Mary Kathryn Dodd James, 94, of Bay Minette, formerly of Haleyville, passed away peacefully at her home on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. She was laid to rest beside her husband at Winston Memorial Cemetery in a private family service due to COVID-19 considerations. Cason Funeral Home of Foley assisted the family.
Mary Kathryn was born Feb. 26, 1926, in Double Springs. She was the sixth of nine children born to Lee Franklin Dodd and Mary Maud Tingle Dodd. She graduated from Winston County High School in 1943, spent a short time working in a World War II wartime factory in Ohio and then returned to attend the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. While at UA, she was chosen to represent her dorm in the Miss Corolla beauty pageant.
Immediately follow the war, she married Walter Joe James Jr., and the couple lived in Tuscaloosa while he studied law at the University of Alabama. After his graduation in 1950, they moved to Haleyville to begin his law practice. Mary Kathryn lived in Haleyville for the next 48 years, developing many deep and lifelong friendships in that time.
The highlight of her life was being a housewife and mother to her only son, Walter Joe James III. She enjoyed cooking, playing bridge and helping anyone in need. As a Christian, she worked to live by the principles Jesus taught. She was a long-time member of First Baptist Church-Haleyville.
Mary Kathryn was dearly loved by so many. She had an unmistakable style and grace, and she was a true Southern lady.
She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents and all eight of her siblings.
She is survived by her son, Walter Joe James III, of Bay Minette; her daughter-in-law, Martha Caldwell James, of Spanish Fort; two grandchildren, Walter Joe (Ashley) James IV, of Plantersville and Meredith Teresa Louise James (Michael) Purser, of Spanish Fort and four great-grandchildren, Katelyn Chyenne James, David Zander Purser, Walter Joe James V and Gregory Wyatt Purser.
Memorials may be made in her memory to: Immanuel Episcopal Church, 700 McMillan Ave., Bay Minette, Ala. 36507 or to the Miss Alabama Scholarship Program, 2809 Crescent Ave., Suite 2, Birmingham, Ala. 35209.
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