Mary Jean Knight Baxley
2020 - 2020
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Mary Jean Knight Baxley, 75, of Columbia lost her lengthy battle with cancer on July 11, 2020, and went home to be with her Lord. Mary Jean was born in Columbia, the daughter of Howard and Fanny Knight. She was married to husband Norman Baxley for 55 years. She was a graduate of Coastal Carolina University.

Mary Jean dedicated her entire life to caring for those less fortunate, and spreading the word of her faith in God. For the last 54 years of her life she provided care for at least one of her two special needs sons. Throughout her lifetime she served in leadership roles with numerous organizations and charities such as Special Olympics, Red Cross, and Easter Seals Society. She volunteered in charities such as McLeod Hospice, Burmese Refugee Relief, Baptist Disaster Team, and Samaritan's Purse. Her many charitable activities in 1977 were recognized by a resolution from the SC General Assembly. In 1979 Mary Jean was named South Carolina's Most Outstanding Young Woman due to her many accomplishments that year.

Mary Jean was a freelance writer, with memberships in the S.C. Press Association and the Overseas Press Association. She wrote for several newspapers, and had articles used in many local, regional, and national publications. During the last few years of her life, Mary Jean was a dedicated volunteer for the campaign of Senator Lindsey Graham. She especially loved working with the young people who were serving as interns for the campaign, and believed their friendships actually prolonged her life.

Surviving are her husband, Norman; son, Burt; brother, Johnny Knight; and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents; a sister, Gloria Knight; and a brother, Howard Knight, Jr.

A private burial service is being arranged by Morris Funeral Home in Hemingway, SC. An expanded obituary can be read on their website. Memorials may be made to Rose Hill Baptist Church, 4572 Rose Hill Rd., Georgetown, S.C. 29440, or your favorite charity. The family would like to extend their gratitude to the entire S.C. Oncology team, the staff of Hospice Care of S.C., and our wonderful neighbors who provided assistance and support throughout her ordeal.

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Published in South Strand News on Jul. 11, 2020.
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