Mary Safstrom Alford, a resident of Dothan, passed away just after midnight on Christmas Day.
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Funeral services will be held at 10:30 am on Saturday, December 28, 2019, at the Episcopal Church of the Nativity with Reverend Peter Wong officiating. A reception will be held prior to the service beginning at 9 am. The private, family burial in Columbia will immediately follow the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Southeast Alabama Community Theatre, 909 South St. Andrews Street, Dothan, Alabama 36301.
Mary was the daughter of Gladys and Hilding Safstrom and was born in Lake Park, Minnesota. The family moved to Grand Forks, North Dakota before her seventh-grade year. She was an only child but her parents adopted her cousins Grace and Gaga Mae Campbell who became sisters to her. Mary was a gifted pianist and performed many solo recitals in her youth. She graduated from the University of North Dakota with a degree in journalism and moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota for a job with the Dayton Company. Her next job was at a bank back in Grand Forks. It was there that she met her husband Jim who was a fighter pilot from Columbia, Alabama stationed at Grand Forks Air Force Base. They married and had three children, Maggie, David and Thomas. After many moves and a deployment to Vietnam, Jim retired with 22 years of service and they moved to Dothan, where Mary has lived ever since. Mary was widowed in 1977 and continued to raise their three children alone. Mary also moved her parents to Dothan after her father’s retirement and she lovingly cared for them in their later years.
After her children left for college, Mary worked as fundraiser for Children’s Hospitals and later at SteinMart. She was involved in multiple charitable and civic organizations, study clubs, bridge clubs and Bible study groups, but her chief contributions were to SEACT and her church. She produced 77 plays and was presented with SEACT’s first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award. She was a devout Episcopalian, serving in nearly every capacity at the Church of the Nativity, including the Vestry, Altar Guild, Wedding Coordinator, Welcoming Committee and more. Mary had a wide and varied group of friends with whom she loved to work, socialize and travel.
A loving wife, daughter, mother, grandmother and friend to all, Mary lived a full life while facing challenges with grace and determination.
Mary is preceded in death by her husband Jim Alford; parents Gladys and Hilding Safstrom; and sisters, Gaga Mae Campbell and Grace Leigh.
Survivors include daughter Maggie Mitchell and husband Dean, son David Alford and wife Caroline, son Thomas Alford, grandchildren Sarah Walker Alford, Campbell Mitchell, Mary Caroline Alford, Henry Mitchell, Porter Mitchell, Lucy Alford and Wiley Alford.
Glover Funeral Home of Dothan has been entrusted with the arrangements. (334) 699-3888. Please sign the guestbook online at www.gloverfuneral.com