Mary E. Jackson
Mary Elizabeth Jackson was born to Fannie Stewart, fathered
by William Gaither and loved by her step-father John
Maddox. After being sent to this world to serve others and
completing her lifelong mission, she was suddenly called back
to the Lord on Thursday, February 21, 2008.
Born on November 14, 1938, her formative years were spent
with the Trueheart family; Irene, Jackson (a.k.a. JT)
and Minnie in Baltimore, Maryland. There she shared the
household with Jessie, Janet and Joseph where, at fourteen
years of age, she met Gilbert R. Jackson. Her beautiful
singing voice was noticed at fifteen, when she was offered a
professional singing contract. Unfortunately, she was unable
to take advantage of that opportunity, but after spending
many hours in the parlor, multiple clandestine entrances into
the movie house, and graduation from Fredrick Douglas High
School in 1956, she married Gilbert in a union that continued
for 51 years.
In the late 50’s, after giving birth to their son Kevin in Atlanta, Georgia, Mary and Gilbert moved to Gulfport,
Mississippi. While there, she actively participated in the American Civil Rights Movement. In order to fully
appreciate this phase of her life, it must also be noted that she was one of the first black Licensed Practical
Nurses to graduate from the Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College Nursing Program and to serve in a local
Gulfport, Mississippi public hospital. Through the restaurant sit-ins, public transportation boycotts and the
public school integration fights, she also found time to raise her son Kevin, and manage the home. Later, after
relocating to New Jersey, Mary and Gilbert were blessed again with their daughter, Kelly.
Through her active participation in church, Mary also continued to build upon her lifelong mission of serving
all of God’s children. The capstone of her active church life was here with Union Bethel A.M.E. Church of
Randallstown, Maryland. Through the Helping Hands Ministry she assisted those who needed assistance
satisfying their monthly financial responsibilities. She helped to feed the hungry through the food assistance
programs. She worked with seniors and even contributed to the development of our young people through the
implementation of the Union Bethel A.M.E Girl’s Circle program. Her activities also included the church choir,
missionaries, local bowling leagues, her high school graduating class organization, the Family Life Center,
“We Are Family” Community Development Corporation and the church wedding coordinators and greeters.
Mary was also a former volunteer at Deer Park Middle School and the former school nurse for Oakwood
Elementary School in Anne Arundel County. At Oakwood Elementary she continued to fight for civil rights by
spearheading the integration of profoundly handicap children into the Maryland Public School System.
Mary E. Jackson was a proud mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Survived by her husband Gilbert
and her children Kevin (Lisa) and Kelly. Step-father John Maddox; Sisters Bonita McDuffie-Smith, Stephanie
Myers, Carolyn Ellis, Pam Gaither and Patsy Hutchins; Brothers Howard M. Stewart, George Stewart and
William Gaither; Sister-in-laws Barbara Randall, Vivian Jackson, Authreen Jackson; Grandchildren Karl
(Yisa), Lance, Chanel and Lauren; Great grandchildren Kayla and Korben; A host of cousins, nieces, nephews
cherished friends and an untold number of God’s children that have known the power of her love.