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Mary Elizabeth (Holcombe) Stevenson
Mary Elizabeth (Holcombe) Stevenson
December 21, 1919 – November 18, 2013
Elizabeth (Lib) went peacefully to Heaven at age 93 on November 18, 2013 at the National Health Care Center of Greenville following a progression of age-related infirmities. She had been in residential care there since 2007.
She was born Mary Elizabeth Holcombe on her grandparents' farm near Mooresboro, Cleveland County, NC, the second of four children of Edward Elisha (Ed) Holcombe and Mary Elizabeth (Mary) Bostic. She grew up in nearby Shelby. Following her graduation from Shelby High School in 1936, she moved to Charlotte where she worked in clerical and retailing jobs and met her husband-to-be, Clement Olin Stevenson (Clem, Steve) from Marion, SC. They married in 1941. A year later their first child arrived, C.O. Jr (Stevie), followed by a second son (Billy) in 1944. With Clem’s departure for the war in Europe, Elizabeth and her two small sons moved in with her widowed mother-in-law, Rosa Bostick Stevenson, in Marion. After the war, the young family moved to Greenville, where they first lived on Aberdeen Drive and later built a new home on Riverside Drive in the Marshall Forest neighborhood. They were blessed with the arrival of a daughter (Betsy) and two more sons (Sam and Jim) between 1949 and 1955. Clem's career took the family to Charlotte in 1959 and on to Ridgewood, NJ in 1961, where they lived until his retirement in 1973. The following year they built a new home with a small cattle farm near Clemson (Clem was Class of '36). As Clem's health declined, in 1987 they moved back to Greenville to a home in the Botany Woods neighborhood. After Clem’s death in 1988, Elizabeth bought a home in the Morningside neighborhood and lived there until moving into residential care.
Elizabeth was a devoted wife, a loving mother, an accomplished homemaker and a faithful Christian. She was born to Victorian-era parents at the start of the prosperous 1920s, and came of age with her Greatest Generation bearing the hardships of the Depression and WW2 years. Hers had been a loving and comfortably-off family when, within a few months of her 10th birthday, her world fell apart: her mother died of cancer, her father lost his business following the Crash of '29, she and her young siblings were permanently dispersed among relatives, and her father started a new family. As a young adult she lost her dear older brother James in WW2 (1942), and in her middle years, her first-born child, a Navy pilot killed in Vietnam (1966). She responded to these tragedies and to all of her life's challenges with courage, resilience and a devotion to her family's welfare. During the quarter-century that she lived alone as a widow, she enjoyed her Bible study and prayer, her garden, her walks, her church, and her family and friends. In her mid-70s she felt the call and spent a year as a Baptist missionary in Majuro, the Marshall Islands. Well into her 80s she was a generous hostess, and her meals were always served with a loving emphasis on nutrition. She had a strong constitution and a can-do spirit: a cancer survivor in her 70s, and in her 90s, she twice graduated from hospice care and rehab following major strokes. She imparted to her children her values, wise counsel and the example of how she lived her life: courage and integrity in adversity, a clear moral compass, faithful spiritual practice, selfless commitment to family and friends, healthy living and an appreciation for the beauty of nature. She will be remembered as a generous and good person.
Elizabeth is survived by her four youngest children: Bill (Wendy) of Seattle WA, Betsy (Peter Fisher) of Fairfax VA, Samuel of Marion NC, and Jim of Asheville NC; by her twelve grandchildren spread from Greenville to Hawaii; by fifteen great-grandchildren; by her late sister Margaret (Joe) Miller's four children; and by six other nephews and nieces on Clem's side. She had deep North Carolina roots through both of her parents, and has left behind many Bostic, Holcombe, Adams, and Young relatives of her extended birth family residing mainly in Cleveland and Rutherford counties. She was pre-deceased by her parents, siblings, husband and first-born child. The family wishes to extend a special thanks to the staff of NHC-Greenville who provided compassionate care to our beloved Mom during the years of her declining health.
Elizabeth will be laid to rest alongside Clem near the Holcombe and Bostic family plots in the Trinity Baptist Church cemetery in Mooresboro, NC, within view of her birthplace. Arrangements for the service on Saturday, November 23 at 11:00 a.m. are under the care of  McKinney-Landreth & Carroll Funeral Home, Cliffside, NC (828) 657-6322 . Friends and family are encouraged to share their memories of Elizabeth at www.mckinneylandrethcarroll.com/obituaries. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations in her memory be made to the Gospel Fellowship Association Missions,1809 Wade Hampton Blvd., Suite 110, Greenville SC 29609.
"That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made comfortable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead." Philippians 3:10-11
Steve Carroll, Owner/Funeral Director

McKinney-Landreth & Carroll Funeral and Cremation Service
P.O. Box 337
Cliffside, North Carolina 28024


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