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Mary Henshaw Jernigan

May 4, 1944 - May 27, 2017

Mary Manning Henshaw Jernigan, age 73, a native of Lake Charles, died peacefully on May 27, at her Colorado residence of the past 10 years, following an extended struggle with a complex neurological illness (multiple system atrophy).

Mary was predeceased by her parents, A.B. “Beechie” Henshaw and Barbara Allen Henshaw and her sister Frances Gill.

She is survived by her husband of 45 years, Edward Barcus Jernigan, her son, Edward (Abby) of Orono, ME, and daughter, Ginny Jernigan Hughes (Kasey) of Peachtree City, GA. Also grandchildren Kate and Sam Jernigan and Haley and Morgan Hughes; and sisters, BB Roberts of Lake Charles and Linda Catalano (Pete) of Lafayette.

            Mary Manning Henshaw was born on May 4, 1944, in Lake Charles, Louisiana to parents Beechie and Barbara Allen Henshaw. She was the third of four daughters and had a loving childhood, full of great family experiences. She shared fond memories of growing up in a house full of music and dance. Mary was a 1962 graduate of Lake Charles High School where she was a member of the famed Kilties marching group. She earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees in art and teaching from Tulane University in New Orleans. She traveled extensively around Europe after college, and then taught elementary school in Houston for a few years. She later returned to graduate school for a MA in teaching, which she completed in 1970. It was there that she met her future husband, Edward Barcus Jernigan, through a mutual friend. Upon graduation, she began teaching in New Orleans, and she and Barcus got married — on July 24, 1971, in Lake Charles, LA.

            Mary was a kind and generous person and was quick to make close friends in all the communities she lived in, including: Houston, Nashville, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lexington, VA, Orlando, Mauritius, Johannesburg (RSA), Lake Charles, and Evergreen. One of Mary’s greatest strengths was her focus on people and relationships and was so good at correspondence that even when she moved she still kept close ties with friends from her entire life as she always put great effort into maintaining close relationships with all her wonderful friends she made. She was

            Mary’s interests and hobbies were varied and emphasized a focus on her family. Her husband, children and grandchildren were the highlight of her life and her greatest joys. She volunteered at schools and churches in every city she lived and never missed a single activity her kids were involved in. She had a lifelong love of art and routinely had creative crafts and art projects ready to do with her children and grandchildren. She fostered the next generations’ love of music and dance through supporting and encouraging their practice, lessons and recitals. She also loved reading, gardening and cooking the produce from her garden. She traveled extensively throughout her life and particularly enjoyed family vacation sailing and snorkeling trips in the Keys, Bahamas and Caribbean.  

       The family would like to thank Mary’s generous and kind caregivers: Lori, Janet, and Coni as well as Meg and the supportive staff from Mount Evans Home Health Care & Hospice.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Mount Evans Home Health & Hospice, of Evergreen, Colorado, whose staff have been so helpful to Mary and her family.  

The family will announce a memorial service to be held in Louisiana later this summer.            


One Response

  1. Prissy Hess Watson says:

    Mary was one of the biggest-hearted people I have ever known. We were sorority sisters at Newcomb and suite-mates our senior year. I had the great privilege of seeing her in Houston when she was there this past year for medical consultation. Her big smile, despite her illness, brought back sweet memories of our youth and of all the laughter and thoughtful discussions we had shared. She told me all about her treasured family, and when she spoke of her dear ones, her twinkle helped me recall our youthful friendship. I shall always miss her, but I will never forget her joyful nature, her mischievous smile and her adoration of all things her life brought into her path.

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