Mrs. Mary C. Scales
12 - 6 p.m. on Friday, October 11, 2013
Scales & Sons Funeral Home, 314 E. State Street, Murfreesboro, TN
Visitation With The Family:
11 - 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 12, 2013
New Vision Baptist Church, 1750 N. Thompson Lane, Murfreesboro, TN
Celebration of Life Service:
1 p.m. on Saturday, October 12, 2013
New Vision Baptist Church, 1750 N. Thompson Lane, Murfreesboro, TN
The Service of Committal & Interment:
following the service on Saturday, October 12, 2013
The world became a better place September 24, 1928, when Robert & Elizabeth Caruthers introduced their daughter, Mary Elizabeth to this world. Little did they know of the greatness she would achieve in her lifetime. She was preceded in death by her parents, Robert & Elizabeth Caruthers; brother, George Caruthers; children, Melvin Pearson, Sandra Renee and Preston Marcelleous Scales; and niece, Gail Caruthers Motley.
While attending Knoxville College, she was introduced to Robert "Tee-Niny" Scales by his sister, Wilma. She had no idea that their meeting would lead to a marriage of 51 years and six children. He was the love of her life and preceded her in death in 2000. She would unite with the First Baptist Church under the pastorate of Rev. William Howe Donaldson. She served in many capacities in her church, holding positions as treasurer, Trustee, Finance and Stewardship Committee chairperson, Budget and Ministries committee member; Vacation Bible School teacher; President and teacher of the Ardent Workers Missionary Society; and Women's Day Choir member. She
was also a much sought after Women's Day speaker throughout the state. When a job needed doing in the church, she could be depended upon to see that it was done. She loved her church family and greeted as many of the members as she could each Sunday (she never quite made it back to her seat before the five minute visitation period was up.)
Mary was a lifelong learner. She knew she had to complete the degree she started at Knoxville College. She was so determined that she rode the bus to Tennessee A & I State University until "Tee-Niny" realized she was serious about finishing school and bought her a brand new Renault Dauphine. She graduated from TSU with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics; a Master of Mathematics from MTSU and did post graduate studies at Peabody and Vanderbilt Universities. After completing her degree she went on to teach at Bradley Elementary School. She also became a supervisor with Rutherford County Schools and was instrumental in structuring the middle school
and mini school concept for Central Middle School.
Mary Scales was a Trail Blazer in every sense of the word. During her lifetime she was the first African American faculty member at MTSU and would later serve as Associate Dean of Continuing Studies and Public Service; a key player in the peaceful desegregation of schools and businesses in Murfreesboro; first African-American female member elected to the Murfreesboro City Council; owner of Scales & Sons Funeral Home from 2000-2012; first African-American to have a Murfreesboro City School named after she and her husband; and one of
the founders and Board members of the Martin Luther King Scholarship of Rutherford County. The awards, accolades and recognitions she earned are too numerous to mention, however some of the awards include: The Trailblazer Award; Silver Medallion Award from Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc.; Outstanding Service award from the city of Murfreesboro; named "A Woman of Courage" by Essence Magazine; inducted in the Tennessee Teacher's Hall of Fame; Woman of Achievement Award from AARP; Unity Luncheon Honoree; Citizen of the Year by Bradley Academy Historical Society, NAACP President's Freedom Award for the state of Tennessee, JPJ Foundation Pioneer Award, and Citizen of the Year by Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi Fraternities.
Many organizations have been blessed to claim her as a member. Some of her affiliations include board membership with Senior Citizens; MTSU Foundation, Linebaugh Library, Mid-South Bank and Trust; Boys and Girls Club; Discovery Center, Daily News Journal Newspapers in Education; Murfreesboro Electric; Murfreesboro City Schools; Parks and Recreation; and the Danforth Foundation. She also held membership in the Criterion Literary Arts Club, NAACP, American Business Women's Association; National Council of Mathematics; Delta Kappa Gamma Society, International, Phi Delta Kappa and the National Education Association. She was a beloved member and founder of the Pi Nu Omega chapter and Eta Psi chapter of her beloved sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She served as Basileus, undergraduate advisor, and "Mother" to all of the sorority members. They honored her numerous times for the work and dedication she gave in service to AKA. Her sorors would serenade her shortly before she died as they gathered in her kitchen. They each took a piece of her Ivy garden on the patio that was as bountiful as her love for AKA. That love was so great that she jokingly said that the streets of heaven are paved with pink and green.
Mary was an encourager of people. She carried on the work of her husband and his love for the children and youth of this community. She was always an inspiration to those who wanted to excel. She never accepted less than each child's individual best and she led by example. She blessed so many with her own love of learning and excellence in all that she did.
Mary Caruthers Scales was never afraid to speak her mind when someone was needed to speak up. Many thought she had the spirit of a tiger going after the things that seemed impossible to others. She never stopped until the work was done and she had accomplished what she had set out to do. This kind of courage, wisdom and determination will be greatly missed in this community.
Mary not only reared her six children but also served as surrogate mother to all of the children who grew up on State Street; the children she taught in school and at church; the children she nurtured in high school and college and her beloved soror/children in Alpha Kappa Alpha. She honestly took motherhood to a new level and all who were touched by her love will never forget her.
Her memories are entrusted to her children, Robert Winston (Sheila) Scales, Jr., Madelyn Elizabeth Scales Harris and Joan (Charles) Simmons; grandchildren, Preston, Jr., Nikki, and Shamond Scales, Tonya (Deric) Haynes, Barry Daniel, Toi, Paul, III and Travis Douglass, Robert Edmond Harris, Demetris Lyles, Maureen (David) Wood, Terri and Charles W. Simmons, Perdita Scales, and Melvin Rucker; 17 great grandchildren; one great-great grandchild; cousins, Ruth, Effie and Curtis Walker, Sarah Gamble and Lisa Mitchell; sisters-in-law, Corrine Scales and Georgia Scales; nieces, Janet Scales, Monica Ford, Judy Jones, Molly Thompson, Raynell Scales, Sophia Freeman, Lavetta Hancock, Dolores Hancock, and Ruby Boulden; nephews, Shannon
Scales, George Caruthers, Jr., Bobby Caruthers, Rufus Preston, Carl Thompson, Raymond Scales, Jr., Rory Scales, Monte Smith, Douglas Hancock and Byron Brandon; great nephew and niece, Michael Caruthers and Stefanie R. Motley (the grandchildren of her brother, George); other relatives, and friends too numerous to mention. She also leaves a loving church family, the staff and student body of Scales Elementary and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.