Mary Lou Rountree passed from this life on July 17, 2016 at her home. Mary was born November 15, 1927 in Van Buren, Ark. She was preceded in death by her husband, Col. (Ret) W. J. "Jiggs" Rountree.
She married Jiggs April 22, 1949 and became a military wife for life. The strength she exhibited throughout her life was tested shortly after her marriage when the Korean War broke out while she was on a troop ship to Japan. Jiggs was captured the day she arrived in Japan. It was more than three years before she would know he had survived.
While he wore the rank, she ran the family, house, and finances, and she demonstrated that best as Jiggs served in Vietnam with the 5th Special Forces in 1968-69. By that time, they had two children and she was Mom and Dad to two teenagers for the year he was deployed. Woe be unto anyone who thought they could bypass her to the man of the house.
She was insistent that those who served in uniform deserved the praise, but she was an example and mentor to wives, spouses and soldiers throughout her life, especially the young men and women from the New Mexico State University Army ROTC detachment in 69-72. As one of those men said recently; for their time, "Truth be told, a soldiers wife, is who really makes us whole."
The family moved to Edmond in 1972, and Mary finally laid down roots again. She enjoyed the Iris Club in Edmond and her friends at Bobbie's Tan and Tone. Mary was always willing to lend a hand to others, taking food to friends when needed, and offering rides to doctor appointments or elsewhere whenever needed.
Her family and friends saw her as one of the most intelligent, strongest women we knew. She leaves behind to carry on her memory sons Stephen (Brenda) Rountree of Austin, Ark.,, Greg (Donna) Rountree of Scott, Ark; five grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; brother, Jack Jones (Helen) and sister, Doris Johnson, both of Ft. Smith, Ark., and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Veterans charity of your choice, or the Tinker Air Force Base Chapel Fund, 6170 Arnold Dr. Tinker AFB 73145. The family would like to thank Mercy Hospice Care and the caregivers from Home Instead.
Visitation will be 6 - 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 19, at Matthews Funeral Home in Edmond. Funeral service will be 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 20, at the funeral home.
Published on July 18, 2016