Cover photo for Mary Nell Sampley Wyatt's Obituary
1927 Mary Nell 2024

Mary Nell Sampley Wyatt

January 16, 1927 — May 16, 2024

Birmingham, Alabama

Mary Nell Sampley Wyatt was born at home in Birmingham, Alabama on January 16, 1927, to Ruby Alma Kendrick Sampley and Jefferson Cleveland Sampley. She was the beloved little sister to Martha Ann, and they remained close throughout life. She spent the formative years of her childhood in New Orleans where she developed a lifelong love of music, especially jazz. Returning to Birmingham after the death of her father in 1937, she was welcomed by her Kendrick cousins, who remained a support all her life. At Jones Valley High School she met the love of her life, Charles Raymond Wyatt, and they married in 1943 just before he was sent overseas to fight in the Battle of the Bulge. Thankfully, he returned, and they began their lives together. Raymond was a Birmingham policeman and Mary Nell was the buyer for the Record Department at Loveman’s Department Store in downtown Birmingham. He called her Susie and never said an unkind word to her. She was a looker and loved beautiful clothes. They had a wonderful time with friends back from the war dining out at Joy Young and Britling, playing canasta, and heading to the Florida beaches. They had two children, David Raymond Wyatt, and Deborah Ann Wyatt Ford. After staying home while her children were young, Mary Nell became a manager at Liberty National Life Insurance until retirement. After Raymond’s passing in 2006, in her eighties, she moved to North Carolina and then Baltimore to live near her daughter’s family and only grandchild, Camille. She made new friends and had many adventures until returning to Birmingham in 2017. Throughout her life, she loved good music and good conversation, and was often the life of the party, even at 97. She had a heart for the downtrodden, read the Wall Street Journal every day, and was a clear-eyed thinker behind a steel magnolia graciousness. She did not fit the mold and will be greatly missed.
Mary Nell was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Charles Raymond Wyatt, her parents, and sister, Martha Ann Hornbeak. She is survived by her children, David Wyatt (Jennifer Premus) and Deborah Wyatt Ford, her beloved granddaughter, Camille Wyatt Ford, her former son-in-law, Eric Ford, her much loved nephews Phillip Hornbeak, Richard Hornbeak (Hortencia), and John Hornbeak (Charlotte), and her Kendrick cousins, Gloria Bunn and Joanna Harvey. The family thanks Terry Fells, Margaret Evans, and Nancy Rabie for their tender loving care of Mary Nell. Funeral services will be at Currie Jefferson Funeral Home, 2701 John Hawkins Pkwy, Hoover AL 35244, Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at 11:00 with visitation at 10:00. A brief graveside service will follow at Valhalla cemetery and visitation with the family at home.
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Currie-Jefferson Funeral Home & Memorial Gardens

2701 John Hawkins Pkwy, Hoover, AL 35244

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

11:00 - 11:45 am (Central time)

Currie-Jefferson Funeral Home & Memorial Gardens

2701 John Hawkins Pkwy, Hoover, AL 35244

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Burial

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

12:15 - 12:30 pm (Central time)

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