On October 23, 1955 Mary Magdeline Justice was born to Clarence and Yancie Robinson Justice in Dodge Texas. She was the 5th of six children. Her sister recalls that as a child she was always quiet and easy going unless you riled her up. She was protective of her brothers and sisters and loved her family. She also loved to read books as a child and sang in the school choir. Mary loved playing sports like baseball and often talked about playing flag football, specifically a game where the underclass girls beat the Senior girls. This was a proud moment for her.
She attended school in Dodge Texas and graduated from Huntsville High School in 1974. Mary grew up as a faithful member of St. Mary’s Baptist Church in Dodge Texas and accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior at a young age. She carried the teachings of her youth with her throughout her life. In 2016, Mary joined Hills Chapel Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Jimmy Lawrence. She served as an Usher, but her passion was serving in the kitchen.
Most people remember the 25 years that she managed Long John Silvers. She was dedicated to having the best store in her district. She won numerous awards for her superior leadership. She even got to attend the Kentucky Derby after winning a management contest. People would patronize LJS just to see Mary. The later part of her work career was spent at Sam Houston State University.
It was at Sam Houston State University that she would meet Mr. Kenneth Grayson. A wonderful and close friendship slowly blossomed into a strong loving relationship. They were joined in union on May 20, 2017. Kenneth brought a light to Mary’s life. She smiled from ear to ear at the mention of his name. Kenneth with his gentle and kind spirit proved to be the perfect fit for Mary. Even though their time together was short, being with him gave her great joy.
One of Mary’s greatest accomplishments were her three children, Angela Sanders (Carl), Marisa Doan (Jason) and Billy Thomas Jr. She was always in tune with their needs offering encouragement, wisdom and correction when needed.
Mary was overjoyed at being a granny to Mr. Jordan Sanders or as she affectionately called him Jordan Farten. She cared for him as a baby and was a little sad that he was growing up so fast. She wanted him to remain a baby for a little longer so that she could hold him in her arms. She also dearly loved her bonus grandchildren Amiya Williams, Carla Sanders, CJ Sanders and Trey Sanders.
Mary truly had a servant’s heart. She loved to cook for others and to see people full and happy. She was famous for her potato salad, sock it to me cake, banana pudding, buttermilk pie and stew. She always cooked way too much food, but always found someone to send a plate to.
Mary was a true friend to her friends. Many confided in her listening ear. She was keeper of secrets and you could come to her without fear of judgement. She would always be honest with you in love.
Mary is preceded in passing by her parents: Yancie and Clarence Justice, her siblings, Johnnie Eddie Justice, Arthur Ray Justice, Theodore Roosevelt Justice and sister Joyce Faye Justice.
Mary leaves to cherish the memories: her sister Mae Dee Bookman (Michael), sister-in-law Gloretha Justice and two aunts Bobbie Jean Robinson and Nettie Robinson. Also, cherishing her many memories are a multitude of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
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