Mary Etta (Gary) Hart PetersonJuly 4, 1934 ~ January 20, 2017 (age 82)
Reflections of a Beautiful Life
On July 4, 1934, a vivacious spirit, Mary Etta Gary was born in Edenborn, Pennsylvania to Solomon and Ethel Powell Gary. She was one of eight children.
Mary Etta began her education at the Edenborn grade school, grades one through eight. As a child she was baptized at Antioch Baptist Church, Edenborn, and was an active participant in Sunday School, BTU training and the Junior Choir. Mary Etta was extremely talented and creative and loved to sew. She would often take her mother’s discarded dresses to make clothes for her doll babies.
Mary Etta went on to attend and graduate from German Township High School in McClellandtown, Pennsylvania. After high school, she attended Indiana State Teachers College in Indiana, Pennsylvania and graduated with a degree in Home Economics in 1956. Mary Etta moved to Washington D. C. and began working and later continued her education, earning a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Trinity College.
She was united in marriage to Eugene F. Brewer. From that union Mary Etta was blessed with two beautiful daughters, Beverly and Sharon. As a young wife and mother, she started her government career as a manager of one of the GSA cafeterias. Mary Etta later found her true calling as an educator in the District of Columbia Public School system where she retired after 38 years of service. Helping shape the lives and futures of many young people, she taught home economics, special education, floral design, and entrepreneurship.
Mary Etta’s world changed again when her heart lead her to marry James O. Hart. She relocated her family to Forestville, MD.
Mary Etta was a dynamic diva who enjoyed sewing, millinery, real estate, cake decorating, ceramics, wedding/event planning, and etiquette training, all the while being FABULOUS!!!!! Mary Etta also had a green thumb and was extremely proud of her orchids.
Family and friends were Mary Etta’s passion and delight. She was extremely proud of her grandchildren and enjoyed spending time with them. She also enjoyed spending time and traveling with her sisters also known as the “Golden Girls” and/or“Three Musketeers”
After a brief courtship, on September 27, 2003, she was united in Holy Matrimony to Arthur Leon Peterson, who preceded her in death. Known to Pete as his “Sugga,” they enjoyed thirteen years of true love and marital bliss.
Over the course of her life living in the Washington Metropolitan area, she served as an active faithful member at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, First Baptist Church of District Heights, Mount Ephraim Baptist Church and Providence Saint John Baptist Church.
On January 20, 2017 Mary Etta made her final transition. She leaves to cherish her memories her daughters, Beverly (Gerald) Bellony, and Sharon (John) Sweatt; grandchildren, Lauren (Montae) Reed; Jaron and Jordan Sweatt; siblings, Ernestine Johnson, James (Beverly) Gary, Robert (Joyce) Gary, and Arlene Creek; stepsons, Michael (Patricia) Peterson and David (Cheryl) Peterson; several nieces, nephews, and a host of other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Arthur Peterson; sister, Anna Gary; brothers, Solomon Gary, Jr. and Gothel Gary; and parents, Solomon and Ethel Gary.