Mother Marie Bacote Smalls, 102, affectionately known as “Mack” transitioned peacefully from this life on the morning of January 1, 2020. Born March 10, 1917, in Lee County, South Carolina, she was the daughter of Florence and Spencer Bacote, Sr. Home-Going Celebration will be held Tuesday, January 7, 2020 at Unionville A.M.E. Church, 1330 Swimming Pen Road, Mayesville, South Carolina. Reverend Alvin Webb, Pastor and Eulogist. Interment, Church Cemetery. A public viewing will be held Monday, January 6, 2020 at the Ephriam D. Stephens Funeral Home Chapel from 3:00 p.m - 6:00 p.m.
She was educated in the public schools of Lee County, South Carolina. She grew up in a Godly home. At an early age, she gave her life to Christ, which was not an option and became a lifelong member of Unionville A.M.E. Church of Mayesville, SC.
Mother Smalls married Hallie Smalls and from that union they had five boys and one girl. The lineage also includes twenty-three grandchildren, forty-five great grandchildren, and forty-four great great-grandchildren along with a host of other children reared and adopted from the neighborhood.
At a young age, she and her family moved to Washington, D.C. to pursue their dream. She was employed by Columbia Hospital for Women in Washington, D.C. She later returned to South Carolina to help her parents and siblings in Mayesville, SC, and was employed by the Tiller Family in Mayesville as a nanny and maid. In 1964 she became a widow and never remarried. She devoted her life to God, her parents and the service of others. Mack helped to raise her siblings including numerous other family members and non-family children that were entrusted to her care. After the passing of her father, she continued to care for her mother and moved to Sumter, SC, and was employed by the Compton Family as a maid and nanny. She remained in Sumter after the passing of her mother at the age of ninety-nine.
Mother Smalls never knew a stranger and had an open door to anyone in need of a hot meal, marital counseling, tough love or words of wisdom. Above all, she taught her children and anyone who would listen, to seek God first in all things and love unconditionally. She enjoyed cooking, singing and hot coffee. You could always find family, friends and loved ones, laughing, loving and sharing a meal at her home. This was how she showed her love.
Mother “Mack” had an amazing green thumb. She could grow anything. Her porch and home was always filled with flowers. She could take a twig, pamper it and watch it thrive. She was very sensitive to plants and tuned into them. Her gift for gardening became a small part of her world.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Florence and Spencer Bacote, two children, Hallie Smalls, Jr. and Spencer Bacote; four sisters, Sophie B. Johnson, Nettie B. Coakley, Rebecca B. McClain, Margaret B. Smalls and one brother, Holly Bacote.
Mother Smalls leaves to Cherish her memories one daughter, Juanita Moses of District Heights, Maryland; three sons, James (Shelia), Smalls, Jersey City, New Jersey, Murray L. Smalls, Sumter, South Carolina, Earl Smalls, West Palm Beach, Florida; children reared in the home, Belinda Smalls Scott, Tammy D. Bacote, Anthony C. Bacote, Sheneka Smalls-Trapp, Whitney B. Green and a host of adopted daughters, sons, relatives and friends.
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