Mrs. Mary Alice "Dear" Moman peacefully passed away Wednesday, January 23, 2019, surrounded by family in Jackson, Mississippi.
Mary Alice Gatewood Moman was born on October 11, 1923, in Greenville, Mississippi, the oldest of three daughters born to Alice Gatewood. She grew up in Belzoni, Mississippi. When she reached twelfth grade, there were no high schools for African Americans in her hometown. She moved to Tougaloo, Mississippi to complete high school at Tougaloo College Preparatory School. During her first semester, Mary Alice lived with the Archie family in the Tougaloo community where she met, fell in love, and eventually married Howard "Sonny" Moman. On the day they graduated from Tougaloo Preparatory High School, they were married while in their graduation robes.
Mary Alice not only gained a husband but a large family full of LOVE, ADVICE, and OPINIONS! Her in-laws, Ada and Howard Moman, were strong advocates of higher education and the decided Mary Alice and Sonny would continue their education at Tougaloo College. In 1946, Sonny graduated from Tougaloo College with a bachelor of Arts Degree. Mary Alice graduated with a Bachelors of Arts Degree from Tougaloo College in 1947. Both continued pursuing higher education, receiving graduate degrees. Mary Alice received her Master's Degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. While continuing to pursue a better life through education, the union of Sonny and Mary Alice bore two children.
During the late 1940's and early 1950's, Mary Alice and Sonny moved throughout the Mississippi Delta. The young couple lived in Anguilla, Drew, Cleveland, Belzoni and later McComb. They assisted with the creation and accreditation of new schools to teach African American children.
Mary Alice always dreamed of settling, working and raising her family in Jackson. After years of traveling and short stays, her dream became a reality. Mary Alice stated teaching at Summer Hill High School, then worked at Brinkley High School and finally Murrah High School. At Murrah, she was one of the first African American teachers. Mary Alice taught for over 30 years, having a profound impact on the lives of hundreds of students. Former students would drop by her house to talk and show their appreciation.
Mary Alice was a wife, mother, teacher, mentor, contractor, builder, homemaker, farmer, gardener and clothing designer, among other skills. While being a mother was one of her greatest joys, her talent truly shined in her clothing design. Mary Alice was able to see a dress or blouse in any store and recreate it on the spot, but her passion was designing prom, ballroom gowns, and wedding dresses. One of her designs was worn during the Miss Mississippi Pageant by the first African American winner, Toni Deniece Seawright, in 1987.
Mary Alice touched the lives of may overlapping generations of friends spanning some 90 years, from her sisters to her great-great-grandson, and from all walks of life. Mary Alvie never strived for "good enough" but instead always strived for "excellence." Anything and everything she did was her personal best, and she tried to instill those values in both her students and family.
At an early age, Mary Alice accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior, later becoming a lifetime member of the Tougaloo College Church of Christ
Funeral services will be held at Tougaloo College, Woodworth Chapel on Friday, February 1st at 11:30 a.m. Interment will follow at Tougaloo Memorial Gardens.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, January 31, 2019, at Peoples Funeral Home located at 886 N. Farish Street - Jackson, MS 39202 between the hours of 2:00-6:00 p.m. Family hour will immediately follow from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
On February 1, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. till 11:00 a.m. please join the Moman Family at Tougaloo College, Holmes Hall, for a Breakfast Repast.
You may post your words of comfort at www.peoplesfuneralhomejackson.com