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Mary Blanche Lawrence Bess

Mrs. Mary Blanche Lawrence Bess, 101, ascended to Heaven into the arms of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Feb. 7, 2019, at Sentara Obici Hospital. A native of Nansemond County (now Suffolk), she was born on May 26, 1917, to the late Thaddeus and Effie Hines Lawrence. In May 1942, she married Alexander Bess Sr., who preceded her in death in November 1989. She was also preceded in death by three brothers, Jesse Lawrence, Calvin Lawrence and Thaddeus Lawrence Jr., and one sister, Bertha L. Crocker.

Mrs. Bess was a faithful, devoted and loved member of Poplar Run Baptist Church for more than 85 years and was bestowed the honor of Church Mother on July 17, 2016. An active member until her health began to decline, she was a member of the Senior Choir, Pastor’s Aide, Women’s Day Committee and other organizations and activities of the church. She was also a member of the Sarah Tabernacle Lodge No. 141. She was highly respected and deeply loved by her neighbors and the “Hollywood” community. She served as a volunteer for the American Heart Association.

There are numerous precious and fond memories to be cherished and honored by her son and daughter-in-law, Alexander “AB” Bess Jr. and Gail; daughter and son-in-law, Mary B. Bess-Riddick and Larry; grandchildren, Brian Bess, Derrick Bess and his wife, Paula, Kiana Bess, Alexander Bess III and Natalie Bess; great-grandchildren, Jacari, Tyler, Jaylen and Jerrick; brother, Tommie Lawrence Sr.; sister-in-law, Irene Polson Lawrence; nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and neighbors Mrs. Magdalena Barnes and family, Mrs. Evelyn Copeland and family, Mr. Melvin & Mrs. Peggy Bradshaw and family, and Mrs. Mazarine Taylor.

A visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, at Poplar Run Baptist Church, 5330 Bennetts Pasture Road, Suffolk. A celebration of her life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019, at East End Baptist Church, 1056 Portsmouth Blvd., Suffolk. Her pastor, the Rev. James Williams Jr., and her Poplar Run family will serve and lead the celebration worship service. Her earthly body will be laid to rest at the Poplar Run Cemetery. Professional services with dignity have been entrusted to Harris Funeral Home.