Marler’s roots run deep in Forest


A teacher is a part of a student’s life that is critical. Students, especially in high school, are being molded to achieve and become successful adults and it takes teachers like Jo Marler to help mold students into productive  citizens.

In 1949, Marler graduated from the Mississippi School of Women known then as MSCW. After graduating MSCW, Marler moved to Pascagoula Mississippi where she taught one year of Home Economics. Home Economics in no longer part of the curriculums of school but it taught the essentials of everyday life.

It was studies that dealt with the economics and management of the home, family and community. It involved the relationship between individuals, families, communities, and the environment in which people live.

After coming home to Forest from teaching a year in Pascagoula, Marler married Archie Marler. Archie was in the Automobile industry for 40 years.

“I started teaching the eighth grade and then went on to teach ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade Home Economics one, two, and three,” Marler said.

Marler taught young men how to provide for their families through the economics of home living. She taught a class that was called bachelor living which consisted of sewing, cooking, baking, and consumer skills.

“The boys learned how to use a sewing machine and stitch a seem,” Marler said.

Marler was the footing of a foundation that prepared young people how to create a happy home for a family and to be of service in the community through volunteer work.

“I taught everything from making biscuits to baking a cake, and the best part about it was that everything was made from scratch,” Marler stated.

She also said that, they had a book in class that would teach the concept of cooking but the majority of it was hands on laboratory work which involved measuring ingredients and the use of a range — just the good ole principles of cooking.

This day in time so many products are already mixed and prepared for the consumer. All a person has got to do is open a box that is already pre-mixed and just add a milk of their choice and stir.

“We didn’t have any pre-mixed ingredients that come in a box. We used flour, eggs, and milk its all from scratch,” she said.“I thoroughly enjoyed teaching the latter years of my career when I taught the juniors and seniors.”

After 34 years Marler finally set aside teaching, however, she stated that teaching those children will always be instilled in her heart.

“I have always enjoyed a saying that really means the world to me its a saying about success,” Marla said. She also said that through her career and teaching students she learned that measurements were not only for measuring ingredients for your favorite biscuits.

She recited her favorite quote by saying, “You can use any measure when you’re speaking of success. You can measure it in a fancy home, expensive car or dress. But the measure of your real success is the one you cannot spend. It’s the way your kids describe you when they’re talking to a friend.”

Marler spends her much deserved retirement days with a few hobbies.

“I use to do a lot of needle point work. I am a part of a Home makers club, I enjoy writing poetry, and love doing puzzles such as sodoku, jig saw, and crosswords,” Marler said. “I also love to read, my favorite two authors are John Grisham and Max Lucado.”

She also said that she has really enjoyed her church circle at the United Methodist chuch in Forest. “I teach the older adult class as well,”she said. “And I am a member of the VIP group.”

When it come to grandparenting the grandchildren are always the forefront of everything in the grandparents life. For Marler, “The greatest joy of my life and the reason that I keep living are my great grandchildren,” she said.

“Children and grandchildren are wonderful but my pride and joy are those great grandchildren. Keeping up with them means the world to me.”

Time has passed and many days have gone by but for Marler, simplicity has been the theme of her life.

“My younger adult years and retirement years are the most significant parts of my life,” she said. “However, simplicity has been so important during these years.”

At the age of 90, Marler has been in one town for 76 years, “my roots run deep here in Forest,” she said.

“I am very thankful and blessed that I can say that I’ve had one hometown, one residence, one church family, one job, and one marriage.

Marler concluded by saying, “The Lord has provided me with so many blessings and I have had a wonderful Life.”