Mary Elizabeth Pate “Mary Lib” went to be with her Lord on February 6, 2023 at the Addison of Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina with family at her bedside. She was preceded in death by her husband of 41 years, Joseph Dudley Pate, Jr., her son David Marshall Pate and her brother, Charles Cragin Lynn. She is survived by her children; Stephen Dudley Pate of Melbourne, Florida, Laura Lynn Smith(Kurt) of Lillington, North Carolina and Mary Margaret Trofholz(Fred) of Papillion, Nebraska, and five grandchildren; Cameron, Alyson and Anna Trofholz and Haley and Hayden Smith. She was born September 3, 1928 in Washington, D.C. to Marshall H. and Leonora G. Lynn. She was a graduate of National Cathedral School, Randolph-Macon Women’s College and University of Nebraska Omaha.
She will be remembered as an intelligent, hardworking wife and mother with a passion for the less fortunate, especially the homeless and imprisoned. She raised her family in Melbourne Beach, Florida, followed her husband’s job to East Africa, Omaha, Nebraska and then back to her childhood home of Washington, DC, where she cared for her elderly parents and worked for Catholic Charities and the DC prison system as an advocate. She was an active member of the Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Indialantic, Florida and the Church of the Pilgrims in Washington, DC. Her volunteer efforts are too numerous to mention; she believed that if you were breathing, you should be serving. And sometimes, you just had to wade into the water with her. On a cold night in DC in the early 1990s, she volunteered her family to deliver bag lunches to the homeless. It turned out to be much more efficient to drive onto the grass at the Mall rather than try to cover the ground on foot. We all figured it was better to ask the police for forgiveness rather than permission. She screamed at us for doing it, but laughed hysterically as we drove up on the curb and over the grass. She was ok with daring as long as it was for a good cause.
In her 90s, as her health declined, she relocated first to Melbourne, Florida and then to North Carolina. A memorial service will be held at the Church of the Pilgrims , 2201 P St. N.W., Washington, D.C. at 11:00 Saturday, March 18, with interment to follow at Oak Hill Cemetery. Memorial gifts in her name may be made to the Church of the Pilgrims, Washington, D.C.; Bread for the World, a national nonprofit feeding the hungry or Genesis House, Inc, a local non-profit in Melbourne, Florida, sheltering pregnant women in need.
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