Volunteer, educator, woman of faith
Sister Mary Kate Tribble, life-long Social Circle advocate, passed away at age 86
Mary Kate Tribble, Social Circle’s Sister, passed away of natural causes in her sleep early Monday morning. She was 86.
Tribble was many things in her long life, described by Jamie Peterson, who was the Better Hometown/Main Street director in Social Circle when Tribble did much of her volunteering, as an avid Jimmy Carter supporter, teacher, volunteer, Democrat, bridge player and woman of faith. “You name it, she was in it,” Peterson said. Tribble’s mother was born and reared in Social Circle after her mother’s family, the Shipps, homesteaded in the city after receiving property off N. Cherokee Road in the government lottery of the early 1800s. Her father built a house in 1941 across from the post office.
When Tribble’s mother was expecting, Peterson – who met Tribble in 2000 – said she was unaware she was carrying twins. When she gave birth at her home in Atlanta, the doctor said Tribble’s brother was born first but that she pushed him out. Here’s Buddy, he said, and Sister will be here in a moment. And so Sister Mary Kate was born. “She was sharp, very bright,” Peterson said. “She has always been active in Social Circle.”
Even though Tribble traveled the world, meeting a diverse group of friends along the way, she always knew Social Circle was her home. And she was proud of her home.
“She had friends all over the world, but she was always a big promoter of Social Circle. Wherever she’s gone, she was proud to be from Social Circle,” Peterson said.
A highlight in her life was her support for Jimmy Carter, Peterson said, whom she met when he was running for a state senate seat. She was so impressed with him that she traveled to New Hampshire to help his campaign by knocking on doors.
She was involved in the Better Hometown program since its inception in 1998. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution since 1954 and the United Daughters of the Confederacy, was on the Historic Preservation Society board, was an original member of the Historic Preservation Commission and was a lifetime member of the First Baptist Church.
Tribble devoted her life to teaching, spending years in the Social Circle primary and elementary schools. She taught anatomy and physiology to nurses at Georgia Baptist for 24 years and was a graduate of Tift College. After her retirement, she was a substitute teacher for Social Circle City Schools until she was about 80.
“Throughout her life she taught, even if it was just while she had children sitting at a table in a restaurant,” Peterson said. “She believed in education as a priority.”
Alex Jones has known Tribble his whole life and said she was like a grandmother to him. Jones, who lives in Batesville as a live-in caregiver, said his mother and Tribble campaigned for Carter together. The two women worked together as ticket collectors for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. They stayed the night at a homeless shelter at a church in Atlanta one night to volunteer. She even taught Jones how to read. “We were the best of friends,” Jones said. Tribble’s celebration of life will be on Friday, August 8, 2014, at the First Baptist Church of Social Circle. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. with the service beginning at 11 a.m. Anyone attending is asked not to wear black, as Sister Mary Kate always wore bright clothes.