Mary Fillette died peacefully in her sleep on Thursday, May 21, 2020. She was born in Pinola, MS, to Houston and Tina Williams during the Great Depression. She was the youngest sister of Guy, Willetta, Ruby, and Charlotte Williams. Mary graduated from Pinola High School and Mississippi Southern College. While at Southern she was a member of Alpha Psi Omega, National Honor Dramatic Fraternity, the staff of the student newspaper, the Southern Players, and the Baptist Student Union. During her senior year she served as the editor of the Southerner, the college yearbook; the president of Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority; and was chosen a Beauty by the students. She was also selected for membership in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.
Upon receiving her bachelor of arts in English she taught at Morton High School. After marrying Tom Bradley, she moved to Jackson and was the secretary to Ross Barnett, Sr. in his law office. She then worked as a secretary at Ralston Purina and secretary for the regional manager for Holiday Inn. Mary returned to college, earning her masters of arts degree in English at Mississippi College while working full time and raising three children. She then returned to teaching English and journalism at Provine High School, where she was the faculty sponsor for the student newspaper, the Rambler. After receiving a post-graduate certificate in guidance counseling from the University of Miami she joined the faculty at Wingfield High School and later Jim Hill High School in the Jackson Public School System. Moving to Houma, LA, Mary taught English and later became a guidance counselor in the Terrebonne Parish School System. She was a life-long learner and traveled most of the United States, Europe, Mexico, and Japan to visit family or to study new topics of interest. She passed this love of learning to her children while emphasizing that no one is too old to learn.
Upon retirement Mary and her husband, John Fillette, moved home to Pinola. She was active in the Pinola High School alumni association, played bridge with friends from Mendenhall, and planted and grew many beautiful flowers. She never met a Hudson’s or Dirt Cheap that she didn’t like. Mary loved to entertain and welcomed family and friends to her home. Her recipes for ranch rice and seafood dressing were often requested by the family. Once she discovered the internet a new world opened and she maintained many friendships as well as sought new information via the web.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents; her siblings, Guy Williams of Dallas City, IL, Ruby Justus of Pinola, MS, Charlotte Cahill of Long Beach, MS; her first husband, Tom Bradley; her second husband, John Fillette; her nephews, Charles Cahill of Clinton, MS and Gary Cahill of Pinola; and niece, Nancy Cahill of Clinton.
Mary is survived by her daughter, Marietta Bradley (Mark Stanton) of Brandon, and her sons Bill Bradley (Robin) of Clinton and Clay Bradley (Masami) of Tokyo, Japan. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Haley Bradley (Eric) of Red Rock, Texas, Emily Bradley (Joe) of Jackson, Alex Bradley of Jackson, Rio Bradley of Riga, Latvia; and Ellen Bradley of Tokyo, Japan; and great-grandson Elliot Moore of Red Rock, Texas. Mary is also survived by her sister, Willetta Cahill; nieces Carolyn Craft of Madison, Jean St. Ores of Dallas City, IL, Margaret Cahill of Pinola, and Linda Peters of Oxnard, California; nephews Bob Williams of Colorado Springs, Colorado and Greg Morlan of Kansas City, MO and numerous great and great-great nieces and nephews as well as cousins, former students, and friends scattered all over the United States.
Due to the pandemic restrictions, a private graveside service was conducted at the Pinola Cemetery by her great-nephew Pastor Tray Earnhart on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Pinola Cemetery Fund, 139 Johnny Bush Road, Pinola, MS 39149, or to the Lee Family Cemetery Fund c/o Max Lee, 889 County Road 472, Pinola, MS 39149.
Arrangements were entrusted to Tutor Funeral Home of Mendenhall.