Mary Alford

Mary Alford

Wednesday, December 25th, 2019
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Obituary

Mary Safstrom Alford, a resident of Dothan, passed away just after midnight on Christmas Day.

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
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Saturday, December 28th, 2019 | 9:00am - 10:15am
    When
    Saturday, December 28th, 2019 9:00am - 10:15am
    Location
    The Episcopal Church of the Nativity
    Address
    205 Holly Lane
    Dothan, Alabama
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, December 28th, 2019 | 10:30am
    When
    Saturday, December 28th, 2019 10:30am
    Location
    The Episcopal Church of the Nativity
    Address
    205 Holly Lane
    Dothan, Alabama
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Officiant
    Reverend Peter Wong
  • Interment

    Saturday, December 28th, 2019 | 12:00pm
    When
    Saturday, December 28th, 2019 12:00pm
    Location
    Columbia City Cemetery
    Address
    Columbia, Alabama

Condolences

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Jody Harper, Nina and James sent flowers to the family of Mary Alford.
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BS

Belinda Strowd

Posted at 04:36pm
Ms. Mary was a genuine lady. She was always a delight to be with & carried herself with grace & beauty. She welcomed everyone into her presence. She invited me to be a part of the many fundraisers we worked on together for Children’s Hospital of which our son Josiah stayed for some time. She also invited me to become a member of the SEACT family of which I am eternally grateful. Ms. Mary was a rare jewel & will be greatly missed. My prayers are with the family. Blessings! Belinda Strowd
JJ

Jody Harper, Nina and James

Posted at 03:17pm
Much love and sympathy to all of you. Mary was an exceptional, accomplished lady, and such a beloved member of Dothan arts and community life.
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Jody Harper, Nina and James purchased flowers and planted a memorial tree for the family of Mary Alford. Send Flowers

SC

Sue Chang

Posted at 11:27am
While I have many warm memories of Mary Alford, one that comes to mind is when my kids and I stopped in Dothan for a quick hello on the way from Michigan to Florida. Mary was so pleased to meet my children that she instantly pulled down the “treat box” that was clearly reserved for her grandchildren. My three children, now 23, 21, and 18, remember that trip like it was yesterday! I also have fond memories of our last meal together, with the Alfords and Mitchell’s at the Country Club, where she was like a rock star because everyone wanted to say hello to her. Sending much love to Maggie, David and and Thomas and their families.

Sam Farnham

Posted at 10:43pm
Mary was a living example of dignity and grace who I had the good fortune to know. I, and many others, am better for knowing her and will be forever grateful for her friendship and example.
S

Sue Adkinson

Posted at 06:55pm
If you knew Mary, you loved her. She had the most beautiful piercing blue eyes. Rest well, my friend.
Sue Adkinson
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