“Mama” Mary Eva Edwards Coward 

Mrs. “Mama” Mary Eva Edwards Coward, age 75, entered her Heavenly Home on Friday, November 4, 2022 at 1:55 p.m. while at the McLeod Hospice House surrounded by her five sons.

A Celebration of Life service was held Saturday, November 12, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at Emmanuel Baptist Church, Hartsville, SC. Rev. Paul A. Coward, Jr. and Rev. Chris Alderman officiated. Burial service – 3:00 p.m. Evergreen Cemetery,Sumter, SC. Visitation – November 11 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Norton Funeral Home, Hartsville, SC.

“Mama” Mary Eva Edwards Coward entered this world November 13, 1946, Kinston, NC. She lived in Kinston before moving to Sumter, SC where she graduated from Edmunds High School (now Sumter High), and later earned a cosmetology certificate. She met the love of her life, Paul Alderman Coward, while in junior high, and both attended Grace Baptist Church. They were high school sweethearts, and finally married on June 4, 1966 where they remained faithful to one another for nearly 50 years.

God blessed Mama Mary with five sons. She loved her family very much, making many sacrifices because she deeply cared for her them. As a lifelong homemaker, she loved to cook for all her hungry men along with all of the other household chores.

Mama Mary worked for the Darlington County Voter Registration for over 20 years. She volunteered at Emmanuel Christian School, and worked as a deaf interpreter for Caring Hearts Pediatrics founded by her husband.

Her life reflected her “life verse,” Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”  Mama Mary loved Jesus with all her heart. She loved children, and the Jewish people, and even traveled to the Holy Land.

Mama Mary was a fully-surrendered servant of the Lord as she faithfully ministered for the Lord at her church, Emmanuel Baptist, in many ways: children’s ministry, senior adult ministry, Christmas plays – she was a “Drama Queen” – the deaf ministry, the Darlington Raceway Ministry, Judgment House, and even went on a mission trip to Zambia.

Mama Mary lived a full and abundant life for her Savior and Lord. She was preceded in death by her father, John William Edwards, her mother, Mary Louise Arber, her husband, Paul Alderman Coward, and her grandson, Paul Alderman Coward, III. She is survived by her stepfather, Donald James Arber, her brother, Jimmy Arber, her five sons: Paul, Jr. (Anna), Darlington, SC, Danny (Patricia), Winston-Salem, NC, Tommy (Angela), Columbia, SC, Philip (Mayelin), Miami Lakes, FL, and Jacob (Xochitl), Hartsville, SC. Mama Mary is also survived by 19 grandchildren and one great grandchild – all of whom she loved with all her heart.

Author: Stephan Drew

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