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TUPELO — Mary Cecile Hubbard, a Tupelo resident and life-long health education advocate, died May 24, 2021 at North Mississippi Medical Center following a brief illness. She was 83.
Mary is survived by her three sisters, Nancy King (Bobby), Ruth Ann McNamara, and Sylvia Ferguson (Bob) all of Tupelo. She also leaves several nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents Cecil and liddie Hubbard as well as two beloved cousins Fred Hawthorne and Beth Hawthorne.
Mary was born on September 11, 1937 in New Albany and grew up a spiritual young lady with many outside activities; however, education was her passion and she pursued it with the heart of a lion. She obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Blue Mountain College, her Master Degree of Education from the University of Mississippi and her Doctorate of Philosophy in Health
Education from Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas.
Mary often talked about one of her fondest memories from her teaching career, that being a church mission to Mount Meru University in Arusha, Tanzania in East Africa. She made two trips to East Africa where she helped teach and set health protocols for wide-eyed, eager-to-Iearn African school children.
Health issues shortened her teaching career which included positions at Blue Mountain College, Texas Woman's University, Arkansas State University and Emory University.
While Mary loved her work, she also had several hobbies and secret weaknesses. Her favorite hobby was collecting vintage marbles. She got so good at picking them out at estate sales and antique shops she went into business buying and selling. She did not quit her day job.
Her biggest weakness was eating hamburgers. Big ones, little ones, cheese, no cheese. Any day, any time. The quickest way to her heart was a sack of burgers.
Mary was unique and a wonderful individual. When she announced in 1977 she was leaving the staff at Blue Mountain College to go to Texas Woman's University, the following is part of a note one of her students wrote to her:
" … here stands a woman like no one else I have ever met,
the perfect picture of independence,
the perfect picture of one of God's many creations,
Mary Hubbard – one heck of a woman."
Mary's sisters will honor her request to be cremated with the ashes scattered at a later date across the North Mississippi Hills. The family would like to thank the entire staff at North Mississippi Medical Center for the constant, attentive and loving care given Mary, especially those inside the ICU.
Visitation will be from 10-10:30 Thursday morning outside the First United Methodist Church Chapel on West Main Street in Tupelo with highlights of Mary's life celebrated inside the Chapel beginning immediately following visitation. Rev. David Shumaker, Associate Pastor of FUMC Tupelo, will conduct Mary's service with Holland Funeral Directors in charge of arrangements.
Anyone wishing to make a memorial contribution or donation may send it to the Shepherd's Center, P.O. Box 584, Tupelo, MS 38802, or do one of Mary's favorite things, when so moved, simply extend a random act of kindness to someone.