Mary Nelle Paulk

January 12, 1947February 24, 2014
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Mary Nelle Taylor Paulk, of Alpharetta, died February 24, 2014. She is survived by her husband George Cudney Paulk III, daughters Crystal Joy Paulk-Buchanan and Melody Michelle Dunn, grandson Loren Huxley Dunn and siblings Perry Taylor, Margaret Zimmerman, Glenna Harris and Donna Heffring Originally of Brookfield, Ga., Mary Nelle was preceded in death by her parents, Glenn and Dorothy Taylor. A graduate of Tift County High School, she continued her formal education at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education through the University of Georgia and North Georgia College. Mary Nelle always believed that third grade was the year her students stopped learning to read and began reading to learn. Throughout the 29 years she taught at Alpharetta Elementary School she read aloud two books by E.B. White: The Trumpet of the Swan and Charlotte’s Web, stories of triumph over adversity and finding an inner purpose. Lessons she hoped her pupils would remember even if they could not recall that the capitol of Idaho was Boise. However no student forgot that 12 times 12 equals 144 because when you completed your multiplication tables through the twelve’s, Mrs. Paulk would allow you to buy a cola from the machine in the teacher’s lounge. For more than two decades Mary Nelle and husband George captured the milestones of thousands through their photography business. If you grew up in the Alpharetta-Roswell area then it was very likely you were photographed by the Paulks at least once, as a softball player at Wills Park, your first Homecoming dance, as a majorette in marching band or a football player at Milton High School, or at your wedding ceremony amid the high rises of downtown Atlanta. Upon retirement Mary Nelle cultivated a passion for gardening through the Deer Creek Shores Garden Club. The only thing she loved more than coaxing reluctant blossoms to flower was her family. One of her great joys in recent years was the time spent with her grandson. She had a strong and binding relationship with her husband, children, siblings and extended family which included many former colleagues, students and friends. Mary Nelle was also a longtime member of the Alpharetta First United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers the family asks a donation be made to Atlanta Humane Society – Mansell Campus.



  • Celebration of Life Service Saturday, March 1, 2014
  • Visitation Friday, February 28, 2014


  • In lieu of flowers the family would like contributions to be made to the Atlanta Humane Society-Mansell Campus

Mary Nelle Paulk

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January 12, 2015

Happy Birthday

Cindy Hardy

January 12, 2015

Happy Birthday Mrs. Mary. We miss you!

Bobby McCord

January 12, 2015

Happy Birthday to my Mary in Heaven! Wish I was there again this morning like last year with a surprise breakfast. I Love You and will miss you always!!!
Love, Bobby

Susanna Finch (Davidson)

December 9, 2014

I was a student in Mrs. Paulk's third grade class back in 1996 (I believe). As I'm sitting here studying for finals, she came to mind out of the blue. I had no idea that she had passed, and it fills me with such sorrow to find this out now. The fact that I thought of her some eighteen years later indicates the impact she had on my life. She was easily the best teacher I've ever had. She touched so many students' lives and had a true passion for teaching. I feel so blessed to have known such a wonderful woman. My prayers go out to her family.

Stan and Donna Gardner Vaughan

April 2, 2014

Dear George and Family,
Stan and I were saddened to hear of Mary's sudden passing. She is one of the reasons that I am now teaching. I believe that I was in her very first class at Alpharetta ES. I don't remember the occasion, but sometime near the end of the year you came to our classroom and Mary introduced you to us as her fiance. I can remember all us girls gathering around her on the playground, and she never ran us off. She was so kind and genuinely interested in each of our lives and we reveled in that attention! You and Mary photographed many occasions for Stan and I through our high school dating years and then our wedding. That was 30 years ago this past October! May you find comfort in all the warm memories of Mary and her wide influence. You all will be in our prayers.

March 3, 2014

George, my heart goes out to you and your family. Mary Nelle was such a wonderful person, wife, mother and teacher. I pray that God will give all of you His peace, strength and love during this difficult time.

Cathy Roberts (Alpharetta, GA)

Sandy and Craig Sherman

March 1, 2014

George, Crystal, and Melody,
Please knownthatbour thought and prayers are with ou at this difficult time. Mary was such a wonderful, kind giving lady. And a true lady she was! I will always treasure the years I worked with Mary and we became friends. She left a part of her with each child she taught, including my own girls. My prayers for you are for you to give the healing process time. Savor and share every memory. Our lives are truly rich because of Mary Nelle.

Leslie Townsend

March 1, 2014

Dear George, Crystal, Melody, and Family,

I have no words to express the sorrow I feel at the loss of Mary Nelle. I've known you all since you were in elementary school, at church and at work. She was such a loving and caring person who embraced each day with love for all her students and co-workers. She cherished her family and her friends. Time will help you heal but until then, God has you all in his arms holding you with steadfast love and comfort.
With much love and sympathy, Leslie & Rick Townsend

Andria Bradley Dinzole

March 1, 2014

Dear George, Crystal and Melody,
My heart is so heavy for you all at your enormous loss. I pray that God will wrap you all in His loving arms and carry you through this dark time, and as you go through the photos and sit around and tell stories and share memories, that they will bring you a comfort and happiness. With deepest sympathy,

mary yip

March 1, 2014

Mary was such a blessing to my grandsons Colby and Grayson Byrd, she travelled for several yrs to whereever they were to teach them, she was a true blessing and had such a sweet spirit. Our condolences to George and Crystal and Melody. we pray for you in this time of loss.