Mary Bullock Payne, age 84, of Madison, MS departed on her last great adventure June 29, 2020. Funeral services will be held Thursday, July 2, 2020 at Parkway Funeral Home in Ridgeland, MS at 11:00 a.m. with burial to follow in the adjacent Parkway Memorial Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday, July 2, 2020, one hour before the funeral.
Mary was a wonderful wife, mother, teacher and genealogist. She was born in Brandon, MS to William Francis Bullock and Edith Thompson Bullock. She spent her early life in Brandon and moved to Pascagoula, MS where she completed elementary school. She graduated from Jackson Central H. S. in 1954. Mary graduated from Hinds J.C. where she was a cheerleader for the 1954 football team that won the Jr. Rose Bowl game in Pasadena, CA. She transferred to William Carey College where she was the editor of the College newspaper, a cheerleader and was inducted into the Carey Chapter of Chi Beta Phi, the honorary scientific sorority. She graduated cum laude with a B.A. degree in 1957. While a student at WCC she met her husband of almost 64 years, Bill Payne. They were married in 1956. She earned a M.A. degree from Ole Miss.
Her teaching career began with the Natchez MS. Public Schools; she then moved to the Memphis City Schools where she taught for 24 years at Messick H.S., Overton H.S. and Wooddale H.S. She moved to Franklin to be with her husband, Dr. Bill Payne, while he was an administrator with the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. Mary loved teaching and she often said that she was a frustrated actress. In the classroom, she was center stage every day, encouraging and inspiring her students to achieve their dreams.
After 30 years of teaching, she put aside her teaching aids and attacked genealogy with the same enthusiasm that she had facilitated in learning. She researched the ancestry of her family, her husband’s family, her son-in-laws family and her sister-in-laws family. And when she completed her family, Mary researched families for members of DAR and Colonial Dames. She enjoyed doing the membership directory for the “Art ‘N’ Tiques” club and making prayer blankets for the St. Dominic Auxiliary.
She took time out of her schedule to make numerous trips with her beloved husband, son, daughter, brother and sister-in-law. Her memorable trips include one to Egypt with her daughter, one to Hawaii with her son, and one to Italy with her husband and her daughter’s family.
She loved Ole Miss and for several years she attended the football week-ends with the Fabulous Four – her, her husband, her brother, Bill and sister-in-law, Charlene.
Survivors include her husband, Bill, her daughter, Karen Still (Jim), her son, Bill Jr., her grandsons, Jim Still, Jr. (Monica) and Jon Still (Susanne), her granddaughter, Lauren Payne, her great grandson, Nate Still and her brother, William F. Bullock (Charlene).
The family requests memorials be sent to the Payne Endowed Scholarship Fund, William Carey College, 710 William Carey Parkway WCU Box 1, Hattiesburg, MS 39401.