Tue February 13, 2024

By Rachel Pendergraft


Mary Alice Couch

Mary Alice Couch

Mary Alice Couch, beloved woman of faith, passed away on February 8th, 2024, at the age of 88. She was born on October 17th, 1935, in Ozan, Arkansas. She was the youngest and cherished daughter of Oscar and Virgie Dudney. 

Mary was a devoted wife and a loving mother. Her selflessness knew no bounds. Mary embraced her roles with boundless love and unwavering dedication. Many holidays and celebrations took place at her residence. Her home was a sanctuary of love and acceptance, where a simple cup of coffee served as a gateway to heartfelt conversations and wise counsel. Many know of spending time sitting on her front porch during all seasons.   A person didn’t have to be a relative to be treated as a loved family member.  Many people have known her as a mother figure.  Her home telephone rang around the clock and was always answered with a sweet hello and a listening ear.  The doors of her home knew many who entered with a burden but left with hope and encouragement.  She embodied the true essence of compassion, extending her hand to anyone in need, without judgment or hesitation.  

Mary’s life was a testament to her deep faith in God and unwavering commitment to serving others. She was a dedicated member of the First Assembly of God church in Hope, Arkansas, where she initiated numerous ministries that touched countless lives.  Her boundless compassion, infectious joy, and profound faith touched hearts with her personality of love, kindness, and compassion.  

Her journey of service began in the church nursery, where she lovingly cared for infants and toddlers, fostering a nurturing environment for the youngest members of the congregation. She moved from the church nursery to being a dedicated teacher in the children's church, whose profound understanding of scripture and unwavering commitment to instilling Godly character left a mark on countless young hearts. With patience and wisdom, she illuminated the teachings of the Bible, guiding children toward a deeper relationship with God and a steadfast moral compass.  

Mary then began a nursing home ministry that brought comfort and joy to residents every Sunday morning. Alongside fellow devoted church members, she facilitated uplifting services, that included praise and worship songs and Christ-centered messages, ensuring that those in need of spiritual support that weren’t able to travel to church found solace and community and a time to hear the Word of God every week.  Years of Sunday mornings she was found helping nursing home staff move residents too weak or unable to make their way down to the activity room where they were welcomed and accepted. 

Mary also served as a leader in the women's ministry, where her compassion and organizational skills shone brightly. She coordinated baby showers, prepared funeral meals, and orchestrated special church events gracefully and efficiently. As a trusted confidante and the pastor's right-hand person, Mary served as pastoral care and played an integral role in providing spiritual guidance and assistance to individuals and families facing challenges.  She tirelessly visited church members in the hospital, offered prayers for those in need, and delivered inspiring messages during services when the pastor was away. 

Mrs. Couch’s commitment to the well-being of others exemplified the true essence of kindness and empathy.  

dedicating her life to serving the elderly with boundless love and compassion. Whether she was preparing nourishing meals, tending to household chores, or accompanying them to medical appointments, her presence brought comfort and joy to those she cared for. With tenderness and grace, Mrs. Couch brightened the lives of the elderly, easing their burdens and filling their days with laughter and companionship. She went above and beyond in their lives, acting as a trusted advocate when they had no one else to speak for them.   

The world has lost an exceptional woman, Mary Couch, who exemplified the virtues of patience, understanding, and unconditional love. Her passing has left a void in the hearts of all who had the privilege of knowing her. We share in the grief of her family, friends, and community and offer our deepest condolences during this difficult time. Mary's legacy of faith and service will continue to inspire and guide us all. Mary will forever be remembered as an extraordinary woman of God and as selfless as anyone can be. 

Mary was preceded in death by her parents Oscar and Virgie Biddle Dudney, her late husband, John Wally Couch, her infant son John Michael, and her only daughter, Connie Elaine Stroud-Gribble, brothers Roy Robert Dudney and Oscar Dudney Junior, and sisters Effie Pearl Springfield, Birdie Mae Karst, and Nora Jane Campbell.  

Mary Alice Couch is survived by her son Kenneth Couch and wife Kim, her son Kevin Couch, granddaughter Malissa Davis, grandson Heath Stroud and wife Jamie, grandson Ryan Couch, grandson  Michael Couch and fiancé Sarah Helmick, great-grandchildren  Chandler, Isabel, Jaxton, Madilyn, Lincoln, Chrissy, Barrett, Luna, Rhett, Braxton, and soon newborn Lainey, countless nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, cousins, and countless sons, daughters, brothers and sisters in Christ.   

Visitation is scheduled for Friday, February 16, 2024, 5:00 pm-7:00 pm at Herndon-Fuqua Funeral Home. 

Graveside services will be held at 10:00 am Saturday, February 17, 2024, at Memory Gardens Cemetery, under the direction of Herndon-Fuqua Funeral Home with a reading of her life by Malissa Davis and officiated by Heath Stroud.   

We also invite you to express your public condolences at www.herndonfuquafuneralhomes.com or private Letters of Love at www.herndonfuquafuneralhomes.com/page/letters-of-love.