Sally Maria Garrett, younger daughter of Polly Wood Rhew and George Hilman Garrett, was born and reared on her family farm near Timberlake, NC in Person County. She attended A I Elementary School and graduated from Helena High School in 1931.
In 1932 Maria entered Hoover cart contest in Roxboro, NC, Oxford, NC and South Boston, VA. She won each as prettiest driver and her decorated cart and pony also won.
In 1935 she moved to Durham, attended business school, and took her first job with Sears Roebuck, where she met William Henry Hessee. They married in Boydton, VA on August 16, 1937.
As husband Bill’s career progressed with Sears Roebuck, she worked with Durham Juvenile Court Judge Mamie Dowd Walker, and later with a cotton broker in Greenville, SC and an insurance broker in Burlington, NC. Her last job was with the Ari Force Office of Flying Safety in Winston Salem, NC while Bill was in Italy during World War II with the Air Force.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The News & Observer
After Bill returned from Italy and resume his career with Sears Roebuck, she became a full time homemaker. They relocated briefly to Chattanooga, TN and then to Miami, FL for five years. From there Bill’s work took them to Rome, GA, Greensboro, NC, High Point, NC and Jacksonville, NC.
In 1964 they moved to Raleigh, where Maria became active with the Raleigh Garden Club. She also enjoyed rubber bridge games.
Maria travelled the world with Bill and daughter Betty. She made extensive trips across the US, Canada, France, Ireland and Malaysia. She also visited Cuba and Bermuda.
Maria frequented Betty’s Myrtle Beach, SC home until her death. When often asked about her secret to longevity, she always replied "plenty of good food and hard work.”
Maria was predeceased by her parents and her sister, Victoria Love Garrett Daniel. She is survived by her daughter, Betty Frances Hessee, her sister in law, Dorothy Anne de Meira Penna of Brasilia, Brazil and her brother in law Dave Hessee of Durham. Nieces and nephews include: Della Peers of Raleigh, David Hessee of Timberlake, Layne Hessee of Hillsborough NC, Joanne Herman of Atlantic Beach, FL, Cecilia Neiva Tavares of Rome, Italy, Flavio de Meira Penna of Brasilia, Mary Ann Shmueli of Portland, OR, Ann Davis of Gastonia, NC, Ricky Richardson of Kannapolis, NC, and Lynda Gross of Gastonia. The family would like to thank neighbors Dwight and Connie Jones, Carolyn Bulla and Bob Brinkley for their many kindnesses.
In lieu of flowers Memorial donations may be made to White Memorial Presbyterian Church or a favorite charity. The family will receive family and friends at Brown-Wynne Funeral home Saint Mary’s St. from 9:30 am to 10:30 am Monday, November 10, 2014 with an 11 am graveside service to follow at Historic Oakwood in Raleigh.