Mary Jane Peters Bordelon, a beautiful spirited lady, was born May 20, 1920, in Indianapolis, Indiana. She died January 6, 2020 at her home Alexian Assisted Living in Signal Mountain, TN.
Her idyllic childhood was shared with five siblings in Youngstown, Ohio. They had barefoot summers at their Lake Erie cottage, winters full of snow and ice skating, and walks to school at Ursuline Academy. Mary Jane was Student Body Vice President and was given the honor of crowning the Queen of May. As the youngest child growing up during the depression, college was not an option. As always, Mary Jane found a way. She earned scholarships to both Kahler-Methodist and Case Western Reserve University Schools of Nursing.
Thereafter, Lieutenant Peters served 4 years in the Army Nurse Corps. When stationed in Spokane, Washington, she married Lieutenant Howard Moore Bordelon MD. Their civilian family life began in Louisiana. Howard completed his residency and two daughters were born. Their young family made their final move to Amarillo, Texas. In the wake of the dust bowl two sons were added to the family and a medical practice was established.
Mary Jane took on the role of wife, mother and homemaker with the feisty spirit she brandished her whole life. Scout leader, Rosary maker at St. Hyacinth’s Church, Medical Auxiliary President, immaculate housekeeper, perfect pie crust baker, whatever the task, Mary Jane sought to achieve the best.
Once her children left the nest, she expanded service to the cabin in Pearl Lakes, Colorado. She originated meals on wheels preparing and transporting them for the week’s stay at the fishing club on the Continental Divide. Sisters of the Incarnate Word, Howard’s buddies, grandchildren, and friends of friends all received ultimate hospitality from Mary Jane.
After Howard’s death in 1985, Mary Jane moved to Craig Retirement Center. At 85, she was still shoveling snow in case she needed something at the store. When her eyesight began to fail, this proactive woman gave up her car and in 2007 moved to the Alexian Village Retirement Community in Signal Mountain, TN. She rose to the challenge of new friends and duplicate bridge until hampered by health issues. In her words, “If I cannot win, I will not play.”
Mary Jane’s comfort and spirits were buoyed by the unflagging support of Alexian Assisted Living staff and the patient devotion of Alexian Home Health caregivers, especially Desiree Houston. She was blessed with a personal band of resident guardian angels. So equipped, Mary Jane endured until she realized it was 2020. She knew she had arrived at her 100th year.
A Memorial Mass will be offered on Friday, January 17, 2020 at 11:15 am in St. Augustine Chapel at Alexian Village, 437 Alexian Way, Signal Mountain, TN 37377. A private interment is scheduled at Llano Cemetery in Amarillo.
Mary Jane was preceded in death by parents, Frank Xavier Peters and Caroline “Carrie” Fahle Peters; siblings, Anna Marie Kelly, Helen Schaller, Pauline (Brown) Hearney, Francis A. “Pete” Peters, and twin brother August R. “Bud” Peters; Husband, Howard Moore Bordelon; and children Melinda Jane and Robert Francis Bordelon.
Mary Jane is survived by her son, William H. Bordelon, M.D.; daughter, Evelyn B. Davis (Baxter Clay); granddaughters, Emily Bordelon (Bruce Townsend); Laura Hays Ferguson (Robert D.); and Andrea Hays Forte (V. Thomas); great grandchildren, Caroline and Henry Ferguson, and Hannah and Samuel Forte.
Memorial contributions may be made to Doctors without Borders, Operation Kindness, or a charity of your choice.
Arrangements are by Hamilton Funeral Home & Cremation Services; 4506 Hixson Pike; 423-531-3975.