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Carolyn Ann Marks Hough, age 84, of Wadesboro went home to be with God on Friday, November 26, 2021.
Born in the "Ballast Pit" section of the Gum Springs community near Lilesville, Mrs. Hough was the sixth of nine children born to J. Reb Marks and Dallie Usrey Marks. She was the first in her family to go to college and the first to be married in a church. As a child, Mrs. Hough was extremely small, but she was a little firecracker! She never played with dolls but preferred to play football and baseball in the yard with her male cousins. She could always hold her own in these games. Heaven forbid that a bigger, older cousin would tease her and call her a "runt" because then the fight was on! "Annie Roonie" could hold her own in these fights, too!
Mrs. Hough always loved going to school and read every single book, magazine, or newspaper she could find. If she couldn't find one she had not read, she would re-read the old ones. She read the Bible many times over.
The valedictorian of Lilesville High School's Class of 1955, she was the class Secretary and also President of the Beta Club. After high school, Mrs. Hough completed Flora MacDonald Junior College's one-year business program with all A's. She could type 120 words per minute (with NO mistakes) on an old, manual Royal typewriter. She could write in shorthand much, much faster than most people could write in Standard English.
When Mrs. Hough started the first grade in 1943 at Lilesville School, she met another little first grader, Moody Hough. They were friends, debate partners, high school sweethearts, and prom dates; they later were happily married for 62 years until Mr. Hough's passing in December of 2020. Mrs. Hough was enamored with, devoted to, and madly in love with Mr. Hough for all 77 years she knew him. After their marriage in 1958, Mrs. Hough became a military wife. In order for her husband to live his dream, she had to sacrifice a lot. She followed him to every duty station, making a home for them and then leaving it a year or 18 months later when he was transferred. She would then start all over again in a new city. The couple moved 17 times during Mr. Hough's military career.
As her husband moved from one duty station to the next, Mrs. Hough also held a job every place they lived. She was a receptionist for the United Way, a school bus driver, a case worker at the Navy Relief Society, a kindergarten teacher at a private school, and a secretary at an egg company, just to name a few. Her sailor husband also went to sea often, many times for a six-month patrol, so Mrs. Hough did most of the day-to-day raising of the couple's children. There she was -- a young mother, alone with three little children in a big city far away from her own parents, her family, and her support system. One time, she walked all the way through a very, very busy Grand Central Station with one big suitcase and three little children in tow (who were ages 3, 2, and 1 at the time) -- and she didn't have a stroller! She devised a unique hand-holding system so they stayed tightly together and all children were accounted for, safe, and within her reach right in front of her. She was a fantastic mother!
Mrs. Hough was absolutely terrified of water. The only time she put more than a toe in a body of water was when she walked into the "baptizing pond" down in Gum Springs as a child. All of her life, when she showered, she put a washcloth over her face because she was afraid of drowning. Determined not to pass this fear on, as soon as her children learned to walk, she took them to the nearest YMCA and enrolled them in swimming lessons. One summer, she even arranged for a former Olympic gold medalist to be their swimming instructor. The little Houghs took many years of swimming, water safety, and junior life-saving lessons at Mrs. Hough's insistence. All three Hough children became excellent swimmers and were extremely comfortable in the water. Though she never ventured into the water herself, Mrs. Hough often stood on the beach or the side of a pool and watched with great, great joy as her children swam like fish.
Mrs. Hough taught her children to read fluently and write in cursive before they each went to kindergarten. She wanted them to have every advantage to be successful, and she thought that started with learning to read and write. She modeled reading for knowledge and for pleasure in front of her children for hours almost every single day, and they all three followed her example and have always been voracious readers, too. Mrs. Hough also thought it was vital to bring her children up in church, and she took them to Sunday School, preaching, Training Union, Vacation Bible School, Acteens, Girls in Action, and Royal Ambassadors every single time the church doors opened. She made them participate in children's and youth choir groups, even though none of her children could carry a tune!
Solely because of their mother, the Hough children cannot remember a time in their lives when they couldn't swim, couldn't read, and didn't know Jesus.
Mrs. Hough also tried to teach her children to mimic her habits of kindness, compassion, gentleness, tactfulness, sweetness, and knowing which battles to fight. She taught them to love each other and to make the best of even the worst situations.
