BRONX, N.Y.-Mrs. Johnnie Mae Oates Brooks, 91, departed this life on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, at St. Benson DePaul Nursing Home in Bronx, N.Y.
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She was born on July 10, 1921, in Cleveland County, to the late Lillian Oates and John Green.
She was raised by her maternal grandparents, the late John C. and Mary Jane Foxx Oates.
Johnnie Mae attended Washington School in Cleveland County, and joined Washington Missionary Baptist Church at an early age, later moving to New York. While in New York, she was employed as a housekeeper for more than thirty years for the Sy Fischer family. She also worked at the Dyckman Citizen Center in New York.
Johnnie Mae loved gardening wherever she found a path of earth. She never forgot her country upbringing. Root and herb collecting was her passion and pastime with wild hog lettuce and dandelion being her favorites.
In addition to her parents and her grandparents, she was preceded in death by two sons, Marvin Odell Brooks and Larry L. Brooks; three daughters, Mary Ludava B. Wimms, Leola Anna-Marie B. Sherman and Lillian Jeanette B. Richardson; her former husband, L.B. Brooks; and siblings, Helen and Arthur "A.J." Oates.
Left to cherish her memory are her children, Idella Lomick (James) of Shelby, Sylvia "Silver Mae" Funchess of Cherryville, Eric Bernard Brooks (Yvonne) of Far Rockaway, N.Y., and Evangelist Salina B. Shepherd (Eddie, Sr.) of Raleigh; two special granddaughters, Glenda Brooks Woodson of Shelby and Andrea Lynette Petty Brooks of Cleveland, Ohio; 25 additional grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren; 17 great-great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Visitation: The family will receive friends from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday prior to the service, and at other times at 2020 Capernium Road, Waco.
Funeral Service: Noon Saturday at Washington Missionary Baptist Church
Officiated By: Pastor Melvin Clark
Burial: Church cemetery
Funeral Home: Enloe Mortuary is serving the family
Online Condolences: www.enloes.net
231 North. Lafayette Street Shelby, NC 28150
Published in Shelby Star on Jan. 18, 2013