Mae Brown Stokes Newbern, 103, died November 5, 2014 after a period of declining health. She was born in Miller County, Georgia May 3, 1911, a middle child of William Thomas Brown and Buecilla Wells Brown. She married Collie Milton Stokes at age 17 and moved to Auburndale, Florida where their beloved daughter, Jeanene, was born. She packed fruit at Adam’s Packing House until 1947 and at that time she attended beauty school. She then served the community as owner of Artistic Beauty Shop where she worked until her retirement in 1981. For older clients who could no longer drive, she would ferry them to her shop. In 1981 she married John Newbern and they lived together happily until his death in 1989. Due to declining health she moved to Morningside of Raleigh, NC in 2009 where she lived until her death.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husbands, a step-daughter, Virginia Dean, three sisters and two brothers. Survivors include her daughter, Jeanene Spencer (Bruce) of Raleigh. NC; a step-daughter, Pat Ross of Ft. Meyers, FL; grandchildren, Dione Andrews (Chris); and Keith Spencer (Mary Ruth); great grandchildren, Adam and Phillip Spencer, Katie Andrews; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Mae was a fiercely independent woman who largely made her own way in life. She was known for her friendliness and cheerful smile – even under hospice care. She was an active member of Auburndale First Baptist Church, The Order of Eastern Star, and the Senior Citizens Breakfast Club. She often said that she had only two jobs in her life and she thoroughly enjoyed both of them; packing fruit and dressing hair. She deeply loved her church, family, work, friends; her house lived in for 70 years, and the city of Auburndale. Her talents were many and included Southern cooking, sewing and she was a master of crochet; making dollies, table cloths, and bed spreads, etc. She especially enjoyed working in her yard and in her 90’s could be seen pulling weeds there. She also experienced travel in the USA and overseas often with her daughter who worked for Eastern Airlines.
The family wishes to thank friend, Lois Bullard, who lived with Mae in the 1950’s when she taught school in Auburndale, and visited her at Morningside in her declining health. Thanks to the employees of Morningside especially Wanda and Sonja. Thanks also to Liberty Hospice especially Stacy.
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A graveside service will be held 2:00pm, Friday, November 14, 2014 at Bellview Freewill Baptist Church in the Jones-Babcock community near Colquitt, GA.