June 7, 1931 ~ September 2, 2015
Mary Nell Wilkes, age 84, passed away in comfort at Ashton Senior Living in Lawrenceville, GA on Wednesday, September 2, 2015. Mary Nell was in her seventh year of Alzheimer’s Disease. Mary Nell was born in Swainsboro, Georgia on June 7, 1931. She was preceded in death by her parents, Clarence Willis and Annie Nella Screws Willis Shrader; and great-grandson, Brenton Scott Beshers. Mary Nell is survived by her husband of 65 years, Donald Wilkes; 2 daughters: Melody Gandolfi & husband, Tom, of Woodstock, Maryland; and Jane Lynch of Lawrenceville, GA; grandchildren: Jason Beshers & wife, Amie, of Concord, GA; Jenna Beigel & husband, Nathan, of Elliott City, Maryland; and Cameron Lynch of Lawrenceville, GA; great-grandchildren: Mitchell Crawford & wife Jessi, of Thomaston, GA; and Jaycie Beshers of Concord, GA; brother, William Willis & wife, Ann, of Fernandina Beach, FL; many cousins and friends. In 1947, Mary Nell graduated from Kite High School in Kite, GA. In 1950, at the age of 18, she graduated from Georgia Teacher’s College (now named Georgia Southern) with a degree in Education. Mary Nell served as an elementary school teacher in Georgia for 40 years, teaching in Glenville (1950-1951), Waynesboro (1951-1953), Waycross (1956-1966), and Lake City (1966-1993). In 1973, Mary Nell earned her Masters Degree from Georgia State University. Known as a strict but caring teacher, Mary Nell was awarded Teacher of the Year from Lake City Elementary in 1992. Mary Nell was a loving, compassionate person who always put others first. Most important in her life were family and taking care of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She combined fun and common sense with wisdom and warmth. She was a woman of strong faith, believing in the power and strength of Jesus Christ’s love and the beauty and peace that would await her in Heaven. A memorial service celebrating her life will be held at 3:00 pm, Saturday, September 12, 2015 at Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel. Flowers are accepted, or you may consider a donation, in memory of Mary Nell, to Alzheimer’s Association, 41 Perimeter Center East, Suite 550, Atlanta, GA 30346. The family will receive friends prior to the service from 1:00-3:00 pm at Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, 1031 Lawrenceville Hwy, Lawrenceville, GA 30046, 770-277-4550. Online condolences may be expressed at www.wagesandsons.com.