She transitioned from this earthly life on Tuesday, July 5, 2016, at her home in Virginia Beach, Virginia, surrounded by her loving family.
During her early life, she professed faith in Jesus Christ, was baptized, and became a member of the Oak Grove Baptist Church in Littleton, North Carolina. Her formal education was received in the Halifax County Public School System, and she graduated from the former McIver High School in Littleton, North Carolina, with the class of 1968.
On January 17, 1974, she was united in Holy Matrimony to Lynford Powell. God blessed this union with one son, Marc Christopher.
After marriage, Mary became the true “Military wife”. Their first assignment landed them in Okinawa, Japan, for three years, where she worked and nurtured her newly formed family, enjoying the highs and lows of a complete culture shock. Their next assignment was to the Washington, DC, area. She then attended the Suitland, Maryland, Business School. Upon completion of her studies, she began employment with the Prince Georges County Board of Education in Maryland, and remained for numerous years before becoming a Civil Service employee with the 1100 Air Base Wing, Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, DC. In support of her military family, she joined her husband in his reassignment to Bitburg Air Base in Germany, and continued government work with the 36 Security Police unit for eight years. While there, she implemented new personnel security measures for the base which were recognized by the Air Force Headquarters in Europe, and later became policy for the Air Force worldwide. Her other positions included serving as the hospital Commander’s secretary at Loring Air Force Base in Maine, and finally, as head secretary for the Neurosurgery Department at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia, where she retired after years of dedicated service.
Mary’s gentle manner in dealing with people was recognized by everyone with whom she came into contact. Her warmth, grace, dignity, and remarkable fortitude had a positive impact on those around her. For these inspiring attributes, she was named Patient Contact Representative of the Year.
Mary loved baking, cooking, decorating cakes, hosting, and gardening. Wherever she went, she always made each house a loving home. Gardening was her true joy and beautifying her yard earned her the nickname of “Rose Lady”. Everywhere she found a rose, she chose a spot in her yard to put it. She also became the “Queen” of “Pot Luck” lunches in her office. Everyone could readily tell when she was in charge of the food. She loved hats, and at her church, she was known as “The Hat Lady”.
In addition to her parents, her sister, Earnestine Harris, preceded her in death as an infant.
Those remaining to forever treasure the precious memory of her life and to celebrate the legacy of her love are her husband, Lynford; her son, Marc Christopher; her sisters, Dorothy, Delois (Brian), Florine, Christine (Eugene), and Patricia (Terry); her brothers, Earnest, Jr. (Angie), James (Barbara), Reginald, and Randolph; her sisters-in-law, Doretha (Kent), Clara (John), and Frances; her nieces and nephews, and a host other relatives and friends.
Funeral services will be held at 2:30 P.M. on Sunday, July 10, 2016, at the Oak Grove Baptist Church in Littleton, NC. The Pastor, Rev. Dr. C. E. McCollum, will officiate, and burial will follow in the church cemetery. The body will repose at the funeral home from 12:00 Noon until 8:30 P.M. on Saturday, July 9, 2016.