Mary Elizabeth Williams Crenshaw, 85, was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee on September 4, 1927. She died peacefully in her sleep on January 30, 2013.
She was a 1945 graduate of Howard High School. She attended Spellman College and graduated from TSU. Before leaving Chattanooga, she had made a distinction of being the first Afro-American at the Family Service Agency. She received advanced degrees from Wayne State University. After a stellar career at positions in Detroit, Michigan which included Executive director of the YWCA, being a psychiatric social worker for the county hospital and lastly, social worker and liaison at the Detroit School for the Deaf from which she retired. Throughout her life she was dedicated to serving and encouraging others.
Mary was committed to and very active in her church, the Church of the Holy City, Detroit, Mi., and the National Church Organization. She was an active member of the TSU Alumni Association. She was also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Harry and Mabel Williams; paternal and maternal grandparents; brother, Nathaniel; ex-husband, Seth Crenshaw; step-father, Forest Mathis; cousins, Wilbur and Charles Scruggs.
She is survived by her daughters, Renee and Terrie; grandsons, Nelson and Clark Koskela; aunt, Mabel Scruggs and family; cousins, Evalyn Young and family, Merrilyn, Marshall, Michael Mangrum; a host of devoted friends.
Funeral services will be on Thursday, Feb. 7, at 11 a.m. at John P. Franklin Funeral Home with Reverend Roland Scruggs officiating. Interment will be in Forest Hills Cemetery.
The body will lie in state after noon on Wednesday, Feb. 6, and the family will receive friends from 6–7 p.m. at John P. Franklin Funeral Home, 1101 Dodds Ave., 622-9995.