Cover photo for Mary Lou "Mimi" Padgett Allison's Obituary
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1936 Mimi 2024

Mary Lou "Mimi" Padgett Allison

January 31, 1936 — May 4, 2024

Old Fort


Her given name was Mary Lou, but everyone called her Mimi. Her nickname fit. Diminutive in size, she would ball up her hand in a small fist and say she was tougher than a pine knot. In fact, Mimi was all heart; sweet, kind, tenderhearted, humble.


Mary Lou "Mimi" Padgett Allison, who suffered through more than six years of declining health due to Alzheimer’s, died Saturday, May 4, 2024. She was 88. Her final years were difficult, made a bit easier by the love of her youngest daughter, Rebecca.


Born in Old Fort, Mimi spent some of her childhood in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Her family returned to Old Fort, and after high school Mimi started working at Old Fort Finishing. While there, she met James Ervin Allison, who would become the love of her life, her "sweetheart." She became his crown, more precious than jewels. 



They built a house out of brick with a foundation of love in their first year of marriage in 1961. The following year, their first child, LuAnn, was born. Three years later, came Rebecca. Ervin and Mimi remained devoted to each other for 35 years, until he passed away in 1996.


Mimi would have to prove her pluck when she became a devoted caregiver to her oldest child, who died in 2011 after a yearlong battle with cancer. Her son-in-law, Kevin, and her grandchildren Allison and Lindsey, would not have made it through that time without her love as strong as cement.



Mimi was the fun one, especially to her four grandchildren – Allison and Lindsey and Jarrett and Hunter. With them she would eat ice cream, or just watch birds and squirrels. Allison recalled how Mimi developed a little crush on George Strait and Josh Turner. Lindsey says Mimi would claim not to like yogurt, but couldn’t get enough of the frozen concoction sold at Sweet Frogs. Hunter and Jarrett remember how Mimi and their other grandmother, Jackie Cothron, picked them both up from school each day, always trying to be first in line. Simple things, made memorable because she doted on them so.


In a group, she would become the center of attention, not because she was brash, but because she was so sweet. Even when she talked to strangers, she had a way of making them feel special. Her warmness was often demonstrated in the handwritten letters she would write not only to family, but also the friends of her grandchildren. Mimi would become a devotee to The Weather Channel and took pride in her Facebook farm later in life. 


Mimi also was a woman of strong faith. She was a longtime member of Greenlee Baptist Church and would later attend Marion Church of Christ and Gastonia Church of Christ with her family. She was a good and faithful servant for all of her life, devoted to her family, someone who looked for the good and ignored the bad in life. 



She was preceded in death by her parents, Raymond Augustus Padgett Sr. and Florine Josephine Harris Padgett; her husband, James Ervin Allison; a daughter, LuAnn Allison Ellis; and her brother and sister-in-law, Ray Padgett Jr. and Marie Padgett.


Mimi is survived by her daughter, Rebecca Allison Cothron and husband David; her sister, Gwen Grindstaff and husband Earl; four grandchildren, Allison Ellis Korir and husband Geoff, Lindsey Ellis, Jarrett Cothron, and Hunter Cothron; two precious great-grandchildren, Ellis and Leni Korir; son-in-law, Kevin Ellis and wife Amy; and numerous nieces and nephews.



A funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Friday, May 10, 2024, in the Chapel of Beam Funeral Service with Minister Paul Balch officiating. The family will receive friends beginning at 1 p.m. Friday. Burial will follow the service at McDowell Memorial Park where she will be laid to rest beside her darling Ervin and beloved LuAnn.




To send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Lou "Mimi" Padgett Allison, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, May 10, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Beam Funeral Service & Crematory

2170 Rutherford Rd, Marion, NC 28752

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Funeral Service

Friday, May 10, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Beam Funeral Service & Crematory

2170 Rutherford Rd, Marion, NC 28752

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Burial

Friday, May 10, 2024

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