The News Courier in Athens, Alabama


March 3, 2014

Mary Corum

Mary Jane O’Conner Corum was born July 20, 1938, and passed peacefully Sunday morning, March 2, 2014.

She loved fiercely and was fiercely loved.

Mrs. Corum is preceded in death by her parents Jack O’Conner Sr., and Aline O’Conner; her brother, Jack O’Conner II; her sister, Carol Barksdale; and sister and brother-in-law by marriage, Nell and Joe Wilburn.

She is survived by her devoted husband George Thomas Corum Jr., who attended her every need – she was his “Light”; her children, Sandra and Greg Chambers, Tom and Tracy Corum, and Penni Corum and future son-in-law, Tom Delinger; grandchildren,  Danielle Corum, Tyler and Leigh Carl Corum, Thomas and Kirstie Corum, Joseph and Braley Chambers; great-grandchild, Avery Corum; two sisters, Dorothy Gooch and June Fletcher; sister and brother-in-law Jimmy and Betty Aston, and dogs, Callie and Bo.

Mrs. Corum was born in Chicago, Ill., but raised her entire life in Athens. She owned and ran Bumble Bee Fashions for more than 10 years. She then went to work days for Athens State University as an administrative assistant, working nights at Calhoun Community College. While working at ASU, she took classes when she could and earned a degree in psychology, graduating from college the same quarter as her son. She was soon promoted to the head of Financial Aid, but continued her education at night, attending the University of North Alabama, where she received her Masters Degree in Psychology. She was asked to teach one psychology class at ASU, and the stage was set. She became a full-time professor and later retired from ASU.

She was a supportive wife, devoted mother, grandmother, sister and friend. Mom had tremendous expectations of those she loved and clearly vocalized those expectations.

She spoiled her husband and was spoiled by him. She would move heaven and earth for her children and remind them that she did. Her family meant everything, no holiday or birthday could happen without the entire crew getting together. We sometimes found that difficult but are so thankful now because of the bond we all enjoy. She attended every ballgame and recital of every grandchild. Once a daughter or son was married into her family, they became family. Even while sick, she still continued to try to send birthday cards to the children at Central Church of Christ. Mom will be missed.

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