Mary Gentry Dameron

Mary (Gentry) Dameron, 103, of Springfield, died at 1:59 p.m. on Monday, June 20, 2022, at her home.

Mary was born August 6, 1918, in Williamson County, TN, the daughter of James and Robbie Buford Gentry.  She married John G. Dameron in 1952 in Baltimore, MD; he preceded her in death on April 27, 1988.

Mary’s formative years were spent in Nashville, TN where she attended Carter Lawrence School, Pearl High School, and in 1939 graduated from the then Tennessee A&I College, now called Tennessee State University where she was at the time of her death the oldest surviving alumni.  Referred to as “Gentry”, she majored in Secretarial Commerce.  Mary had a rich life and was influenced by a church tradition formed at Kayne Avenue M.B.C. in Nashville.  

After graduation, she worked at Sparta A&I College in Hancock County GA and in Washington, DC at the start of WWII working with soldier records.  After the war, Mary worked for seven years as one of the administrative secretaries to the President of Spelman College in Atlanta. GA.  She served in the library at Frederick Douglass High School and later rotated through several grade schools as the head librarian, all in Baltimore.  

Her rather quiet yet gentile upbringing made it easy for new people to gravitate toward her and she loved to tell stories about her many life experiences, making new friends and old friends feel right at home.  She would reflect on the life experiences of family members especially her great-grandmother who was a slave and lived until Mary was ten years old.  Mary had a passion for learning, helping children, reading, doll collecting, traveling, history, geography, old westerns, and spending time with her family and many friends.  She was involved for many years at the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in Baltimore and in later years attended Springfield Bible Church.

She was also preceded in death by her parents; son, John Dameron; sisters, Robbie and Dorthey Smith; nieces Daphne and Dorthey Lynn; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Mary is survived by her son, Harold Dameron of Springfield; grandchildren, James Dameron of Baltimore, MD and Jonathan Dameron of Leesburg, FL; great-granddaughter, Zaire Dameron of Baltimore, MD; niece and nephew, Kysa Smith Estes and Tommy Smith, both of Nashville, TN; and numerous other relatives and friends.

Visitation and Funeral Ceremony: Family will receive friends from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, at Kayne Ave. Missionary Baptist Church, 1025 12th Ave. South, Nashville, TN.  A funeral ceremony will follow at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Harmon Stockdale officiating.

Burial will be held at Greenwood Cemetery in Nashville, TN at 1:00 p.m. following the service.

 

Memorial contributions may be made to the United Federation of Dolls, Inc., 10900 N. Pomona Ave., Kansas City, MO 64153, or Alzheimer’s Association Processing Center, P.O. Box 96011, Washington DC 20090-6011.

 

The family is being served by Boardman-Smith Funeral Home, 800 S. Grand Ave. W., Springfield, IL. and Lewis & Wright Funeral Directors, 2500 Clarksville Pike, Nashville, TN.