She was married for 49 years to Ray R. Casada, who preceded her in death in 1990.
She is survived by their four children: Michael, Marcia, Myron and Marty; six grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
She was born Mary Helen Weaver on Oct. 5, 1919, in Quinntown, Polk County. She was the youngest of John Robert Weaver and Sarah Patton Weaver’s eight children. Raised primarily in Polk County and Fannin County, Ga., she lived at Higdon Store, Isabella, Coaltown and Ducktown, while her father worked as a carpenter in the copper mines and as a farmer.
For a short time the family moved to Miami, Fla., but their stay ended when the Hurricane of 1926 destroyed their residence and they moved back to Tennessee.
She became a life-long American Red Cross volunteer because of the Red Cross assistance her family received after the hurricane. Her first role was helping to raise money by telling about the family’s experience in the hurricane and how the Red Cross helped them.
She completed high school in Ducktown and then attended Maryville College, graduating to become an elementary school teacher. She returned to the Copper Basin area and taught school at Ducktown and then Farner, where she met her future husband.
They were married in LaGrange, Ga., in November 1941, while he was in military training, prior to him going overseas to serve in the Army Air Corps during World War II.
During the war, she moved to Akron, Ohio, and worked in a factory assembling airplanes, becoming a team supervisor. After her husband returned from the service, he worked for the U.S. Weather Bureau for more than 30 years, moving the family to various job locations. Over those years, she raised her four children and often worked as a teacher or in some other school or church role.
In 1970, the family moved to Bradley County and became members of the First Baptist Church of Cleveland.
He retired in 1975. After that, the couple became volunteers for the Bradley County Emergency Management Agency and more active Red Cross volunteers, working in blood drives and other local chapter activities.
They also traveled around the country working in relief operations for floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes. She also worked in the Red Cross Aid to Military Families program. Ultimately, the Red Cross presented her the Clara Barton Award, the highest recognition for Red Cross volunteers.
Another of her lifelong endeavors was genealogy. In addition to recording her family history, she and her husband prepared books of census data, obituaries, and cemetery inscriptions for Polk and Fannin counties. She also served on the board of the Polk County Historical and Genealogical Society and helped many people research their family history.
She moved to Knoxville in 2001. She became an active member of the Piney Grove Baptist Church and continued her genealogy efforts and her passion for reading.
The family plans a memorial service at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, at Piney Grove Baptist Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the American Red Cross (Hiwasseee Chapter, P.O. Box 2314, Cleveland, TN 37320) or to the Piney Grove Baptist Church (2109 Piney Grove Church Road, Knoxville, TN 37909).