Cover photo for Mary Payne Hairald's Obituary
Mary Payne Hairald Profile Photo
1936 Mary 2023

Mary Payne Hairald

February 26, 1936 — November 1, 2023

Mary Payne Hairald, passed away Wednesday, November 1, 2023 at the North Mississippi Medical Center. She was born February 25, 1936, in Tupelo, the daughter of Will Burney Payne and Ivey Berryhill Payne.
She attended and graduated from Nettleton High School in 1953 and from the University of Mississippi in 1957 with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce and a Masters of Business Education from University of Mississippi in 1963. She completed post graduate work at Mississippi College in 1964, Mississippi State University in 1970, and University of Southern Mississippi from 1986-1988, and 1990, University of California-Davis in the summer of 1997, and Babson College, summer of 1998.
Mary was an accomplished educator who made an impact on the many students and colleagues over her 49 ½ years as a teacher. Affectionately known as “Mama Mary” by her students, she touched many lives. Mary was a Business Education Teacher at John Rundle High School from 1957-1959. Mary was a Youth Recreation Leader at Nettleton, in the summers of 1960 and 1961. She was a Social Studies Teacher in Nettleton Jr. High from 1959-1970 and was also a teacher and Coordinator of Cooperative Vocational Education Program at Nettleton High School from 1970-2005. Mary was an Area World Book Incorporated Manager from 1972-1984, local coordinator for Academic Year in America and Program for Academic Exchange from 1988-2023. She was a Business Instructor at Itawamba Community College in Tupelo from 1975-1980. She was a Distributive Education Clubs of America Advisor since 1985 and state officer advisor since 1995. Mary was also appointed Advisory County Member of Mississippi Cooperative Education.
She was a charter member of the America Association of University Women. She was American Vocational Association Region IV Cooperative Vocational Education Teacher of the Year 1985, Region IV Marketing Teacher of the Year 1988, Region IV Outstanding Vocational Teacher of the Year 1986, and National Teacher of the Year 1997.
She was a member of the Cooperative Work Experience Education Association, The Mississippi Association of Vocational Educators, and The Mississippi Association of Cooperative Vocational Education Teachers. She was Vice President from 1980-1983, President from 1983-1984. She was Teacher of the Year for the Mississippi Association of Cooperative Vocational Education Teachers in 1984, 1987, and 1995.
She was a member of Mississippi Association of Marketing Educators and District II Teacher of the Year in 1993 and 1994.
She was a member of Marketing Education Association. She was a charter member of Nettleton Ladies Civitan Club and a member of Phi Delta Kappa where she was Phi Delta Kappa Kappan of the year in 1998.
She retired from teaching at Nettleton in 2005 to keep her grandchildren. After retirement, she and her husband enjoyed traveling the world, visiting China, Brazil, Jamaica, Mexico and many other places. She enjoyed continuing her relationships with her high school classmates and retired teacher friends. Mary was always on the go and never met a stranger.
She was preceded in death by her parents Will Burney Payne and Ivey Lee Berryhill Payne and her husband Leroy Utley and a sister who died at birth.
She is survived by her only son Burney LeShawn Hairald, his wife Dawn Hairald and her two grandsons William Payne Hairald and Shawn Cooper Hairald and numerous friends she considered family.
Visitation will be 5 until 8 p.m. Friday, November 3, 2023 at Pegues, Tupelo. Services will be 11 a.m. Saturday, November 4 at the Jefferson Street Chapel with Rev. Danny Estes and Rev. Jimmy Bryan officiating. Graveside services will follow at New Chapel Cemetery
Pallbearers will be Jeff Finch, Gary Hamm, Wade Hood, Fagan Jackson, James Allen MaLONE, Grant Prather, and Gwin Berryhill. Honorary Pallbearers will be William Payne Hairald, Shawn Cooper Hairald, and Don Pratt
Memorials may be made to Jim Bowers/Mississippi DECA Foundation, James R. Bowers, Director, 1441 Marwood Road, Byram MS 39272; Palmer Home for Children, PO Box 746, Columbus, MS 49703; or French Camp Accademy, 1 Fine Place, French Camp, MS 39745.
Expressions of sympathy may be shared at
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Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, November 3, 2023

5:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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