October 20, 1958 - January 12, 2022
Mary Pauline Chism, age 63 died on January 12, 2022 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She was a loving wife, dedicated mother, doting grandmother, devoted friend, and excellent teacher, but most of all she was a woman of excellence who drew little attention to herself, yet moved mountains with her actions. She was born in Danville, Arkansas on October 20, 1958 to Johnnie Lee Covey and Amy Sue (Watson) Covey. She is predeceased by her parents, her brother Jimmy Don, and brother John Jr. She is survived by her husband Bob and her five children of West Fork, Arkansas: Amos of West Fork, Arkansas; Julia and husband Rocky Williams of West Fork, Arkansas; Sarah and husband Charles Muturi of Fayetteville, Arkansas; Kerith and husband Josh Thornburgh of Lincoln, Arkansas; Thomas of West Fork, Arkansas; and grandsons (Julia’s) Titan, Wyatt, and Zander. She is also survived by her brothers: Johnnie and wife Pat of Forrest City, Arkansas; Daviey and wife, Janet of Magazine, Arkansas; Bill Bob and wife, Martina of Hindsville, Georgia; Charlie of Fayetteville, Arkansas; and John Edward and wife Lori of Honolulu, Hawaii. All through her life she preferred to be called Pauline. As a child she lived in various places in Yell County until the family of five boys and one girl finally settled in Danville. It was during these early years that Pauline developed the qualities of a strong character while she held her own with her brothers- she was in a minority, after all. From her experiences with her brothers, she learned to hold her own with anyone, and a good number of times during her life, she made this evident. As a young girl, Pauline went to various schools in Yell County and graduated from Danville High School in 1977. She enlisted in the U.S. Army serving in the signal corps in Germany. She was honorably discharged and moved back to Danville. It was at this time that she decided to work toward a college degree. It was in Danville that she reconnected with her childhood acquaintance Bob Chism. Though the two had known each other for many years, there had been no romantic feelings between the two before. At this time, there was an immediate connection between them, and they were inseparable while they commuted to Arkansas Tech University in Russellville. Their love for each other blossomed daily until they knew that they wanted to spend their lives together. Bob popped the question to Pauline to which she immediately answered yes, and they married in Danville, Arkansas on May 29, 1979.. Their first apartment was a pocketsized one on the university campus, but they were a happy couple going to school, skipping class to go to Spring Lake, and working on their relationship by having fun with one another. Money was tight for them, but that didn’t matter to Pauline- she was happy. Poverty and need never can prevail over love. They were two kids working to build a life together with Pauline being the leader. As the years passed, Pauline and Bob moved from one place to another with new job opportunities. The family began to grow, and Pauline showed her finest characteristic- that of a loving mother. She was a loving and attentive wife, but in mothering she shined, she glowed, she blazed. Five children later, she had fine tuned this ability into an art form. She was magnificent at it. As a stay-at-home mother, she quietly instilled the best teachings in her children to become the best they could be. Sleepless nights attending sick children, taking them to doctors appointments, reading to them, playing with them, singing and laughing with them, being a goofball with them, and doing all the daily chores necessary to nurture children were her everyday routine. She embraced all of this with immense devotion. The family moved several times. Some of the houses the family lived in were modern and well-kept, but some were not, and one was really a shack. But, in every place, Pauline took the lead to make the best of things by planting flowers, making repairs, painting, scrubbing, and decorating with what she had to make it a safe haven for all. Frankly, her work was astonishing at times. The end product was a place where the family was safe and comfortable. Pauline did whatever it took to improve her home. She always left a place better than she received it. As the children all moved to school age, Pauline began working outside of the home. She was hired in 2001 to be a teacher at the West Fork Elementary School in West Fork, Arkansas. Again, she proved to be excellent at yet another thing. First, she was a second grade teacher whose former students loved her so much that they came back year after year to reconnect with her. Later, she was asked to become the elementary school’s art teacher, and she was very pleased with this because art education had been her field of study for her Bachelor’s degree. Now, she was in her element, and it didn’t take long for anyone to see that Pauline was excellent in this role. Pauline displayed many more attributes and abilities, as well as those already mentioned. She was a commando shopper who could wring $1.25 out of a dollar. She could make a meal equal to a banquet with five ingredients and vegetable oil. She worked on her forever home house to improve it by buying tools (which she claimed were hers and not her husbands), cutting boards, removing old finish, putting on new finish, laying tile, painting, even building cabinets and furniture- her home in West Fork was her canvas and she constantly worked on upgrading it. She moved tons of rocks on the homestead to make rock walls, walking paths, and retaining walls. She gardened by growing plants, flowers, and vegetables. Her yard was her second canvas, and she relished making things grow and keeping things in order. Pauline was a painter watercolor and acrylic- flowers being her favorite subject. Her artwork is all through the family’s home. Finally, she assembled a huge food pantry in her home so that all of her children could come visit and shop in the home. Not much else gave her so much joy and satisfaction as doing this- giving to her children even into adulthood. This one was a work close to her heart and one which gave her satisfaction. As a wife, she constantly put up with her husband’s messiness and exercised great patience when he was slow to do the small things she asked of him. Her husband was a book collector and the house was full of books; Pauline embraced this with him, but had to gently, and sometimes not so gently, have him corral them. She loved him with a quiet, steady, patient love, and he knew it. She enjoyed reading, traveling, collecting dishes, refinishing furniture, feeding the local birds and squirrels, visiting with her children while sitting on the front porch, and watching her grandsons play in her yard. In a nutshell, Pauline was one of the thousand, if not millions, of women who quietly work in the background, not drawing attention to themselves, but who make the daily life of others easy by their ceaseless activities. So much more could be said of her, and this account is really just a snapshot of her life, abilities, and experiences. Her family knew they were privileged to have such a wife and mother. Pauline will be greatly missed by her family, friends, and co-workers. There will be a visitation for Pauline at Moore’s Chapel on Center Street in Fayetteville on Sunday, January 16, 2022 from 3-5 P.M. She will be laid to rest in the West Fork Cemetery in West Fork, Arkansas on Monday, January 17, 2022 at a graveside service at 2 P.M.
Mary Pauline Chism, age 63 died on January 12, 2022 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She was a loving wife, dedicated mother, doting grandmother, devoted friend, and excellent teacher, but most of all she was a woman of excellence who drew little... View Obituary & Service Information
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