“Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice, and will come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life.” JOHN 5:28, 29
Mary Eliza Gray 76, of Buckingham, Virginia departed this life on Friday, October 1, 2021 at Centra Southside Hospital, after a brief illness. Born November 26, 1944, in Buckingham County, Virginia, she was the daughter of the late Lea Shoemaker and Marie Gray. She was married to James Taylor. They bore no children. Mary was the loving mother of two wonderful daughters. Mary was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. One of her greatest joys was dedicating her life to Jehovah, where she was baptized on the day of August 27, 1965 and began working to spread the word of Jehovah. She maintained her integrity and commitment to Jehovah until the very end as a devout Jehovah Witness.
Mary attended Carter G. Woodson, and later attended Southside Community College where she received her degree in Business Management. Mary was a kind-hearted person and loved to help others in need. With that love and desire to help others; in 1991 she became the founder of Mary’s Rest Home, an Adult Assisted Living Facility. The business was very successful, and Mary’s reach didn’t end with just her community. She extended her business to care for those in need in other surrounding areas. Mary obtained operating licenses with the state of Virginia where she could serve people in the surrounding communities of Danville, Lynchburg, South Boston and others. Mary decided that she wanted the name to be more representative of her love and devotion to the people she served so she decided to change the name of the business to “Quality Divine”. With the expansion of the business, she went on to provide a home for special needs individuals where she had staff for 24 hours and went into the homes of individuals and supported them throughout the day. Mary was devoted to paving the way for the special needs individuals to enjoy their lives to the fullest, so she built a Day Support Center. Here the individuals were able to venture out into the community and enjoy themselves on daily basis as wonderful, upstanding members of the community.
Mary also loved spending time with her children, grand-children and other family members. She enjoyed extending her hospitality through the many planned meals and family gatherings where she would cook her famous Southern home dishes where she would add her own special spices and personal ingredients that would make her meals so special. Every relative and extended family member had their own favorite dish; they would always call to see if their dish was on the menu and the food was so good it would leave everyone discussing their favorite dish for days. Mary knew how to mix love into a simple dish that would bring happiness and a full belly to all that sat at her table. Mary’s kindness, generosity, and loving personality will be greatly missed by her family, friends and many others that felt her warm embrace through the years.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents: Marie Gray and Helen Shoemaker (Mothers), Lea Andrew Shoemaker (Father), Queen Elizabeth Blair (Sister), Geneva Patterson (Sister), Brenda S. Duncan (Niece), Jacqueline Patterson (Niece), Tracy Burnette (great-nephew) and James Burchette Sr. (brother-in-law).
Mary leaves behind to cherish her memories, husband, James Taylor of Buckingham, Virginia; two daughters, Camilla Scott (Marty) and Latoya Gray of Buckingham. Five grandchildren: Antonio, Makiesa, Jyre’ana, Ja’Liyah, and Jada. Seven sisters: Rosa Langhorne (William) of Farmville; Yvonne Mines (Leonard) of Baltimore; Loretta Burchette of Richmond; Audrey Thomas of Kansas; Alicia Shoemaker and Viola Shoemaker of Buckingham Virginia; Juanita Davis (Charles ) of Prince Edward and one brother Myron Shoemaker of Buckingham. In addition she will be remembered by a special devoted cousin Alberta Womack of Prince Edward; special friends Cynthia Bates of Emporia, Virginia, Connie L. Chappell, Danville, Virginia and a host of nieces, nephews, and others relatives and friends.
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