Mary Taylor Gentry Blackburn and her twin sister Meredith were born January 6, 1967 in Jacksonville, Florida, to Conrad and Carolyn Gentry. The girls and their older brother Chuck grew up on the banks of the St. John’s River; Mary graduated from Wolfson High School and attended Florida State University. During the 1980′s Mary modeled for Denise Carol Modeling and Talent Agency in Florida. She signed with Prestige Models in Paris the summer after her junior year in high school.
After a successful modeling career and college, she worked as an advertising representative for BellSouth Yellow Pages, where she won numerous awards for outstanding performance. During her tenure at BellSouth, she met David Blackburn, whom she married in 1998. Mary and David lived in Florida, Texas, Oregon, and Georgia during their sixteen year marriage. Mary was a very creative individual who wrote a bi monthly column for Heart Of Texas Today magazine and authored a cookbook of her family’s favorite recipes that she collected from her aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, and grandparents. She was very interested in a variety of charitable causes, such as the American Cancer Society and Dress For Success. Her long battle with liver disease took her from us far too soon at the age of 46.