• 72°

Mary Jeff Whelchel Williams

A celebration of the life she lived was held for Mary Jeff Whelchel Williams of Cordele at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, January 28, 2017 in the chapel of Rainey Family Funeral Services. Rev. Roger Hanson officiated the service and Stella Williams Bailey and Nancy Williams Vason gave sweet words of remembrance of their mother. Music was provided by Barbara F. Woods, pianist. During the service she played “In The Garden” and “It Is Well.” Rev. Hanson sang “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” Pallbearers were Stewart Whelchel, Steve Whelchel, Charlie Jameson, William Bailey, Palmer Bailey, Carlisle Vason and Scott Whelchel.

A private service was held Monday, January 29, 2018 for the committal at Sunnyside Cemetery with Rev. Tar Drazdowski officiating.

Mary Jeff, 94, of Cordele, died peacefully at Crisp Regional Hospital on January 26, 2018. Mary Jeff was born August 10, 1923, the daughter of Henry Cowan Whelchel and Jeffie Mount Whelchel. She graduated from Cordele High School as the valedictorian of her class. She attended Georgia State College for Women (GSCW) and graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics Education in 1944. She was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority.

After college, she worked briefly in Atlanta for Georgia Power Company, and as a teacher. Then she married her high school sweetheart, Charles Carlton Williams, Sr. Their wedding was held while he was on 30 days leave from his service as an infantry officer in World War II. After the war, he was discharged and they made their home in Cordele. He was the love of her life and she was a devoted wife, business partner and helpmate. She and Charles traveled extensively with Gold Kist during his many years on their board of directors. They celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary shortly before his death in 2013.

Mary Jeff was a long-time member of First Baptist Church in Cordele and was active in the JOY Sunday school class. She also taught Sunday school. She and her mother shared a love of Shakespeare, and they were both enthusiastic members of the Cordele Thalian Club. Mary Jeff was the youngest club member when she joined in her early thirties and was still attending Thalian events as recently as December. She was also in the Fine Arts Club and was a member of the Thursday Bridge Club.

The family suggests that memorial gifts be sent to Hatley United Methodist Church Building Fund, c/o Rev. Linda Osborne, 1202 Schley Avenue, Cordele, Georgia, 31015, or to the church of your choice.

Arrangements were by Rainey Family Funeral Services.