Mattie Lowery Hayes departed from this life on Sunday, Feb. 27, at her home in Savannah.
Services will be held Friday, March 4, at 2 p.m., at St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Morris Chapel. Arrangements by Mercer Brothers Funeral Home in Jackson.
She was born on Dec. 21, 1931, to the union of Henry and Cora Mattie (Eanes) Lowery. Mattie was born and grew up in Saltillo. She graduated from Dunbar High School where she later returned as a classroom teacher. She received a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from Tennessee State University and a Master of education from Memphis State University. “Ms. Hayes” was a well-respected teacher and role model in the Hardin County School System for over 30 years. Later in her teaching career, Mattie returned to graduate school to complete additional hours in special education and administration; she then became a Supervisor of Special Education for the Hardin County Board of Education. Many young people in Hardin County were able to afford college because Mattie took it upon herself to pursue scholarship opportunities for them.
Mattie’s commitment to community service was equal to the importance she placed on the value of education. She held several leadership positions in the Hardin County Education Association and was a delegate to the State Representative Assembly for three years. She chaired what was then the Tennessee Commission on Mental Health and Mental Retardation under the tenure of three different governors. Mattie was a long time member of the Quinco Mental Health Center Board of Directors, and on the Board of Directors of the Hardin County Regional Health Center (Life Span) until the time of her death. She provided service to numerous other civic organizations and was a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.
Mattie grew up a member of St. Mary AME Church. She later joined St. Mary’s sister church, St. Paul AME, where she served faithfully on the Trustee and Stewards Boards, as well as the Missionary Society. She was financial secretary and represented the church at its annual conference for many years.
Her greatest joy was her family. Mattie was married to Edward Montrel Hayes for 46 years; together they reared three children to whom they were devoted: William Edgar, LaTanya and Elizabeth.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Edward; her son, Edgar; her daughter, LaTanya and her brother, Thedford Lowery Sr.
She leaves to cherish her memory, her daughter, Elizabeth; her grandsons (the great loves of her life), Jamir Edward Stovall and Jamal Robert Stovall; her loving sisters, Bessie Pennington and Henri Alice Lowery; an uncle, godchildren, a host of nieces and nephews, church family, and many other relatives and friends.