Mary Elizabeth McCarthy Atkinson - BMC 1942-44

Mary Elizabeth McCarthy Atkinson - BMC 1942-44 Mary Elizabeth Atkinson, 89, of Covington LA, a faithful alumna of Blue Mountain College passed away January 23, 2014. Pastor Steven Younger of Emmanuel Church conducted the funeral services. Interment was in Lafayette Memorial Park. Survivors include a daughter, Rosamary A. Chotin of Covington, La.; five grandchildren, Elizabeth Hart of Lafayette, Alison C. Peace of Mandeville, La., Carter E. Chotin of Covington, La., Rachel C. Lincoln of San Antonio, Tx., and Hannah C. Macgowan of New Orleans; and six great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, James Ellis Atkinson; parents, Zelle and Marion McCarthy; two sisters, Marion Odell Caldwell and Joan McCarthy; and one daughter, Elizabeth A. Tarver.

Mary was a native of Baldwyn MS, and formerly a longtime resident of Lafayette LA. She enjoyed knitting, crocheting, and gardening; but most of all, she loved playing piano. She was an avid sports fan, especially of football and basketball, and was a member of Emmanuel Church in Lafayette and Church of the King in Covington.

FRANCES FRASER MARKS – BMC 1938 (Alumni Association President 1946-1948)

Frances Fraser Marks was born on July 7, 1916, in Memphis, TN and died on November 28, 2013. She attended Peabody Elementary and Snowden Junior High Schools and graduated from Central High in 1934. That fall she entered Blue Mountain College, where she participated in many musical and theatrical performances and was President of Student Government. She graduated with a B.A. in English and Latin in 1938.

After teaching English in Drew, MS, for a year, she served as Assistant Dean of Students at Blue Mountain, and then joined the Church Library Department of the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board in 1942, continuing to write articles for their publications for many years. She earned an M.A. in English at George Peabody College in Nashville. She returned to Memphis and married Louis Denton Marks in 1943. Their daughter, Linda, was born on October 8, 1945, and their second child, Louis Jr., was born on September 10, 1949. Louis Sr, beloved husband and father, died in 1951 of leukemia. 

Mrs. Marks taught Latin at Miss Hutchison’s School from 1954 to 1963. In 1963 she joined the faculty at East High School, where she taught Latin and later a became a guidance counselor. She returned to Hutchison in 1972, first teaching Latin and later serving as Head of the Upper School. She retired from Hutchison in 1986 but continued to teach many students in English as a Second Language programs and to tutor Latin.

Frances was a dedicated and gifted teacher who loved teaching and her students. She was a fierce competitor at the Mid-South Latin Tournament, and many of her students at both Hutchison and East won highest honors there over the years. Many went on to become teachers themselves at schools around the South and around the world.

She was deeply dedicated to her faith and her church and showed her passion for teaching there as well. She and Louis attended Bellevue Baptist Church at its old North Bellevue location where she taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, and was the alto in the Bellevue Women’s Quartet. The family joined First Baptist Church in 1961, where she continued teaching well into her eighties. She was also one of First Baptist’s first women Deacons.

She leaves her two children, Linda Marks of Memphis and Denton Marks of Milwaukee, WI; her daughter-in-law Tessa; nieces Marlena Marks Grunewald of Little Rock, AR, and Judy Marks Brown of Fort Smith, AR. Linda, Denton, and Tessa are deeply grateful for the loving and compassionate service of those who cared for her.

Funeral services were December 4 at First Baptist Church of Memphis. Burial was in Forest Hill Midtown Cemetery.


ANNIBEL JENKINS, PhD passed away in her home in Atlanta, Georgia on March 20, 2013 at the age of 95. Jenkins, a professor emerita of English at the Georgia Institute of Technology, a lover and advocate of culture and literature, was the author of several books, including I'll Tell You What: The Life of Elizabeth Inchbald, Nicholas Rowe, and co-author of Paradise Garden: A Trip Through Howard Finster's Visionary World. She also penned numerous articles on eighteenth-century literature and culture. Jenkins was a founding member of two scholarly societies established in the early 1970s, which would flourish in subsequent years: the American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) and its regional affiliate, the Southeastern American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies (SEASECS). Jenkins continued writing and participating as a member of SEASECS until her death. SEASECS' 39th annual meeting, held in Charleston, South Carolina, March 2013, the same week as Jenkins' 95 birthday, was the occasion for the first awarding of the Annibel Jenkins Prize in Performance and Theater Studies. An additional prize named in her honor, and first awarded in 1997, is the Biennial Annibel Jenkins Biography Prize, which is awarded to the author of the best book-length biography of a late seventeenth-century or eighteenth-century subject. As impressive as Ms. Jenkins's career was, those who worked with her remember her as a consummate professional who took time for everyone she encountered, particularly as a mentor to many young professionals.

