A tribute to Iris Evans Mabry –
Mother went home to be with her Lord and Savior on May 8, 2020 at the age of 98.
A graveside service was held May 13 at Lakewood Memorial Park South under the direction of Ott & Lee Funeral Home. Rev. Larry Laird, her pastor for many years at Pine Ridge Baptist Church officiated. Music was provided by her great-granddaughter, Avery Raye Wolfe.
Mother (Iris) was born March 6, 1922 at Lawrence, Mississippi. She was the daughter of Bertha Monks Evans and Virgil Sil Evans. In 1938, she married George L. “Buddy” Mabry and they shared 65 wonderful years together.
The Mabrys lived in Jackson many years and had five children. Mother was a homemaker, and worked part-time at the Jackson Police Department. She was in the first group of ladies hired by JPD as school crossing guards. Dressed in full uniform, she loved keeping the children safe and, yes, she did blow her whistle at drivers who drove too fast! One of her favorite memories was being chosen to help guard Dr. Billy Graham when he held a crusade in Jackson.
Mom and Dad and their children faithfully attended Hillcrest Baptist Church in Jackson. As a testimony to her faith, and a student of God’s Word, mother read her Bible from cover to cover many times. She liked reading the Word early in the morning before she started her day. Her example taught her children how important it is to make God’s Word a priority.
A loving heart and willing spirit to help others was evident in her life. It was not unusual to have extra people at our table because there was always plenty to share. Many people left with a bag of her famous tea cakes or even a leftover buttered biscuit. Mom said God had provided every need in her life, and giving was important to her.
Longing to go back to the country life of their youth, Mom and Dad bought a farm at Lake in the mid-seventies. She loved her flowers, her vegetable garden, and canning delicious jellies and jams from the plentiful plum trees and blackberry vines on the farm. They made sure their children, friends and neighbors had plenty of vegetables by the bushel.
Pine Ridge Baptist Church was an important part of Mom’s and Dad’s lives until the Lord called him home in 2004. Mom attended faithfully, driving every Sunday until she was no longer able. Then her children alternated Sundays and drove her to church until she was 97. Seeing her children and attending church with them was the best part of her week.
Mom drove until she was 94. Once she drove up the exit ramp to get onto the interstate to drive to Jackson. She commented on how nice everyone was to pull over to the side of the road as she passed. (I’m sure she waved). When she realized she was on the wrong side, she promptly drove across the grassy median to get to the right side of the interstate. After this incident, her biggest mistake that day was telling her son, at which time he threatened to take her keys. That wasn’t happening — at least not that day.
She is preceded in death by her husband George “Buddy” Mabry; one daughter: Vicki Duran; one son: Mitch Mabry; one grandson: George David Mabry, Jr.; her parents: Virgil and Bertha Monk Evans; one sister: Penny Gill and two brothers: Charles Medford Evans and Ernest Neil Evans.
Survivors include one sister: Billie O’Bannon; one brother: Jerry Evans; her children: one son: David (Fay) Mabry; two daughters: Linda (Ray) Montgomery and Cathy (Larry) Griffin; one son-in-law: Gerald (Jan) Duran; her grandchildren: Jon Mabry, Tracy Montgomery Thompson, Ray Montgomery, Jr., Heather Duran Depta, Ashley Partridge Worthington, Andrea Partridge, Jessica Mabry and Brandon Mabry; twelve great-grandchildren, as well as a number of nieces, nephews, and friends.
The Mabry family wishes to express sincere appreciation to the staff and employees of Mississippi Care Center in Morton who cared for her during her time there.
“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. With a long life I will satisfy him, and let him see My salvation.” Psalm 91; 14, 16.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Pine Ridge Missionary Baptist Church, 951 Gibbstown Rd., Lawrence, MS 39336.