Mary Caren, 72, passed away at home surrounded by her loving family on August 10, 2020, after a long and courageous fight with breast cancer. She fought the good fight, but as she said, “Cancer reared its ugly head.”
Mary Caren was born in Thunderbolt to Mrs. Emma Ambos Tisdel on June 8, 1948. She lived most of her life in Savannah, graduating from Herschel V. Jenkins High School in 1966. She then headed to Norman College and received her teaching degree from Georgia Southern College. She married the love of her life, Fred Thomas Buck, 50 years ago on May 9, 1970. After they married, Fred whisked her away to Atlanta where she taught in DeKalb County for a few years. After Fred was transferred to Birmingham, they started a family and Mary Caren became a stay-at-home mom. After her children were born, Fred and Mary Caren came home to Savannah to be close to family. They were members of St. Luke’s Lutheran in Thunderbolt, and then later in life became members of Messiah Lutheran Church on Skidaway Island.
Mary Caren had a long teaching career which started at St. Paul’s Lutheran Day School and continued to Thunderbolt Elementary (where she attended as a child) and then on to Marshpoint Elementary. Mary Caren loved teaching and all of her students were treated as one of her own, although it has been said that students claimed she was strict and didn’t want to have to go to Mrs. Buck’s room if they had gotten in trouble. Her teacher friends ultimately became like family members. She cared about everyone and would go out her way to let them know she was there to help however needed. Even though Mary Caren was in her words, “a homebody,” she was a member of Alpha Delta Kappa International Honorary Sorority for teachers as well as a Bunco group with fellow teachers. She continued to go to dinner with her teacher friends and was involved with her retired teacher group until her illness would no longer allow her to participate. After her retirement, she substituted at Marshpoint, Hesse, and Isle of Hope United Methodist Preschool, where she would have the children call her “Nams,” the name her very own grandchildren bestowed upon her. She was also involved with the Savannah Sport Fishing Club, where she was named the 2019 James Lynah Participant of the Year and would also go on to become the namesake of the Mary Buck Perpetual Trophy for the top female angler for the Annual Bluewater Tournament. She was also involved with the Home Builders Association of Savannah and loved the beach, boat, birds, and just about anything else to do with being outdoors, the mountains however she really just loved sitting in her chair on the porch enjoying the sun.
Mary Caren is preceded in death by her mother, Emma, and her beloved dachshund, Izzy Lou. She is survived by her loving husband and primary caregiver, Fred Buck; son, Scott (Lindsay) and daughter, Carey Fredrich (Rusty), all of Savannah; brother, Ambos “Bo” Tisdel (Margaret) of Tifton, Georgia; brother-in-law Randy (Lynne) of Midway, Georgia; four grandchildren, Emma, Miller, Matthew, and Grant, who were her whole world and affectionally called her “Nams”; nephews Matt Tisdel (Lindy) and Jackson Tyler Buck (Sally), niece Sarah Kate Lane (Chris); and other nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank all the friends and loved ones, who have called, prayed, sent cards and flowers, or sent Fred’s favorite – food. Additionally, the family would like to thank Paula, with Magnolia Home Care Service, and Hospice of Savannah for coming to the house to care for Mary Caren in her final months and days.
In lieu of flowers, Mary Caren has requested that you please donate to a charity of your choice.
Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Thursday, August 13, 2020 at Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Islands Chapel. The family will have a private service at a later date.
Mary was an amazing woman and teacher. I had the pleasure of teaching with her for many years and she always had a wealth of knowledge for us new teachers twenty years ago. She always had a smile on her face with something to positive say. The entire Buck Family is in my thoughts and prayers. Heaven has gained a very special Angel!
- Heather Cetti Aeger, Savannah, GA
Rest in peace, dear Mary. May God comfort you, Fred, Carey and Scott and the rest of the family.
- Alice Walker, Stone Mountain, Georgia
I am so sorry and my prayers are with you.
- Burdette Tracey Craven, Savannah, Georgia
Carey, I am so sorry for your loss and am thinking about your family during this difficult time. Jason Wetmore
- jason wetmore, Atlanta, GA
My deepest condolences to Fred, Ambos, and Mary Caren's extended family. I knew her from birth and were neighbors in Thunderbolt for years. She fought so hard with this awful disease. We shared that fight. The Lord has granted her peace and comfort. She was a sweet, kind, and gentle lady. She will be missed.
- Sonja Canas Held, Savannah, GA
We are so sorry to hear about Mary. She was a very sweet lady with a beautiful smile and sparkle in her eye. She will forever missed. We will keep you all in our prayers.
- Bubba, Jenny and Misty Crosby , Savannah , Georgia
Rest In Peace my dear friend and fly high !
- Lynda Gayle Sineath Pevey, Pembroke, GA
Rest In Peace my dear friend and fly high !
- Lynda Gayle Sineath Pevey, Pembroke, GA
Mary was truly one of the most amazing people I’ve ever known. She was a great teacher, Bunco player, and friend. I feel blessed to have known Mary. She was honest, caring, and dependable. She loved every single one of her students like her own and she cared deeply for the connections with her teacher friends. I’m going to miss her wittiness, that southern accent of sweetness when she spoke, and most of all her smile! She had the most radiant and honest smile that would light up any room. Mary will be sorely missed and I pray for Fred, Carey, Rusty, Scott, Lindsay, and the grandkids for comfort and peace.
