Mary Bynum

b. 2 Dec 1925


This Week's Birthdays

Week of January 18

Sidney Williams, Jr. (Mary Bynum)


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Bynum-Garig Scholarship Fund

The scholarship fund was kicked off at the 2009 family reunion.  We raised $124.00 in our first fund-raising effort ($119.50 with the 50/50 raffle + $4.50 in donations).  If you are interested in serving on the Scholarship committee, please contact Cheryl Wooten at  Put on your thinking caps and help suggest ways we can increase the fund to help our students.


MaryMARY BYNUM, known to all as “Doll,” celebrated her birthday on December 2. However, when she obtained a copy of her official birth certificate, she learned that her birth had been recorded as December 3, 1925. This was not an uncommon occurrence for babies delivered by midwives. The recorders generally recorded the date of birth as the date the midwives turned in the birth information. Regardless, to her the date of her birth was December 2, 1925 because that’s what her mother told her.

On September 23, 1944, just about six months to the day after her mother died, she married a young man from Antonio, Sidney Williams. Sidney was one of eight children born to Willie Williams and Sarah West. Together Mary and Sidney had 10 children. Times were tough as they struggled to raise their children. To help supplement the income, she worked for several white families doing house cleaning, ironing, babysitting; you name it. She was resourceful, too. She could make a meal out of anything. She always told us that she wasn’t a fancy cook like Mommee (Ethel) or Aunt Beck (Rebecca), but we wouldn’t starve. There was at least one time when she borrowed every ingredient she needed to make a meal; sausage from Mrs. Willie Mae, tomato sauce from Tah Fannie, and rice from Mrs. Maude. That was the best sausage gravy we’d ever had!! We never went hungry. Well, not completely hungry. When we complained about being hungry, she’d tell us to go to sleep.

Mary was a kind, witty person with a very fiery spirit. She always had something funny to say. And smart. . . although she only completed the fifth grade in school, she could out read anyone; and she loved to read. She read everything from newspapers (as many as she could get her hands on) to encyclopedias. The money she sacrificed to buy a set of World Book Encyclopedias was well worth it to her if to no one else; I believe she read every one of them. She was great at Jeopardy. She’d call the contestants “stupid #@$%^” if they didn’t know the answers to the questions that she readily knew.

Not only did she have a sharp mind, she was skillful with her hands as well. Neighbors brought all of their small appliances to her for repairs. She could fix anything; her specialty was irons.

She was a God-fearing woman. She was baptized at an early age at Antioch Baptist Church. No matter how hard Satan tried, he couldn’t stop her from going on Sunday morning with us tagging along behind her.

She was a bit tomboyish; preferring to wear slacks and sneakers or loafers to a skirt or dress. It’s no surprise, then, that she would take up smoking like the boys did. She told us that she started smoking at the age of 14. Her first smoke was a corn pipe which she’d made herself. This lead to the addiction to cigarettes, and ultimately, to her untimely death at the young age of 56. On January 26, 1982, she succumbed to emphysema, a horrible disease that she dealt with for more than 10 years before her death.

She left us with many good memories, and we’ll hang on to every word she ever taught us because she never taught us anything wrong; and she'll live on in our hearts forever.

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