She was also passionate about her family and friends. Ms. Jenkins is survived by her sister, Virginia Jenkins Peacock, brother George Miley Jenkins and nephew, Robert George Peacock.

In speaking of her love for Blue Mountain College in 1993, Dr. Jenkins said: “During all my graduate work and my professional life I have been very grateful for Blue Mountain and the teachers I had there. Dr. Charles D. Johnson and Mr. David Guyton taught the true values of learning and scholarship; I have been grateful all these years.”

Internment was held privately at the Jenkins family plot in Lucedale, MS. A memorial service was held on Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 2 P.M. at H. M. Patterson & Son - Oglethorpe Hill.

Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Mar. 30, 2013


JANET VINEYARD, a resident of Barstow and Hinkley CA since 1979, passed away on October 31, 2013. She was born in Couchwood, Louisiana on October 7, 1929, the sixth of seven children of Willard Hugh Washburne, Sr. and Ethel Alice Donaldson. She was preceded in death by her parents and five siblings. She is survived by one sister, Betty French of Monroe, Louisiana. She leaves behind three children, John Vineyard (Carol) of Riverside; Paul Vineyard of Florida and Anne Vineyard of Barstow, and four grandchildren, Joseph, Kathleen, James and Rebecca. She also leaves behind her beloved Siamese cat, Yum-Yum. Jan graduated with honors from Delhi High School in Louisiana and received her Bachelor's degree from Blue Mountain College in Mississippi. She continued her education, earning two Masters degrees and a Specialist in Reading certificate. Jan began her long teaching career in 1951 and continued that career until her death. It was her passion. She loved encouraging her students to achieve academic excellence. Jan officially retired from teaching in Barstow in 1998, but was called back by the school district year after year. In recent years she became a substitute teacher. She took a break from teaching from 1961 to 1971 to be an at-home mother. Her second year of teaching was in Bordeaux, France. During that year she traveled extensively in Europe. Later in life, she spent two summers traveling throughout France. After her year teaching in France, she moved to San Bernardino where she met her former husband, the late CL Vineyard. A special time late in life that gave her great pleasure was spent as a tutor to two wonderful little girls from Thailand. Seeing them develop from speaking only limited English to becoming excellent students and outstanding citizens was something she cherished. Per Jan's instructions, there will be no memorial service. The family has created a Remembrance page on Facebook (https://www. JanetVineyard). In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to the Friends of Barstow Branch Library, 304 E. Buena Vista Street, Barstow, California, 92311-2806.


Blanche Ellen Darr Smith (Mrs. William Wannamaker Smith), age 86, died at Hospice in Savannah, Georgia, on Thursday, October 31, 2013, with her children and two of her granddaughters with her in her final hours. Mrs. Smith was preceded in death by her husband, William (Billy) W. Smith.

Born in 1926 in Sumter, South Carolina to the late Rev. Joseph Haynsworth Darr and Ruby Passailaigue Darr, Mrs. Smith was the eldest of three sisters. She attended Blue Mountain College in Mississippi, graduating in 1948 with a degree in music and piano. She declined a graduate position at Harvard to accept a call as organist to the Methodist Church in Conway, South Carolina. There, she met Billy Smith, a recent graduate of The Citadel, who was working for the South Carolina Highway Department. Mr. and Mrs. Smith married on December 16, 1950 and lived in Charleston, South Carolina for their entire married life.

Shortly after moving to Charleston, Mrs. Smith embraced the role of organist at the First Baptist Church, and she continued serving this church through her music ministry for over fifty years. Mrs. Smith was also offered teaching positions at Ashley Hall and the newly established First Baptist Church School. Under the strong, Christian leadership of Dr. John A. Hamrick, Mrs. Smith chose to devote her career to teaching and mentoring students at the First Baptist Church School. Six and even sometimes seven days a week, she could be found at the piano in her "teaching room" or at the organ in the church at First Baptist. She loved each and every one of her pupils, many of whom have pursued successful and rewarding careers in piano. Her piano recitals became important annual events, filled with beautiful classical music by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Schumann, Rachmaninoff, and Grieg, as well as contemporary and patriotic classics. Her strong, Christian faith permeated everything she did and lifted many friends, students, and family into God's love during difficult times.

