A Life Lived: Mary Evelyn Sargent looked at life as an adventure

Published 12:28 pm Tuesday, June 15, 2021

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Mary Evelyn Sargent enjoyed the little things in life…in fact, it was the little things that became the big things in her life. If life was a game, she played it; if it presented a challenge, she met it; and if it presented her an opportunity, she grasped it.
Mary Sargent died June 1 at the age of 94 after spending the past four weeks of her life in the nursing home. But up until that time she did a lot of living. She celebrated her 80th birthday by taking her first motorcycle ride. When a family member visited her on his motorcycle, he asked what she would like to do for her birthday. Mary’s reply: “I’ve never rode a motorcycle. His answer: “Hop on.” And Mary did, taking her first motorcycle ride. “And, she really enjoyed it,” said daughter Roberta Campbell.
“Moma enjoyed people and enjoyed going places. She liked banana splits and music by Boots Randolph, Floyd Cramer, and Chet Atkins, and she liked the color red. It didn’t take much to make her happy. She enjoyed the simple things in life,” said Roberta.
Among Mary’s first jobs was teaching school at the old Blue Springs School. She later worked at a bank and spend her last working years at the Raytheon Corporation, where she was an inspector.
“She and my dad, R.L. Sargent traveled some. He was a Shriner, so they went to a lot of Shriner events. She enjoyed going to the beach and camping. She was up to doing anything you suggested, but, I think her favorite place to go was to the beach,” her daughter shared.
Mary was a graduate of Elizabethton High School, and she and Hildred Lewis, who died earlier this year were pretty much life-long friends and stayed in touch with each other.
“Red was Mom’s trademark. She liked red clothes, had a red car, a red Bible, and wore red lipstick and red fingernail polish,” Roberta shared with a laugh.
“Moma enjoyed the small things in life, such as gardening, watching the hummingbirds as they flitted from flower to flower, and feeder to feeder. She enjoyed people and helping them if there was a need. She wanted to be useful,” said Roberta.
“She was a wonderful caregiver to my sister, Barbara before she died. Nothing seemed to be too hard to her. Big or little, she would tackle any job and give it her best,” her daughter said.
Mary was a member of New Liberty Free Will Baptist Church, where she was a member of the Golden Group. She enjoyed her church, Bible study, and being with church friends.
“Mom could just look at you and smile. She had the sweetest smile. It was that smile that could lift your spirits on any given day. She was always for the underdog, and regardless of who it was, if you were down and out, Mom wanted to be there to cheer you on and to lift your spirits, She was always there for me and my sisters,” Roberta shared.
In addition to Roberta, Mary was mother to Shirley Ann Campbell of Unicoi, and the late Barbara Lee Wilson. She had two grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren.
Mary Evelyn Sargent gave life her best shot. Every day – not just on her 80th birthday – she went for the ride of her life by doing the little things that made those around her smile.

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