|Birth: ||Apr. 5, 1914|
|Death: ||Jan. 5, 2004|
Mary Elizabeth Davis Babb
In Celebration of a Life Well Lived
Mary Elizabeth Davis was born in rural Tennessee in 1914, the oldest girl and second of the children of Herman J. and Lillie Davis. She was reared in the panhandle of Florida with her three siblings (Herman, Mildred and Ruth), and Robert, an orphaned first cousin. She was the only child to graduate from college, at what is now Belmont College; and she outlived her entire immediate family to become the matriarch of a large and loving clan.
She married Winston Chandler Babb and came with him to Furman in 1946, where he was on the faculty of the History Department until his untimely death in 1968. No one has loved Furman more or served the institution more unselfishly than this couple, who formerly resided on the "Old Campus" and at 127 Cureton St.
Mary Babb is survived by one daughter, of Greenville, who has recently retired as director of the Bridges to a Brighter Future program at Furman; and three loving grandchildren. Her family encompasses numerous devoted nieces and nephews, to whom she was Aunt Sissy; the extended family of her son-in-law; and countless members of the First Baptist and Furman families.
Her love for and loyalty to Furman University and the First Baptist Church are legendary. She was a modest, behind-the-scenes volunteer all of her life, even before her retirement, serving in her quiet and thoughtful way: at First Baptist through her church Circle, the welcoming of newcomers to the church, Sunday school teaching; she served at Furman in the Daniel Chapel as a volunteer even into her last decade, the Campus Club, families of new faculty members, the History Department; and in the community the Rose Club, The YWCA Study Group, and her neighbors and many friends in all walks of life. She was a breast cancer survivor and gave unselfish hours to the Reach for Recovery Program.
She was a friend to all, no matter their station in life, and never met a stranger. She was warm, loving, funny, ladylike and a great sports fan, especially of the Furman Paladins. She was an avid learner throughout her entire lifetime and was an optimistic and faith-filled woman of God.
After two years of declining health, she suffered a recent illness and peaceful decline, and died on Monday, Jan. 5, 2004. Services are to be held at the Carpenter Chapel of the First Baptist Church on Wednesday, Jan. 7 at 11 a.m., with visitation from 5 to 7 tonight, Jan. 6 at The Mackey Mortuary, Century Drive. She will be buried privately in the Furman plot in Springwood Cemetery; the family will celebrate the joy of her life on the occasion of her 90th birthday in April of 2004 with a service and family reunion in the Daniel Chapel.
Contributions, in lieu of flowers, may be made, for the purpose of robes for the Chapel Choir, to the Chaplain's Fund at Furman University, 3300 Poinsett Highway, Greenville, SC 29613.
Published in The Greenville News: 01-06-2004
South Carolina, USA
Plot: Section A
Created by: Robin Farley Dixson
Record added: Aug 12, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 9310287
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