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Mary Dean Lee, was born to the late Jimmy Lon and Nadine Benton on February 14, 1936 in Brantley, Alabama. She departed this life on Thursday, April 19, 2018 at her home surrounded by loved ones. She was preceded in death by two sisters: Willie Mae McLeod of Newark, New Jersey and Virginia Tucker of Brantley, Alabama and three brothers: Robert and William Jay Benton of Brantley, and Jimmy Benton of East Orange, New Jersey. She joined Greater St. Matthew A. M. E. Church at a young age and remained a faithful member until her passing. She married the late Oner Lee, Jr. on July 12, 1954. They were devoted to each other for 58 years and cherished each other’s love, companionship and affection. Into this union four children were born: Oner, III (deceased), Anthony Kent (Katrina), Alonzo James (Treacy), and Sonia Dolores.
Mary leaves to cherish her memory eight grandchildren; Nakia (Jessica), Senita (Scott), Sabriyyah, (Rufus), Jasmine, Shayon, Sitembile, Shantel, and Hasina; seven great grandchildren, Nailah, Davion, Jacquinae, Benny, Laijaun, Anaya, Javon, Anitra, and Xavier; one great great grandchild: Dale; two brothers; Charlie (Cynthia) Benton of Temple, TX and Isiah (Cee Cee) Benton of Browns Mill, NJ; a cousin who was more like a sister; Ruby Coleman of Brantley and a very dear friend; Mary Wiley of New York, NY; three sisters-in-law: Esther P. Lee of Greenville, AL, Helen Walker of Brantley, and Hattie Lee of Union City, CA, two brothers-in-law; James Otis (Clydie) Lee and Wade Hinson all of Brantley. She shall be missed by her many cousins, nieces, nephews, family members, and friends Mary attended elementary school in Brantley, Alabama and graduated high school from Crenshaw County Training School in Luverne, AL. After moving with her family to New Jersey, she graduated with honors from Lyons Institute in Newark, NJ as a Medical Lab Technician. Over the years, she was employed with the Marriot Corporation, and held other positions as a Medical Lab Technician, Private Duty CNA, and CNP with Chancellor Avenue School. After retiring, Mary returned home to “Sweet Home Alabama” with the love of her life, ‘On Junior.’ Upon returning home, she became an active member of Greater St. Matthew A. M. E. Church and was a song bird in the Chancel Choir. Mary was a lover of sports – especially basketball and one of her all time favorite hobbies was gardening. Her nurturing and loving spirit was one that even a stranger could feel the vibes and know that it was genuine. She was a selfless individual who always thought of others and would give her last to anyone in need. Mary loved God and her family, instilling in them to seek Him and His righteousness.