Mrs. Mary Alice Brown, formerly of Washington, D.C., departed this life and entered eternal rest on Sunday, July 24, 2011, at her home in Petersburg, Va. Born on July 17, 1926, in Dunn, N.C., she was the youngest daughter of Sam and Alberta Bell.
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Moving to the District of Columbia in 1934, she lived the majority of her life in the city. She was educated in the D.C. Public School System graduating from Armstrong High School. Even after completing her formal education, Mrs. Brown continued to pursue knowledge and experience in various fields. For example, she became a certified nursing assistant, using her skills both to work privately and for the District. In addition, she studied many years in the millinery field — making and selling many beautiful hats. Perhaps her greatest passion however, was sewing. In fact, she was a seamstress extraordinaire; with the ability to sew anything from a wedding dress to pajamas; with or without a pattern. Mrs. Brown was also an avid traveler, visiting many places within the United States and even Canada.
At the tender age of 19, she married her childhood love, Louis Brown Sr. Their union would span nearly 42 years and produce eight children, 18 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. Mrs. Brown accepted Jesus Christ as a child and was an active member of The Righteous Church of God in N.E. Washington, D.C. until she began to experience health problems. During her over 50 years of membership, she served with the Women's Auxiliary, Usher Board, Nurses Ministry, Missionaries and the choir. A lover of God's Holy Word, she was also a regular and enthusiastic student in Sunday School.
Mrs. Brown was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; her sisters, Magdalene Bell and Rosie Lee Williams; and her eldest son, Arthur Louis.
She leaves to continue her legacy, five daughters, Alberta Brown, Alice Brown, Brenda L. Jackson, Vanessa Wells and Mary M. Bridgeforth; two sons, Alexander Brown (Nancy) and Louis Brown Jr. (Christel); her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; one sister-in-law, who is also a childhood friend, Martha McNair; and a host of nieces, nephews, friends and neighbors.
A funeral service for Mrs. Mary Alice Brown will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, July 30, 2011, at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, 800 Augusta Ave., Petersburg, Va.; the Rev. Dr. Wesley K. McLaughlin, pastor, Minister Danielle L. Bridgeforth, eulogist. The interment to follow in Quantico National Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, July 30, 2011, at the church.
Family members and friends are invited to pay final tribute to Mrs. Brown at www.jmwilkersonsince1874.com.
Funeral arrangements entrusted to the staff of J.M. Wilkerson Funeral Establishment Inc., 102 South Ave., Petersburg, Va., 804-732-8911, www.jmwilkersonsince1874.com.
J M Wilkerson Funeral Establishment, Inc.
102 South Avenue
Petersburg, VA 23803
Published in The Progress-Index from July 25 to July 28, 2011