Mary Ottyce was born to the union of Willie Lee Richardson and Janie Rebecca Williford on April 19, 1916, in Old Hyatt, Tyler County, Texas, and has passed this life on May 8, 2019 at the age of 103. Mary Ottyce is preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Clyde, Douglas, Roy and Odis; niece, Leah; nephew, Clyde Stephen Richardson of Portland Oregon.
She is survived by her husband of 13 years, David Howard Peterson; brothers, William Lee Richardson, Ph.D., Edward Donald Richardson and wife, Corrine and their children, Thomas Edward and Susan Diane of Houston. Survivors also include niece, Janne Richardson Davio, Judge Neel Richardson and wife, Pat of Georgetown, Texas; grand-niece, Laura Boone and husband, Sam, with children Jacob, Clare and Sawyer, and grand-niece, Leslie Story and husband, Chris Story with children, Thomas and Stella, all living in Austin. Also two nieces, Marsha Knapp and Michelle Cook, in Hitchcock and distant relatives and friends.
Mary Ottyce was very proud of her Texas heritage, both paternal and maternal as they were both parents from pioneers of East Texas. They came to Texas in 1830 as Zavala Colonists from Louisiana, settling on the Neches River, and built the first ferry to cross the river. During the Runaway Scrape, this allowed passage across the river until word arrived that Santa Anna had been defeated. And the history goes on.
Prior to marriage, Mary Ottyce lived and worked for Del Monte foods in San Francisco, California and later lived and worked in Houston for many years as a Professional Recreational Director for the Houston River Oaks area. Mary had many interests as travel, antique collecting, classical music, art and enjoyed her time as a homemaker. She was a long time member of the Tuesday afternoon Bridge club in the area, and enjoyed her membership in the Pelican Club in Galveston and the Warwick Club in Houston.
She was a very proud member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy as a member of Chapter 2510, Benjamin Crownover Giddins in April 1986, later transferring to Chapter 2539, Fort Virginia Point. Mary Ottyce was a Real Granddaughter for her grandfather’s service. She was an active member in the Hitchcock area, married to Cecil Henckel, a well-known pioneer and businessman of the city. After his death in 1993, she married David H. Peterson in 2006. The two lived in her home for the remainder of her life.
She served as President of the Lioness Club 1959/60, and was named outstanding Lioness for those years, she was also the first woman to serve as President of the Hitchcock Chamber of Commerce in 1976, and was voted as woman of the year in 1985, Premier Citizen in 2010, and was Marshall of the Good Ole Days parade in 2011. Mary Ottyce was a long time parishioner of the First United Methodist Church in Hitchcock.
A celebration of her life will be 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, 2019, in the chapel of Hayes Funeral Home, with Pastor Mike Selzer officiating. Interment will follow at Galveston Memorial Park Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Lawson Brooks, Mike Charleston, Lee Knapp, Harry Robinson, Bill Richardson and Thomas Richardson.
Visitation with the family will be from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Monday at the funeral home, 10412 Highway 6, Hitchcock, TX (409) 925-3501. www.HayesFuneralHome.com
Those who wish may make memorials in the form of donations to the Hitchcock Public Library in her memory.