Mary Joanna Scarborough
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Mary Joanna Scarborough

June 22, 1932 - March 02, 2019

Mary Joanna Scarborough Mary Jo Clark Scarborough, age 86 of Pensacola Florida, passed away on Saturday, March 2, 2019. She was born June 22, 1932 to William and Jewel Clark in Dalton, Georgia during the depths of the Great Depression.
Mary Jo moved with her family to Rome, Georgia in fifth grade where she attended Rome public schools and the Maple Street Baptist Church. After graduating from Rome High School, Mary Jo studied music at Shorter College and then received her Masters in Music from The University of Kentucky in 1955. That same year, Mary Jo Clark married the love of her life, George Francis Scarborough.

They spent the first year of their marriage in Georgetown, Kentucky, where George worked while finishing his degree at UK. Mary Jo taught high school and was church organist and choir director at the Georgetown Episcopal Church. A Southern Baptist her entire life, Mary Jo worked her adult years as a music director in Episcopal churches in Kentucky, Mississippi, Georgia, and Upstate New York. Every year, the highlight of her musical life was conducting midnight Christmas Eve services while playing and directing Handel's Hallelujah Chorus.

Between 1957 to 1963, she and George had three children while living in Georgia. Over the next 20 years Mary Jo worked as a church music director, a public school teacher, and as a piano instructor who insisted that her three children be a part of those piano classes. Spending most of her life in the South, Mary Jo and her family moved to Upstate New York in 1973 before finally settling in Pensacola, Florida in 1978, where she could be close to her beloved mother and sister, Carolyn Hawkins. There she and her husband George became national directors of a scholarship pageant contest the "Miss American Coed Pageant." Though their efforts began as a side project after their daughter Carol participated in a pageant, hard work and determination that would exemplify her life helped build one of the largest pageant organizations in America.

After retiring in 2003, Mary Jo and George spent most of their time with their children, grandchildren, and friends at First Baptist Church in Pensacola.

Mary Jo and George were deeply in love and inseparable throughout their 55 year marriage. When George died in 2011, Mary Jo told friends and family members that her prayer was to be joined again with her husband and mother in heaven. On Saturday, March 2, 2019 Mary Jo Clark Scarborough finally had her prayers answered after suffering from dementia for seven years. She passed away peacefully with her loving sister and devoted daughter at her side. The family is so grateful for the dedication shown by all of the caretakers who helped us navigate the tremendous challenges that come with dementia. In lieu of flowers, the family requests any gifts be directed to the Alzheimer's tribute page for Mary Joe Scarborough at

Mary Jo was predeceased by her parents, William Arthur and Jewel Thomas Clark, her brother Bill Clark and her sister Margaret Sutton. She is survived by her sister Carolyn Hawkins, and Mary Jo's children Carolyn Ward, George Scarborough and Joe Scarborough, their spouses John Ward, Sara Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski Scarborough, her grandchildren Ian Ward, Ginger Ward and Julie Ward Fowler, great grandson due in late March, Emily Scarborough Wilt and great grandchildren Caroline and Olivia, Benjamin Scarborough, Joey Scarborough, Andrew Scarborough, Katherine Scarborough and Jack Scarborough.
Published on March 5, 2019
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Obituary published in

