Mary Blackiston

Friday, January 25, 2013

Mary Ella Sims Blackiston, 92, died Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, at Missouri Southern Healthcare in Dexter, Mo.

Formerly of Cape Girardeau, Mrs. Blackiston was a resident of Malden Nursing and Rehab the past four years.

She was born March 1, 1920, in Ouachita Parish, La., to John Steven and Clara Belle Kennedy Sims. She and John Fillmore Blackiston Sr. were married in 1944 in Ouachita Parish. He preceded her in death Sept. 26, 1976.

Mrs. Blackiston earned a bachelor's degree in home economics from Louisiana Tech, a master's degree in education from Northeast Louisiana State and a Ph.D. in coursework at Southern Illinois University.

She retired in 1982 as professor emeritus at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, where she served as the first director of the Child Studies Center and was vocational home economics education teacher educator.

Active in politics, Mrs. Blackiston attended the 2000 Democratic National Convention in San Diego, Calif., as the oldest voting Missouri delegate.

She was a member of Pi Lambda Theta, Kappa Kappa Iota, Kappa Delta Pi, Delta Kappa Gamma, Kappa Omicron Phi, American Home Economics Association and American Vocational Association, and a lifetime member of National Education Association. An avid gardener, Mrs. Blackiston was a member of the American Iris Society. She was of the Baptist belief.

Survivors include a daughter and son-in-law, Annabel and Nick Haskett of Port St. Lucie, Fla.; a son and daughter-in-law, John Fillmore Blackiston Jr. and Pamela of Malden, Mo.; and two grandsons, John August Pollack of Chicago and Steven William Blackiston of Malden.

She was preceded in death by a sister, Anna Alva Younger, and three brothers, James Steven Sims, Thomas Fred Sims and Robert Lee Sims.

The funeral was Thursday at Bradshaw Chapel in Malden, with Mark Pickard officiating. Burial was in Kilpatrick Serenity Gardens in West Monroe, La.

Memorial contributions may be sent to First Southern Baptist Church in Malden, the Malden Public Library or Alzheimer's Association.