WOW-Mary Felkins VANDY

Because she has lived in the towns of Vernon, Tuscaloosa, Union Springs, Fort Payne and Selma, Mary Felkins keeps it simple by saying she’s from Alabama.

Born in Vernon, Ala., just 20 minutes from the Mississippi state line, Felkins moved to Tuscaloosa for college at The University of Alabama. It was in Crimson Tide territory that she met her now-husband, Jared. The couple was set up on a blind date by mutual friends.

“We went to the circus when it came to Birmingham,” she said. “Those two friends are married and are responsible for three other sets of friends who got married, as well.” They celebrated their 20th anniversary on Aug. 5.

They moved to Wilson County eight years ago so that Jared could take the position of director of content and audience development for a newspaper. Three years ago, they moved to Watertown.

They have three children: Bryant, 18, a freshman at Cumberland University; Bailey, 17, a senior at Watertown High School; and Bryley, 12, a student at Watertown Middle School.

Felkins is in school, as well. She is a full-time student at Cumberland University and is majoring in secondary education.

“I decided to go back to school two years ago and finish my teaching degree because I truly believe it is my calling in life. I have worked in several different careers and I have loved all of them, but nothing has ignited my passion like being in schools and working with students,” she said, adding that she will complete the program in May 2021.

Felkins also is an independent consultant for Paparazzi Accessories, which provides fashion jewelry at low-cost. She volunteers with Catherine’s Orchestra for All, an organization that helps students obtain musical instruments.

Her favorite hobbies include being with her family and gardening.

Felkins said she has three older sisters who helped to shape her life.

“I most definitely admire my sister, Melanie Collins. She raised four boys and they are all amazing men with amazing families,” she said. “Another woman I greatly admire is Shanna Leasure. She teaches English at Watertown High School and has been the most amazing mentor to me these past few years while I finish my degree and her passion makes me love teaching even more.”

To nominate someone for the Woman of Wilson feature, send information to Sabrina Knowles at

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