Mrs. Mary Louise Altman Dowling, 91, of Hazlehurst, died Oct. 31 at her residence.
Mary was born on May 28, 1930, in Hoboken to the late Harvey and Endeka Altman.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Vernon Dowling; daughters, Mary Nachman and Deborah Dowling; brothers, J.H. Altman, Aubrey Altman, Kennon Altman, Carrol Altman, and Lamar Altman.
She is survived by her daughters, Donna (Carroll) Yawn, Alice (Kenny) Sellers, and Susan McAllister; brother, Ellis Altman; sisters-in-law, Kathern Altman, Linda Altman, Loretta Stone, and Beatrice Jones; and grandchildren, Thomas (Julia) Yawn, Deborah (Todd) Hoskins, Mary Alice (Matt) Eller, Susanna Yawn, Katie (Brian) Baker, Will (Kimberly) McAllister, Carlyn (Justin) Corbin, Andrew (Sara) McAllister, David (Carla) McAllister, Ansley (Sam) Plankis, Timothy (Courtney) McAllister, Margaret McAllister, Johnathon Aubrey McAllister, Robert McAllister, and Nathan McAllister; 20 great-grandchildren; and many loved nieces and nephews who were dear to her heart.
Mary taught school in Hoboken and Broxton, and had a professional career as a social worker at the Department of Family and Children Services. She believed in doing the right thing even when it was hard, and had a keen intuition for what others needed. She was very motivated to send her daughters to college, which she and Vernon accomplished together.
Mary was a strong believer in education. She graduated from college at a time in history when degrees awarded to females were relatively rare. She saw problems as often being tied to a lack of knowledge and opportunity. She fought to give that to others, and when we made progress, she was one of our loudest cheerleaders.
Mary was a devoted member of First Baptist Church. She cherished the relationships she built with members of her Sunday school class, she served in various capacities through the years, and prioritized fellowship with other believers. Her faith was evident in how she carried herself, the decisions she made, and the way she treated people.
Mary left a stunning legacy on the lives of those around her, most arguably her family. While we cherish the years of memories, there is a deep ache in losing her presence and her nurturance. Despite having a considerably large number of family members, she managed to develop and maintain genuine and meaningful relationships with each one of us. Her impact was wide-reaching and permanent. What brings us hope, what we pass to our children, and what steadies our hearts, we know because of her.
Her funeral was held Nov. 6 at First Baptist, with the Rev. Brad Waters and the Rev. Philip Worthington officiating. A graveside service followed with Dr. John Darsey officiating. Her eight grandsons were pallbearers.
Wainright-Parlor Funeral Home was in charge.