Leaving a Legacy Like Granny: Part 3

Bertha “Granny” Mabry was a woman of strength and determination who accomplished much during a time when women did not share equal rights and pay as men. During this four part series for Women’s History Month, I have been telling the story of this special needs pioneer who lived and thrived not far from where I live today. You can get caught up on Parts 1 and 2  here and here.

happiness hillWhen Granny’s youngest son Sanford entered public school, Granny felt that he needed something more. She became involved in the founding of Banberry, the first school in Cobb county Georgia for individuals who were then called the trainable mentally retarded (TMR). Then she and her husband Hagood along with other special needs parents in the community started the Happiness Hill school for children with disabilities in mental retardation. During this period of her life Granny continued to learn, teach and advocate for children with disabilities. She and Hagood were charter members of the Cobb Association for Retarded Citizens (today known as Right in the Community) and served on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Association of Retarded Citizens (today known as The Arc of Georgia) She traveled to the University of Lund in Sweden to learn more about their work and successes for those with disabilities.

Granny’s legacy reads like a great history lesson and I can’t help but wonder how she found the time to do all of these things, build a successful and expansive teaching career and raise three children.

So next week I am answering these questions and closing out this series with an interview with Granny’s daughter Martha. And finally, I hope to weave this story together as a blueprint to help us all build the foundation for the legacy we will leave.

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