MARILYN SPEEDE BLOUNT
APRIL 28, 1928 – JULY 5, 2006
Marilyn Speede Blount was born April 28, 1928, in Richton, Mississippi. She finished high school in Hattiesburg, and graduated from Belhaven College, Jackson, Mississippi, in 1949. Her parents were John R. and Carrie Speede. She is survived by two sisters: Mary Anne Catlett of Meridian, and Myrna Ludlow of Biloxi, Mississippi.
Marilyn married Henry Blount in Meridian, Mississippi, and they had five children: Becky Watkins, Mona Cotton, Cindy Price, Steve Blount, and Chris Blount. They also have 11 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.
Marilyn died of heart congestion in Kinsley Place, Alexandria, Louisiana on July 5, 2006. Her memorial service was held at First UMC, Alexandria. Burial was in the Methodist cemetery in Pineville, Louisiana.
Saint Paul wrote of the “fruit of the spirit.” He said it is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5:22)
Words create images for us and the image these words bring to my mind is the smiling, gentle and beautiful face of Marilyn Blount. If ever there was one who embodied these words, it was Marilyn.
The earth was kinder because Marilyn lived upon it. Like all truly kind people, Marilyn blessed us by just being herself. Soft-spoken and welcoming, Marilyn helped others feel better just because they were in her presence.
I met Marilyn in my early teenage years. I was just wading into the big scary river of being on my own. I was up to my knees in relationships, up to my waist in school and studies, and way out over my head trying to figure out what my life was to be about. So Marilyn and Henry tossed me a life preserver in the form of love and acceptance. They took me into their home and made me feel part of the family.
Marilyn became for me a bouquet of grace. Like any bouquet worth its pollen and petals, she smelled good. And it wasn’t just what she dabbed on her neck and wrists. She smelled like home. She could walk into a room and her presence gave everything and everyone the sweet aroma of belonging. The pleasing perfume of welcome. The friendly fragrance of knowing you’re home.
Many times, after a long and tedious week at school and work, (and there were plenty of those,) I would go over to the Blount house on a Saturday and Marilyn would offer me a blossom of grace with a smile and hug. She scattered her grace blossoms to a large brood of children, yet always had more to spare for a truly lonely young man. She always seemed to have enough flowers in her bouquet to go around.
Everyone loved her, but none more than Henry. Marilyn was a beautiful woman. A head-turner. And Henry adored her. Our straight-laced minister could be reduced to a puddle of marshmallow cream when Marilyn dressed up and sashayed into the room. And Henry was not only enamored of her in finery. He proved himself the hallmark of loyalty to Marilyn as she spent her last years in the ethers of Alzheimer’s.
Grace – like joy and all fruit of the spirit – usually shows up when you least expect it. And often when you most need it. There’s no predicting grace. You can’t pin it down or nail it up or make it happen. Mercurial by nature, you can no more hold on to it than you can cage the wind or curb love’s passion. As potent as the tides and as gentle as baby breath, grace can reshape your landscape and redecorate your living room.
Marilyn graced my life and so many others with her abundant blossoms of kindness. She’s gone now; but I can smell her still. The sweet aroma of acceptance. The fragrant perfume of welcome. The blessed scent of home.
Rest well, dear Marilyn. You have been a blessing to all fortunate enough to have known you.
The Rev. Dr. Chris Andrews
Friend (and “Adopted” Son)
Source: Louisiana Conference Journal, 2007; p. 248.