Mary Redmond was born on May 15, 1942 in Bessemer, Alabama. She was one of seven children - including her twin sister Martha. Her father, Rev. Lee Arthur Shephard, Sr., was the founder and reverend of a church. Her mother, Bertha Shephard, was a homemaker and provided maid services to the surrounding communities. Mary’s family was hard working and God fearing. Growing up, she spent most of her time working around the house and helping to raise her three younger siblings.
When she was 18 years old, she and her sister Martha responded to a newspaper advertisement for a live-in ‘kitchen mechanic’ in the greater Boston area. They both got the job and soon found themselves on a bus from Alabama to Massachusetts.
Within six months of being in the Boston area, Mary met her future husband - Emory ‘Jack’ Redmond (deceased). Mary and Jack worked very hard - owning and operating up to 6 business at a time - and became extremely successful. At one point, Mary and Jack were considered one of the most affluent black families in Massachusetts. They had three children together - Daphne, Derek, and Dwayne. But Mary was far from materialistic, her children were the most important thing to her.
After several years of marriage, Mary and Jack divorced. While she had not worked outside of her husband’s businesses for several years, she was able to find several jobs to support her children - continuing to instill the values of hard work by example. All of her children would later go on to college because of what she instilled in them.
Mary wasn’t a woman of many words, but she had strong opinions. Mary exemplified the word ‘sacrifice’ - continuously giving of her time, wisdom, and love to everyone. Mary loved to play cards - especially Bid Whist. She also loved to cook and to travel to Atlantic City and Connecticut to go to casinos - slot machines were her favorite. She loved to watch soap operas and was a fan of Boston sports team. Most of all - Mary loved to spend time with her children, grandchildren, siblings, and friends. Family and friends mattered most to Mary.
Mary battled several illnesses over the past several years, but never complained - rather, she displayed an amazing amount of strength, grace, and dignity. And she continued to exude love.
Mary is survived by her three children Daphne Holloway of Smyrna, GA; Derek Redmond of Orlando, FL; and Dwayne Redmond of Plainsboro, NJ. Six grandchildren Keon, Talise, Akeila, Camille, Imari, and Dashalee, and five siblings Minnie Byrd of Birmingham, AL; Martha Harbour of Milton, MA; Lee Arthur Shephard, Jr. of Boston, MA; Gloria Jean Crawford of Birmingham, AL; and Roosevelt Shephard of Birmingham, AL, and several nieces, nephews, in-laws, and wonderful friends whom she loved with all of her heart.