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Mary Alice (Thurman) Blocker

October 10, 1920 ~ November 2, 2017 (age 97)

Mary Alice Thurman Blocker, born October 10, 1920 in Warrenville, Illinois, died November 2, 2017, just after her 97th birthday.

She grew up in Vicksburg, Michigan with two younger brothers and a passel of boy cousins who helped her learn to get along in the world with loving grace, wit and strength. Mary Alice kept in touch with her childhood girlfriends over the years, enjoying parties together well into their 80s.

After high school graduation, she went to business college. World War II began and took most of the young men away from Vicksburg so she decided to strike out on her own. She took a train to Miami, landed a job at Coral Gables Water Works and met a handsome soldier at the local lunch counter next door. He offered to buy her lunch, and discovered he had left his wallet elsewhere. She willingly paid the check, and refused his offer to take her to dinner. After some persistence on his part and excuses on hers, Carnot Nason "Sarge" Blocker and Mary Alice Thurman married in their soon-to-be home in Miami June 7, 1944. The family grew with kids Sally, Tommy and Debby.

Sarge's work with the Federal Aviation Agency took the family all over the South... Montgomery, Muscle Shoals and Mobile, AL, Pensacola, FL, and Nashville, TN. Every other summer, they piled the kids into the '48 Kaiser and took off on the 2+ day drive to Dad's home in Edinburg, MS or Mom's home in Michigan. With kids all in school, 1958 in Nashville, Mary enrolled in business college to learn shorthand, then took a job with a patent attorney. Next, she managed the office of the company constructing the Nashville airport. For fun and recreation, Mom and Dad learned the figures and became avid western square dancers.

Before their last move in 1962, Sarge decided to take back his given name, and was known as Carnot in their new town of Cary, NC. Mary and Carnot became active members of Cary First Methodist Church, joined the choir and began a square dance club, The Cary Cross Trailers. Mary managed offices for three surgeons as well as keeping her family in order. She learned to make Chef Boyardee pizza and hosted numerous kid slumber parties and grownup square dances in the big basement room of their home. Mary joined and sang with Sweet Adelines in Raleigh. In 1967 Mary and Carnot opened their hearts, home, and family to foster child Linda Biggs.

Summers brought homemade ice cream with neighbors dropping in for a bite and trips to the North Carolina coast. After launching the kids, Mary and Carnot enjoyed group travel all across the country, and summer weeks at Holden Beach. Retirement brought more travel, their 50th wedding anniversary, continued connections with friends, and puttering at home and at their Copper Valley, VA retreat.

After Carnot's stroke and death in 2001, Mary continued to be active in the church choir, made ham biscuits at the NC State Fair, volunteered at Northwoods Elementary, delivered Meals on Wheels, and kept up with the lives of her friends and neighbors. She visited kids and grandkids from FL to Alaska, walked 3 miles a day and enjoyed a tap dance class complete with recitals and costumes!

In 2010 Mary moved to Lake Wylie Assisted Living in South Carolina to be close to her son Tom in Charlotte. September 29, 2017, after declining health, Mary moved to Wellmore of Tega Cay where she received nursing and Hospice care until her death November 2. She leaves a loving example of a life well-lived, appreciated for its joys and challenges to her children, 9 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. We believe she is already enjoying a big party in Heaven with her husband of 57 years, her brothers Jack and Jim, her sisters-in-law Violet and Mugsy, grandson Ike and her many friends. 


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