She and her late husband, Fonzy, were for many years co-owners of McNeil Auto and Home Supply on Main Street in Rector until it burned in 1973. She was a licensed beautician and taught at beauty schools in Paragould for several years. After she retired from teaching, Mrs. Mays wrote a popular weekly column for the Clay County Democrat, This Week in Rector, describing various social events around the Rector community.
Her tireless community efforts included 50 years of work at the Rector Labor Day Picnic. She served for years as a local election official, and her smiling face often greeted those voting in local, state and federal elections.
She also served as an officer and leader in the Rector Woman's Club and the Parent-Teacher Organization. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Rector most of her adult life and served her church tirelessly in many roles.
Born Oct. 19, 1914, in Rector, she was the daughter of the late Martha and William "Bill" Rust. She was raised in the Leonard-Blue Cane communities. She was married to Fonzy A. Mays on Jan. 16, 1936.
She is survived by two daughters and sons-in-law, Beverly Mays and ElShafey Ashour of Florida and Joan E. and Byron Gregery of Collinsville, Ill.; her grandchildren, Richard Hodges of Santa Monica, Calif, Dr. Temple Hodges Zander of San Diego, Calif., and Heather Gregery Jenkins of St. Louis, Mo., and four great-grandchildren, Tucker Hodges, Austin Hodges, Athena Zander and Aries Zander.
She also was preceded in death by her brothers and sisters, Clarence Rust, James Rust, Wayne Rust and Zelda Rust McNeil.
Visitation will be at 1 p.m. today (Wednesday, Jan. 3) at the First United Methodist Church of Rector. Funeral services will follow at 2 p.m. with Rev. Roger Armstrong officiating. Burial will be in Woodland Heights Cemetery in Rector.
Pallbearers will be Richard Hodges, Tucker Hodges, Austin Hodges, Byron Gregery, Troy Zander and Tony Glaub. Irby Funeral Home of Rector is in charge of arrangements.