Mary Ann McCloy

January 30, 2024

Mary Ann McCloy Obituary

Mary Ann McCloy, age 85, passed away peacefully on January 30, 2024, in Chapin, SC.  Born February 21, 1938 in Normal, Illinois, Mary Ann was the seventh of nine children born over 25 years.  She attended Sunday School from birth, but when she was ten years old, her school teacher took her to a special children’s meeting in another church where she heard for the first time that Jesus was not merely a good man and our example, but that He died for her sins. Putting her own name into John 3:16, “For God so loved…Mary Ann…that He gave His only special Son, the Lord Jesus, so that if…Mary Ann…would believe on Him…Mary Ann…would not perish, but have eternal life,” she trusted Jesus to be her Savior.  Her life would never be the same.  Her first Great Love had been found!

Early on God started calling her toward missionary work.  When Jim Elliot and 4 other missionaries in Ecuador were martyred her senior year of high school, Mary Ann told God she was willing to be a missionary in their stead.  She earned her teaching degree from Illinois State University, and taught for two years to earn funds to attend Columbia Bible College (now Columbia International University) in South Carolina for graduate school. While there, a tall, dark haired man caught her attention.  Seeing how children responded to him with adoration and love, she decided he was worth getting to know better.  They got to know each other working on children’s ministry together, but never dated until after they were engaged, and then they only had one date before they got married.  Their first kiss was the night before the wedding, after the rehearsal, but they kept kissing for the next 57 years.  Dick was her second Great Love!

In 1971, Mary Ann & Dick set out for Zimbabwe (then known as Rhodesia) as missionaries, with 3 year old Debbie and 10 month old Dan.  Their first assignment was a rural station out in the middle of the African bush, where daughters Becky and Esther were added to the family.  Caught in the midst of a war for independence, landmines and guerrilla attacks were a part of life, but to a much greater degree, so were regular examples of miraculous protection, answers too desperate, impossible prayers, and many reliable reports of “men in white”, who guarded Christians but were only visible to some. When asked how she could raise her children in such a dangerous place, Mary Ann’s response was “There is no safer place than in the center of God’s will”, and quoted David Livingstone who said, “I am invincible until my task is done.”  It was during these years that the old hymn, “He Giveth More Grace”, became her testimony song.

Over the course of their 35 years of service in Zimbabwe, Mary Ann and Dick were involved in a variety of ministry opportunities.  Where Mary Ann truly shone was as a masterful teacher of children and youth.  It is no exaggeration to state that thousands of young people’s lives were impacted for eternity by her enthusiasm for God’s word, passion for sharing God’s message of love with everyone she met, and joyful excitement about her Lord. Her love was contagious and inspiring!  And the ripples from it continue to be felt as many of these former students are now pastors, missionaries, and Christian leaders, impacting thousands more.

In 2006, they retired from the mission field and settled in Lexington, SC to be close to family, but they did not slow down at all.  They quickly became involved in teaching Release-Time Bible in the nearby public schools, continuing to impact souls for eternity.  Even when failing health forced Mary Ann to step back from this, “wordless books” using 5 colors to share the Good News of Jesus started flooding through the local medical offices and hospitals.  Even being wheeled down the hallway on a gurney for surgery, Mary Ann would be sharing the story of these little books with each person transporting her, and quoting John 3:16, inserting their name into it to personalize it.   

Mary Ann is survived by her husband, Dick McCloy, children; Debbie (Mark) Wenger, Dan  (Adina) McCloy, Becky McCloy, and Esther ( Robert) Oliver. She was a cherished grandmother to Ruthanne ( Stewart) Hughes, Daniel (Mercy) Wenger, Abigail (McGill) Hutto, Joanna Wenger, Ben Skelton, Emily (Garrett) Williamson, Aidan McCloy, Micah McCloy, Nathanael Oliver, Naomi Oliver, and Simon Oliver.  There are hundreds more, who addressed her as Mom, Aunty Mary Ann, Amai McCloy, Gogo, or Mrs. McCloy, who are also part of her spiritual family and legacy.  Mary Ann also leaves behind a sister, Martha (Merrill) Orns; and brother, David Shutt.

The viewing will be held from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm Friday, February 2, 2024 at Barr-Price Funeral Home and Crematorium, Lexington Chapel. Visitation with the family will take place on Saturday, February 3, 2024 from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm at Lexington Baptist Church, followed by a memorial celebration of grace at 4:00 pm.  The family is encouraging everyone who comes to wear bright colors, cheerful clothing, floral prints, or Hawaiian shirts.  Be casual and comfortable.  Wear what makes you feel good.  This will be a celebration!

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Mary Ann McCloy Memorial Fund with BCM, to be used for the specific ministries which were dear to her heart, reaching youth and adults through Wordless Books, Released Time Education, and ABC and other simple methods of Bible Study. For giving instructions, please visit

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Ann McCloy, please visit our floral store.

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February 2, 2024

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Barr-Price Funeral Home, Lexington Chapel
609 Northwood Road
Lexington, SC 29072

February 3, 2024

2:30 PM to 3:30 PM
Lexington Baptist Church
308 E Main St.
Lexington, SC 29072

Celebration of Life
February 3, 2024

4:00 PM
Lexington Baptist Church
308 E Main St.
Lexington, SC 29072


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