Mars remembered for family, service
Mrs. Dawn Mosley Mars passed away Friday, August 13, 2021, at the Neshoba County Nursing Home with her daughter, Dawn Lea, by her side. She was 85 years old.
Unfortunately, due to a current rise in Covid cases, no visitation will be held. We wish we could gather with all those who loved Dawn so much, but know that we have been comforted by the calls, texts, and cards expressing the many ways she touched everyone’s lives. Thank you.
A private family memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, August 17, 2021, from the family home with Rev. Ryan McGough officiating. Interment will follow at Mars Hill United Methodist Cemetery.
Dawn was born on January, 29, 1936, to Juanita Elizabeth Watkins Mosley and Samuel Dewey Mosley in Neshoba County, Mississippi. She was raised in and near her grandparents’ home in the Dixon Community, surrounded by her mother’s large, loving family until moving to Philadelphia where her mother, Juanita, ran The Sanders’ House boarding home. Dawn worked there herself during her lunch breaks at Philadelphia High School. After graduating high school in 1953, she attended Mississippi College for Women in Columbus and then returned to Philadelphia and worked at the gas company.
She married her “one and only love,” William Montgomery “Mont” Mars, in February of 1957, and they moved to Germany where Mont was stationed while serving in the U.S. Army. After living in Germany briefly, they returned to Philadelphia and started their family. From 1962 to 1964, they lived in Oxford, where Mont attended the University of Mississippi School of Law. They then returned to Philadelphia to raise their family at “The Big House,” the Mars’ ancestral home on Holland Avenue.
Dawn was a member of First United Methodist Church, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and of multiple civic and social groups. She received the Philadelphia Sertoma Club’s “Service to Mankind” award in 1984. She worked with Weems Mental Health as a drug & alcohol counselor for several years and also served on their Board of Commissioners, representing Neshoba County, for twenty-three years. She retired in 2000.
The jobs she took most seriously were wife, mother, and homemaker, and she excelled at all. She was gracious and welcoming and a second mother to many, which is no surprise since her house was full of children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and their friends most of the time! She was a wonderful cook and hostess and loved for her family to gather on Sunday afternoons and holidays at The Big House and later at the farm, where she and Mont built a home, Cherry Level Place, in the early 90s.
Dawn’s interests were travelling with Mont, playing the piano, sketching, gardening, reading, and baking pound cakes. She collected stamps, coins, and butterflies. She was an excellent bridge player and loved those times with her dear friends. She also enjoyed watching her children and grandchildren play sports or other activities they pursued.
She was a stickler for good manners, yet got a kick out of irreverence. She was a disciplinarian, yet always ready to do something fun. She loved a good practical joke but had only one joke she could tell, and she told it regularly.
She was a hard worker and hated to sit down. She was sweet and kind, with an empathetic and compassionate heart. She was a servant to others and an encouragement to all. She loved to acknowledge people with a birthday card or newspaper clipping, celebrating their accomplishments.
She loved all kinds of animals—ducks, geese, cows, horses, dogs, cats, hummingbirds, even possums!—and fed them regularly.
She loved old hymns, classic country, classical music, and Elvis, and enjoyed watching westerns and football games. She loved the American flag and proudly displayed it in and around her home.
She is survived by her children, James Montgomery Mars II, Daniel Fenton Mars (Sherry), and Dawn Lea Mars Chalmers (Jeremy); grandchildren, Adam Mars, Jessica Long Pickering (Blake), William Mars(Carol Marie), Mary Lea Mars Burkhalter (Cole), Sam Mars (Jillian), Sarah Mars, Hadley Chalmers, Fent Mars, Abe Mars, and Charlie Chalmers; great-grandchildren,Mary Montgomery Mars, Maddox Mars, Jax Mars, Alex Mars, Jackson Pickering, Mary Mosley Pickering, Bailey Pilgrim, Caroline Mars, Will Mars, Della Burkhalter, Rowan Burkhalter, Landry Burkhalter, and Griffin Mars; daughters-in-law, Cheryl Newell Mars and Ginny Griffin Mars, as well as a host of nieces and nephews and their families.
She was preceded in death by her sweetheart of over sixty years, Mont Mars, whom she missed and loved to her very last days; her daughter, Miriam Mars; daughter-in-law, Kim Mars; granddaughter-in-law, Casey Mars; and brothers, Wayland, Joaquin, and James (Keta) Mosley.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to Palmer Home for Children, PO Box 746, Columbus, MS 39703; Friends of Children’s Hospital, c/o Leslie Owens, 3900 Lakeland Drive, Suite 205, Flowood, MS 39232 in honor of her great-granddaughter, Mary Mosley Pickering; or a charity of your choice.
The family would like to thank Quality Hospice Care and the Neshoba County Nursing Home staff—especially Dawn’s granddaughter, Jessica Long Pickering—for the excellent care she received.