Mary was born August 27, 1935, in Marianna. She was the fourth of five sisters to Elmer and Octavia Hall. Mary had a special lifelong bond with her four sisters. She attended Marianna High School, graduating in 1953. Upon graduation she attended Chipola College and was a cheerleader. On March 30, 1957, she married the love of her life Rev. Thomas L. Melvin.
They had three children, Thomas L. Melvin, Jr., David Henry (Bubba) Melvin, and Laura Nan Barfield. During the early years, she served as a faithful pastor’s wife and stay at home mother to her three children. When the children began school, Mary began a 26 year career with the Jackson County School Board in career guidance working at Marianna High and Malone. Mary loved her husband and her children and was very involved in all the children’s sports and school activities. Some special memories included attending MHS and UF Gator football games with Joe and Eloise Hamm. She bore the heartache that only a mother can experience when her oldest son, Tommy, tragically died in an auto accident at the age of 19. Mary loved all things family and especially vacationing with her husband, Tom.
On August 4, 1998, Mary’s husband of 41 years died leaving her with another heartache to bear. Mary turned her full attention to investing in her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren which included many special vacations. She also enjoyed traveling with special friends Dot, Sandra, Bee and Gail. Mary was affectionately known as “Manie” to her grand and great grandchildren. She attended every activity to support and cheer them on. She was always full of fun and up to playing games and had a ready supply of candy and ice cream on hand.
Mary enjoyed her life here on earth, but longed for the day to be reunited with her husband and son. Mary served with Tom at numerous churches over the 40 years of ministry with each holding a special place in her heart; they included New Salem Baptist, Bethlehem Baptist, and her and Tom’s family home church of New Hope Baptist. Mary was currently a member of First Baptist Church Marianna and enjoyed her Ruth Sunday School class and Joy Blossoms bible study group. Mary was a great lady of faith and a true Proverbs 31 wife and mother.
She is preceded in death by her husband Thomas L. Melvin, and her son Thomas L. Melvin, Jr., by her parents Elmer & Octavia Hall, by sisters and brothers-in-law Elma Rea & J.J. McCrary and Edna & Hubert Williams, and brother-in-law Herbert Williams.
She is survived by her children and their spouses, David & Patty Melvin and Tommy & Nan Barfield. She is survived by ten grandchildren and their spouses, Bryce & Holly Melvin, Brent & MaryBeth Melvin, Jamie & Maddy Barfield, Cody Barfield, Tommy & Cessna Melvin, Austin & Danielle Britt, Jimmy & Aerial Melvin, Dillion Melvin, Gabrielle Melvin and Isabelle Melvin. She is survived by six great grandchildren, Joel, Luke & Olivia Melvin, JT Barfield and Jett & Aeronca Melvin. She is survived by a sister Sarah Williams and a sister and brother-in-law Robby and James Williams. She is also survived by a special sister-in-law Lois Melvin McCallum.
A family service will take place at First Baptist Church Marianna with interment at New Hope Baptist Church Cemetery. The Rev. Brandon Griffin will be officiating and her grandsons will serve as pallbearers. James & Sikes Funeral Home Maddox Chapel directing.