Mary Othelia Hilton Appleberry, "Miss Molly" as we knew her, was born May 18, 1921 in Sheridan, Wyoming and died November 30, 2014 in Nacogdoches, Texas at age 93.
Molly may not be that well known throughout the Sacred Harp community. She didn't grow up singing Sacred Harp, but found it in the sunset years of her life after her retirement. She enjoyed it no less for the lateness of this discovery. "Miss Molly" was a fixture at our East Texas singings for several years, until her husband's health required their moving into The Arbor assisted-living community. We have missed her pleasing demeanor and smiling face in our singings for several years, and now she is gone.
Molly Hilton married Bert Appleberry in 1944. She found her calling in teaching, beginning in 1942 in a one-room schoolhouse in Apple Valley, California, and retiring in 1990 after 20 years in the elementary education department at Stephen F. Austion State University in Nacogdoches, Texas.
Molly was preceded in death by her husband Bert. She was a member of Nacogdoches' First United Methodist Church. She will be interred in the Sunset Memorial Park.
One of her favorite songs was No. 40:
Blow ye the trumpet, blow,
The gladly solemn sound;
Let all the nations know,
To earth’s remotest bound:
The year of jubilee is come;
Return, ye ransomed sinners, home.