|Mary Linn Miller Caraway died at 7:02 p.m., April 8, 1981 in Schumpert Medical Center in Shreveport. Mary Linn had been in intensive care for 28 days following an automobile accident south of Shreveport on March 12. Perhaps her life-long witness to the Christian Faith made its greatest impact during the final days of her life while she dealt with the anquish of accepting a paralyzed body and other multiple injuries. Through her condition made communicating extremely difficult, she continued to show her love and concern for others and to share her strong faith in God.
Mary Linn, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. V. Miller, was born April 13, 1927 in El Dorodo, Arkansas. She spent most of her early life in Shreveport, graduating from Byrd High School in 1943. She received the B.S. and M.S. degrees from East Texas State University and taught public school music in Longview, Texas before her marriage and in a number of schools later in Louisiana.
At the time of her accident, Mary Linn and her husband, Dr. J. J. Caraway, resided in Baton Rouge. Since her marriage on July 14, 1947, she had served as a committed Christian in churches throughout the Louisiana Annual Conference as her husband was appointed to serve various local churches, two districts, and in the Conference office in Baton Rouge. She had a deep commitment to Christ and the Church which was evident in her enthusiasm for service and in her willingness to share her many talents.
She had an intense love for her family. She was the mother of five children – three daughters married to United Methodist ministers and one of the daughters is a United Methodist minister, and two sons, one an attorney and the youngest a student at L.S.U. In recent years she was blessed with a rich relationship with her growing number of grandchildren.
The first time Mary Linn traveled to Europe and the Holy Land in 1961 she made a will and left instruction in case of death. The latest update to these documents and to her plans for her memorial service of thanksgiving was dated February 25, 1981. On top of the instructions was the February 22, 1981 Upper Room reading with the scripture as follows: “Jesus said ‘Though you be plunged in grief, your grief will be turned to Joy, I shall see you again, and then you will be joyful.’ ” – John 16:20, 22 (NEB) Her final gift to her family and friends was her own written reflections on life and on death. She knew how to live life to the fullest but was ready to accept her summons at any moment that it should come. The message she left to be read in the event of her death have given much comfort and strength to those who loved her most.
As her Bishop stated in the memorial service for her in the First United Methodist Church of Homer, “Mary Linn was a dealer in the spiritual purple of life.” With God’s help she was ready to confront all the challenges of life that came her way. Mary Linn Miller Caraway was truly a vibrant and beautiful Christian person
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1981, p. 181 By Linn Caraway Richardson|