took her by the hand and walked her to her eternal home, where she was overwhelmed by his love and peace.
Mary Sue was born on January 29, 1920, to Charlie Lee and Minnie Lee Terrell McWilliams in Hubbard, Hill County, Texas. She was born as the ninth of twelve children and was the last living sibling among them.
The McWilliams family lived in Hubbard, Mertens and Graham, Texas before settling in the Hay Lake Community of Briscoe County, near Silverton, Texas. She attended the Hay Lake country school. After years of riding horses to school and sometimes walking uphill in the snow, she graduated from Silverton High School in 1937.
Mary Sue grew up with three sisters and eight brothers on the rim of the Palo Duro Canyon, where they raised livestock, cotton, wheat and milo. Keeping her little brother from drowning in the horse tank was one of the many jobs assigned to her on the family farm. Working hard together as a big family and having the canyons as their playground were some of her most treasured memories. When their father passed in 1933, her eldest brother saw their large family through the great depression.
On April 14, 1940, she married Curtis C. Bingham in Silverton, TX where they started their family.
In 1942, their baby girl contracted Polio and they spent the year in Dallas working at a box factory to be near Myrna during her treatment at the Scottish Rite hospital. They moved to Canyon, to Amarillo and back to Silverton before settling in Kress, TX in 1951, where they raised their two children, Myrna Sue and Charles D. Bingham.
Curtis and Mary Sue got their start working for Mr. and Mrs. Roy Burrus and lived in the apartment behind the grain elevator office. She never forgot their humble beginnings and the kindness of those who helped them get their start. With partners, Mr. and Mrs. Troy Burson and Mr. and Mrs. H.E. Wilson, they built Star Grain Elevator company in Kress, Claytonville and Centerplains, TX.
In 1984, Curtis and Mary Sue retired and moved to Borger, Texas to be close to their children and grandchildren. When her husband passed away in 1993, Mary Sue moved to Amarillo, where she was so busy going to bible studies and thrift store shopping that she often had to pencil us in when we came into town.
Mary Sue was a long-time member of the Methodist church including Kress United Methodist, First United Methodist in Borger and Polk Street Methodist in Amarillo. She was a member of the Kress Study Club, Plainview Book Study, Thursday Bible study and Methodist Women at Polk Street Methodist.
Mary Sue spent many hours sewing, baking, gardening and making mud pies with her grandchildren. She taught them how to make bubbles with wooden spools, make curtains, quilts and pot holders galore. She could cure anything with vinegar and fix everything with elastic. She knew the bible backwards and forwards and gave the family dinner prayer up until the week before she died. She was known for being persistently positive, seeing the best in people and encouraging us to pray for our enemies. Her favorite escape was to Santa Fe, New Mexico since her first visit in 1945, taking in the culture and the people. It was a rare day to see her without wearing her turquoise jewelry. She took great joy collecting hollyhock seeds from her garden and giving them to anyone who would plant them.
Mary Sue was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Curtis C. Bingham; her daughter, Myrna Sue Bingham Billups; her great-granddaughter, Abby Billups; her three sisters, Lucille, Willie Mae and Wilma; and her eight brothers, Marvin, Guy, Ray, Glenn, Dee, CL, Billy and Bobby McWilliams.
She is survived by her son, Doug Bingham and his wife Gail of Amarillo; her grandchildren, Kurt Billups (Ft. Worth), Miri Cook (mother of Abby) and Kip Billups (Amarillo), Brittany Bingham Trevathan and her husband, Chris in Salzburg, Austria, Bethany Bingham AuHoy and her husband, Jonah in Richardson, TX, and Benjamin Bingham in Dallas, TX; and her great-grandchildren, Benjamin, Isabelle, Tennessee and Raley Trevathan (Salzburg), Kai and Scarlett AuHoy (Richardson).
A special thanks to her nieces Donna Taylor, Janet Bomar and Mary Beth King for their love and care.
Services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, January 6, 2022 at Polk Street United Methodist Church. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors.
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