Mary Esther Moore Mabe, 63, of Roanoke, went to be with the Lord on Monday, October 29, 2018.
She was a kind, tenderhearted Christian woman who is loved by many. She was born on April 13, 1955, at the Jefferson Hospital in Roanoke. Mary was the daughter of Rev. Alfred H. Moore and Lois Bayse Moore. She was raised with her six sisters and three brothers on Bent Mountain. She always loved the mountains and her cabin very much. Mary attended Patrick County and Cave Spring High Schools and received her General Education Diploma.
In addition to her parents, Mary was preceded in death by her older sister, Lois Juanita Moore Owens.
She is survived by three daughters, one son, six grandchildren and eight siblings. Her children are Angela Keene, Jennifer Mills, Michael Mabe and Rebekah Williams. Her children’s spouses were also dear family. They are John Keene, Joseph Mills, Kathryn Mabe and Thomas Williams. Her grandchildren are Ashlan Mabe, Graham Mabe, Mary Beth Mills, Bailey Keene, Jessica Keene and Olivia Williams. Each one was precious to her heart; she loved them so very much. She tremendously enjoyed spending time with her family.
Mary began her life of serving others by helping raise her younger siblings. She continued living a life of service in her marriage to Byron Mabe and raising their four children according to God’s Word. Mary served in the church in many capacities, including directing children’s programs at church, cooking church meals, serving at CYC summer camps where her children attended and more.
Mary became a single mother when her children were very young and she supported her family by babysitting other children until her own were in school. She then began working for Kroger, and years later at the Veterans Hospital in dietetics. For over 15 years, Mary worked two jobs to give financial security while still giving her time, love and efforts to her children and family. She always made delicious home cooked meals, held devotions every night with her children, made sure her family went to church and helped them memorize Bible verses to lead them into eternal security. She loved going to church, cooking, canning, crocheting, gardening, gospel bluegrass music, being in the mountains and spending time with family.
When Mary’s mother developed ovarian cancer, she was there to drive her to appointments, the grocery store and trips to Bent Mountain for produce. After her mother’s passing, Mary stayed with and cared for her father who developed dementia and failing health. Even when the time came for him to be in a memory care facility, she would go to see him after work where she had supper and devotions ready for him.
For 32 years she worked at Kroger as a cashier. She believed that caring for each customer was her ministry. She cared for each customer who came through her line and developed lifelong friendships with co-workers and customers.
Since August 29, 2017, she bravely fought pancreatic cancer, claiming Psalms 103:1-3 as her verses. Beating the odds, Mary lived over one year after her diagnosis, but eventually developed kidney problems. Jesus said in Matthew 19:30, “But many that are first shall be last, and the last shall be first.” Mary made a lifetime of putting others in front of herself and putting herself last. Perhaps the LORD is taking her now so that she, who put herself last, is receiving the reward of Heaven first. Psalms 116:15 says, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.”
A period of visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, November 1, at the John M. Oakey & Son Funeral Home in Salem. The funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. on Friday, November 2, at Calvary Baptist Church in Salem with Pastor Roger Counts officiating. Interment will immediately follow at Fairview Cemetery in Roanoke.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.johnmoakey.com.