Mary Pullen-Smith, age 102 years, of Huntsville, Alabama, passed on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 in South Hampton Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Owens Cross Roads, Alabama with family by her side.
Mary, the daughter of the late James and Mollie Pullen was born in Enfield (Halifax County), North Carolina, on December 17, 1917. She attended school there; and, migrated to New York City as a young woman.
While in New York, she continued her education and attend the M.T.I School for Cashiering; and the McDowell’s Designing and Dressmaking School where her found her true love as a seamster and milliner.
Mary was employed as a machine dressmaker for many years in New York City’s fashion district until she retired in the late 1970s. Mary retired from official employment; however, she never retired her gifts as the dressmaker, seamstress and milliner. She continued to sew privately for family and friends. Mary received many commissions to design and sew an entire wedding party’s attire as well as sewing and altering men’s clothing. Some of other enjoyments were family barbecues in Brooklyn and Queens, cooking, holiday dinners, dancing, traveling, walking, and creating household crafts. She also enjoyed attending the baseball park with my father, Charles, to watch the Negro (Black) Baseball League play which originated in Harlem. They watched games at Yankee Stadium in Queens, New York from 1936-48 until the League moved to the Red Wing Stadium in Rochester, NY. They often talked about their memories of seeing players like Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson.
In 2014, her daughter and son-in-law (Denise & Vincent) were concerned for her well-being in Brooklyn, New York. They were on a mission to bring her close to family in Huntsville, Alabama where she would be safe and enjoy her grandchildren – especially the great grands.
Mary is survived by her children: Donald Williams (Bronx, NY); and Denise Williams Finley (Vincent-Deceased) Huntsville, AL. Her grandchildren who lovingly call her “Granny & Grandma”: Janelle N. Phillips-Flint (George); Jonathan T. Phillips (AmberJoi) both from Huntsville, AL. She also leaves behind her adopted grandchildren: Shira Finley from Detroit, MI; and Toshamarie Shkreli (Nik) Troy, MI. She leaves behind a host of great grandchildren who affectionately called her “Gi-Gi and Granny”: Alexis, Kylar, Jason, Kros, Timothy, Jonathan II., Niko, JamesRyon, Jewel, Noah, Bailey, Joi and Jelani-David; A host of first, second, third and etc generations of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Mary was the last Pullen to fall asleep and is preceded in death by her life-partner Charles Henry Williams; her parents, James (Big Jim) and Mollie Pitts-Pullen; and her siblings: Patty-Lou Epps, Maude Silver, Julia Taylor-Johnson, James Pullen, Phail Pullen, Mabel Blackshear, Katherine Nicholson and Addie Odom.
Memorial service will be held at Spry Funeral Home Chapel on Monday, November 2, 2020 at 12:00 – 1:00pm as moments of reflection with family and friends. Her remains will be laid to rest at the Oakwood Memorial Gardens Rose Cemetery at a future date. Spry Funeral Home will be handling the final arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, please send your donations to the New Life Seventh-day Adventist Church Child Development Center located at 3912 Pulaski Pike NW, Huntsville, AL 35810. Attention: Pastor Nelson Stokes
Broken Chain by Ron Tranmer
We little knew that morning
God was to call your name.
In life we loved you dearly,
in death we do the same.
It broke our hearts to lose you,
You did not go alone.
For part of us went with you
The day God called you home.
You left us beautiful memories,
Your love is still our guide,
And though we cannot see you,
You are always at our side.
Our family chain is broken,
and nothing seems the same,
But as God calls us one by one,
The chain will link again
The family wishes to acknowledge with deep appreciation the many expressions of love, concern and kindness show them during the passing of their love one.
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