On January 6, 2020, surrounded by her family, Mary Grace Whitten Bozeman passed away after having waged a courageous battle against ovarian cancer for eighteen months. Her life was remarkable not for deeds, which were many, but for the way she loved and was loved. Her …read more
On January 6, 2020, surrounded by her family, Mary Grace Whitten Bozeman passed away after having waged a courageous battle against ovarian cancer for eighteen months. Her life was remarkable not for deeds, which were many, but for the way she loved and was loved. Her life was a reflection of God’s love.
Mary Grace was born on February 5, 1959, to R.C. and Dorothy Dillon Whitten in Monroe, Louisiana. Mary Grace was named for her grandmothers, Mary Elizabeth (Mae) McKoin Dillon of Jones, Louisiana and Gracie Dunn Whitten of Grayson, Louisiana, both whom she dearly loved. While her name was a unique connection to her heritage, it also described her nature which was ever gracious.
During her illness, Mary Grace exhibited amazing courage and resilience in the face of an incurable disease. From the day of her diagnosis until her passing, she enjoyed an internal peace that surpasses the world’s understanding. Her faith in Christ never wavered despite undergoing numerous surgeries, experimental treatment, and countless rounds of chemotherapy. Though cancer claimed Mary Grace’s physical body, it never touched her spirit which remained undaunted.
Mary Grace was blessed to have been born into a loving and supportive family. From an early age, she was independent and strong-willed. These qualities served her well throughout her life, but for those who knew her, she would best be described as loving, caring, and kind. Her childhood and youth were filled with accomplishments in every endeavor she pursued. From academic honors, to winning awards in 4-H for sewing, cooking, and even showing livestock, to being a drum majorette for the Neville High School Band, Mary Grace achieved excellence in all aspects of her life. The role, however, she enjoyed most in her growing years and which she continued to embrace until she entered Heaven was being a big sister to her beloved siblings Connie Whitten Chelette and Conrad Whitten.
Mary Grace was an honor graduate of Neville High School. She received her bachelor’s degree from Northeast Louisiana University (now University of Louisiana at Monroe), and her master’s degree in social work from Louisiana State University.
For over thirty years, Mary Grace worked as a licensed clinical social worker. Her career began at E.A. Conway Hospital in Monroe, continued on at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas, and with the Franklin Parish School System. Lastly, for almost twenty-five years she worked as an independent medical social worker for home health agencies in North Louisiana. Mary Grace’s devotion to her work was best exemplified by routinely caring for patients in between her receiving rounds of chemotherapy. The joy she experienced from helping others during her cancer battle was often the most effective treatment she received. Countless lives were positively impacted by Mary Grace’s skillful and compassionate care.
Mary Grace’s professional success was secondary to her commitment to her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and her family. For thirty-nine years, Mary Grace and her husband Bob, whom she lovingly called Robert J., enjoyed a life together filled with love and was marked by a lasting devotion to one another. Mary Grace captivated Bob’s heart with her external and internal beauty which was never diminished. As Bob acknowledges, he overachieved in having Mary Grace as his wife. Of their marriage, two precious daughters were born: Heather Katherine Bozeman Lensing of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Molly Louise Bozeman of Greenville, South Carolina. They were her joy. She thanked God every day for them, loved them unconditionally, and was pleased beyond measure to see them become women who are wholly devoted to Christ. Words are inadequate to describe the depth of love and admiration Bob, Heather, and Molly have for their Mary Grace. Mary Grace’s spirit will live with each of them for eternity.
Mary Grace’s involvement within her church, North Monroe Baptist Church (NMBC), and participation in other charitable and social organizations was extensive. She was actively involved in NMBC’s Women’s Ministry. She served on numerous committees at NMBC, taught Sunday School, served as a Life Group leader, and participated in mission trips to Ukraine. Beyond NMBC, she was a participant in Bible Study Fellowship and the Northeast Louisiana Cancer Prayer Support Group. Mary Grace served for many years as a mentor at Jack Hayes Elementary School in Monroe as part of the Kids Hope USA initiative and she was actively engaged in the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home ministry. She was a member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood, the Junior League of Monroe, and the Monroe Garden Club. She was a supporter of MedCamps of Louisiana, an honorary alum of Baylor University, co-founder of the Baylor Parents League of Northeast Louisiana, and a Kappa Delta Sorority (Delta Zeta Chapter) alum.
Mary Grace was preceded in death by her parents and by Bob’s parents, Charlie and Katherine Bozeman. She leaves her husband, Bob, her daughter Heather Bozeman Lensing (John), daughter Molly Bozeman, her sister Connie Chelette (Benny), her brother Conrad Whitten, her niece Morgan Chelette Bristo (Braden), her uncle Jimmy Dillon, cousins Harold Blue (Jean), Steve Dillon (Catherine), Melanie Dillon Long (Lenny), Melinda Dillon Gorman (Cecil), her sister-in-law, Caroline Bozeman Phillips, her nephews Brad Phillips (Audrey) and Chad Phillips, numerous other cousins, and many friends.
A celebration of Mary Grace’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, January 10, 2020, at North Monroe Baptist Church with Dr. Bill Dye and Rev. Terry Hughes officiating. Burial will follow at Kilpatrick’s Serenity Gardens Cemetery in West Monroe. Visitation will be held Thursday, January 9, 2020, from 5 to 7 p.m. at North Monroe Baptist Church. Honoring Mary Grace as pallbearers will be members of her NMBC Life Group Class. Honorary pallbearers are Conrad Whitten, Benny Chelette, John Lensing, Taylor Goodwin, Harold Blue, Steve Dillon, Lenny Long, John Long, Brad Phillips, Chad Phillips, Dr. Tom Gullatt, Steve Gullatt, Mike Breard, and Cam Smith.
Thanks are extended to Drs. Kerry Anders, Scott Barron, Tom Gullatt, and P. Gary Jones for the guidance and care they provided our beloved Mary Grace during her cancer battle. Special thanks go to the nurses and staff at Monroe Surgical Hospital for the care they provided during the days preceding Mary Grace’s entry into Heaven.
Memorial donations may be made to North Monroe Baptist Church’s Benevolence Fund, Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home, or MedCamps of Louisiana.hide
Date: Thursday, January 9, 2020
Time: 05:00 pm - 07:00 pm
Date: Friday, January 10, 2020
Time: 11:00 am
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