Mabel Lee Jackson Whitley, formerly of Bennettsville, was laid to rest next to her beloved husband in a private graveside service on April 17, 2020.
She was the daughter and last surviving child of Annie Lee Whitaker Jackson and J. Murray Jackson.
Mabel was born in Bennettsville February 10, 1922, and lived the vast majority of her life there.
After graduating from Bennettsville High School, Mabel worked at the Health Department, assisting the nurses in rural and school visits as well as maintaining health records.
She met Jack Whitley in 1943, while he was training as a pilot at what was then Palmer Field outside Bennettsville. He saw her riding in a convertible Ford, and followed her to her home on Fayetteville Avenue. When her father answered the door, Jack asked for directions, but he found out who she was, and came back later to ask her for a date.
They kept in contact while Jack served in the Army Air Corps, and when Jack would fly into town,he would sometimes “buzz” the Health Department to let Mabel know he was back. They later married in October 1950. They briefly moved to Hampton Roads, Virginia, but Mabel was homesick for Bennettsville, so Jack moved her back to be near her family.
She and Jack raised their family in Bennettsville, where she was a lifelong member of Thomas Memorial Baptist Church and a member of the Dorcas Sunday School Class.
She was a Sunday School Teacher at Thomas Memorial Baptist Church, in the hand-bell choir along with Jack, and for several years was also the leader of the Children’s Choir.
She was locally famous for growing roses, making pecan pies, and walking two miles daily, almost always with Jack. After Jack died, she kept up her walking, and said it was what kept her healthy.
In 2012, at age 90, Mabel moved to Texas to be closer to her daughters, first living in San Antonio and then later moving to the Austin area.
She is survived by her daughter Lillian, husband Wylie Cavin, and their daughter and her only grandchild, Kristin. She is also survived by her daughter Sandra. Additionally, Mabel is survived by her nephew Lawrence Norton and his wife Frances, her niece Mary Ann Tyndall and husband Mike of Whiteville, NC, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and a lifetime of friends from Thomas Memorial Baptist Church, Bennettsville, and Marlboro County.
Mabel loved music, and memorials may be made to the music program of Thomas Memorial Baptist Church, 308 West Main St., Bennettsville, SC 29512 or the Marlboro Civic Center, 106 Clyde St., Bennettsville, SC 29512.
Burroughs Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Mrs. Whitley.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mabel Lee (Jackson) Whitley, please visit our floral store.