Arrangements by

Bayview Fisher-Pou Chapel


Celebration of life

Saturday March 09, 2019

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

First Baptist Church of Pensacola, FL

500 North Palafox Street, Pensacola, FL, USA


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23 posts

Valencia Bethly
Mar 15, 2019
I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. I watch Morning Joe daily and when I didn't see Joe and Mika I knew something happened. I pray that you cling to the memories of your mother and find comfort in the fact that no one truly dies in our hearts and mind. Be blessed and comforted in your hour of need.
F. F.
Mar 13, 2019
I'm so sorry for the loss of your dear loved one. May the God of ALL comfort give you a measure of comfort during this difficult time, and may He comfort you through the many prayers in your behalf (2Corinthians 1: 3, 4; Revelation 21: 3, 4).
Chris Abelein
Mar 11, 2019
I am sorry to hear of your loss. I just lost my father at age 89 on Mar 1st from complications of dementia & although I know he is at peace, it is always hard to lose a beloved parent. Cherish the memories. My thoughts & prayers are with you and hope you continue to be surrounded by love from family & friends.
John and Julie Szczudluk
Mar 10, 2019
Our thought and prayers are with you and your entire family.
Patty and Rodney Taylor
Mar 09, 2019
Love and prayers to the whole family. We have fond memories of your parents and all of you.
Fran (Forester) Yates
Mar 09, 2019
George and Mary Jo have a very special place in my memory through FBCP Singles. They were loving and caring and taught me so much. My thoughts and prays are with the Scarborough’s. I know Mary Jo has a huge smile as she has rejoined her beloved George. We will miss her beautiful smile.
Joyce Miller
Mar 09, 2019
Mary Jo was a part of my entire life I have nothing but wonderful memories of all the time I spent with her and her family. Please know I share your grief at her passing. As well as knowing that she is Home with so many who love her. My prayers continue to be with you.
Emily Camp Spratlen
Mar 08, 2019
Your Mom taught piano lessons to my two sisters and me during the time she was organist at First Baptist Church, Chamblee. I often watched you while my sisters were having their lessons. I remember meeting your Grandmother as well. Your Mom was a lovely lady and talented musician. We, too, experienced that slow walk through dementia with our father. My sympathy to all of you. You know she is now at peace.
Wendy Hollis
Mar 07, 2019
Teresa Kox
Mar 07, 2019
Joe & Family,
I am a faithful viewer of Morning Joe. I am sorry to hear about the loss of your mom. May God grant you and your family peace during this time of grief.
Juliana L’Heureux
Mar 07, 2019
My condolences to the family of a woman of faith.
Wendy Markham McCullar
Mar 06, 2019
So enjoyed being around your parents growing up. They were very special people. My thoughts and prayers to all family members. She will be missed.
Karyn Taylor and DeEtta Taylor Portal
Mar 06, 2019
My condolences to the family especially Mrs. Carolyn and Patty Hawkins and Joe Scarbrough. May God be with you in your time of sorrows.
Holly Wasylyk
Mar 06, 2019
Dear Joe,
I am very sorry for the loss of your mother. She was surely proud of you.
Maria Dixon Hall
Mar 06, 2019
Her witness of Christ's love through music will live on in the hearts of many. Her strength in Christ's eternal grace will live on in her students. God's favor in her life will be forever on display on the lives of her children and grand children.
Mar 06, 2019
Now she’s at peace among the beautiful angels that surround her. May you and the family also have that serene and peace that she’s enjoying now...🙏
Jim Edwards
Mar 06, 2019
My deepest sympathy to you and your family. I have watched you ever day for so long I feel like I know you. Your mother had to be so very proud of you. Peace
Anne Marie Nowak
Mar 06, 2019
Mothers are all special.
Susan Rittenhouse Joseph
Mar 06, 2019
My Condolences to the entire Scarborough family. You have my deepest sympathy. My only connection is as a Morning Joe fan. Mrs. Scarborough sounds like a wonderful woman, dedicated to her church and family. My mother was a church organist/choir director who also had Alzheimer's. It is the faith your mother had and taught you that will help you through. God's Blessings to all of you as you mourn.
Monia Williams Guy
Mar 06, 2019
May God grant you a peaceful journey as you make your way home.
Karyn Hastings
Mar 06, 2019
You made her proud. So sorry for your lost. My heart goes out to you
Tim Allen
Mar 05, 2019
The circle of life continues to turn for all mortals. It was with great sadness we learned of Mary's passing but joy for her wonderful life and being with her beloved again. Mat God bless and keep her.
Carolyn Ward
Mar 05, 2019