Dedicated to Friends, Past and Present
Mary Nelle White Magill
July 2, 1923 - September 19, 2012
Mary Nelle White Magill , 89, of Atlanta, GA, passed away peacefully at her home on Wednesday, September 19, 2012. Mary Nelle was born July 2, 1923 in Jackson, TN to the late Robert Newsom White and Nell Fite White. She was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, William "Bill" Sharp Magill Jr. After graduating from Jackson High School, Mary Nelle attended Stephens College in Columbia, MO, earning an Associate in Arts degree majoring in Aviation in June, 1943. Mary Nelle met Bill Magill, Jr, her future spouse while he was stationed as the squadron commander at McKeller Field in Jackson, TN, flying as a Civilian Contract Flight Instructor for the Army Air Corps, teaching primary flight training during World War II. They were married on October 1, 1943. In 1945 they moved to Long Island, NY, where Bill flew out of LaGuardia airport for American Airlines in their North Atlantic Military Contract Division before transitioning to regular passenger carrying flying on DC-3 and DC-4 aircraft. In 1949 the family moved south to remain in Atlanta when Bill joined the newly formed Southern Airways as a Flight Captain, rising to Senior Vice President of Operations and successfully overseeing the airline's growth as a major regional carrier and entrance to the jet age with DC-9 aircraft in 1966. While her children were growing up, Mary Nelle was a busy wife and mother, supporting her husband and children in all of their interests and endeavors. She was particularly proud of being requested by the President of Southern Airways to travel to Paris to select new uniforms for the airline's flight attendants flying the new jets in the late 1960's. These handsome uniforms were highly praised both for their stylishness and crisply functional appearance. Once her children were grown, Mary Nelle renewed her lifelong interests and involvement with antiques and interior design. In 1977, she opened an elegant shop named "Tamia Designs" on Irby Avenue in Buckhead in Atlanta. The shop specialized in interiors, antiques, gifts and accessories and featured everything from Oriental designs and genuine antiques to beautiful reproductions. For the next 28 years, Mary Nelle traveled often and widely with her husband, Bill, in Europe, particularly England and France, both sightseeing and selecting beautiful antiques and French decorative arts for the shop and her many discerning customers. Mary Nelle, known affectionately as Cher to her family, was an active member of the First Baptist Church in the 1950's-1960's, before moving her church affiliation to Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church in the 1970's, where she remained a member and devout Christian until her death. She was also a member of the Capital City Club and the Wood Valley Garden Club. She is survived by her four children: William "Bill" (wife Nancy) Sharp Magill III, Laurie (husband Carroll) Magill Earp, Robert "Bob" (wife Louise) White Magill, and Karen Cauthorn Magill; her seven grandchildren: Kimberly (husband Eric) Hobdy Kuziak, Shannon Ansley Magill, Patrick Magill Earp, Melissa (husband James) Marie Smith, William "Bill" Sharp Magill IV, Courtney Llewellyn Magill, and Hayley White Magill; and her great granddaughter Caroline Anne Kuziak. The family is very grateful for the kind and loving care that Cher received from her caregivers, most especially Taahirah Hartwell who was her close companion and friend for the past five years, and for the assistance of Hospice Atlanta. The family will have a private memorial service to celebrate her life with Dr. Charles Qualls at Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church, Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to The Salvation Army or the charity of your choice. Please send online condolences to www.csog.com. Arrangements by the Cremation Society of Georgia 404- 355-7627.