Mary Ruth Gillette Gilbreath died peacefully on December 11, 2018.
She was born May 2, 1927 in Chattanooga, Tn., and was a lifelong resident. She was a much beloved wife, sister, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
After graduating from Central High School in 1944, she worked for Olan Mills as a bookkeeper and a model for photographs sent across the nation. At the urging of her co-workers, she entered the Miss Chattanooga pageant and was runner-up.
While living on her own at 17, she met the love of her life, Jack Gilbreath, an engineer with TVA, and after only three months they were married. She later worked for LaGrand Jewelers as a bookkeeper. They had two children and two grandchildren and were happily married for 51 years until his death in 1996.
Mary was a member of First Presbyterian Church, where she taught Sunday School, was active in Women of the Church, the Nell Davis Sunday School class and Changed Lives Ministry under Ben Haden.
After retirement, she and Jack did extensive genealogical research at the library. That research led her to join the Nancy Ward Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), where she served as regent and district director. She was most proud of her work in co-authoring and publishing a genealogical book.
Favorite memories of Mary include her love for Jack, for her church, and for sewing, knitting and needlepointing. She also thoroughly enjoyed attending her grandchildren’s activities.
She was preceded in death by her parents, James D. Gillette and Ethel Gillette Coppenger; sister Iona Gillette Ryan: husband Jack Gilbreath: and an infant daughter. She is survived by her daughter Jackie Mohney (Ralph) and son Ken Gilbreath (Lora Beth); grandchildren Ellen Mohney Gray (Ryan) and Wes Mohney; great-grandchildren Jackson, Carter and Maddox Gray; siblings, Alice Coppenger Driedric, Martha Coppenger Holt, David Gillette, Dianne Blevins and Terry Gillette.
A Service of the Resurrection will be held at Chattanooga Funeral Home North Chapel on Monday, Dec. 17, at 11 a.m. with Reveremd Margaret Ferguson officiating. Visitation will occur one hour before the service.
The family wishes to extend deep appreciation to Christina Holley and to Kim Walker’s Caregivers, especially Jannie Reeves and Bonnie Manis, for their devoted care and attention to Mary.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s’ Foundation of America, 322 Eighth Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10001 or to a charity of your choice.
Please share your memories of Mary with the family at www.chattanooganorthchapel.com.
Arrangements are by the North Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory and Florist, 5401 Hwy. 153, Hixson, Tn. 37343.