Mary Ellen Baskett was born March 21, 1934, the third child of Thomas and Lucy Brown, in Warrenton, North Carolina. Although her given name was Mary Ellen, she preferred to be called Marie. When Marie was a young teen, the family moved to Belleville, New Jersey. There she attended high school and later in life obtained her GED as an adult. While growing up in New Jersey, her parents often helped others who migrated from the South to the North by giving them a place to live until they could get on their feet. One of those individuals was Reuben V. Baskett, who later became Marie’s husband. Reuben and Marie married on February 9, 1952, and lived and loved together for 60-plus years until his passing on December 31, 2013. To that union were born three children – Michael, Deborah and Marie.
Marie was a faithful member of Union Baptist Church, Bloomfield, New Jersey, for many years, singing in the choir and serving as the church secretary. One of her favorite songs she sang as a solo was “How Great Thou Art”. Upon moving to Missouri in 1999, she became a member of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, St. Charles, Missouri.
Marie’s favorite pastime was watching the game show, Family Feud, hosted by Steve Harvey, and she would watch it 24/7. She was also a sports fan of the three B’s - baseball, basketball and bowling. And last but not least, no matter where she went, she had in hand a pen and a word search book.
Marie worked at Hyatt Roller Bearings (a division of General Motors) for most of her career. The family lived in East Orange, New Jersey, until both Reuben and Marie retired and moved to Florissant, Missouri. A few years following the passing of her husband, Marie moved in with her daughter, Deborah (Baskett) Canada, and granddaughter, Monique Canada, in St. Peters, Missouri, where she resided until her passing.
Marie battled for a number of years with chronic pain from arthritis but whenever asked how she was doing, she would say she’s in pain, but “I’m looking forward to the day when there will be no more pain, when this mortal will put on immortality, and we will have new bodies.” Throughout her various hospital and rehab admissions, Marie would always ask her daughter, Deborah, “When am I going home?” and during her last hospital visit, she again uttered those words that she wanted to go home. We weren’t sure if she meant 506 Liberty Crossing or if she was speaking of her heavenly home. We somehow think she meant her heavenly one. Her struggle with pain ended on Sunday, August 4, 2019. When she next opens her eyes, it will be to the sight of her loving Savior welcoming her to her heavenly HOME!
Preceding Marie in death were her parents, Lucy and Thomas Brown, her husband, Reuben V. Baskett, sister, Patty Green, and brother, Columbus Brown. She leaves to mourn her passing: children, Michael (Sadie) Baskett (of Lilburn, GA), Deborah Canada (of St. Peters, MO), and Marie Birthwright (of Douglasville, GA); grandchildren, Kelli (Adam) Tucker (of Cumming, GA), Monique Canada (of St. Peters, MO), and Sean Birthwright (of East Orange, NJ); great-grandchildren, Luca Tucker (of Cumming, GA) and Isaiah McCombs (of Woodbridge, VA); and godgrandchild, Tanyia Murray (of St. Louis, MO); many nieces, nephews and cousins; and a host of other family, extended family, church family and friends.