Mary Lee Cruz was born July 24, 1940, in Sumter, SC, to late Otis Williams and late Minnie Mae Capers-McClean. Later, Minniemarried Matthew McClean and moved to Fuquay Varina, NC. Mary and her late sister, Catherine Williams, graduated from Fuquay Consolidated School in 1958, where Mary was the first marching band Majorette. In 1959 Mary left Fuquay Varina, NC, to live in East Orange, NJ, where she worked in various industrial and corporate companies. In August 1970, Mary married WalmirColixto Cruz from Sau Paulo, Brazil, and settled into their home in NJ. From that union were born two children, Angel Maria Cruz and Calicia Carlita Cruz.
After divorcing and as a single Mother, Mary earned several certifications and flourished in her corporate career while simultaneously starting various businesses, including but not limited to designing & selling handmade fur hats and scarves and sellingdinners, pies, and cakes. In addition to being a community and education activist, Mary enjoyed singing, drawing, writing poetry, short stories, and reciting the James Weldon Johnson poem “The Creation”.
Giving her life to Christ at an early age, she raised her daughters to value and develop a relationship with God. As an active member of First Baptist Church in Vauxhall, NJ, Mary shared the word of God and fed the hungry anywhere from the bus stop to her kitchen table. Extending Gods love, she loved all children as if they were her own, like Vaughn TonyEl, Tamara Phillips, Tonia Ennis, Michael Harris, recently Kathy Reeves-Horne, and many others.
Later, Mary retired from Met Life Insurance, Company as a bookkeeper and then retired from the Essex County Municipal Courthouse in Newark, NJ, as a Court Recorder. In 2018 Mary moved to Monroe Township, NJ, and became a member of First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, NJ.
Mary leaves behind her daughter Angel Maria Cruz, grandson Jaylen A’Mare Lee, granddaughter Maya J’Nai Lee; daughter Calicia Carlita Cruz, grandson Kiwuani Richard Williams; sister Linda S. Davis (Michael Davis), nephew Antonio Slade; brother Dennis R. McClean (Hesuck McClean), niece Tiffany McMichael(Khana McMichael); from her late sister Catherine Williams she leaves her niece Hope Renee Capers; from her late sister Esther Faye Evans (William Evans) she leaves her nephew William Dean Evans (Karrie Evans), her niece Sonya LaPrade; from her late sister Fern Renee Bennett (William Bennett) she leaves her nephew Ahmad Bennett (Spring Bennett), her nephew Justin Bennett, and a host of great nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
To send flowers
to the family or plant a tree
in memory of Mary Lee Cruz, please visit our floral store.