Mary Elizabeth Austin White transitioned from earth to her heavenly home on Friday December 23, 2022, at Lynchburg General Hospital. She was born on Sunday November 17, 1929, to the late Edward H. Austin and Helena Lovings Austin. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband Rev. Herbert Hoover White Sr., a daughter, Mila Swain, and son in laws Leon Swain, Jr.Lee Swain, and Thomas Hamlette.
Mary is survived by four children: Myra W. Hamlette, Helena Swain, Alisa Pennix, and Herbert White Jr. (Pat), grandchildren, Conswella Swain, Leon Swain Jr, Herbert White III, David Pennix, Nina Hamlette-Wells (Keystone) , Camilla Swain, Shavone Swain, Demetritus Goode (Donald), Jessica Swain, and Elizabeth Swain. 18 great-grandchildren, 6 great great grandchildren, and host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, friends, and her church family.
Mary, affectionately known to others as Liz, started in her early years as a hairdresser, care-taker, and a server to others through her cooking and hospitality. She worked for the late Charles and Betty Hurt for many years. She also worked as a Nutrition specialist for Lynchburg City Schools for 50+ years. Her love and serving spirit poured into her spiritual background as she served as head of the kitchen committee at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church. Liz was a devoted deaconess, a member of the Senior and Adult choirs, and one of the oldest mothers of the church.
Liz was witty, funny, straight down the middle, loving person. She told it how it was and didn’t mind telling you that if she hurt your feelings, to “pick them up and put them in your pocket!” Liz enjoyed gardening, cooking, reading, and crocheting. When she was not serving others, she served her family and still continued to do things until the end which consisted of driving, folding clothes, cooking, and washing dishes. Liz was special because she provided guidance, wisdom, and insight. Everyone that came in contact with Liz learned a lot of things through life experience, and Liz had plenty of that. She has seen just about everything.
Liz made everyone feel loved and special, even down to strangers. She cherished her friendship and work relationship with her dear friend Peggy. She shared many meals, conversations, laughs, prayers, and cries with Moshea Hale. She helped raise a Bonus son, Percell Lovings. Liz had a beautiful smile, a sweet spirit, and a contagious laugh. A garden of love grows in a Grandmother’s heart. She will be missed but her legacy and love will live through all those she came in contact with.
A celebration of Mary’s life will be held on 3 pm Friday, December 30, 2022, at Antioch Baptist Church, 4644 Lee Jackson Highway, Lynchburg, Bedford County. Her remains will lie in repose at Tharp Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service.
Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family.