February 20, 2004 | JFK Assassination Expert Dies, Mary Elizabeth McHughes Ferrell

FERRELL, MARY ELIZABETH McHUGHES, died peacefully at her home in Dallas, Texas, on Friday evening, February 20, 2004 at age 81, surrounded by family and friends. Mary had struggled for years with her typically dogged determination against a variety of health problems, supported by her devoted and loving family and many friends. However, she never lost her interest in the world and the people around her. Her intelligence, wit and lively personality will be remembered by the many people who knew and loved her. Born in Memphis, Tennessee on October 26, 1922, she married Hubert Afton "Buck" Ferrell on June 18, 1940. Together, they had four children. Mary and Buck moved to Dallas with their family in 1957 where she worked more than thirty years as a legal secretary for a law firm and also in the Governor's office in Austin. Mary was a woman of rare ability who is regarded internationally as one of the most knowledgeable and respected historical researchers of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In 1963, she was working in downtown Dallas, when on November 22, John Kennedy was assassinated. Mary began a lifelong inquiry that brought her into contact with researchers, authors, law enforcement, the United States Congress, and people from all over the world. She developed and continually updated a database of the vast array of information which she had accumulated, with her last entries made in December of 2003. Mary also created a four-volume set of chronologies, covering all aspects of the assassination with annotations in extraordinary detail. Her archives, which gained worldwide attention, were donated in 2001 to the Mary Ferrell Foundation base in Boston, Massachusetts. Mary is survived by her daughter, Carol Anne Burtchaell, two sons, William Franklin Ferrell and James Lee Ferrell, one sister, Shirley Ann Boldt, three grandchildren, Karen Sue Taylor, Mary Elizabeth Lynch and Dawn Elizabeth Ferrell and five great-grandchildren. Mary was preceded in death by her husband of fifty-eight years, Hubert Afton Ferrell, her son, Lawrence Afton Ferrell, her grandson, David Lawrence Haggard, her brother, John Breckenridge McHughes, and a sister, Effie McHughes Campbell. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, February 24 from 6:00 - 8:00 P.M. with services in the Chapel Wednesday, February 25 at 2:00 P.M. at Sparkman/Hillcrest in Dallas, Texas. Memorial contributions may be made in Mary's name to Sisters of the Poor Clares, 1310 Dellwood, Memphis, Tennessee 38127. Dignity Memorial Sparkman Hillcrest 7405 W. Northwest Hwy. Dallas (214) 363-5401
Published in the Dallas Morning News on 2/23/2004.
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