Mattie was born at home on a farm October 23, 1929 in Davisboro, Georgia to Eddie Page and Mary Forte. She spent her formative years going to school, working on the farm and attending Pine Hill Baptist church. After the loss of her mother and wishing to leave farm life behind, she moved to Sylvania, Georgia with the help and support of her beloved Aunt Nen (Annie Bell Clark). Mattie was employed as a nurse's aide at Screven County Hospital until her departure in 1968. She attended St Paul Baptist Church and was a member of Screven County Chapter No. 21 Order of the Eastern Star.
Mattie was wed at a young age but the unions did not last. She felt blessed to have produced 6 children whom she loved dearly from those unions. In 1968, as a single mother, wanting a better future for her children, she made the courageous decision to leave Georgia and establish new roots in Philadelphia, PA. With the help of her lifelong friend, Grace Scott, the move was seamless. She soon gained employment at Hahnemann Hospital as a nurse's aide and monitor technician where she met her close friends, Della Mills and Alice Wideman. After many sacrifices she realized her dream and purchased her home in the West Oak Lane section of the city. Finally, after 25 years of dedicated service she retired from Hahnemann Hospital November 1, 1994.
Although Mattie did not like farming growing up, she became an avid gardener. She could turn any patch of ground into a flourishing vegetable or flower garden. As they say you can take the girl out of the country but you can't take the country out of the girl. In later years, chronic pain prohibited her from gardening, but she kept a watchful eye on her grandson and great-granddaughter as they took up the mantle directing and making sure they did things the right way. Another one of her favorite pastimes was thumbing through catalogs shopping for any and everything under the sun. It was not unusual to have countless catalogs arriving daily in the mail. She also loved her sports teams (especially the Sixers and the Eagles) and spent way too many hours watching MSNBC. She also enjoyed traveling with friends; she especially liked family cruises and her visits to Hawaii and Jamaica.
Mattie was a strong, sassy, smart-dressing lady who did not suffer fools gladly. She said what was on her mind whether you wanted her to or not. Tough on the outside and a marshmallow on the inside. She enjoyed having all of the family gather at the house, especially for holiday celebrations. At Christmas, she loved watching family open their gifts and handing out her special envelopes to all the young grandchildren.
Mattie leaves to cherish her memory 5 children, Marion Jefferson, Gwendolyn Holston, Anthony Jefferson (Gloria), Cynthia Blake (John Sr.), & Jerri Prigg; a sister, Sandra Adams (Eric); 3 brothers, Charlie Willie Haynes (Arletha), Calvin Page, & Gregory Page (Angie); 3 aunts, Sara Huff, Betty Lovett, & Shirley Scott (Brady); 9 grandchildren, Eric Holston, Jason Peterson (Erin), Monica Ballard (Michael), Kenneth Jefferson, Kimberly Jefferson (Allen), Audrice Fonseca (Dustin), Antoine & Dante Prigg, and Michael Blake; 14 great grandchildren Dean, Savon (Angela), Mya & Aaron Jefferson, Zaria, Zion, & Jackson Fonseca, Austin & Ava Crawford Peterson, Tyler Starks, Rosemary, Liara & Logan Ballard, Jade Bickley; 3 great-great grandchildren Savannah, Elias & Alora Jefferson; nieces, nephews and long-time family friends that she regarded as her children, Harold, Gerald, Rufus & Hattilyn Scott.
As Mattie's 91-year journey ends, we are comforted in the knowledge that she is reunited with those she loved and held so dear including her parents Eddie & Mary, stepmother Mary Walker; her beloved daughter Rosemary; siblings Andrew(Frances), Robin & Jean and her grandsons Kevin & John Jr.
Momma will always be loved and missed. God has called her home from labor to reward where there is no pain, fear, or sorrow, but peace forever more.
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