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Welcome to the memorial page for

Rosie Lee Gray-Coburn-Washington

July 20, 1930 ~ December 12, 2017 (age 87)

Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. Proverbs 31: 10, 

Mother Rosie Lee Washington Rosie passed away on December 12, 2017 peacefully at her home in Benton Harbor, Michigan surrounded by her loved ones.

Rosie Lee Washington was born July 20, 1930 in Lonoke, Arkansa to the union of Fred and Clara Sheppard.  She accepted Christ as her personal savior at an early age. Rosie knew that Christianity did not exempt one from death, but that it ensured triumph over it. 

She was united in marriage to Rev. Coleman Kirk Gray on April 5, 1947 in Lonoke, Ark and from this union three children were born. 

Rosie was a founding member and beloved mother at St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church, presently under the leadership of Pastor Donald E Green Sr, over the years she served as a mother on the Mother’s Board Ministry, a member of the Willing worker ministry, the Helping Hands Ministry, and the Gospel Mass Choir.

Rosie worked at many jobs over her lifetime from operating the elevator at the Vincent Hotel in downtown Benton Harbor to domestic work in local homes, too a tailor at the men’s store in the Orchard Mall. However, she will be known by most as the woman who worked magic on her sewing machine in her home.  If you could dream it, she would make it or repair it.  It was always at a price you could afford.  Rosie passed away on December 12, 2017 peacefully at her home in Benton Harbor, Michigan surrounded by her loved ones.

She is survived by her daughters: Juanita Burton of Benton Harbor, MI Gloria (Rev Oscar) Elim of Milwaukee, WI and Neldine(John) Edwards of Stevensville, MI.  Her stepdaughters: Arnita(Danny) Dotson, Verdine(James) Smith, Linda Washington all of Benton Harbor, MI Josie Marie (Cornell) Tyson of Berrien Springs, MI Jean (Ronald) Lambert of Augusta, GA Sandra (Kevin) Eldridge of Fort Lauderdale, FL one Stepson: Sherman (Denita) Moye and two God-daughter: Cynthia Williams of Benton Harbor, MI and Celestine Murray of Grand Prairie TX, Two sisters:  Alice Hannah Saffold, Chicago IL and Freddie Jean Tyson Ingram of Grand Rapids, MI Six Grandchildren; Veronica Lynn (Alvin) Henderson, Kalamazoo, MI  Theresa Marie (Curtis Bolton) Burton of Waterviet, MI, Eric Arnel Elim of Milwaukee, WI Tonya Latrice (Christian) Stewart of Evanston, IL Dee Dra K. Morgan of Benton Harbor, MI and Mamie Marie Fields of Detroit, MI.

Thirteen great grandchildren and thirteen great-great grand children and hos of Nieces, Nephews, Cousins, and Friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents Fred and Clara Sheppard, three husbands, Pastor Coleman Kirk Gray (Founder of St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church), J.C. Coburn and Sylvester Washington, three brothers LD ,Curtis and Charles Sheppard and one great grandson, Xavier Coleman Stewart.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:  2 Timothy 4:7


 Service Information

December 15, 2017

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Robbins Brothers Funeral Home
204 S Fair Avenue
Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Funeral Service
December 16, 2017

11:00 AM
St Mark Missionary Baptist Church
802 Pavone Street
Benton Harbor, MI 49022

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