Our beautiful Mama, Mary Grace Rodgers Porter, moved on to the next adventure on the evening of January 13th, 2022.

She was born on August 14, 1953, in Monroe and raised in Farmerville, but spent much of her life in Saint Francisville, Louisiana. There, she raised not just her own children, but a veritable battalion of nieces, nephews, neighborhood kids, friend’s kids, grandchildren, and assorted strays, pouring her boundless love out far and wide. Gracie was a homemaker par excellence, sewing clothes and costumes for her children and others, bestowing hand-embroidered gifts on family and friends alike, and delighting in surrounding herself with beautiful things.

She was also an avid gardener, nurturing her plants with her entire being and sharing their beauty with anyone who showed interest. She always carried a sharpshooter and a bucket in her car with her and had no compunction about pulling over on the side of the road to dig up promising flowers, no matter how much it embarrassed her kids. Her greenhouse and flowerbeds harbored a million blooms over the years, each one bearing a beloved memory.

Mama Grace loved music and had a song lyric for every occasion. The soundtrack of her life included songs by Fleetwood Mac, Buddy Miles, the Allman Brothers, and many others. She sang many babies to sleep with old gospel songs and lullabies of her own creation and spent many nights singing along to her massive music collection, going through her albums, and burning CDs of her favorite songs to give to people she cared about.

Her passing was as gentle and graceful as the life leading up to it. After 68 years of shared joys, she breathed her last in her own mama’s chair, surrounded by her loved ones, flowers, and the music that eased her soul and was more a part of who she was than the flesh that weighed her down. She journeys now to join her mother and father, sisters-in-law, and several close friends, and will be waiting with her characteristically open arms and open heart for the children, grandchildren, brother, and sisters, and many, many friends who will someday follow her.

A celebration of her life and legacy will be held on January 29th at the home of her youngest daughter in Wakefield, Louisiana. In lieu of flowers (which could never be as bright as hers, anyway), celebrants should bring a memory to share.

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