- Libby Miller, Savannah, Georgia
Mary's quick wit and sense of humor will be missed. Her legacy of experience with colleagues and impact on students and their families will never be forgotten. May God's perpetual light shine upon her.
- Veva Shuman, Savannah , Ga
We will miss Aunt Mary’s wit, humor, and the best hugs at our family gatherings. She was truly one-of-a-kind and kept us laughing. The Lord has taken her home and freed her from her suffering. We love y’all so much!
- Tyler & Sally Buck, Orange Park, FL
My deepest condolences to you and your family.
- Debbie Cover Strickland , The Villages, FL
Fred, please accept my sincere condolences on the passing of your beloved wife Mary. A angel has gone to heaven.
- Michael Campbell, SAVANNAH, Georgia
I am so sorry for your loss. Prayers for peace for you all.
- Ginni Linton Galuk, Savannah, Ga
I worked with Mary early in my career as an administrator and truly came to appreciate her ability to maintain perspective and approach things with heart and humor. That is what drew me to her. It was always clear that her efforts were based on what was best for students. It was what made her an excellent teacher as well as an excellent teacher mentor. She helped many young teachers find their way into distinguished teaching careers. As many have noted, it was her wit which endeared her to us, as friends! At the end of a long, unbelievably hard day, at school, she would always find some funny, clever thing to say that perfectly summed up the situation! It would make you look at it and realize that no matter what -in 20 years it wouldn’t matter anyway and she was always right! I will miss talking to her so much ...but I’m so happy she is no longer suffering. Fred my prayers are with you and your family. Sherry McClain, Savannah, Georgia
- Sherry C.McClain, Savannah , Georgia
Viola &Ms. Jane Baker/ Thunderbolt Elementary School
- Viola Baker, Savannah, GA
I'm am so so sorry to hear this.. Mary was such an excellent and caring teacher. I cherish the time of our first year at Thunderbolt together.. Praying for Fred, children and Grandchildren.
- Linda Buttersworth, Thunderbolt, Ga
I remember Mary Caren way from Thunderbolt as well as graduating together. She was always a very gentle and kind classmate and she was the first person I had ever known to have a double name. I remember her mom as a public health nurse and was always around Thunderbolt school, and Mary Caren always seemed to “me” to be irritated by her visits because her mom was always telling her to do something. Also in reading her obit I discovered our paths crossed at St Paul’s Lutheran Day school as my two sons went there and at Hesse Elementary, however I have not seen her since graduation. I am sad to know I could have visited with her on those missed occasions. I always remember the sweet girl she was and know you will all miss her very much. May God Bless your family in this trying time and His peace be with you.
- Helen Walker Morgan, Sylvania, Ga 30467
May she rest in peace, our thoughts and prayers are with all of the family. I had no computer skills and they hired me. Mr. Fred and Mrs. Mary took the time to teach me, don't know many people that would take the time. She will be missed. Now she is in Heaven and will feel no more pain.
- Beth and Bud Milligan, SAVANNAH, Georgia
I was sorry to hear the news from Sheri. I knew Mary Caren, Ambos and Miss Emma from Thunderbolt when I would visit my aunt Ruth Canas and Canas cousins. She was a kind woman, but with that "Miss Emma" quick wit that you never knew what to expect! Prayers are with all of you, and she is at peace.
- Cecilia (Foster) Morett, Savannah, GA
Prayers for the whole family. So sorry for the loss of this beautiful lady who leaves so many great memories.
- Billy and Betty Wedincamp, Midway, Georgia
Mary was such a force, We loved her way of being direct, but with heart!! She always had a smile or kind word when you needed it. I will remember mostly her humor with a playful twinkle in her eyes. She would always tell you the truth in what she thought. She put up a courageous battle, and we are sorry that this time it was too much. We will miss our friend, but she will be remembered fondly in our hearts. She will be showing those other angels how it is done!!!
- Debbie Guymon, and Shawn Elmore, Thunderbolt, Ga
May Gods loving simile be upon you Mary, for eternity
- Greg Ricks, Savannah, Ga
We are so saddened to hear of Mary’ death. She was wonderful to have as a next door neighbor and her positive and cheerful presence will be greatly missed. Our heartfelt sympathy. Ramona and Howard
- Ramona and Howard Mackinnon, Savannsh, GA
So sorry to hear this news. She was one of the sweetest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
- Loy Atkins, St. Simoms Island , Georgia
So sorry to hear of Mary’s passing. We’ll miss her at Messiah.
- Katharine Marshall, Savannah, GA
May the Lord strengthen and comfort you as only He can do.
- Jo Ann Shuman, Thunderbolt, GA
Rest in peace with the Lord Mary. The Buck Family is in our prayers.
- Jim & Christine Walker & Family, ACWORTH, GA
Fred, We are sad to hear about Mary but realize her pain has also passed. Rosemary brought this to my attention a few days ago which allowed me to get out the word to the Flotilla. Now, I have passed along the arrangements to all current members and many retired who were suggested by Rosemary. May God bless you in the future, we missed seeing you after you retired but now we see almost no one! It’s a crazy time! You and Mary will be in our prayers, Your Remote Cousins, Bill & Helen Walter
- Bill & Helen Walter, Midway, Georgia
Praying for comfort.
I just learned of her passing.My heart is heavy,for she was definitely one of a kind,and I always admired her spirit!She was a great,and admirable person to the very end!My love and prayers are with her family .I feel blessed to have known this amazing woman.
- Gina Mosher, Savannah , Georgia