Nelson McGary

*An earlier version of this life story misspelled Deatra McGary's name.

Nelson McGary was a faithful person.

“I want to be the next one in line to meet Jesus,” he told his family last week, said his daughter *Deatra McGary.

The most important thing to him was living a biblical life and sharing his faith, she said.

Mr. McGary of Columbia died Sunday, March 6, 2011, at his home. He was 90.

He was born Jan. 24, 1921, to Eden and Lela Pyle McGary in Carlisle County, Ky.

As a child he rode a pony to school every day.

“Then he traded the pony for a bicycle,” Deatra McGary said. “I think it was an opportunity with another kid.”

He married Rosemary Yates on Nov. 20, 1941, in Kentucky.

He and his wife moved to Columbia from St. Louis after their two oldest children started school at MU.

Deatra McGary remembered her father telling her stories about his large family.

“He used to talk about his older sister baking oatmeal cookies with him,” Deatra McGary said. “I always wished I could have been there.”

His family stayed with him for the last three weeks while he was in hospice care. Deatra McGary said he was trying to get up and walk around and, concerned for her dad, she kept trying to get him to sit back down.

“He told me, ‘Now, Sugar, I know what I’m talking about,'” Deatra McGary said. “That was sweet because he hadn’t called me that since I was a child.”

Mr. McGary enjoyed spending time outside mowing his three acres of land.

“Instead of placing flowers on his grave, we are putting pictures of his tractor and a little toy tractor on it,” Deatra McGary said.

He is survived by three children, Terry McGary and his wife, Linda, Deatra McGary, and Kim Cook and her husband, Randy; a sister, Ferrell Hults and her husband, Robert; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Mr. McGary’s parents and seven siblings died earlier.

Visitation will be Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Parkade Baptist Church. Services will follow at noon.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Parkade Baptist Church, 2102 N. Garth Ave., Columbia, MO 65202.

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