Mary Bell Plenty Cokley


Heaven called one of his beloved, to her eternal home. Mary Bell Plenty Cokley was born on Oct. 15, 1925 to the late Addie M. Hester and Joseph A. Plenty. 

Mary’s childhood was spent in Roxboro, where she attended Person County public schools. After graduating high school, she attended and graduated from Winston Salem Teachers College (WSSU). She began her teaching career at Person County Training School, then moved on to South Elementary and Earl Bradsher School. Mary had a passion for teaching and loved all of her students, without fail. One evening while drinking a Pepsi - sitting in a rocking chair at her Johnson Street home, she met her husband of 42 years, Walter A. Cokley. A daughter was added to this union on March 18, 1956. 

Mary joined First Baptist Church at an early age. She was a dedicated and faithful servant of First Baptist, which she truly loved and cherished. She was a member of several auxiliaries: Rose of Sharon, Missionary Society, Willing Workers, Mixed Chorus and the Pastors Aid Committee. 

Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph A. and Addie Mae Hester Plenty; husband, Walter A. Cokley; sister, Gladys P. Hayes; sister-in-law, Mazrine Jackson. 

Mary leaves to mourn: one daughter, Bertia Cokley, of Garner; three sisters, Annie P. Elliott of Roxboro, NC, Olivia P. Booker and Eloise P. Wethers, both of Albany, N.Y.; one nephew, Michael Elliott of Roxboro, NC; nieces, Denise Delapp of Garner; Saundra Hatchett, of Roxboro; Sheliah Gray (Lex) of Lithia Springs, Ga.; Sharon Elliott of Durham; the Jackson family including a host of nieces, nephews and other relatives; two special church family members, Mrs. Susan Tucker, and Mrs. Phyllis Newman. They made sure Mary had a ride to church in Bertia’s absence and would “stop by’ with surprise meals and sweet treats - everyone knew Mary’s favorite pastime was “eating”; A cherished and devoted homecare helper and “other daughter”, Mrs. Corliss Owen of Roxboro; Ms. Barbara A. Bradsher, homecare assistant to Mary on weekend visits to Roxboro; a great-nephew, Mr. James Jackson, for his home health assistance, knowledge and patience. James was more than an assistant - he treated “Aunt Maybell” with the utmost respect and love; Mr. James “Poindexter” Winstead, who has been like a faithful son to Mary over the years.

Public viewing was held on Sunday, Sept. 26 at Hester, Whitted & Daye Funeral Home in Roxboro.  The Funeral Service was held on Monday, Sept. 27 at Old Mount Zion Baptist Church in Roxboro.  Rev. Connie Dickens-McCain provided the eulogy. Burial followed at Peace Memorial Gardens.

Hester, Whitted and Daye Funeral Service provided professional arrangements for Mrs. Mary Bell Plenty Cokley.


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