Mary Sue Littlefield Sumbera, 70, of Bryan, passed away on Monday, June 8, 2020.
Mary Sumbera was born on November 19, 1949, in Nixon, Texas, to Hugo and Mollie Hensley Littlefield. She was raised in Leesville, Texas, as one of six children, along with Hugo Tea "H.T." Littlefield, James Wendell "Bud" Littlefield, Alice Elizabeth Littlefield Kelly, William Morris Littlefield, and Mollie Linda Littlefield Angelo. Growing up in a modest, rural community, they all had a very love-filled childhood. Mary's favorite childhood memories were recalled in stories she told about Sunday community baseball games. She would recant all of the kids playing ball, and at the end of the day, Mary's dad would give all of the kids a "soda pop" from his grocery store!
Mary attended school in Gonzales, Texas, where she was a member of the "Orange Caps", the school's drill team. She was also selected by her faculty and peers as "Miss Gonzales High School" during her senior year. Mary always excelled academically, and was known for her beauty and kindness. It took Mary only three years to earn her Bachelor's Degree in Teaching from Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos. Mary began her career in Pasadena, Texas, as a school teacher. She then moved to San Antonio, Texas, where she taught for four years. In 1978, she was recognized as "Educator of the Year" in the school district, a teacher's highest honor, by Northeast ISD. Her family then moved to Victoria, Texas, where she spent the majority of her adult life and raised her family. She taught at Guadalupe Elementary for a couple of years, before her duties shifted home and she became a homemaker primarily, but still went back into teaching at Our Lady of Victory Catholic School, where her children were students. She loved being a teacher, but her passion was her children and family.
Mary married Malcolm James Sumbera on February 17, 1973. They had four children together, Matthew James, twins Mark James and Meagan Joy, and finally, Michelle Joy. Mary was an incredible mother. She sacrificed advancement in her career and social life to make sure her children were provided with every tool to ensure success, independence, and happiness. Motherhood was her identity, and her life's mission was to make sure her children were educated, capable, and prepared to be the best spouse, parent, and person they could be. Her children were always shown love, and they will remember her always saying, "I love you, darling." When her children began to have their own families, her grandchildren became her next passion. She made all efforts to attend each school, athletic, and social activity her grandchildren participated in. Mary absolutely loved being around her children and grandchildren! Her family enjoyed many vacations together, but her favorites were summer gatherings in Rockport, Inks Lake, and the Bastrop Lost Pines Resort, where she could enjoy being around all of her children and grandchildren. Mary was happiest when all of her family was together. Family was the most important aspect of Mary's life.
A devout Catholic, Mary and her family were members of Our Lady of Victory Cathedral while the children were growing up. When the children got older, she became a member of Holy Family Catholic Church in Victoria due to its closer proximity to her home. She was very involved with the church, performing activities such as weekly 5:00 am Adoration, participating in the Altar Society, and attending several ACTS retreats. When her children began having families of their own, she moved closer to them and started attending Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in College Station, Texas.
Immaculate inside and out, Mary was a beauty in her youth, and maintained that beauty throughout her life. Mary had a tremendous sense of humor. Her laugh was infectious. Mary had the most kind, palpable heart and soul that each who knew her could see and feel every time they were around her. Mary was compassionate and giving, always looking to help others through her actions, donations, and words. She was also very open-minded. She always formed her opinion based on her own research and knowledge. She refused to make emotional choices, always coming to a judgement without bias.
Mary will be remembered by family, friends, and all that knew her for her kindness, grace, and beautiful soul. Her memory will be treasured forever.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Hugo Littlefield and Mollie Hensley Littlefield, and her siblings, Hugo Tea "H.T." Littlefield, James Wendell "Bud" Littlefield, and William Morris Littlefield.
Mary's memory will live on through her children and their families, son, Matthew James Sumbera and wife, Kara (Dotson) and children, Grant Matthew, Scarlett Avery, and Aaron James; son, Mark James Sumbera and wife, Brooke (Kalinowski) and children, Oliver Brennan, Finley Littlefield, and Madelyn Beck; daughter, Meagan Joy Sumbera Orsag and husband, Darren and children, Natalie Brooklynn, Neely Grace, Nola Hensley, and Nash Fain; daughter, Michelle Joy Sumbera Prukop and husband, Jacob and children, Eli Jackson and Lily Jane; and Mary's siblings, Alice Elizabeth Littlefield Kelly and Mollie Linda Littlefield Angelo.
Services will take place on Saturday, June 13, 2020 at Our Lady of Victory Cathedral in Victoria, TX. Visitation will begin at 10:30 am, followed by the recitation of the Holy Rosary at 11:30 am. A funeral Mass will then be celebrated at 12:00 pm and will be presided over by Father Gary Janak. Her family has decided to hold a small private burial service at the Leesville Cemetery in Leesville, TX, where Mary will be placed to eternal rest alongside her parents and siblings. Floral arrangements may be sent to Mary's Children at 209 Wildrose Dr Victoria, TX 77904. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made in Mary's memory to Nazareth Academy Catholic School at 206 W Convent Victoria, TX 77901 or to Our Lady of Victory Catholic School at 1311 E Mesquite Ln Victoria, TX 77901.