Mary Belle Hood was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on July 19, 1933. She was the seventh child of thirteen born to the late Cary Hood Sr. and Robertha James Hood.
Mary was the first African American female cheerleader in Mansfield, Ohio. Mary Belle Hood, married Lincoln Adkison in 1958 and became Mary Belle Adkison.
Mary was a dedicated supervisor with the State of Ohio Dayton Mental Health Center working with adolescents. Mary was always willing to help others and pick up additional shifts after working her primary shift. During the summer months when her grandchildren stayed with her, sometimes she would drive all the way home, make sure they had dinner prepared and then go back to 2nd shift. Mary was a light to everyone she worked with and encountered. She had a good working relationship with her team. She enjoyed working with her team so much she would spend endless hours speaking to them on the phone when they called. She offered them advice and laughed hysterically throughout the conversation as a sign of enjoyment.
After 30 years of service, Mary retired as a supervisor from the State of Ohio Dayton Mental Health Center.
Mary had two children and five grandchildren. Her children and grandchildren were her heartbeat. They meant everything to her. She would always open her home when either of them needed assistance. Her comforting voice, advice, and words of wisdom always emitted positivity that allowed them to get back on their feet and not quit during life’s trials and tribulations. She instilled in her grandchildren that they were destined for greatness and they could do anything they put their mind to do with God as their focal point. She consistently supported her grandchildren with any milestone they achieved with attending graduations, weddings, taking them to birthday dinners at Red Lobster, or rewarding them with Cabbage Patch Kids, Guess designer jeans, or GI Joes while standing in the long chaotic Christmas lines, just to surprise them on Christmas day with the one gift they really wanted.
Mary was born in the Christian faith and attended Mitchell Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Mansfield, Ohio and gave her life to Christ at an early age. Mary relocated to Dayton, Ohio and joined Wayman A.M. E. Church in 1964. She served as a stewardess for several years earning the title of Emeritus. She consistently served, assisting God’s children who wanted to accept the Invitation to Christian Discipleship. She served until her health prevented her from standing for long periods of time. She was also a member of the Missionary Society, Nurse’s Guild, the Altar Guild, and the OWLS.
Mary was sociable, outgoing, loved to dress up in her mink coat & fashionable hats, cook, go to Red Lobster, the Marriott for breakfast, enjoyed watching sports, spending time with her grandchildren, and watch her favorite television shows.
After retiring and venturing out to her west coast trip, she caught up on sports, more cooking, and soap operas. Her favorite professional team was the Pittsburg Steelers, but her preference was college sports. When going over her house and as you stood on the front porch to ring the doorbell, you could hear the television blasting with a sports game and could smell the aroma of greens cooking. She even started participating in a football pool. Mary was an excellent chef and enjoyed teaching her children and grandchildren the many tricks to perfecting any meal.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents; one sister and nine brothers. She leaves to mourn her two daughters Gretchen Moore and Karen Dunson (Walter), a sister Dorothy Boyd and a brother Carey Hood both of Mansfield, Ohio; five grandchildren Karrie Grigsby Sanford (Rashad), Dr. Shari L. Grigsby-Young (Patrick), JD Grigsby III, George Shipley III (Vardhini), Bomani Dunson; nine great-grandchildren Journey, Jae’ Damion, and Trinity Grigsby, Elijah Alexander, Paige Young, Aiden Shipley, George Leslie Shipley IV, Hollie and Emory Sanford. She also leaves a host of nieces, nephews, friends, and Honorary Grandchildren Romunn and Brittany Grigsby, who remained close to Mary until her new beginning with the Lord.
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