After her husband's military retirement, the family moved back to Mr. and Mrs. Hough's native North Carolina and Anson County. Mrs. Hough returned to college (her life-long dream) and graduated from Pfeiffer College after only two and a half years. She was 42 years old and ranked first in her graduating class. She later earned two master's degrees, one in Curriculum & Instruction from UNC-Charlotte and another in School Administration from Winthrop University. She taught English at Bowman Senior High School (later Anson Senior) for 21 years. Six months after she retired, she returned to the classroom to teach high school French for a year. She retired a second time but went back six months later and worked for the next six years as a grant writer for Anson County Schools. She retired her third and final time just after her 71st birthday.
Mrs. Hough could quote from memory thousands of lines from Shakespeare's plays and sonnets, a multitude of poems, and too many Bible verses to count. She was an expert at teaching John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath." Mrs. Hough also taught Sunday School for almost 60 years at many different churches, with her classes ranging from middle schoolers to the "senior" ladies' class. She also gave the "children's sermon" in church for 20 years. She believed vehemently in the power of prayer, and she prayed often and fervently. If she knew you, then she prayed for you -- whether you requested it or not. She was truly a Godly woman!
When her husband needed to move into the nursing home, Mrs. Hough demanded to go with him and become a resident, too. She simply could not bear the thought of being separated from him. Her first day there, she went around and introduced herself to all of the other residents. In the days, weeks, months, and years that followed, Mrs. Hough was the self-appointed "greeter" at the nursing home. When her husband was napping, she walked the halls visiting all of the other residents. She took snacks and fruit that her children brought for her and shared with the other residents. It's not that she didn't appreciate the snacks, it's just that she wanted to share with others who didn't get regular treats. At the nursing home, she was asked to serve as the patient representative on the Advisory Committee, and she took her responsibilities very seriously, going to all of the meetings with a notebook so she could take notes (in shorthand, of course) of the discussions.
Not one single day in all of Mrs. Hough's 84 years did she ever put herself first.
Ann Hough was intelligent, loyal, genuine, brave, self-motivated, and a pretty good cook. Though she could be a feisty little fighter when she wanted, she also had a sweet spirit, a servant's heart, and a very generous nature. In ALL things, she thought of others before herself, gave her absolute best effort, and counted her many blessings.
Mrs. Hough was proud of her children and told them so often, and her grandsons delighted her heart. But, to her, the prettiest baby in the whole world was her great-granddaughter. She kept a picture of "The Baby" beside her bed at the nursing home, and after she said her nightly prayers, she talked to the baby's picture until she fell asleep.
Mrs. Hough's survivors include her children, Mandy (Ken) Kennedy of Badin Lake, Garry (Cathy) Hough of Gastonia, and Marsha Burney of Clarkton; her grandsons, Zach (Greg) Kennedy of Escondido, CA, and Tyler Kennedy of Lexington, SC; and her great-granddaughter, Reagan Kennedy of Lexington, SC. She is also survived by her brother, Wayne (Diane) Marks of Albemarle; her sisters, Sue (Bill) Henry of Wadesboro, and Marie (Ed) Roberson of Memphis, TN; her sister-in-law, Julia Hough Brown of Laurel, MD; a special niece, Dianne (Harold) Driggers of Etowah; her all-time favorite student, Rev. Asa L. Bell, Jr. (Angela) of Wendell; along with many other nieces and nephews.
Her children believe that she was welcomed into Heaven by her husband, James Moody Hough; her son-in-law, Marvin Burney; her parents, Reb and Dallie Marks; her sisters, Louise (Charlie) Rivers, Marguerite (David) Bunn, Mary Alice (Lee) Gathings, Jeanne (Allen) Snuggs; her brother, Reid (Mary Lee) Marks; her nephews, Jimmy Seago, Bobby Gathings, Doug Bunn, and Scottie Marks; and her brothers-in-law, Harold Spivey, Land Buchanan, Charlie Brown, and Lee Seago.
"You earn one more tomorrow by a good deed you do today!" was Mrs. Hough's life creed. In lieu of flowers, please consider doing a random good deed today in her memory. If anyone would like to make a memorial in Mrs. Hough's name, her family suggests a donation to Richmond/Anson County Hospice, 1119 US 1-N, Rockingham, NC 28379.
The Hough children are celebrating their mother's well-lived life and finding great comfort that their mother and daddy are back together again, both whole and healed, and both sitting at the feet of Jesus. Thanks be to God!
"The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." (Psalms 126:3)
A joint memorial service for Mr. and Mrs. Hough will be held on Saturday, December 4, at 2 p.m. in the chapel of Leavitt Funeral Home. The family will visit with friends an hour before the service at Leavitt Funeral Home. A private inurnment will be held later.
Saturday, December 4, 2021
1:00 - 2:00pm (Eastern time)
Saturday, December 4, 2021
Starts at 2:00pm (Eastern time)
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