Mary Alice was born to Milton and Alice (Black) Mathis on Dec. 27, 1928, in Cotton Plant, Ark. She was one of 14 children. Both parents and nine siblings preceded her in death (two siblings died in infancy).
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Mary was raised in a Christian home and accepted Christ early in her life.
She received her formal education in Brinkley, Ark. Mary had a passion for helping others and she especially loved children. She worked in the field of nursing and was known for taking in anyone who needed love, affection and care. She resided in Chicago, St Louis and Memphis, Tenn. She made Alamogordo her final residence.
Mary was joined in holy matrimony to Mr. Lacy Betton Sr. and later Mr. Albert Baker. She met and loved Mr. Ocie Smith. From these unions came two sons and one daughter. She later married Mr. Rufus Harris (no children), who preceded her in death.
Mary enjoyed reading the Bible, working crossword and jigsaw puzzles, playing a challenging game of Scrabble and viewing TV game shows (her favorites were "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy"). She also enjoyed drawing and loved to cook. Mary was quick witted and had a great sense of humor.
Affectionately known as "Mom Mary" and "Big Mama," she was the definition of love and maternal grace, with her heart displayed for the world to see. A loving mother and grandmother, she strongly believed that "family was the essence of life" and she diligently lived by this motto.
Mary was a "trooper" and even when her body failed her she remained positive and continued to encourage others during their own struggles. She passed away peacefully on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, surrounded by her family. She will be truly missed and forever remembered. We thank God for the gift of Mary in our lives!
Mary Alice Harris is survived by her sons Lacy E. Betton II and Isaac Baker; her daughter Angelita Denise Baker ("T." Ross) and stepchildren Barbara "Bobbie" Cromwell, Martha Washington, Adriene Harris, Darlene Paine, David Harris and Janie Harris; five grandchildren, Andrea Betton (Andi), Lacy E. Betton III (Trai), DeJanae Ross-Baker, McKayla Ross-Baker and Jalaye Ross-Baker; three sisters, Hazel Meriwether (James), Ruth Bostic and Oralesper McNeal; one brother Milton Mathis Sr. (Louise); former/forever daughter-in-law P'Gail Betton; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
The family of Mary Alice Harris wishes to thank you for your prayers, which increased our faith; your kind words, which encouraged our saddened hearts; and your presence, which has given us a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on.
Thank you for the food you prepared, it has helped us to maintain our physical strength. The lovely cards and beautiful, floral arrangements have helped to brighten our days.
We thank you so very much for whatever you did to console our hearts. It is our prayer that God may continue to bless you and your family.
We would like to especially thank her caregiver "T." Ross, Meals on Wheels and the First Assembly Worship Center.
Your donations to the
, "In Memory of Mary Alice Harris," will ensure research for future lifesaving treatments.
The Harris family has entrusted their loved one to the care of Alamogordo Funeral Home.
To sign the online register book, please visit www.alamogordofuneralhome.org.
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from Mar. 31 to Apr. 4, 2013