FLORENCE - It is with sad hearts that we announce the death of Marie D. Davids, of Florence, who died on June 11, 2018.

In the celebration of Marie's life, she was blessed to marry the love of her life, Walter "Wally" I. Davids Jr. Marie and Wally raised five children - sons, Darryl Davids (Beth) of Florence, Wally Davids (Judy) of Mars Hill, North Carolina and Bobby Davids (Tammie) of Bluffton; and daughters, Cheryl Mackey (Scott) of Columbia and Sheila Griffin of Sumter. Marie and Wally also raised 12 other children throughout their marriage: "Our kids kept bringing their friends to our home, children who had nowhere else to go; we never turned one away." The list included Sandy, Patty, Bunny, Jim, Barb, Don, Gail, Freddy, Carol, Paul, Pat and Sharon. "And we loved each of them."

Marie had 21 grandchildren, Tiffany, Mary Elizabeth, Sarah, Troy, Jennie, Stephanie, Nathan, Nicole, Alivia, Abby Lou, Casey, Addie, Craig, Paige, Chelsea, Chase, Taylor, Breanna, Kristin, James and Thomas; and 11 great-grandchildren, Savannah, Cole, Chandler, Tyler, Ainsley, Tagan, Chase, Kensley, Noelle, Sawyer and Porter, and they all called her "Meme."

Marie was born on Dec. 15, 1924, in Corbin, Kentucky. Her parents were the late Rev. Oscar and Addie Davis of Cookeville, Tennessee. She had eight brothers and sisters, all have passed. Marie was the oldest girl and held the dubious honor of giving her parents their first grandchild and, many years later, their final grandchild. The total number of grandchildren from the Rev. Davis' children numbered 19.

Marie and Wally lived in several states during their marriage but settled in Sumter in 1967 and called it home. For many years, Marie was the office manager for Eastern Brick and Tile in Sumter (later called Richtex). After Richtex closed, Marie moved to Lexington, where she worked as executive secretary for the Lexington Baptist Association, retiring after 15 years of dedicated service to the 64 churches they served. After retiring, Marie settled in Manning.

After the death of her beloved husband, Wally, in 1974, Marie gave her full attention to raising her children and grandchildren. At one point, as a single mom, she had three boys in college. Marie was also focused on dedicated work to the Christian church. She was a member for many years at First Baptist Church, Sumter; the first service of what is now known as Wise Drive Baptist Church was held in the living room of her home on Church Street in Sumter; and for 13 years she was an active member at Wedgefield Baptist, where her son, Darryl, served as pastor. Marie was mission-minded. She organized and attended several mission trips outside the U.S. during her adult years and found it of utmost importance to give financial support to mission work, foreign and domestic, and to the Southern Baptist retired ministers' fund called Mission Dignity. Often local churches would call on her for assistance and guidance for mission projects, VBS and pastor search committees. Finally, in her later years and as her health allowed, Marie was an active member of the Sunshine Girls at Wedgefield Baptist, where she touched many dear souls. At the time of her death, she was a member of First Baptist Church in Manning.

Marie took care of herself for all of her life (this picture was taken at the tender age of 83), and she will long be remembered as a loving mother who lived her faith. Her motto was: "No matter where you are planted, do your best and bloom!" Marie was a wonderful inspiration to her family and friends and each will miss her dearly.

Visitation with the family will be one hour prior to the memorial service.

The memorial service will be at 3 p.m. on Thursday in the chapel of Elmore-Cannon-Stephens Funeral Home in Sumter with burial at Evergreen Memorial Park cemetery in Sumter next to her husband, Wally. There will be a private viewing only.

Marie's favorite color was pink. To help celebrate her life, if attending the memorial service wear something pink in her honor.

Pallbearers are Elijah Ramsey, Danny Holmes, Don Treaster, Steve Buckner, Trevor Ivey and Willie Ramsey.

The Rev. Darryl Davids will officiate. Lindsey and Karen Washington will provide special music.

In lieu of flowers, memorials should be made to First Baptist Church, 49 W. Boyce St., Manning, SC 29102.

Elmore-Cannon-Stephens Funeral Home and Crematorium of Sumter is in charge of the arrangements.