Mary Thomas Burton Dennis grave marked
Posted: Thursday, July 8, 2010 9:07 pm
National Second Vice President, Tennessee State President and Registrar of Jean Pierre Bondurant Chapter Dee Smothers, gave the welcome.
State Chaplain and JPB Chapter Chaplain Helen Marshall gave the invocation.
Honorary National President, Honorary State President, Past President and Charter Member of JPB Chapter Aline Roberts gave the salutation. She remarked, “We, the members of the JPB Chapter of the Tennessee Branch, Manakin Huguenots in the Colony of Virginia, meet today to honor and pay loving tribute to the memory of Mary
Thomas Burton Dennis. We embrace and include family members and friends in our tribute. We, who continue the work of the Manakin Huguenot Society and carry out these
responsibilities, have been inspired by the life of Mary Tom Dennis whose tasks are completed. Life is eternal; love is immortal; death is only and horizon; and horizon is nothing except the limit of our vision. She was loved by all and is truly missed,” Roberts remarked.
National Third Vice President, Past President and Charter Member of JPB Chapter Dr. Beth McKay, gave a biography of Mary Tom’s life.
Mary Tom was born April 7, 1907, and died Sept. 29, 2009. She was Organizing President JPB Chapter, State President of Tennessee Branch, Treasurer, Tennessee Branch; National Second Vice President of the Huguenot Society of the Founders of Manakin in the Colony of Virginia. Mary Tom was
a faithful Christian lady, beloved and pivotal member of an extensive and notable Tennessee family, wife, aunt, teacher, benefactor; volunteer for national, cultural and
community services; world traveler; and source of joy and inspiration.
Past President, Secretary and Charter Member of JPB Chapter Claire Holland also gave a tribute to Mary Tom. “Mary Tom loved people. She always had a passionate interest in them. She learned the details of their lives and filed them away in the memory inherited from her Bondurant ancestors. And the only way she could be with these people was to go to where they were: to church, to school, to China or where ever she needed to go.”
“Her grandfather, Dr. Benjamin Thomas Bondurant, was a survivor of the Civil War, doctor, Weakley County trustee, postmaster in Sharon for 13 years, an original stockholder in the Bank of Sharon, who served as President from 1909-1915, and Mary Tom also became a sizeable stockholder.”
“Dr. Bondurant married Mary Louisa (Mollie) Tansil. He lived to be 82 and Mollie lived to age 95 and they became the parents of four daughters: Mary (who lived to 96); Frances, called Fanny (who lived to 99), Eddie, called Ted, (who lived to 99) and Bennie (who lived to 93). Fanny, the longest lived, married James William Burton and their two children were James Bondurant Burton and Mary Thomas Burton.”
“Mary Tom had to give up her teaching in Senath, Mo., in 1938 to come home to take care of her parents and aunts and be the estate manager for the family. The next thirty years passed and in 1968, she met again Roy Jones Dennis, a friend from the past, and they were married in October 1968. They moved to Nashville and spent a month in Europe on their honeymoon, only to have Roy suffer several falls and later determined to be a degenerative disease. Again, Mary Tom was the caregiver until his death in 1982.”
“Now at 75 she began the last journey of her life. She belonged to several prestigious organizations but above all, the Granny White Church of Christ was most important to her. She attended services regularly every Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night and continued to support many good works which strengthen the church. Blindness ended her knitting, but listened to someone read the Bible to her everyday continued up until her death. Her will to live, to be with people, and her love for the Lord, we will always remember about Mary Tom.”
The Dedication of the Manakin Huguenot marker was given by State Secretary, Past President of JPB Chapter Julia Carnahan.
Aline Roberts and Dee Smothers unveiled the grave marker.
Gary Franklin Roberts and his son, Alex Gray Roberts, placed the flowers on the grave.
Elizabeth Waggoner, a devoted niece, accepted the marker on behalf of the family.
The benediction was given by Helen Marshall.
Following the service a lovely luncheon was served to 17 members and several quests at the home of James Gary and Aline Roberts in Sharon.