Mary Frances Martin, a lifelong resident of Gulfport, died December 8, 2021, at the age of 94. She was born in Gulfport on October 20, 1927, to Judge Robert Robson Buntin, Jr. and Mary Elmore Buntin. Mary Frances graduated from Gulfport High School with honors and attended the University of Mississippi, where she received degrees in English and Home Economics. While at Ole Miss she was a cheerleader and a member of Delta Gamma Sorority. Mary Frances married Ernest G. Martin, Jr. on July 1, 1947 in Wichita Falls, Texas, and they had two children. During her marriage, she taught Ole Miss extension courses in Creative Writing, English, and substituted at Saint John’s Catholic High School. She was also co-owner of The Gingerbread House, where she exercised her sewing skills for two years A very talented member of many clubs and organizations, Mary Frances was quite active in her community. She was a past member of Sunkist and Great Southern Country Clubs and their Women’s Golf Associations; Bayou Bluff Tennis Club where she was a founding member; founding member of The Friends of the Gulfport Library; Gulfport Yacht Club and Ladies’ Association, and numerous bridge club and needlepoint organizations. Until her death, she was a member of Four Seasons Garden Club, where she served as president (also winning numerous awards for her flower arrangements); lifetime member of Gulf Gardeners Garden Club, and Revelers Carnival Club of Gulfport. She also volunteered for Big Brothers/Sisters, Gulfport Host Program for elementary grades, and Lynn Meadows Discovery Center. Mary Frances was very proud to have served on the Gulfport School Board for ten years, serving as secretary, in the 1960’s when the district was integrated and Gulfport East High School was built. She was preceded in death by her parents, Judge Robert R. Buntin, Jr and Mary Elmore Buntin; her sister, Celia Buntin Emmerich and great grand-child, Henry Joseph Cochran. She is survived by: son, Ernest G. Martin, III of Jackson; daughter, Celia Martin Barrett (Scotty) of Gulfport; grandchildren: John Martin (Kristina) of Santa Rosa Beach, Fl; Mary Elizabeth Cochran (Patrick) of Gulfport; Caroline Martin Jordan (Jason) of Pensacola, Fl; Ernest G. Martin, IV, of Covington, LA; Amy Barrett Caboni-Quinn (Devin) of New Orleans, LA; as well as 11 great-grandchildren; 1 niece, 1 nephew and great grand-nieces and nephews. Mary Frances also leaves behind many, many good friends and her beloved teams, Rebels, Saints and Braves. The family would like to thank the excellent staff at Seashore Highlands and that of Notre Dame Hospice for their compassionate and loving care of our mother (aka, Mimi) the last year + of her life. She loved them and they loved her, and we are so grateful. As Mary Frances was a member of the Body Donation Program at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, the family has chosen to hold a Celebration of Her Life (she loved a good party!) at a later date. To honor Mary Frances, donations can be made to the Gulfport Public Library, 1708 25th Avenue, Gulfport, MS 39501. Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home, 15th Street, Gulfport, is serving the family. It was Mimi’s wish to remind everyone to tip well, and write thank-you notes.
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