Mary Pruett Savell, 77, formerly of Baytown, was born April 16, 1932, in Luling, Texas, and passed away Friday, June 12, 2009, at home in Conroe, Texas, surrounded by her loving family and caregivers. She attended Spring First Church and appreciated the online services during her illness. Those who knew Mary will miss her humor, zest for life, encouraging spirit and servant’s heart.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Cecil and Hazel Pruett; and brothers, Dick Pruett and Bill Pruett. She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Dr. John Paul Savell Sr.; son and daughter-in-law, Dr. John and Rebecca Savell; daughters and sons-in-law, Debbie and R. D. “Buddy” Johnson, Kathy and Renee Lopez, Liz and Ken Starnes; granddaughter, Becky Johnson; grandson, Chris Starnes; brothers, the Rev. Robert Pruett and wife Naomi, Fred Pruett and wife Jeannie; sisters-in-law, Berna Pruett and Dianne Pruett; special cousin, Marian Elizabeth Wells; lifelong friend, Beverly Steen; family friend, Barbara Shugart; and a host of other family and friends.

After graduating from Corpus Christi High School, Mary received an associate’s of arts degree in education from Southwestern Assemblies of God College in 1951, a bachelor’s of science degree in education from University of Houston in 1966 and a master’s in education degree with diagnostic certification from Texas A&M University at Commerce in 1977. She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma and University Women.

Her teaching career began in 1960, where she was instrumental in setting up one of the first kindergarten programs for HISD. She moved to Baytown in 1968 and continued teaching kindergarten until moving to Waxahachie, Texas, in 1973, where she worked with early childhood and special education students. She assumed a supervisory roll as an educational diagnostician for the Ellis County Co-op in 1974, and retired from public education in 1986. Seeing the need to help students succeed on the college campus, Mary created a media center and learning lab at Southwestern Assemblies of God University, where she also taught several introductory college courses and served as a mentor and friend to countless students making the difficult transitional adjustments into college life. In 1990, she and her husband joined their son in private practice. They moved back to Baytown in 1993, where they lived until moving to Conroe in 2008.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 11, 2009, at Spring First Church, 1851 Spring-Cypress Road, Spring, Texas, with the Rev. Robert Pruett, the Rev. Robert Hogan, the Rev. Marty Burroughs, the Rev. James Polnick and the Rev. A.A. Calloway officiating. Interment will be at 4 p.m. at Cedarcrest Cemetery in Baytown, Texas.

In lieu of usual remembrances, contributions may be made to Spring First Church benefitting Pleasant Hills Children’s Home. 

The family would like to especially thank Drs. Cynthia Williams and Eric Bernicker of Medical Clinic of Houston; the doctors, nurses and staff on Jones 11 at the Methodist Hospital; special caregivers, Barbara McGinnis, Marilyn Whipple, Margarette Brewer and Krystal Brewer for the excellent care given Mary during her long and courageous battle with cancer.

Arrangements are under the direction of Forest Park The Woodlands Funeral Home. To view the obituary or post a tribute to the family, visit www.mem.com.