Marie Theresa Baylot Gandy went to meet the Lord and join her husband, Henry, in heaven at 2:50 a.m. October 18, 2017. She was 86 years old and passed away peacefully holding her daughter’s hand. Mrs. Gandy leaves behind her daughter, Susan Gandy McNeill and her husband Tal McNeill of Hazlehurst, MS, son Billy Goodman, Jr. and his wife Janeice Goodman of Blessing, TX, and her younger brother, Robert Baylot of Vicksburg, MS. She also leaves behind seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
Visitation will be 1pm-2pm Saturday at First Baptist Church, Hazlehurst. Services will be 2pm Saturday at First Baptist Church Chapel with burial at Hazlehurst Cemetery. Stringer Family Funeral Services in Hazlehurst is handling arrangements.
Marie was born February 13, 1931 to Jean Baptiste Baylot and his wife Agnes in Vicksburg, MS. She attended St. Francis Xavier Academy where she was an excellent student, played tennis and basketball, and was a cheerleader. She later worked as a telephone operator, became a wife, homemaker, mother, and grandmother. To her husband, children, and grandchildren, Marie was far more than the dates and facts that summed up her life. She was the definition of a strong woman. We think of strong women as intimidating and hard. Marie was soft and elegant. She was the one who made sure you were fed when you were hungry, hugged when you were sad, encouraged when you failing, praised when you were successful, and put in your place when you were sassy. She taught you about Jesus, she showed you Jesus in her life, and she worshipped with her service to her family. Marie raised a family beside her husband, pulling that yoke with him pinching pennies until they stretched the distance between what you had and what you needed. She gave us life lessons with actions not just words. She made sure you knew you had to know how to take care of yourself, whether you were a man or a woman, because you never knew what life would throw at you. Marie knew life was unpredictable, but that didn’t mean you could quit. Our Marie never quit. She was strong when others were weak and made sure we knew she was there to lean on when it was needed. She helped others to fly by letting us stand on her shoulders. Her love was never ending and she found joy in her heart in every situation. In the darkness of Wednesday morning, our mother, our grandmother, our friend left to join her husband whom she had longed for since his death two years ago. When she took her last breath, the Lord must have said, “Job well done, Marie,” in welcome. We miss her desperately, but she has given us the world from her life. Never quitting, never giving up on love, never failing to do what must be done with little or no recognition which is the heart of a true servant. Marie embraced the glory of having a true servant’s heart and we were blessed by the power of that and her example. Strength isn’t always loud or pushy. Strength is often 5”2’, in a white sweater and sneakers, with freshly done hair from the beauty shop, making you spaghetti , telling you it’s going to be ok and asking how she can help you figure out a solution. In honor of our precious Marie, we ask that donations be made to Mississippi’s Toughest Kids (MKT Foundation, Box 520, Crystal Springs, MS 39059) and that you take time to embrace the strength of serving others in her memory.