Friends Remembered: Mary Austill

Friends remembered
Mary Austill Sanford

Mary Austill Samford, 88, of Opelika, Ala., died Sunday, Sept.9, 2018, of Alzheimer’s. She was awarded the Carnegie Medal at the age of 9, when she rescued another 9-year-old girl from drowning in the deep end of a swimming pool in 1939 in Spring Hill, Ala. As Samford reached her, the girl was frantic and grabbed her and wrapped her legs around her, submerging her several times before a man aided them to the shallower end. Samford was born in 1929 in Mobile, Ala., and attended the University of Alabama and was amember of Kappa Delta sorority. She married Yetta G. Samford, Jr., who preceded her in death. Samford was a member of the National Society of Colonial Dames and a lifelong active member of First Baptist Church. According to her obituary, she was known for her wonderful culinary skills and artistic projects, and will be remembered for her warm and generous hospitality. She is survived by daughters Austill Samford Lott and Katie Samford Alfor, five grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. One son preceded her in death.