Mary Lillard was born March 7, 1903, in Jacksonville, Texas to Sterling and Rose Bailey Price. She married Zack F. Lillard October 16, 1943. She obtained her bachelor’s degree at Texas Presbyterian College, which is now Austin College in Sherman, Texas, and a master’s degree from Texas Wesleyan College in Fort Worth.
Lillard taught in the Mansfield ISD from 1945 to retirement in 1973. Former students remember her as a strict disciplinarian and a no nonsense teacher. She was most interested in her students learning the subject taught. Her dedication to her students and profession helped her students excel.
“She was a fiery redhead with the temperament to match, but she gained the love and respect of all her students. She had a smile that I would never forget,” said Wayne A. Coble, a former student from the class of 1953.
Lillard first taught at Emhouse, Texas and worked at Chance Vaught during World War II before coming to Mansfield. Throughout her life, Lillard was an active member of the First United Methodist Church, belonged to the Order of Eastern Star and was a Past Worth Matron of Chapter #876, Mansfield.