On February 17, 1914, a historical moment took place; George and Maggie McClellan were engaged in the task of
bringing into this world a child deemed to be their last.
Born into a Tennesse family that showered her with love and affection, Mary was surrounded by many at her high school
At twenty years of age, she completed Austin High School in Tennessee, and began to display her "Seeds of greatness"
for her family and friends to see.
By the age of 22, she married Cato Hadras Shorter, and proudly gave birth to four children: two sons and two daughters.
After raising their own children, and watching each one leave home, they found themselves near retirement, but certainly
They assumed more responsibility, a loving but laborious chore, by becoming foster parents of yet five more.
Her motto is "Do unto others"
Her objective is caring
Her life goal is to be thankful
Her mission is sharing
By following Maggie's foot steps, as "Quilter of unique geometric designs", she was Chief Executive Officer of the family
firm; she acquired multiple and multi-purpose roles, extending over a 30 year term.
She was Bland High School's bookkeeper, while serving as the Principal's spouse, a gracious hostess, salesperson of student
books and supplies, while managing the family house.
She was Big Stone Gap's community seamstress, a lucrative business during those times; a creator of women's and children's
clothing, as well as men's designs. She could have been a Donna Karen, Anne Klein, or Ellen Tracy. We could be
shopping at McClellan's or Shorter's, instead of Bloomingdales, Nordstroms, or Macy's.
Through books, by car or airplane, she covered miles and miles of terrain for fun, relaxation and sometimes favors. Her
companions included friends, family or church neighbors. To Hawaii, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, she traveled,
to Tennessee, North Carolina, Michigan, New York, and California.
From Church Services, Debutante Luncheons, Wedding receptions she would jump; to a calendar full of manicure, pedicures
or shopping at "Pretty and Plump".
As a member of Davidson Chapel Methodist, she became the Bible School's musician, her volunteerism with Headstart,
earned her an "Outstanding Service Award" for her Policy Council position.
For at least five decades, she inspired others and shared her ambitions; by passing on her "seeds of greatness" through
family beliefs, values, and traditions.
To the McClellan Family descendants of today and tomorrow, ignoring those flashes of genius could only lead to future
sorrow. Those "Seeds.." bestowed upon us by George and Maggie McClellan, were meant to be nurtured and developed
for OUR future generations. For eight decades and four, Mary has paved the way, by placing her "Seeds of greatness"
out front, and on display.
We, the Shorter descendants would be remiss, if we did not say, That we admire and respect ALL the McClellan ladies and
gents, on this special FAMILY REUNION DAY.
By Gail Shorter-Judson, August 1, 1998