Officials at the 1996 Olympic Games
Mary Blalock, front row, fourth from the left, with other volleyball officials at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta

It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that PAVO and USA Volleyball acknowledge the passing of Mary Blalock, a beloved and respected woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister and volleyball official. Many also counted Mary as a friend. Mary’s family has shared that she passed peacefully on Tuesday, June 11, 2024.

Mary BlalockMary maintained longtime memberships with PAVO and USA Volleyball. She was a dedicated and highly regarded volleyball official both domestically and internationally. Hailing from the great state of Texas, Mary was a member of the Lone Star Region (USAV) and the Texas Board of Volleyball Officials (PAVO). Domestically, for over two decades, Mary attained and maintained the highest referee certification each association grants ~ National Referee. As very few women had done when she entered the international (FIVB) system, Mary earned and was bestowed International Indoor certification in 2002.

Mary’s expertise and passion for officiating volleyball were evident in every match she officiated and every NCAA/PAVO Clinic she conducted. She consistently demonstrated a high level of professionalism and integrity, handling players, coaches and even mascots with a veteran aplomb. Mary’s contributions and dedicated service to the sport of volleyball will be sorely missed. Her commitment to promoting growth, sportsmanship, fairness and excellence made her an invaluable member of the officiating community.

PAVO and USA Volleyball extend our deepest condolences to Mary’s husband and son, Michael and Charles, and her extended family and friends during this time of loss and heartache. Mary’s legacy extends far beyond the volleyball courts where many had the chance to know her. Those who knew Mary for even a moment in time would agree that above all she was kind, loved to laugh (with a snort), and genuinely cared! In the wake of Mary’s unexpected passing, many will struggle to make sense of the loss. We wish for you to find comfort and strength in the memories you created with Mary.

In her memory, we also encourage fellow officials to uphold the values she represented. The volleyball community will forever be grateful for her contributions and the positive impact she had on our lives. Mary’s legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of those she touched.

Funeral Service and Celebration of Life for Mary Blalock is set for Tuesday, June 18, 2024 at 2 pm CT
Location: St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, 4800 Convict Hill Rd. Austin, TX, 78749

A reception will follow in Johnson Hall at St. Catherine immediately following the mass.

If you are unable to attend in person, Mary’s service can be viewed at

A Celebration of Life will also be held at St. Michael’s Church in Pawcatuck, Conn., on Friday, July 5, 2024, at 10 am CT with a graveside service to follow. A reception for Mary will be held at Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian Church, 8001 Mt. Pleasant Road, Willow Spring, North Carolina from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, July 6, 2024.