Mollie Rose Autry Molnar, 90, passed away Friday, November 19, 2021, from a short illness and complications from strokes. She was the second child of Lucile Sullivan Autry and LH Autry Sr. She was born in the rural agricultural area of Burdette, in Northeast Arkansas on October 17, 1931. Her father was Superintendent of the Burdette School System and a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives. Her mother was a teacher and librarian, who finished her husband’s term in office after being elected to the House of Representatives too. Mollie was taught to serve others and educate right from the beginning.
Mollie attended Arkansas State University for her undergraduate degree. She was a majorette and a member of the AOII Sorority. She went on to receive her Doctorate of Music Education from the University of Texas. She always enjoyed calling Arkansas relatives collect when Texas beat the Razorbacks and Arkansas family did the same when the Hogs beat TX, in those days it was not very often. She worked in music education in public schools for many years and was a Professor at Southwest Missouri State (now Missouri State University) in Springfield Missouri. She finished her career as Head of the Music Department there. She played an important role in instructing and mentoring many students over the years. In addition to devoting her life to education, she also loved directing the choir at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Springfield. She was also active in her church leadership as an Elder. Mollie took her memberships and involvement in organizations very seriously. She was active in faculty groups even after retirement. She was an avid genealogist and involved in numerous groups. Some of these were The Geological Society, The DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), DAC (Daughters of the American Colonists), Colonial Dames of the 17th Century. She also belonged to the Capt. Robert Napier P.E.O. DC Chapter, a Philanthropic organization supporting Women’s Education in many facets. It is no wonder that Mollie proved to be an inspiration to her family, students and associates.
Mollie married the love of her life, Gene R Molnar in 1987 in Springfield Missouri and they had 32 amazing years together. She is preceded in death by her husband, Gene R Molnar; her parents LH Autry Sr. and Lucile Sullivan Autry; her brother and his wife, LH Autry Jr and Betty Williams Autry and an infant niece Dianne Autry.
She is survived by her niece Rosanne Autry Florence (Michael) of Lonoke Arkansas; her nephew David Autry (Colleen) of Bronx New York; her grandniece Megan Florence Gray (Stafford) of Lonoke, great-grand nieces Caroline and Charlotte and great-grand nephew Hayes: her stepdaughter Mollie Claire Neal (Jay) of Long Island NY; her stepdaughter Heather Walsh (Daniel) of Long Island NY; her step granddaughter Taylor Neal of Brooklyn NY and her step granddaughter Kelsey Neal of Burlington NC. She also leaves beloved cousins, relatives, family members by choice and many dear friends. Several very special pups will miss her treats and her lap.
Mollie was always an avid traveler and traveled extensively as a single Lady. In fact, she and Gene met on a Tour of Spain, he was accompanied by his teenage girls. After marriage, the Molars proceeded to travel the world together, taking at least two trips overseas most years. They said that they were saving easier trips, in the States, for when they were old. In the last year of Gene’s life, 2019, they made a long desired “around the world” adventure. Mollie always said, Gene told me where he wanted to go and I planned it and made it happen. Mollie often did genealogy research on their trips and they visited places where both of their family ancestors had originated. The Molnars also generously took their families on many trips and delighted in sharing their love for adventure, travel and knowledge. She told them that she was going to spend part of their inheritance WITH them, enjoying everyone being together. A tremendous and priceless gift to her family. The family will always have amazing memories of special times spent together traveling, visiting and breaking bread together in new and wonderful countries. Mollie did not have children of her own but she played a large immense role in making her family and friends better human beings.
Her family and friends are grieving for their loss but they rejoice that she is not constrained any longer by a body that can’t live in the fabulous manner in which she was accustomed. Mollie Rose lived a full and marvelous life of 90 years and her family and friends are grateful for her lessons taught to them, her love for them, and most importantly for her encouragement to always travel, to learn and to grow in heart and intellect. They can see her now as Director of a perfectly heavenly choir or searching for all those genealogical answers - perhaps seeking ancestor’s souls and listening to their life histories and stories of the past that she respected and loved so much. Most importantly she is home again, pain free and whole. Gene’s and her souls are traveling again together on the most beautiful and amazing journey of all.
Her family plans to hold a Celebration of Life and Inter her cremains at a later date to allow out of state family to attend. She will be laid to rest in Elmwood Cemetery in Blytheville, Arkansas with Boyd Funeral Home of Lonoke and Cobb Funeral Home of Blytheville providing support. Her Family wishes to express their deep appreciation to the staff and caregivers at The House of Three and to Kindred Hospice for their love, support, and compassionate care of our loved one and us. Condolences can be made online at Boyd Funeral Home and Cobb Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, we ask that you make memorial donations to the Mollie Autry Molnar Music Scholarship, Missouri State University Department of Music, 901 S. National Ave. Ellis Hall 206, Springfield, MO 65897 417-836-5648
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