Mother Mary Lois Mitchell Arrington was born on June 20, 1938, in Brooks County, Georgia, to her loving parents, the late, David and Mary Alexander Mitchell. She transcended this life to our Father in Heaven at Archbold Medical Center on May 17, 2023.
Around the age of six, Mary Lois gave her life to Christ when she joined St. Luke C.M.E. Church on Broad Street in Thomasville, GA.
She spent her early childhood and the remainder of her life in Thomasville, Georgia, attending Thomasville City Schools at Douglass Elementary School. She was a member of the Douglass High School graduating Class of 1957.
On April 14, 1956, Mary Lois Mitchell married the love of her life, Lamar Arrington of Pavo, Georgia, and they remained married for fifty-eight years. During their marriage, they worked together to create a strong, loving, Christian home environment for their six living children. After their marriage, Mary Lois joined Evergreen Missionary Baptist Church. She served as financial secretary of the church for several years, remaining a faithful member of Evergreen until the death of her beloved husband. She then became an official member of New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church in Thomasville, Georgia, where she had been actively attending for many years.
Throughout her lifetime, Mary Arrington was an entrepreneur in the Thomasville community as the owner and daily operator of Five Points Grocery Store, located at 919 North Oak Street, from 1965 to 1998. At Five Points Grocery, for over thirty years, she blessed the people of Thomasville and Thomas County with her loving generosity by providing credit and motherly advice to those in need. Mary Arrington started her catering service by expanding her entrepreneurial gifts, offering delicious culinary dishes and beautiful wedding venues for young ladies. Mary’s effort planted future entrepreneurial seeds within one of her daughters to create the local wedding reception hall named “Receptions for You.”
Over the years, Mary Arrington became one of the most popular caterers in Thomasville. Her catering service maintained a loyal clientele for over thirty years. A few of those receiving this excellent service was the Divine Nine Greek organizations, the City of Thomasville, class reunions of the Douglass High School, Thomas County Central High School, and Thomasville High School, especially the Thomasville High School Class of 1983.
As a catering entrepreneur, Mary Arrington believed every event, no matter small or large, deserved the very best service, tasty food, and beautiful culinary displays. Her catering service was synonymous with Excellence, and her Squash Casserole was her signature dish, gaining local recognition!
On March 31, 2012, she was honored as one of the ”First Remarkable Women” by the Jack Hadley Black History Museum in honor of Women’s History Month. In 2019, the Arrington Foundation was created in honor of Mary and Lamar Arrington to bestow college scholarships to local public high school students and a book scholarship for vocational and technical college students. At least twenty students have received the five-hundred-dollar Mary and Lamar Arrington Foundation Scholarship.
Those who celebrate her life and legacy are her children: Morris Arrington, Audgra Arrington, Wayne Arrington, Felicia Ross, and Buffie (Cleveland) Spencer, all of Thomasville, GA., and Regina (Demarcus) Marshall of Hahira, Ga. There are five sisters: Evelyn Carnage Bryant, Ossie Perkins, Pearl Johnson, Phyllis (Charles) Gordon, Thomasville, Georgia, Mamie (Robert) Henderson of Jacksonville, Florida, and one brother, Thomas Mitchell of Thomasville, Georgia. One brother-in-law, James Johnson of Thomasville, Georgia. Eight grandchildren: Crystal Arrington, David Ross, Shantivis Russ, Devin Spencer, Brandon Spencer, Drew Marshall, Merideth Marshall, and Ashlyn Marshall. Six great-grandchildren: Jordon Solomon, Malysia Arrington, Major Arrington, Aniyah Ross, Jayce Jones, and Ari Russ. A host of supportive nieces and nephews, loving cousins of the Arrington, Mitchell, and Alexander families, and life-long friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers, Edward Mitchell, Freddie Mitchell, and David Mitchell, Jr., sister, Doris Mitchell Walden, daughter-in-law, Tammy Arrington, son-in-law, David G. Ross and her son, Monte Arrington.
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