Mary was born to the late Ruth and Thaddeus Holmes, April 29, 1936 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mom was the youngest of two daughters. Her sister Ruth Delores who preceded mom in death was named after their mother.
Mom’ s grandmother Mary Holmes, her namesake whom was introduced to the Seventh Day Adventist faith in the 1930s and carried all of her ten children to Ebenezer Seventh Day Adventist Church in Philadelphia.
Mom’s mother, Ruth gave mom the opportunity to attend Seventh Day Adventist Schools located in Philadelphia, PA and Camden, New Jersey during the early part of her school years.
This was the foundation of our mother’s Christian journey. Mom later transferred to the Philadelphia School Public School system to complete her education.
During mom's adolescent and teenage years; she and her sister delightedly spent time at Pine Forge Camp meetings each year, she worked along with Sis McCloud who baked bread, prepared vegetarian dinners and learned how to churn natural ice cream. Mom also sold Message Magazines. Mom took her stand for Christ and was baptized under the leadership of Pastor Burgess. Mom became a member of Ebenezer until she transferred to North Philadelphia Seventh Day Adventist Church in 1967 under the pastorship of John C. Smith.
Mom met the love of her life in a soda pop store, named Duncans; a dashing young man, James Alfred Ganges from Philadelphia, PA. Mom called James, Steve because of a jacket he had worn when they first met. Mom’s entire family adopted that name and affectionately called him Steve. Mom and Dad were joined in holy matrimony March 9, 1957. Out of this union they were blessed with two daughters, Angela Denise and Tina Marie.
Mom was a longtime resident of South Philadelphia but later relocated to the West Oak Lane section of the city in 1968. Mom along with our father nurtured and reared us in a safe, comfortable and serene home. Mom not only talked about Christ but lived her life accordingly.
Mom was a very loving mother, extremely gentle in her approach and always instructed us to put Christ first in everything we do. Mom gave us counsel well until our adult years. The wise advice was given with a genial smile and a soft answer. Mom would say, pray without ceasing. Mom has equipped us with the key in how we must handle life’s challenges.
Mom remained steadfast on her Christian journey; she took on active roles within her beloved church, North Philadelphia. Mom was a church hostess where she greeted church members/visitors Sabbath mornings as they entered into our house of worship. Mom worked along with her pastors during many tent efforts and church seminars. Mom was also a devout member of the Gospel Choir and sang for many years under the leadership of Dr. Grayce Zimmitt and Romel Holley. One of her favorite songs she sang as a soloist was “Jesus“. Mom relished her time with the choir until its dissemination in 2016. Mom yearned to do more for her Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ ; she became a bible worker under the leadership of Linda Walker. Mom was passionate in letting those she met know about the good news of salvation. Mom stood on corners and passed out literature; knocked on front doors and offered bible lessons and talked with individuals in stores about the blessed hope of Jesus Christ. Mom was instrumental introducing several souls to Christ. Mom was very humbled by these experiences and rejoiced when individuals accepted Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
Mom took on the role as mother after her sister, Ruth passed to Terry, Charmaine, Jimmy, Neicy and Tracey. Mom was devoted to them as they were to her. She was there for Terry, Charmaine, Tracey and Neicy’s weddings and any other occasions. Mom stood in as a grandparent to their children when necessary. There was so much laughter and enjoyment when we all got together, spouses included. Jimmy and Tracey preceded mom in death. Terry, Charmaine and Neicy loved to imitate “Auntie” in song and gestures. Auntie affectionately called her nieces Teddy , Char and NeeNee. Mom truly savored time spent with her nieces. Auntie will be truly missed!!
Mom was employed by The School District of Philadelphia. Work was not a task for Mom because she truly loved to assist the students at Wagner Junior High School. Mom was also an Avon Representative for several years and received many prestigious awards for being one of their top sellers.
Mom took a training class March 2014 to support those in crisis. She received a certificate of completion from Crisis Hotline Christian Ministry. Mom also enrolled in Westminster Bible Institute 2016 to enhance her knowledge in the word of God. Mom received high honors as a bible student.
Mom enjoyed Sabbath mornings which started with Sabbath school and concluded with the speaker of the hour. Mom genuinely reveled in time spent with her church family. Mom’s graceful mannerisms touched so many lives. Mom was the epitome of her faith, strength and God’s principles.
Mom was unable to continue her ministry of witnessing and reaching out to those in despair due to the Corona Virus pandemic.
Mom endured a short illness and went to be with her Lord and Saviour May 7th. Mom now sleeps and awaits the sound of the trumpet.
Mom will rise one day and ascend to her heavenly home.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Rev 21:4 KJV
Mom leaves behind her legacy to cherish fond memories two daughters Angela Denise Ganges of Bear, DE, Tina Marie Ganges - Osborne of Bear, De, 3 grandsons, James Alfred Osborne of Bear, De, Joshua Caleb Osborne of Bear, DE and Jordan Timar Osborne of Philadelphia, PA, a sister-in-law, Rose Ganges, Philadelphia, PA, brother in law, Richard Ganges, Philadelphia, PA and a host of nieces, nephews, great nieces/nephews, cousins and special friends.
Lovingly submitted The Family
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