Mary Sammons

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Mary Sammons

Beloved Mary Sammons (Brice) of Chattanooga, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018, at age 94.

She was born March 5, 1923, in York County, S.C., to Minnie Phillips, and was raised by her aunt and uncle, Daisy and Young Brice. 

Mary grew up in Rock Hill, S.C. She enjoyed fishing, cooking and working in the church. Once she had her children, she relocated to Tennessee to be closer to her mother and for employment opportunities after World War II. She moved to Oak Ridge, lived in the government huts in Scarboro, and later purchased a home on Spelman Avenue. 

She joined the fellowship of Mt. Zion Baptist Church under the Rev. C.C. Fuller and used her culinary gifts to help raise funds to construct the present-day sanctuary. She also led the senior and junior ushers.

After more than 20 years in Oak Ridge, Mary moved to Chattanooga, where she opened M&S Café on Market Street. A natural entrepreneur, she also maintained a small business selling cookies, cakes, fried pies and Southern chow-chow relish. In Chattanooga, she became a member and served on the Mothers Board of Orchard Knob Baptist Church. 

Preceding her in death were her dear daughter, Mary Burgess Johnson of Detroit, Mich., who passed in July 2016; her brother, Willie “Bill” Brice (Eddie) of Atlanta, Ga.; granddaughters: Tonja Burse, of Ocean Springs, Miss., and Barbara Brice-Brown, Esq., of Upper Marlboro, Md.; and her husbands: Harvey Johnson of Oak Ridge,  and Burgess Sammons of Chattanooga.

Left to cherish her memory are two sons: Willie Brice (Greta) of Cleveland, and Ernest Brice Jr. (Barbara) of Upper Marlboro, Md.; granddaughters: Donna (Stuart) McDermott, Suteka Brice, Kimberly Burgess; grandsons: Dwight Bradford, Ernest Brice III and Levon Swafford; great-grandchildren: Ebony Brice, Sean Brice, Starla Brice, Steven Burgess (Jessica), Shamarr Burgess, Philip Burse, Nathan Burse, Gabriel Burse, Brice Sharp (Amber); great-great-grandchildren: Jacqueline Brice, Willie Brice, Mason Burgess, Naomi Burgess and Mason Burse; daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Brice; three stepsons: Thaddeus, Darrell and Galen Sammons; and a host of other cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.

A viewing will be held on  Friday, Feb. 9, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Patton Funeral Home, 265 Fair Street, S.E. Cleveland.

The funeral will be Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, at 12 p.m. with a viewing from 11 a.m. to 12 noon at Mt Zion Baptist Church, 195 Wilberforce Ave, Oak Ridge.

She will be laid to rest immediately following at Oak Ridge Memorial Park, 1501 Bethel Valley Road. 

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