Mary Stancil Rhynes was born October 30, 1938 in Wewahootie, Florida to the late Johnnie Stancil & Julia Mae Stancil. She enjoyed her childhood in the Bradley-Pierce Community where she accepted Christ at First Baptist Church in Bradley and began her education at Pierce Elementary School. She continued her secondary education at JRE Lee Jr. High and Rochelle High School. Upon graduating at Rochelle in 1956, she pursued her career in education at Bethune Cookman College where she received her Bachelors Degree of Education in 1960 and joined the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. As a professional, she was employed in the fall of 1960 as one of the first teachers at Lincoln Avenue Elementary by the Polk County School System under Principal Marion Barnes. She wanted to be her best as a teacher; so she attended Rollins College and received her Master’s Degree while teaching. As an educator, she served the Polk County schools for over 33 years where she retired in 2000.

As a Christian, she continued to serve the Lord by joining Greater St. Paul MBI Church in Lakeland under the Pastorate of Rev. Dr. N.S. Sanders. She enjoyed singing as a member of the dynamic Choir, Deaconess and Sunday School Teacher at Greater S. Paul until her health failed. She was known for her angelic voice. She also continued her service to her local community as a member of the Omicron Kappa Omega, Alpha Kappa Alpha Chapter (Lakeland) where she participated in numerous scholarships for women, promoting and market historically black college attendance.

Mary loved the Lord, her family, her church family, arts & crafts, teaching children and her Sorors. She was blessed with a daughter, Sabrina Garvin on July of 1974, a wonderful husband, Lawrence C. Rhynes who she loved until his departure, on June 24, 2019. On May 29th, 2020, Mary received her greatest blessing; as she was called to her Heavenly home with Jesus.

She leaves to cherish a lifetime of memories her loving family; her children, Cedric (Shakira) Rhynes & Sabrina Garvin; two grandchildren, Quianna Solomon & Nicholas Rhynes; two sisters, Mamie Stancil Cox & Betty Stancil Bailey; one brother, John Stancil; an aunt, Minnie Robinson; sisters-in-law, Inez Forrest, Ruby Brown, & Della Young-Lewis; brother-in-law, Rev. Larry Herron; and a host of many nieces, nephews and cousins. She will be forever loved and missed by all who knew her.

Condolences may be sent to the family at Oldham Funeral Home.

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