Mary Sue Wittauer is famous for being the first and former wife of music icon, actor, founder of Jimmy Dean Sausage brand, TV and radio present; and Hall of Famer, Jimmy Dean. Sue was married to Dean for 40 years until it ended in a divorce following Jimmy’s infidelity with singer, Donna Dean who later became his second wife.
Although she has maintained a life out of the spotlight throughout the time they were married and even after, there are facts about Mary Sue that cannot be ignored. Here are all of them.
How Old is Mary Sue Wittauer?
Mary Sue was born in Washington DC and had her growing up in Takoma Park, Maryland. Despite her marriage to a famous star, she kept her personal life private, thereby making her age and life before fame difficult to reach. Regardless, Jimmy Dean, her ex-husband was born on August 10, 1928, in Olten, Lamb County, Texas, and was raised in Plainview.
His parents were George Otto Dean and Ruth Dean (nee Taylor). Growing up, his father left and his family didn’t have it all. Jimmy had to wear old clothes with his shirts made out of sugar sacks. Kids would laugh at him but his mother would remind him that they were clean and he had nothing to be ashamed of.
Dean Dropped Out of High School
Dean attended Brazoswood High School. He later dropped out to do a year in the Merchant Marine and became a ship’s oiler who would spend his 17th birthday in Lima, Peru. Dean later headed for the United States Air Force in the 1940s
In 1949, he was discharged from the Air Force and worked on his music career that would see him rise to fame for decades.
Sue Married Her Ex-Husband When He Was 22 Years Old
Mary Sue Wittauer and Jimmy Dean became married in 1950, 3 years to his first hit, Bumming Around in 1953. The marriage had its way of keeping its details out of the reach of the media.
In the marriage, Sue practically watched the growth in the career of Dean as well as his age. His career landed them in many places that include becoming residents of Tenafly, New Jersey in the 1980s.
Their marriage continued for 40 years before it headed for a divorce in 1990 when Jimmy was 62 years old after he found love in country artist, Donna Dean.
She is the Mother of Jimmy Dean’s 3 Children
From her union with Jimmy, the couple welcomed 3 children Garry T. Dean, Connie Dean Taylor and Robert.
A year after his parents got married; Garry Dean was born in 1951 as a first child. He attended first grade at Tuckahoe Elementary School. At present, she runs a restaurant in Connecticut.
Connie was born in 1954 in Arlington, a year after Dean made his debut single. Although it is not known if she was named after him, Connie Gay was the Disc Jockey and businessman who signed Jimmy Dean after he had performed at a hillbilly bar.
Also it was Gay who got him his job as a radio performer on a show Gay hosted called Town and Country Time. Connie Dean like her mother, Mary Sue maintains a low profile.
One of Jimmy’s Major Hits Took Him Less Than an Hour and a Half to Write
Jimmy learned to play the piano from his mother at the age of 10. He then began singing right from the time he was young in church. He, however, took it professionally in the 1950s. In 1961, he released one of his best songs ever, Big Bad John which he composed in a plane from Nashville. Although the song was said to have been composed in about an hour and a half, Jimmy reported that it may have taken less time.
The song also took an hour to be recorded and barely a month after its release; it made it to the Billboard Hot 100. In 1962, the song won him a Grammy Award for Best Country & Western Recording as well as a Grammy Award nomination for Song of the Year.
The song which was produced by Don Law became a center of attention as it was covered by many other artists in years to come. In 1990, the title of the song Big Bad John also became a title of a film that starred Mary Sue’s ex-husband, Jimmy.
His other musical works include:
- 42 Studio Album
- The First Thing Ev’ry Morning (1965)
- Jimmy Dean is Here! (1966)
- Everybody’s Favourite (1967)
- A Thing Called Love (1968)
- Country Boy and Country Girl (with Dottie West, 1970)
- 7 compilation albums
- 65 singles
- Big Bad John (1961)
- Dear Ivan (1961)
- PT-109 (1962)
- The First Thing Ev’ry Morning (And The Last Thing Every Night) (1965)
- O.U (1976)
- Slowly (with Dotie West, 1971)
Mary Sue Wittauer May Not Be The Greatest Thing That Ever Happened To Jimmy
Their marriage may have lasted years but Jimmy Dean may not have felt she was the greatest thing that ever. According to him, his love life with Donna yielded quite well as she became the best friend he ever had as well as the greatest of things to happen to him. They were married in 1991 when Donna was 38 years old while Dean was barely a month to his 63rd birthday.
His second wife, Donna Meade who later became Dona Dean is also a country music act. She was born in Richmond. Alone and together with Jimmy, they made music that includes Virginia.
Her Ex-Husband’s Second Wife Married Her High School Love 2 Years After The Death of Jimmy
In 1971, Dean was already married to Mary Sue Wittauer for over 2 decades. This happens to also be the time that Donna Dean graduated from Highland Springs High School with her then love, Jayson Franklin Stevens.
They later parted ways only to reunite during a reunion in a year that is uncertain. However, it was on June 13, 2010 that Jimmy died at the age of 81 when Dona found him lifeless in their room where he was eating and watching TV.
In 2012, her wedding with Stevens was announced. She was at that in her late 50s.
She Wanted $612,000 Dollars as Yearly Support From Dean as a Result of Their Divorce
When Sue sued Jimmy, she wanted more than $600,000 per year in support. This came with the accusation that he was having an affair with Donna.
She further claimed that there was abandonment on the part of Jimmy after she helped in his career among other things. In 1989, it was claimed through court proceedings that Jimmy Dean was earning almost $8 million and had assets worth $75 million. The music icon however offered her $120,000 yearly.
Where is She Now?
There hasn’t been a lot about Mary Sue Wittauer since their divorce. Also, she was not noticed at the funeral of her ex-husband that was attended by his wife at the time that he died, his children, and grandchildren.
Net Worth of Mary Sue Wittauer
The career of Mary Sue is not known and so is her net worth. However, her ex-husband’s net worth at the time of his death was estimated at about $50 million. He made this fortune from his career in music, appearing in a number of films, and his radio and TV presentations.
Their wealth as a couple was able to fetch them their first home that was worth $19,500 in Arlington in the 1950s. At the time of their divorce also, she was said to be leaving at their Tenafly home.
At the time that Jimmy was called dead in 2010, he had an estate that was estimated to be worth $50 million. He had also donated $1 million to Wayland Baptist University in Plainview. The donation became the highest gift from an individual to the institution.