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Celebrating the life of
Marion Smith Hargrove
September 16, 1922 - June 24, 2016
Services under the direction of:
Bradshaw Carter
(713) 521-0066
  • Memorial Service
  • 2:00pm - Saturday, July 02, 2016
  • St. Philip Presbyterian Church
  • 4807 San Felipe (Map)
    Houston, Texas 77056

  • (713) 622-4807

Marion Smith Hargrove

Marion Smith Hargrove, a native Houstonian, died suddenly on June 24, 2016, in her home. Cheerful and optimistic, she often said, “I’ve enjoyed a wonderful life. I wake up every morning and tell myself, Marion you be grateful today.”

Born September 16, 1922, to Thomas Marion Smith and Elizabeth “Bettye” Callaway Smith, she lived an eventful life through eventful times. Growing up in the days before air conditioning changed our city, she and her friends could find cold watermelon or popsicles on a hot day at Houston Cold Storage Warehouse, managed by her father. She learned to drive on Westheimer, “a two-lane street with ditches on either side.” She graduated from Lanier Middle School, (where she first met her eventual husband, Jim Hargrove), Lamar High School and Rice Institute, where she became the first woman editor of the school paper, The Thresher.

She married Jim Hargrove in August of 1942. After remaining in Houston during the war years, the couple and young children moved to Shreveport in 1946 where Jim worked for Texas Eastern Corporation. They returned to Houston in 1959. In 1969, the family resided in Washington, DC, while Jim served as Assistant Postmaster-General. Marion was glad to return to Houston in the early 1970s.

In 1976, she and Jim moved to Canberra, Australia, where he was the US Ambassador. Marion, a skilled and gracious hostess, thrived in the diplomatic life there. She also cultivated a passion for travel, which she first pursued with Jim, and later with her daughter, Flo Ray, continuing to travel in her 90s. A lover of arts and music, Marion was active for many years in the River Oaks Garden Club, served as a docent at Bayou Bend, and supported the Houston Symphony and the Ballet, as well as the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Houston Museum of Natural Science. A lifelong Presbyterian, she was a faithful member of the Women’s Circles and a former moderator of the Presbyterian Women. She developed a keen interest in nature in her later years, especially birdwatching along the Texas Coast. She supported organizations such as the Audubon Society, Gulf Coast Bird Observatory and Galveston Bay Foundation. Her other hobbies included reading and needlepointing, where she created many beautiful works.

She is survived by her children, James Ward Hargrove, Jr., and wife Linda; Florence Hargrove Ray; Thomas Marion Hargrove and wife Gloria; and William Henry Hargrove and wife Lynn; as well as her sister Carol Smith Johnston and sister-in-law Mary Simpson Smith. She has seven grandchildren: Charles Hargrove and wife Amy; Claire Hargrove Ricci and husband Ron; Hugh Ray and wife Katheryn; Hallie Moore and husband Tyler; Derek Hargrove and wife Morag; Lindsey Raspino and husband Michael; and Sam Hargrove; and ten great grandchildren, with another one due in October; and many nieces and nephews and friends, especially Arlys Bing. They will remember her kindness and generosity as well as her legendary memory.

A memorial service will be held at two o’clock in the afternoon on Saturday, July 2, at St. Philip Presbyterian Church, 4807 San Felipe Street, Houston, Texas, 77056, with the Reverend Dr. John Wurster officiating. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to a charity of your choice.




Candle tribute lit by Betty and Ken Adam — Texas

Candle tribute lit by Joy Horak-Brown — Texas

Candle tribute lit by Karla and Allen Schapansky — Texas

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