Mary E. Strothers



Mary E. Strother, affectionately called Mother Mary, was called home to be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on January 24, 2018. The last days of her precious life, Mother Mary wanted to press her way to church to fellowship with the Saints and to sing the songs of Zion.

Mother Mary was born on April 4 1937 in Chester, South Carolina to Etta (Toyetta) Kirpatrick Johnson and John Strothers. At a young age, Mother Mary and her mother, relocated to New Jersey for which she resided most of her adult life in East Orange. In March of 2015, Mother Mary and her mother relocated to Chesterfield, Virginia.

Mother Mary completed her high school studies. She also earned a Nurse’s Aide Training Certificate in 1969. However, most of her life spent caring for her families and others.

Mother Mary was not only loving, gentle, and kind, she was loyal, and a dedicated person with her stylish ways. Her pleasant smile warmed the hearts of those that came in contact with her. Mother Mary loved to laugh and have a good time. She loved to dance, especially with her children and grandchildren. She could really cut a step or “break it down”. Mother Mary enjoyed watching a good program or movie. One of her regular pass times that she enjoyed was watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune.

Mother Mary loved the Lord. She accepted Christ as her Savior and was baptized on February 5, 1967 at the Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Orange, New Jersey , where she was a member for many years. She later became an active member at Divinity Missionary Baptist Church in East Orange, New Jersey for more than twenty years where she was a faithful and committed member of the church. Since relocating to Virginia, Mother Mary became an active member of the Second Baptist Church in Ruther Glen, Virginia.

Fellowshipping with the Saints, going to Sunday School and Bible Study were some of the many things that she enjoyed. She was committed to daily reading her Bible, devotions, and Sunday School lessons. Though she was weak, the Sunday before her transition to heaven, Mother Mary wanted to press her way to church where she sang the songs of Zion.

Throughout her Christian journey, Mother Mary ministered to many people by helping those that were infirmed and helping wherever she was needed. She had a heart of gold and a missionary spirit. As stated in Philippians 2, Mother Mary had the mind of Christ. She did nothing in selfish ambition or conceit, but in humbleness and selflessness. She never murmured or complained. Mother Mary did not utter mean words about herself or others, just kind words. She would regularly utter “I love you” and “Thank the Lord”. She embraced and lived the Bible.

Mother Mary was a loving, gentle mother of Saundra Yvonne Werts and Deborah Ann Johnson. She raised her daughters in the church. As a homemaker, Mother Mary cared for the needs of her daughters and home life that she shared with her beloved mother and step father, Joseph Johnson.

To cherish her are memory is her beloved 98 year old mother, Etta Johnson. Mother and daughter were very close and they did everything together. Others include her daughters and son-in laws Saundra and Arthur Werts (Chesterfield, VA) and Deborah and Charles Johnson, Jr. (Piscataway, NJ); five grandchildren, Candace Bohanon Werts and her husband Marcus Bohanon, Sr. (Mechanicsville, VA), Kenneth Werts, Sr. and his wife Shannon Werts (Glen Allen, VA), Quiana Smith and her husband Dr. Jason Smith (Clinton, NJ), Charles Johnson III (Piscataway, NJ), Akilah Johnson (Piscataway, NJ); 5 great-grandchildren, Essence Werts, Marcus Bohanon, Jr., Nya Bohanon, Kenneth Werts, Jr., and Kylie Werts; a multitude of family and extended family which also included Cousin Lucinda Cohen, Drs. Bobby and Phyllis Cohen, Cousin Willene Stringfellow; Sharon Hill, Ann Marie Adams, Dr. Artemus and Lavern Werts, Dr. Herman and Lancie Marchan, Mr. & Dr. Stallworth, Mr. & Mrs. Parkers, and Rev. & Mrs. Smith; special caregivers Mrs. Lo’Retta Nixon-Gross and Ms.Dana Terrell; facilitator Mrs. Corrinthia Morris, many other friends, and her church family in New Jersey and Virginia.

Mother Mary’s love was unconditional. To know her was to love her. We are blessed and thankful for her being a part of our lives. God bless Mother Mary’s legacy as she rejoices in heaven with our Lord and the Saints of God.

Our dearly beloved Mother Mary has boldly said, “I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith. Henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:7-8) while our “Lord declared to her, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things. I will make you a ruler of many things. Enter into the joy of the Lord.” (Matthew 25:21)