Obituary of Helen Baskin Pierce

Helen Baskin, born February 2, 1920, was a daughter of  Minnie Lee Hancock Baskin and Armstrong B. “Bee” Baskin.   In 1941, Helen Baskin was a sophomore at Georgia Teachers College (now Georgia Southern University). In 1943 she married  Wilmont C. Pierce.  After WWII, the couple made their home at Ray City, where Wilmont  engaged in farming with Helen’s father.   In 1968, the Pierces moved from Ray City to Valdosta, GA.

Obituary of Helen Baskin Pierce (1920-2004)

AXSON — Helen Baskin Pierce, 84, of Axson, passed away Tuesday, June 1, 2004, at South Georgia Medical Center, Valdosta, following a long illness. Mrs. Pierce was born on Feb. 2, 1920, growing up in Lanier County, the daughter of the late Armstrong B. Baskin and Minne Lee Hancock Baskin. She was preceded in death by her brothers and sister, John W. Baskin, Lakeland, Ga., Curtis L. Baskin, Groves, Texas, Louie Baskin, Alma, Ga., and Mary Frances Blalock, Atlanta.

She retired in June 1986, after serving 27 years as a civil service employee in Atlanta at Warner Robins Air Force Base and Moody Air Force Base. She served in various capacities at First Baptist Church, Ray City, Ga., her home church, before moving to Valdosta in 1968, where she was a member of First Baptist Church there. Currently, she resided in Coffee County and was a member of Stokesville Baptist Church.

Mrs. Pierce is survived by her husband of 61 years, Wilmont Candler Pierce, Axson; her sons, Michael J. Pierce, Olathe, Kan., W. Candler Pierce (Mary Ann), Richmond, R.I., Bobby L. Pierce (Kay), Axson; her grandchildren, Wade C. Pierce, Orlando, Fla., Keith H. Pierce, Tampa, Fla., M. Andrew Pierce, Bayminette, Ala., Jessica, Andrea and Justin Pierce Richmond, R.I., Lynn Eslinger (Jason), Cleveland, Tenn., Kim Hunter (Tim), Valdosta, and Krista L. Pierce, Valdosta, as well as three great-grandchildren. Her extended family included J.C. and Evelyn Pierce, Crawfordville, Ga., Howard and Dot Ray, Ray City, Jessie Hudson, Valdosta, McDonald and Betty Pierce and Dilmus and Burma Pierce, Lakeland, Vanelle Baskin, Gloria Baskin, Groves, Texas; 17 nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends at Music Funeral Services, Lakeland, Ga., from 6-9 p.m. this evening. Mrs. Pierce will lie in state at First Baptist Church, Ray City, from 10-11 a.m. June 4, 2004. Memorial services will begin at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Lee Graham and the Rev. Bob L. Pierce officiating. Burial will follow in Unity United Methodist Church Cemetery near Lakeland, Ga. Sympathy may be expressed online at http://www.musicfuneralservices.com — Music Funeral Services of Lakeland

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Engagement of Mary Frances Baskin

Mary Frances Baskin was born about 1918 and raised at Ray City, Berrien County, GA.  Her parents  were long time residents of Ray City.  At the time of her birth her parents had a house in Ray City on Pauline Street, just north of Johnson Street, near the present day location of the Ray City Community Library.  The Baskins also maintained a residence out at the old Baskin home place located in present day Lanier County.

Mary Frances’ father, Armstrong  B. Baskin, was known as “B” Baskin.  He was one of the more affluent members of the Ray City Baptist Church and was very active in the church.  Later, he served on the Lanier County Board of Education.  Mary Frances’ mother, Minnie Lee Hancock Baskin, was a school teacher in Lanier County for 21 years. In 1958, Minnie Lee received national attention when she lost her job after allowing a white child to ride with African-American children on a segregated school bus (Education: The Crime of Minnie Lee).

Mary Frances Baskin grew up to become a school teacher, herself, and taught  at the Ray City School in the late 1930s.  Later, she taught in the Atlanta School System.   In 1943, the Atlanta newspapers announced her engagement to William Lester Brady, Jr.

Atlanta Constitution
May 23, 1943

Miss Mary Frances Baskin To Wed William L. Brady Jr.

    RAY CITY, Ga.,  May 22. – Wide social interest centers in an announcement made today by Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong B. Baskin, of Ray City, of the engagement of their daughter, Miss Mary Frances Baskin, of Atlanta, to William Lester Brady Jr., of Atlanta, the marriage to be a fashionable event taking place at the Druid Hills Baptist church in the late summer, the exact date and wedding plans to be announced later.
    The beautiful bride-elect is the sister of Miss Helen Baskin,  of Macon, and her brothers are Quartermaster Sergeant John W. Baskin, Parris Island, S.C., Curtis Baskin, and Louis Baskin, both of Ray City.
    Miss Baskin’s mother is the former Miss Minnie Lee Hancock, of Nashville, daughter of E.L. Hancock and the late Mrs. Hancock, who was before her marriage Miss Mary Brown, daughter of John Brown and Jane Paulk Brown, John Brown being a casualty of the War Between the States.  Her paternal grandparents are the late James Baskin and Mrs. Baskin of Ray City.
    Miss Baskin received an A.B. degree from Bessie Tift College in the class of ’37. She was a member of the Sigma Delta Chi sorority. In 1938 she did post graduate work in library science at the University of Georgia. She is a teacher in the Atlanta public schools and is a talented pianist.  In Atlanta she resides with her uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Baskin.
    Like his bride-to-be, Mr. Brady is a descendant of prominent families.  He is the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. William Lester Brady, of Atlanta. His mother, before her marriage was Miss Bertha Vileeta Hayes, of Toccoa. His maternal grandparents were the late Mr. and Mrs. William Jasper Hayes, of Toccoa. His paternal grandparents were the late Mr. and Mrs. George Thomas Brady, of Harrisburg, Pa.  A brother, Joseph Vickery Brady, is completing training at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Great Neck, N.Y. Another brother, Luther Hayes Brady, was reported missing in action by the Navy last September.
     The groom-elect is a graduate of Atlanta Boys’ High school. He attended Emory University where he majored in public affairs. While at Emory he was a manager of the Emory Glee Club, editor of the Emory Wheel, member of D.V.S. senior honor society, a Rhodes Scholarship nominee, and was listed in “Who’s who in American College and Universities.” He is a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and is director of the Young People’s Training Union of the Druid Hills Baptist church.  He is now advertising director of the Rialto theater.

The Baskin-Brady wedding took place in Atlanta.

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