A True Icon of Love
Love is defined as an intense feeling for someone or something. The term icon is sometimes used to describe a person who represents a symbol of a particular thing. Put them together and they define Kirby Pines resident, Mary Gullett.
Since moving to Kirby Pines in 2000, Mary Gullett continues nearly a century of caring for others. Her unconditional love, positive attitude and desire to help others make Mary an endearing member of the Kirby Pines family.
Mary Eliza Briggs was born in Ashland, Mississippi in 1920. Being the oldest of the three daughters in the family, Mary was considered a “little mother” to her two younger sisters. Always a good student, Mary graduated from high school as Valedictorian in 1939. Her commencement address was titled “Not The Sunset, But The Dawn”.
Following graduation, Mary’s first job was secretary in the Benton County, Mississippi Welfare Office, the WPA. Mary later graduated from the Memphis School of Commerce certified in business and office management. She worked briefly for Wallace Johnson, Inc. as a hostess for new homes.
In 1941, Mary married Cecil Gullett and became a war bride. Cecil was drafted into the Army but as long as Cecil was stateside, Mary was able to stay with him. However, as with most servicemen, Cecil was sent to Europe for two years. During that time Mary passed a civil service exam and worked as a secretary in the Farm Bureau of Albany, Mississippi. Following his discharge from the Army, Mary and Cecil led busy lives working and traveling whenever the opportunity came. They were able to visit Canada and all the states in the U.S. except Rhode Island, usually in their RV.
When Mary’s son, Larry, was born in 1950, Mary took a leave of absence from work, eventually returning to work as the church pastor’s secretary at Lamar Heights Baptist Church. She retired in 1990 after 45 years of service.
Today, Mary’s family includes not only her son and beloved daughter-in-law, Phyllis, but three grand and three great-grandchildren. Mary is frequently called upon to help with showers and plans for family gatherings.
After Mary’s husband passed away unexpectedly in 1999, Mary made the decision to sell her home in Piperton and move to Kirby Pines. Moving to a retirement community did not include an inactive lifestyle for Mary. Soon after she moved in, she was invited to sit down to dinner with Ernest Green, a widower. They became best friends and together were involved in “all things Kirby” for many years. They were selected as King and Queen for one year.
As Ernest’s health deteriorated, Mary supported him in his care until his passing at age 99. Mary has continued to be involved in all of the entertainment venues at Kirby Pines. She participates as an Ambassador for Marketing activities and performs as one of the Kirby Pines Line Dancers. She also is Director of the Rhythm Band and plays a major role in the Entertainers and Hamateur productions. Mary is frequently called on to decorate the PAC stage and areas for many events. To view Mary’s “office,” open the door by the Memorial Table and see boxes of decorations, neatly packaged and labeled.
Although Mary describes herself as a helper and behind the scenes person, in reality, she would best be described as “Our Girl Friday”. The scripture from the Holy Bible that guides Mary is Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
So, if you need something done or need advice, call Mary Gul- lett. If you need assistance with your laundry or just a shoulder to cry on, call Mary Gullett. It is done with LOVE.