Mary P. Miller

Published 7:00 am Friday, May 8, 2020

May 4, 2020

Mary P. Miller, age 92, passed away peacefully in her sleep on May 4, 2020. Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Vernon T. Miller; parents, Forrest Keith Phillips and Myrtis Singley Phillips; and brother, Frederick E. Phillips.

Mary was born June 27, 1927 in Purvis, MS to Forrest and Myrtis Phillips. She is survived by her son, Terry Miller (Sheral) of Dallas, Texas; her daughter, Carolyn Madere (Marshall) of Baton Rouge, LA; her son, Phil Miller (Ann) of Picayune; grandson, Austin Miller (Megan) of Northwest Arkansas; and her beloved “girls”, Delora and Lillian. She is survived by her brother, Forest Charles Phillips, Sr. (Nellie) of Hattiesburg, MS; sister-in-laws, Bonnie Miller of Picayune, MS, Terry Phillips of Hartselle, AL, and Mary Miller of Hattiesburg, MS; brother-in-law, Charles Rogers of Columbia, MS; uncle, Kelly Spikes of Columbia, MS; many beloved cousins, nieces, and nephews.

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Mary graduated from Purvis High School, attended Pearl River Junior College, and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Mississippi Southern College (now the University of Southern Mississippi). She received her Master’s degree from William Carey College. Mary met Vernon, her future husband, at Pearl River Junior College. They were married October 3, 1949.

Mary was a long-time school teacher in Picayune, MS. She taught 5th grade at the White House. She taught first grade at Westside Elementary most of her career. She remembered every student she taught, she loved all her students, and always said how smart they were.

Mary was a member of the First Baptist Church of Picayune. Vernon and Mary always enjoyed taking care of the church nursery.
Mary was also a dedicated mom. She attended any and every event any of her children had. She always had food and snacks at the house, and the house was a magnet for us and all our friends.

The Miller house was always open for anyone to visit. She was a great cook and loved flower gardening.

She also loved Ole Miss, going to the Grove, the ball games, and had to see the half-time band performance. Many people enjoyed her miniature pecan pies (using her mother’s recipe), pimento cheese sandwiches, and Coca-Cola cake.

The family would like to thank Dr. Delora Denney, Larry Denney, FNP, and Jane Fulcher for their loving care and support.

The family expresses a special thanks to Sheila W. Smith and her staff. Our mom loved all of you, and we so appreciate the love and care you provided her.

Mary’s family will have a celebration of her life at a later date. Her ashes will be interred with Vernon at the Biloxi National Cemetery.

Arrangements are under the direction of McDonald Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, we suggest in her honor, donations can be made to the William Scott Phillips Memorial Scholarship Fund at the University of Mississippi. Checks should be made payable to the University of Mississippi Foundation for the William Scott Phillips Memorial Scholarship Fund and mailed to the UM Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655. Gifts may also be made online at

Obituary, driving directions, and register book can be found on the internet page, at