Meridian Star

March 5, 2014

Mary Jennings

The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Mary Jennings, 74, died March 1, 2014 as a result of complications from a series of debilitating strokes.  She was born in New York, N.Y. on Feb. 18 1940, the second of five children of Betty M. and Robert E. Jennings. After a move to Alabama for the beginnings of our space program, she graduated from Huntsville High School and the University of Alabama with a degree in music. While there, she was a member of The Million Dollar Band. She completed her Master’s in Music Theory in 1969.  At the beginning of her career, she taught music in Pensacola schools. She taught Voice, Music Theory, and Chorus at Baldwin State College in Ala., and the same at Meridian College. Then she spent many years as the copy editor of the Meridian (Miss.) Star. While in Meridian, she volunteered her considerable musical skills with the Meridian Symphony Orchestra and served as Director of the Meridian Choral Society. She was proud of the fact that she was on the Enemies List of The White Citizens' Council in Mississippi, for her work with black students in the late 1960s and early 1970s. She finished her career as the Assistant Director of Communications and the Communications Advisor for the student newspaper and yearbook at the University of North Alabama in Florence. She also wrote a textbook that was published in 2003:  Hands On - a student publications manual. It was published by Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. While at the University, Mary instilled in her students the importance of freedom of speech along with the need for honesty and straightforwardness in reporting. She is survived by her brothers, Robert, Clyde, Kevin and her sister, Elizabeth Kurcinik. As she wished, she was cremated and services will be private. Those who wish can make a gift to the charity of their choice in her name.