YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Mrs. Mary Magdalene Moody, 90, of Oakland, California, formerly of Youngstown, Ohio, transitioned to eternal life on Sunday, May 22, 2022 at the home of her daughter, with her daughter and grandson by her side.

Mary was born May 5, 1932 in Everettsville, West Virginia, a daughter of Crosby Jake and Rhoda Williams Robinson, one of 13 children. 

She was a 1950 graduate of Monongalia High School, the county’s only African-American high school.  She has fond memories of being a student in junior high and high school of Katherine Johnson, subject of the film Hidden Figures, whose calculations of orbital mechanics as a NASA employee were critical to the success of NASA space flights. Katherine taught her music, math and social studies and recommended her for a college scholarship to Central State University. Mary attended Central State University from 1950 to 1954 and received her B.A. degree in Education. 

She went on to become a dedicated teacher with the Youngstown City Schools, retiring after 32 years of service at a number of elementary schools, making lifelong friends of fellow teachers and touching the lives of many students. 

She was a remote but loyal member of Third Baptist Church.

She pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority in college and was active for over 60 years, including the Epsilon Mu Omega chapter in Youngstown and the Alpha Nu Omega chapter in Oakland. In her college yearbook in 1954, she stated that her hobby was travel, foreshadowing the future, because she did travel extensively during her long, full, adventure-filled life. She lived her final years in the loving community of Grand Lake Gardens in Oakland, California, where she made many new friends and participated in decorating the hallways, singing and playing piano in choirs and talent shows.

Mary, also known as “Cotton” to her family, leaves to mourn her passing but to also celebrate her life and legacy her daughter, Gail Moody-Byrd and grandson, Brandon Byrd, of Oakland, California; siblings, Alphonso and Joseph Paul of Youngstown and Raymond of Gulf Shores, Alabama; a host of loving nieces and nephews, including those she spoke to frequently across the miles, Joyce, Betty, Helen, Genevieve, George, Harriet and Rhoda and many close friends, including Mary Lois Gross.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Robert, whom she married in 1954 and with whom she built a loving home and celebrated 50 years of marriage; sisters, Mattie, Dorothy, Betty and Helen and brothers, Willie Herman, Jack, Theodore, Donald and Lester.

Visitation will be Friday, June 10, 2022 from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. at the L. E. Black, Phillips & Holden Funeral Home in Youngstown. Her Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority sisters will conduct an Ivy Beyond the Wall memorial service from 10:00 – 10:30 a.m. Funeral services will follow at 11:00 a.m.  All times are E.D.T.  Due to the pandemic, all guests are asked to wear masks and observe social distancing.

When you have gone on to rest, and your feet will tread this earth no more, may your name be written in gold, in the autograph of God.5/12/1947  Blanche Class of ‘50 Monongalia High School Autograph Book

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Magdalene Moody, please visit our floral store.

A television tribute will air Wednesday, June 8 at the following approximate times: 6:43 a.m. on WYTV, 9:32 a.m. on WKBN, 10:58 a.m. on FOX and 8:12 p.m. on MyYTV.