Mrs. Mary H. Tatum Fannings

Published 10:12 am Friday, March 10, 2023

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Mrs. Mary H. Tatum Fannings was born on May 8, 1925, in Gabbettville, Georgia. 

She was the only surviving member of the family of the late Abel and Posie Tatum. 

She was the wife of the late Grant Fannings Jr. of Lanett, Alabama. 

She entered eternal rest on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Mary grew up attending Bethlehem Baptist Church in West Point, Georgia, where she sang in the junior choir and taught Sunday school. 

After marriage, she joined Goodsell United Methodist Church where she dedicated her time and service for over 60 years.

Mary graduated from Tenth Street High School in West Point, Georgia, in 1942.  She went on to attend Spelman College located in Atlanta, Georgia, where she received a B.A. Degree in English in 1946. 

She continued her education and graduated from Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama, with a M.A. Degree in Elementary Education in 1959. She received her certification in Supervision and Administration from Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia.

Her career began when she became an elementary school teacher and an assistant principal in the Harris County School System in Hamilton, Georgia. 

Because of her instructional knowledge and her ability to work with elementary school children, she was invited to attend a workshop for elementary curriculum and special education directors at Tuskegee Institute. After this training, she accepted a position to be the Curriculum and Special Education Director for the Carroll County School System in Carrollton, Georgia, where she worked in that position for two years.

After her experience in Carroll County, she returned to the Harris County School System where she remained the Elementary Curriculum and Special Education Director for the Harris County School System until she retired in 1991.

During her career as the Curriculum and Special Education Director in Harris County, she implemented the first special education program for the district in the 1960`s. Much of what she initiated in the 1960`s is still the basis for how the program runs today.

Mrs. Fannings was member of the LaGrange Chapter of Continental Societies, Inc., Theta Xi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., LaGrange, Georgia, Qui Vive Civic Club, Lanett, Alabama and many other community and professional organizations.

She leaves to cherish her memories: two loving daughters: Eddie Ruth Jackson (Rev. McKinley Jackson, deceased) Ft. Worth, TX and Dr. Phyllis Lovett (Thomas) Tulsa, OK; five grandchildren, Jesse Jackson (Shawna), Gonzales, LA; Rev. Dr. McKinley Jackson (Dr. Penny Jackson), Ft. Worth, TX, Alicia Jackson, Ft. Worth, TX, Thomas G. Lovett (Natasha), Waxahachie, TX, Angela Lovett Shuler (Thomas), Tampa, FL ten great-great granchildren: Jasmine Jackson, Zoe Jackson, William McKinley Jackson Jr., Jeremy Jackson, Joshua Jackson, Johnathan Jackson, Joel Burnett, Christian Harmon, Anayah Johnson, Destiny Shuler; a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, March 11, 2023, at 1 P.M. ET in the sanctuary of the Goodsell UMC, 1007 North 6th Avenue, Lanett, AL with Rev. Kelsey Barnes, Pastor/Officiating and Rev. Dr. Randy Kelley, Eulogist. 

Interment will follow in the Pine Hill Cemetery, Lanett, AL.

Public viewing will be held on Friday, March 10, 2023, from 2 P.M. until 5 P.M. ET at the mortuary.

To express online condolences to the family visit

Final Arrangements entrusted to M. W. Lee Mortuary.