A beloved Christian Wife, Mother, Sister, Sister-in-Law, Aunt, Mentor, Teacher, Best Friend, and Musician, Mrs. Smith is survived by her two daughters and a son and their families, who will daily miss her loving, caring touch: Gwen Smith McKee and Dr. Thomas W. McKee of Savannah, Georgia; Mary Jo Smith Spence and Stephen B. Smith of Roswell, Georgia, and William Darr Smith and Gena Smith of Atlanta, Georgia. She is also survived by a sister, Mrs. James P. Hahn of Knoxville, Tennessee; a brother-in-law, Edward L. Smith of Columbia, South Carolina; a sister-in-law, Sarah Margaret Smith Dubose of Summerville, South Carolina; seven grandchildren: Mary Ellen McKee of Savannah, Georgia, Thomas W. McKee, Jr. of Atlanta, Georgia, William (Billy) Kelly McKee of Athens, Georgia, Mary Margaret Spence Beaty and Daniel Evan Beaty of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Paige Elise Spence of Portland, Oregon, William Darr Smith, Jr. and Hunter Hamilton Smith of Atlanta, Georgia; three nephews and four nieces.

Mrs. Smith was predeceased by her parents, her husband and her sister, Mary Sue Darr Loveland, of Bridgeton, New Jersey.

The funeral service was November 4th, at First Baptist Church; burial was at Live Oak Memorial Gardens for family and close friends immediately following the service. Pallbearers will be Dr. Thomas W. McKee, William Kelly McKee, Thomas W. McKee, Jr., Stephen B. Spence, Daniel Evan Beaty, Richard P. Loveland, Jr., James Paul Hahn III, William Darr Smith, Jr. and Hunter Hamilton Smith.

The family requests memorials be sent to the newly established Blanche Ellen Darr Smith Fine Arts Scholarship at First Baptist Church School,
48 Meeting Street, Charleston, South Carolina, 29401; the Music Fund at First Baptist Church, 48 Meeting Street, Charleston, South Carolina 29401, or the Music Fund at First Presbyterian Church, 520 Washington Avenue, Savannah, Georgia, 31405; or the French Huguenot Society, 138 Logan Street, Charleston, South Carolina, 29401.

BRENDA FELL DUNN - BMC Class of 1974

A memorial service for Brenda J. Fell Dunn, 61, was held October 4, 2013, in Olive Branch, MS. Another memorial service was scheduled in Texas for family and friends. She was born Brenda J. Fell Dunn was born August 21, 1952, in Key West, Florida. She graduated in 1970 from Overton High School in Memphis, TN. She was a beloved member of the Blue Mountain College Class of 1974 and a faithful alumna. She was preceded in death by her husband, Michael J Dunn; her mother, Lorena Jones Fell; maternal and paternal grandparents. She leaves a son, Eric (Hannah) Dunn of Kailua, HI. Son, Josh (Shelly) Dunn of Olive Branch, MS; Daughter Ashley Dunn of Arkabutla; Grandchildren: Walker, Halli, Dillon, Brooklyn, Bryson; her father, Marcus H Fell; brother Marcus(Rusty) Fell and wife Alesia of Olive Branch; several nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles.

Horace Clay Thomas - BMC Class of 1959

NEW ALBANY - With his family by his side, the Rev. Horace Clay Thomas of New Albany, 84, went home to be with his Heavenly Father on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, at Baptist Memorial Hospital in New Albany.

A man of integrity, Horace was a faithful pastor of the Gospel for 61 years. He leaves behind a godly legacy for his family, and he is remembered for the Christian love he shared with all who knew him.

Horace was born on July 3, 1929, in Baldwyn to Virgil and Myrtle Saylors Thomas. He was a 1947 graduate of Center High School in Union County, and he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biblical Studies from Blue Mountain College in 1959. During his ministry, he served in churches across North Mississippi and the Mississippi Delta. His pastorates include New Harmony, Oak Hill, Glenfield and Wallerville Baptist Churches in Union County; Shiloh and Wheeler Grove Baptist Churches in Alcorn County; Fellowship and Springdale Baptist Churches in Tippah County; First Baptist Church of Hickory Flat; Beldon Baptist Church in Tupelo; Immanuel Baptist Church in Greenwood; and Trinity Baptist Church in Fulton. Horace was a member of Wallerville Baptist Church in New Albany.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Dellynne Murrah Thomas of New Albany; one sister, Dayle Thomas, of Los Angeles Calif.; one son, Dr. Gregg Thomas (Karen) of New Albany; one granddaughter, Beth Thomas Harmon (Trent) of Ripley; one grandson, Jonathan Thomas of New Albany; one step-granddaughter, Kayla Doster (Cody) of Columbus; and one step-great-grandson, Caleb Doster of Columbus.

He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers and four sisters.

Services were at the United Funeral Services Chapel. Horace's son, Dr. Gregg Thomas and Bro. Charles Rodgers officiated.

Interment was in Vista Memorial Park in New Albany.


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