Mary Sybil Henington

April 30, 1937-May 17, 2022

“It’s our people that make us rich, not our things.”

A child of the depression, born into poverty to an Arkansas sharecropping family; our Mom never felt poor. She did not wear shoes until she went to grade school, where they were required, and felt them to be an imposition. She grew up picking cotton in season, working the family garden and eating mostly what they grew and what various game Grampa brought back from the woods.

Although she was born in Arkansas, during the war, her family moved to the Bay Area of California where she graduated high school, and she spent most of her adult life in southeastern Idaho, where she raised her five children. She was married three times, but spent the majority of her later years as a single independent woman.

She taught us all to be fair, treat others with respect, work hard, and eat our greens. She demonstrated all of these virtues by how she lived personally. She was the best seamstress any of us knew, sewing much of our clothing, and even sewing drapery for the house. Most of her food was home grown in a garden larger than the house we lived in, and food was never allowed to go to waste. She worked multiple careers, including running her own business, skinning mink on a mink farm, being a correspondent, photographer and editor for two newspapers in southeastern Idaho, and running the insurance programs for Pepperidge Farms.

Her favorite things were her children, until we were edged out by her grandchildren. Her favorite colors were the bright colors of the spring flowers, and her favorite things to read were — well, she read everything. All of us knew her to be generous with her resources and her time, and she was always good for a laugh.

Mom’s body became gradually more fragile, but her mind remained sharp, and she was plenty capable of instructing us to the very end if she felt it was warranted. She passed peacefully in the early morning hours of May 17, with family at her bedside.

She is survived by her daughter Heather, and her four sons, Matthew, Andy, Edwin, and Phillip. She has 24 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

Mom desired to be cremated, and her remains to return to the earth. There will be a celebration of her life later in the summer. The price of admission will be a good story. If you don’t have a good story when you come, you will have some before you leave.

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