Mary Florence Porter Broadhurst, 80, of Ocilla, died Sunday, July 21, 2013, at Habersham House Assisted Living in Savannah, Ga. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, July 26 at the Ocilla United Methodist Church with the Rev. Jim Osborn officiating.
Eulogies will be given by Joyce Ashley and Jessica Wilcox Harris. Immediately following the ceremony a reception for all attending the service will be held at the Ocilla Community House. A private graveside service led by the Rev. Melvin Harper will be held the following day at Evergreen Cemetery in Fitzgerald.
Born February 10, 1933, in Tift County, Mrs. Broadhurst was the older of two daughters born to Joseph Alfred Porter and Christine Reinhardt Porter, both deceased. She was preceded in death by her former husband, Cyrus Graves Broadhurst Jr.
After graduating from Ashburn High School in 1950, Mrs. Broadhurst earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Valdosta State College. She continued her education by earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in guidance and counseling and graduating with honors from the University of Georgia.
In 1967, Mrs. Broadhurst joined the Irwin County High School (ICHS) staff as the sole high school counselor. She continued to work there for 33 years retiring in 2000.
Upon retiring, she served as a part-time counselor at the Turner County Special Services School in Ashburn. During her tenure at the Irwin County School System, Mrs. Broadhurst was twice chosen as Irwin County High School Teacher of the year. She also formed the Circle of Peers tutoring program which became a model for other peer tutoring programs in the state of Georgia.
She eventually became a vice president and board member of the National Peer Helpers Association. During the latter part of Mrs. Broadhurst’s career, she was chosen as the Georgia Secondary School Counselor of the year and served as president of the Georgia School Counselor’s Association after having previously held every major leadership position within this 2,000 member organization.
Additionally, at the request of Georgia’s governor, she served a three-year term on the Georgia Counsel of Vocational Education.
Earlier this year, Mrs. Broadhurst was honored by the Ocilla-Irwin County Chamber of Commerce with a Lifetime Achievement award for her work in shaping the young people of Irwin County — sometimes well into their adulthood. This award was the capstone of a lifetime committed to losing — and finding — one’s self in the lives of others.
Mrs. Broadhurst will be remembered by her colleagues, students, friends and family as a dynamo, an organizer, and, most of all, a giver.
Mrs. Broadhurst is survived by her four children, Lynne B. Childs and husband David Childs, Andrea B. Kennedy, Cyrus G. Broadhurst III, and Franklin Broadhurst; her sister, Helen Porter Evans and husband Rush K. Evans Sr.; her grandchildren, Jenifer-Ryan Childs, Adam Childs, Will and Mary Cameron Childs, Katy Kennedy, and Patrick Kennedy; her niece, Tina Evans; her nephew, Rush K. Evans Jr., wife Ray Anne; and great-nephew, Rush K. Evans III.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers tribute gifts may be made to the Foundation for PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy) in Mrs. Broadhurst’s memory. Tribute gifts can be made online at www.psp.org or mailed to CurePSP, 30 E. Padonia Road, Suite 201, Timonium, Md. 21093 (1-800-457-4777).
Alternately, gifts may be made in Mrs. Broadhurst’s name to a charity of the giver’s choice.
“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” Albert Einstein
To sign the online registry go to www.paulkfuneralhome.com.
Paulk Funeral Home, Ocilla, is in charge of arrangements.