Memories of Aunty Mama honor Mary Beal

Published 4:40 pm Friday, June 17, 2022

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Cordele City Commissioner Vesta Beal-Shephard recalled living with her sister as a child. Photo by Neil McGahee


Staff Report

About 100 people met at the Lake Blackshear Resort & Golf Club to honor longtime business and community leader, Mary L. Beal, who was chosen by the Cordele-Crisp Chamber of Commerce and the Watermelon Days Festival to be the recipient of the “This Is Your Life” recognition for 2022.

“This award is given to an individual who has served the community tirelessly for many years.” said Monica Simmons, president of the Cordele-Crisp Chamber of Commerce. “She was and is committed to making Cordele/Crisp County a better place to live

Beal was born in Dooly County, the seventh of 10 children.  She received early education in the Crisp County School System, then attended the historic Holsey Cobb Institute and graduated from A.S. Clark High School in1964.

She earned degrees in accounting from Savannah State College and University, an MBA from Syracuse University and an MPA from Georgia Southern University. She worked as an administrator for the Department of Defense.
But it was the non-stop group of relatives and friends each with a unique story of the way Aunty-Mama had helped them at one time or another. Some stories resulted in loud laughter while others brought on tears.