Mary Frances Brackett
Our sweet mother, grandmother and great grandmother left us on Sunday, January 12, to go be with the Lord, her husband of 63 years and her other Heavenly relatives and friends.
Mary Frances Brackett was born on April 19, 1920, in Pocahontas, Ark., to Mary Peters and Daniel Maurice Burke.
She attended St. Paul’s Elementary School and graduated from Pocahontas High School. She received an associated degree in Dietetics from Webster University in St. Louis and then worked at the Arkansas State Hospital in Little Rock, before coming back to live in Pocahontas after World War II began. She was working at the Postal Exchange at Walnut Ridge Air Force base cashing soldier’s checks, when a handsome young cadet, named Jim Brackett – a transplant from Minnesota - came in to cash his paycheck. She waited on him, and as he left the building, he swore he was going to marry her.
They were married on February 3, 1944, in the Chapel of the Air Base and then were stationed in Waco and San Antonio, Texas, before moving back to Pocahontas. Daddy went into business with our grandmother, Mary Burke, in Burke’s Shop adding a men’s department and Mother spent countless hours helping them grow the business. But she was always there when we got home from school and we had an idyllic small-town childhood because of her and our father and grandmother and our many relatives.
She was well known for her legendary divinity candy and her incredible chocolate roll that we have never been able to recreate.
She continued to live alone in our family home after Daddy’s death in 2007, until we were forced to move her to Little Rock in October of 2018, to live at Briarwood Nursing Home – although we never called it that in front of her. She was totally with it up until the morning of her death, kept up with current events – last week she wanted to discuss Jennifer Lopez’s dress at the Golden Globe Awards and “when was she ever going to marry that baseball player?” She spent her last Christmas at our home surrounded by her loving family.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Mary and D.M Burke, the husband she adored for 63 years, James D. Brackett, and many loving aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.
She is survived by her daughter, Melanie Orintas and her husband, Richard Orintas of Little Rock and their children, Debbie Teague (Michael) of Little Rock, and Richard “Bo” Orintas Jr. of Boulder, Colo., her son, Burke Brackett and his wife, Kristi of Rogers, Ark., and their children, Evan Lawrence, Joel Brackett and Grace Brackett and two great-grandchildren, Tucker and Abby Teague.
The family wishes to thank the many physicians in Pocahontas who cared for her over the years, JoAnn Redwine who was her caregiver and great friend and the staff of Briarwood Nursing Home for their loving care of our Mother.
Visitation and a Rosary will be from 5 – 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 15, at McNabb Funeral Home and the Funeral Mass will be at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 16, at St. Paul’s Church, with burial to follow at St. Paul’s Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, or to St. Paul’s Church in Pocahontas.