Vol­un­teer, ed­u­ca­tor, woman of faith

Sis­ter Mary Kate Tribble, life-long So­cial Cir­cle ad­vo­cate, passed away at age 86

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - KAYLA ROBINS krobins@cov­news.com

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.

Sub­mit­ted photo /The Cov­ing­ton News

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