Mary Jean Price Walls

Mary Jean Price Walls

Wednesday, March 30th, 1932 - Monday, July 6th, 2020
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Mary Jean Price Walls was born March 30, 1932 in Strafford, Missouri to the union of Oscar and Ethel Price. She grew up in Springfield, Missouri and graduated salutatorian of her class in 1950 from Lincoln High School in Springfield.
She married Elwyn M. Walls, Sr. (Maurice) October 30, 1953, and to that union were born eight children. Married to an over-the-road truck driver, she lived in Kansas City, Los Angeles, and Springfield in the 50’s. She also gave birth to the first five children, all born in the month of July.

The family relocated to St. Louis, Missouri in 1963. The final three children, all girls, were born in St. Louis. Mary Jean worked as a part-time cook at a Catholic Convent, but she was a full-time homemaker who enjoyed spending time with her family. She was a meticulous housekeeper and an excellent cook who enjoyed cooking large meals for her large family, including relatives and friends.

Mary Jean was an avid reader, with the bible being her favorite literature. She was a life long member of the Gibson Chapel Presbyterian Church at 536 E Tampa, Springfield, Missouri. She loved and nurtured her children and grandchildren. Her hobbies included walking and shopping for antiques. She had a great sense of humor and her favorite day of the year was April Fools’ Day. A year never passed without Mary Jean pranking her family and/or friends.
Mary Jean moved back to Springfield in the late 70’s and was employed at Cox Medical Center working in the central supply division. She retired from the Springfield Science Center in 2009.

In 2010, she was awarded the first honorary undergraduate degree ever given by Missouri State University after it was revealed that she was the first African-American to apply for admission to Missouri State University (then named Southwest Missouri State College in 1950) and denied for no other reason than her race. Missouri State University endowed a scholarship in her honor and the students pushed for her to receive even more recognition. In 2016 MSU named the MRC Annex, “Mary Jean Price Walls Multicultural Resource Center Annex”. She was a lifelong civil rights and social justice advocate.

Mary Jean was called home to be with Jesus, whom she loved, on July 6, 2020. She is preceded in death by her parents; Oscar and Ethel Price, her husband Elwyn M. Walls Sr., four sisters; Ola Anderson, Katherine Bridgeman, Shirley Bedell, Bettye Boyd; six brothers: Archie, Joe, Leon (Bubby), William, Lawrence, and Jimmy; one son: Rodney L. Walls, two daughters: Regina C. Walls and Gayla P. Walls; and one granddaughter, Stephanie A. Herron.

She leaves to cherish her memory; lone surviving sister: Erma Wilburn (Umpy) of Minneapolis, MN; three sons: Elwyn M. Walls Jr., Terry A. Walls (Delilah), and William E. Walls (Eric,Norma); two daughters: Rhonda M. Walls (Angel) and Sonya J. Walls (Missy); 14 grandchildren, 33 great grandchildren, and a host of cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Visitation will be held from 9:00 am-12:00 (Noon) on Saturday, July 18, 2020 at Herman H. Lohmeyer Funeral Home, 500 E. Walnut Street in Springfield, Missouri. Mary’s Funeral Service will begin at 12:00 (Noon) Saturday, July 18th at the funeral home. Burial will follow at Danforth Cemetery in Strafford, Missouri.

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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Saturday, July 18th, 2020 | 9:00am - 12:00pm
    Saturday, July 18th, 2020 9:00am - 12:00pm
    Herman H. Lohmeyer Funeral Home
    500 E. Walnut Street
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday, July 18th, 2020 | 12:00pm
    Saturday, July 18th, 2020 12:00pm
    Herman H. Lohmeyer Funeral Home
    500 E. Walnut Street
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Saturday, July 18th, 2020 | 1:30pm
    Saturday, July 18th, 2020 1:30pm
    Danforth Cemetery
    Corner of Farm Road 213 & Farm Road 116
    Springfield, Missouri
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

Service Recording

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Private Condolence

Debra Price

Posted at 08:55pm
Sending love, hugs, prayers and blessings!
My deepest sympathy as Aunt Jeannie has gone on to rest in the arms of the Lord. Your cousin Debra Price

Jo Terry-Robinson

Posted at 01:25pm
To my second family, growing up across the street with you guys was truly a great memory. I loved your mom like she was my mom❤. Great conversation and jokes was always the highlight of my day whenever I was there. Love your mom, as well as you guys! Family for life❤❤❤...The Terry/Branner Family....Lexington Ave for life!!

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