Mary Virginia Heaslet, 95, passed from this life on Feb. 17 at her home in Benton. She was born to Robert Vest and Harriet Still "Hattie" Thomas on Feb. 9, 1917.
Mary Virginia loved to visit new places and had traveled the world extensively. She was retired from Hughes Aircraft and delighted in sharing the story of the role she played in the building of the Surveyor 1, which was launched in 1966 and was the first American space probe sucessfully launched.
Mary was one of a small group of people who saw the Spruce Goose take its solo flight on Nov. 2, 1947. She worked on the San Diego Naval Base during World War II and was very proud of the part she played in the war effort.
Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Clarence Heaslet; her parents; and three brothers, Wesley, Herman and Jack Thomas.
Mrs. Heaslet, or Aunt Mary, as she was known to almost everyone who has known her in the latter years of her life, is survived by her brother, Walter Jake Thomas and wife Carolyn; her niece and close companion, Sherry Burkhalter and husband Ray; a great-nephew, Thomas Burkhalter and wife Tammy and their children, Tylor, Taylor and Tiffany.
She also leaves to cherish her memory several nieces and nephews, Tina Duncan, Thomas Heaslet, Benjamin Heaslet, Michael Moore and Laura Moore Bush as well as many other family friends, all of whom will remember her joyful spirit and cherish her memory.
Graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, at Millwee Cemetery in Horatio with the Rev. Byron Sullivan officiating.
Thomas Burkhalter, Taylor Burkhalter, Thomas Heaslet III, Thomas Heaslet IV, Ray Burkhalter and Don Howlett will serve as pallbearers.
Visitation will be from 6 - 8 p.m. Tuesday at Peaceful Haven Funeral Home in Benton.
Online guestbook: www.peacefulhavenfuneralhome.com.