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Retired teacher Marguerite Lanier Mabry, 105, died Sunday, January 3, 2021. Funeral services were at Mt. Olivet Cemetery with Reverend LaTrisha Trull and Dr. Ed Perkins serving as officiants. She was …
Retired teacher Marguerite Lanier Mabry, 105, died Sunday, January 3, 2021. Funeral services were at Mt. Olivet Cemetery with Reverend LaTrisha Trull and Dr. Ed Perkins serving as officiants. She was born September 8, 1915 in McKenzie to Thomas Graves and Lottie Everett Gilbert. She lived during two pandemics.
She taught for 39 years at McKenzie Elementary School and retired in 1980. She taught third, fourth and fifth grades during her career.
She was a contemporary of the late Sue Kelley, who started elementary school in the same year, graduated together, went to Bethel together, and taught together at McKenzie Elementary. Kelley and she both turned 100 in the year 2015. Kelley helped Mabry celebrate her 100th birthday at Harmony Hill retirement center. Mabry taught notables as Sara Lee Butler, the mother of Bethel President Walter Butler and grandmother of county mayor Joseph Butler, Bobby McDonald - a retired businessman in McKenzie, and the late James L. Washburn, the former publisher of The McKenzie Banner. Washburn would have been 93 years old.
In September 2020, Mabry celebrated her 105th birthday at AHC-McKenzie nursing home. Because of the facility’s lockdown because of the pandemic, the celebration was a drive-by event with former students and friends driving by AHC as Mabry watched from a safe distance.
Lanier married Harry Mabry in 1946. Her family heritage included the Gwin and Gilbert families, who helped found the county.
In a graveside eulogy offered by Dr. Ed Perkins, he said, “In one word, Lanier Mabry left a lifetime legacy of “giving.” Her whole life reflected the concept of “Christian Service To Others.”
“How in the world would you find enough words to recognize the contributions Lanier made to the lives of her countless students over the years? She was so much more than just a classroom teacher.
“She not only taught information, she shared empathy and understanding of the student’s background and personal needs. She assessed their current level of achievement so that she could address their particular needs and increase their level of achievement no matter where they currently found themselves academically.
“To her, teaching was an art that included love, compassion, and acceptance for all of her many students.
“Her legacy lives on, not only in our lives, but in all the children she taught, when she taught them to achieve above their current expectations, to gain confidence in themselves, and to instill the desire to reach out for a better life.
“There are only a handful of people in life who come into our midst and touch our lives in such a dramatic fashion. Our special Lanier was one such person.
“She understood one of the cornerstones of scripture…
“As ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.”