Mary Jane Allen was born on the 2nd of January 1933 in Porus, Manchester in Jamaica, West Indies. She was the much beloved first-born child of Vivian and Imogene Nation. She received her initial education at the Porus elementary School and progressed to dressmaking as her early career.
In 1956, whilst she was still a teenager, Mary became a member of the Porus Seventh-Day Adventist church after attending a local crusade and giving her heart to the Lord.
In 1960, she migrated to the United Kingdom, setting up a new life with Cebert, a fellow Adventist whom she first met in the church, and who became her devoted husband of 37 years.
Their union bore five children, all of whom remained closed and involved with her life right until her last days.
Mary and Cebert began attending the Camp Hill Seventh-Day Adventist church together each Sabbath (Saturday). This was a custom that Mary continued until the day she was unable, quite literally, too weak to walk up the doors of the church unaided. Even then, she still enjoyed worship and song sessions whilst she was receiving specialist nursing care during her final days.
Although a devoted stay-at-home mum for many years, Mary had always been determined to develop a fulfilling career and to learn more about the world around her.
To this end, she completed her nursing training during her early forties and became a highly-qualified psychiatric nurse. She worked within the UK National Health Service for 20 years before finally retiring when she was well into her sixties. This was some 5 years after Cebert had passed away, leaving her a widow. During this time, her thirst for knowledge also led her to complete a Social Sciences degree, studying part-time via the Open University.
Mary had long enjoyed good health until recent years when sadly, she suffered a number of strokes. In keeping with her strong character, after each blow to her health, she fought back valiantly to recover her mobility, determined to continue taking part in her favourite church activities. However, during the final 12 months she became weaker, and on the 1st of April of 2004, whilst surrounded by her family and loved ones, she peacefully surrendered her fight and fell asleep in the arms of Jesus.
She will always be remember with affection and love by those who knew and respected her.
First read on the date of Mary’s funeral, on the 14th April 2004
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