Mary Margaret Smith, who had a doctorate in education, spent countless hours trying to help the 1867 Settlement African-American Historic Preservation Committee organize many events. She was dedicated to its growth, until her health failed.

Smith was a proud Lincoln High School alumnus and was always willing to give back. In her professional life, “Mary,” as we affectionately called her, held various degrees (including one in psychiatric nursing that she utilized quite often), and she was vice chancellor at Wayne County Community College in Michigan.

Upon her retirement, Smith returned to the Texas City area with a renewed commitment to “just pass it on,” which was one of her favorite sayings. With that philosophy, she hit the ground running in our community. She was an executive board member of the African-American Historic Preservation Committee. She served as chair of the black history committee and secretary with the Galveston County Historical Commission, which helped make our organization possible, and also on the Texas City Recreation and Tourism board, to name a few.

Smith dedicated her golden years to serving others. She also played mentor and mother figure to my sister, Ridawna, and me. Mary told lots of stories and jokes and always delivered on the punchline, sometimes with just a funny expression. She taught us how to be leaders, compassionate and strong, and showed us a great measure of her wonderful love. For that, I can never repay her.

Mary Margaret Smith died Feb. 3. Her departure has left a great void in this world and definitely in my heart and others. Our hearts are broken for the irreplaceable jewel that we have lost. She will truly be missed. Fly high sweet angel, rest well. We love you.

Charlesa Bell Gary is president of the 1867 Settlement African-American Historic Preservation Committee.


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(1) comment

Dedrick Johnson

Dr. Mary Smith was truly an earth angel. Our paths crossed a few years ago as she joined our Juneteenth Celebration Committee in the City of Texas City. She brought a quiet strength to the table and was always pleasant to be around. I thank God for the opportunity to work with her and share the little time we had together. She will DEFINITELY be missed but NEVER forgotten. Thank you for this tribute!

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