OBITUARY

Mary Dillard Branch

June 20, 1935January 7, 2021

Beloved mother, grandmother and sister Mary Dillard “Mary Dill” (Perley) Branch passed away Thursday, January 7, 2021, at AnMed Heath Cannon Hospital in Pickens, South Carolina, after waging a courageous struggle against the COVID-19 virus. Mary Dill was born in Newnan, Georgia on June 20, 1935, the oldest daughter of James F. Perley and Myrtle (McIver) Perley. Her father’s position as an executive with the F.W. Woolworth Company necessitated the family relocate several times before ultimately settling in Greenville, South Carolina. Mary Dill attended Greenville High School and graduated from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri with a teaching degree in Early Childhood Education. In 1961 Mary Dill married William Ashley “Bill” Branch and they made their home for many years in Newport News, Virginia, where they raised their children John Gregory “Greg” Branch and Gwyn Branch (Hardin). Another daughter, Cindy Perley Branch, passed away as an infant. Mary Dill then went back to school to earn certifications in the then-emerging field of data processing and for many years employed those skills at Riverside Hospital. In later years Mary Dill returned to South Carolina and followed a passion to work with children, including being a house mother at the Thornwell Children’s Home in Clinton and numerous Presbyterian Church-affiliated preschool programs in Greenville. She is fondly remembered by former students and coworkers. Mary Dill was a life-long Presbyterian and made her final home for more than a decade at the Foothills Presbyterian Community in Easley, South Carolina, most-recently at The Bridge, the community’s memory care facility. Mary Dill made many close friends during her time at Foothills, both fellow residents and staff, and her time at Foothills was some of her most carefree and enjoyable years, a reward for a life well-lived. The family would like to thank the staff at The Bridge who made such a positive difference in Mary Dill’s time there. In addition the family also appreciates the long friendship, care and compassion of Pat LeRoy who graciously took Mary Dill on local outings for more than ten years. Mary Dill was an avid reader and was rarely seen without at least one book in hand by Clive Cussler, her favorite author. She enjoyed international and domestic travel, including trips with family to Alaska and the islands of Cape Cod in recent years. Mary Dill is fondly remembered for her outgoing personality and funny quips, including an oft-repeated threat to “go outside and just climb a tree.” Her fun nature will be dearly missed. Mary Dill is survived by her daughter Gwyn Branch Hardin, son-in-law Lance Hardin, granddaughter Copeland Hardin, grandson Max Hardin and his wife Jan (Wilson) Hardin, and grandson Jack Hardin. She is also survived by her sister Carolyn Wyatt and numerous nephews and nieces. In addition to her daughter Cindy, she was preceded in death by former husband Bill Branch, son Greg Branch, her parents, sister Dianne Perley Burns, and brother James Perley. Services for Mary Dill are being coordinated by Mackey Funeral Home at Woodlawn Memorial Park and will be held in the Remembrance Chapel at Woodlawn Memorial Park at 1:00 p.m. on Friday. January 15, 2021. Reverend Joseph Gaston will officiate, and subsequently a video of the service will be made available on the Woodlawn Funeral Home and Memorial Park Facebook Page for those unable to attend in person. In lieu of flowers, those desiring to recognize Mary Dill are encouraged to consider supporting the mission at Presbyterian Homes of South Carolina at giving.prescommunities.org Condolences can be made to Mary Dill's family at www.mackeywoodlawn.com

Services

  • Funeral Service

    Friday, January 15, 2021

Memories

Mary Dillard Branch

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