Mary Louise Sadler Drye, 85, of Mena passed away July 12. She was born to H.K. (Kagler) and Betty Sadler on December 31, 1925, in Bauxite. She was the third child in a family of nine children. She grew up in Bauxite, met and later married Monroe Drye of Benton on April 3, 1942. Monroe and Louise were married for 49 years until his death in 1992. They were blessed with five children. She and Monroe made their home in Mena for most of their married life and raised their children there.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Monroe, her parents, six brothers, one sister and her only son, Michael.
She is survived by four daughters, Pat Johnson of Van Buren, Vickey Lloyd and husband, Larry of Fayetteville, Jerry Evans and husband, Mike of Fort Smith and Betty Drye of North Little Rock. Louise was known to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren as Moma Lou. She was the proud grandmother of seven grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren. In addition, she is survived by her sister, Shirley Whatley of Bauxite, three sister-in-laws, Arita Sadler and Glenda Sadler both of Bauxite, and Cora Sadler of Mena; her longtime friend and neighbor, Juanita Gore, and a host of nieces and nephews.
Louise was a member of First Baptist Church in Mena, where for many years she taught children in Sunday school, worked in missions organizations and taught teenagers on Sunday nights.
Louise and Monroe’s son, Michael, was a special needs child and this created a desire to help others who found themselves in similar situations. Together with her husband, Louise was instrumental in establishing the Polk County Day Service Center for retarded children. She served as the first teacher of the center and also served as interim director. She was active in the local and state chapters of The Association for Retarded Children. Louise was a lifetime member of PTA, working in her children’s schools as a volunteer and co-president of PTA.
After retirement, Louise was active in the Friendship Home Extension Club and particularly enjoyed hosting the monthly meetings and participating in the quilting sessions. She liked antiquing and buying and selling quilts found at auctions and flea markets.
Louise enjoyed visiting friends and neighbors and being a part of the community of Mena. She will be missed by friends and family. The family wishes to thank friends and caregivers who cared for Louise in the last four years with love and compassion.
Visitation will be today at 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Mena in the Fellowship Hall. A funeral service, by Ashby Funeral Home of Benton, will be Friday at 11 a.m. in the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church. A graveside service will be at 4 p.m. at New Rosemont Cemetery in Benton.
Memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church of Mena or a charity of your choice.
Online guest book: www.ashbyfuneralhome.com .