Mary A. Jasper

Published 12:05 am Monday, June 22, 2015

STARKVILLE — Funeral services for Mary A. Jasper, 77, of Natchez, who died Saturday, June 20, 2015, at Merit Health Natchez, are Wednesday, June 24, at 10 a.m. at Welch Funeral Home, Starkville.

Visitation will be Tuesday, June 23, from 5 to 8 p.m. and Wednesday, June 24, from 9 to 10 a.m., prior to the service.

Burial will follow in Odd Fellows Cemetery in Starkville.

Email newsletter signup

Mrs. Jasper was born on Nov. 27, 1937, in Decatur, Ga., to Robert T. Ledbetter and Hesta Howze Ledbetter, who preceded her in death.

She graduated with a B.S. in civil engineering and general business in 1959 and a M.S. in civil engineering in 1963, both from Mississippi State University. She was the first licensed female professional engineer in Mississippi.

She married Dr. Martin T. Jasper Sr. in 1963, who preceded her in death. A brother, Robert T. Ledbetter II, also preceded her in death.

Jasper was a retired associate professor of engineering graphics at Mississippi State University. She began her career at Mississippi State in 1970, teaching engineering graphic design to engineering students for three decades. She was a long-time faculty advisor to the Society of Women Engineers, MSU chapter. She was instrumental in launching the highly successful IMAGE (Increasing Minority Access to Graduate Education) program in 1991 at Mississippi State. She remained involved in the IMAGE program as well as the Summer Bridge Program until her retirement in 2001.

Jasper loved reading mysteries, painting, drawing and making miniatures. She was a devoted Christian and enjoyed studying the Bible. Being with her family made her very happy. She will always be remembered as a loving mother to many and a devoted grandmother to her grandchildren.

She is survived by her five children, Nellie Wimberly of Natchez, Alice Jasper of Dallas and her husband, Wayne Helms, Martin Jasper Jr. of Mathiston, Margaret Coleman of Lawton, Okla., and Bill Jasper of Cumming, Ga., and wife, Mitzi, and a host of former college freshman and IMAGE students who called her “Mahm.”

Surviving grandchildren are Guy William Wimberly, Clara Alice Wimberly, Hugh Martin Coleman and Curtis Heath Coleman.

Pallbearers will be Doug Wimberly, Guy Wimberly, Jeff Coleman, Hugh Coleman, Wayne Helms and Robert T. Ledbetter II.

In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to French Camp Academy, One Fine Place, French Camp, MS 39745 or visit