“Upon life’s journey, we are given opportunities to plant seeds of goodness, seeds of kindness, and seeds of blessings that bestow our hearts, our work, and our being. For those that sow the fields with loving generosity, so shall they reap the abundant harvest of eternal life.”
Today we pause to pay tribute to the memory of Rosa Mae Belle MacKey, who was a loving Aunt, Cousin, Godmother, God-Grandmother and Friend. She was one who loved her family, with all of her heart and not only nurtured her family, but enriched the lives of many.
On Friday, April13, 1923, in Bertie County, North Carolina, Charlie and Eula Sharrock Belle welcomed the arrival of their first born - a beautiful baby girl, who they proudly named, Rosa Mae.
Rosa received her early education through the Northampton County public schools; graduating from W. S. Creecy High School, Rich Square, North Carolina. Her collegiate studies were obtained through Elizabeth City State Teachers College, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Education. Rosa was a firm believer that, “Education is improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.” Many lives were touched and enhanced in both Northampton and Pasquotank Counties through being students of “Mrs. Rosa Belle Mackey”. Rosa loved children and they loved her. So much so, that former students often came back – even those in college – to tell her how important she had been to their education and current life. Many of her students from Elizabeth City amusingly bear witness to being called “Shrum-Shrump” and “Sweet Ole Cakes”. Two of her signature sayings in which many would greet her as well. Teaching and cultivating the minds of young people was Rosa’s passion!
“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” (Maya Angelou) In 1980, Rosa found love and united in Holy Matrimony to the late Deacon John Harris MacKey and remained a loving and devoted wife, until his passing on October 29, 2017.
Rosa was a woman of faith, who at a very young age accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Saviour. She quickly learned the truth according to John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perrish, but have everlasting life.” Oh how she loved the Lord, attending church and fellowshipping one with another. She was a faithful servant and served in all facets of ministry.
As life progressed, Rosa moved to Elizabeth City, North Carolina and joined Holy Trinity Community Church, where she served in the Senior Choir, The Williams Ensemble, The Gospel Choir, The Holy Trinity Angels Choir and she worked with the Christian Women’s Service Council.
Realizing that a husband and wife ought to work, as well as, worship together, to bring glory to God, Rosa decided to unite in Christian fellowship with Olive Branch Missionary Baptist Church. A life of servitude, compelled Rosa to become a member of the Deaconess Ministry. She held this consecration in very high regard, as she was often called upon for guidance and wisdom. While on her spiritual journey her love for music and singing led her to join the Mass Choir, where she served as President. Some of her favorite songs included: “Running For Jesus” and “I Prayed About It”. Additionally, she served as President of the Pastor’s Aide Ministry. Not only was Rosa actively involved in the church, but her community as well, as she was a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
“Who can find a virtuous woman? She is worth far more than rubies” (Proverbs 31:10). Rosa’s qualities of hard work, fear of God, respect she had for her husband, love for children, foresight, encouragement, care for others, concern for the less fortunate and love for her family, all led her to a life of enjoyment, honor and worth.
Yes, Rosa was the epitome of “A Virtuous Woman.” She was the matriarch of her family and was respected as such. The values and principles that she instilled will be a permanent impression in the hearts of all she touched. Rosa loved unconditionally. Her love was not limited to just family, but it was shared throughout the community. She applied the word according to the Apostle Paul in Galatians 5:14: “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this you shall love your neighbor as yourself”.
Mrs. Rosa Belle MacKey gained so much respect in the community because she always had words of encouragement for those she came in contact with. Some of her many sayings were, “Keep your little hand in God’s big hand” and “Father you know all about it, He will take care of you”.
Rosa reserved much respect and love for God, but also for loving her family, friends and community. She was known to many by her affection, genuine love and infectious smile, that could easily brighten anyone’s day. Her smile was accompanied by a warm and bubbly personality along with a great fashion sense. Oh how we looked forward to seeing her couture-inspired outfits and her one of a kind, dazzling, extravagant hats! Rosa loved to dress and she was a beautiful person both internally and externally. She was a sports enthusiast; finding great pleasure in watching and participating in all sports. Many can attest to her cruising around town in a very immaculate Cadillac. In her spare time, she enjoyed solving crossword puzzles.
When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll, Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.” On Sunday, October 3, 2021; while in the serenity of her home, surrounded by her loving goddaughter and devoted caregiver, Rosa recalled the refrain, “It is well, it is well with my soul” and crossed the great divide, exchanging life for eternal rest. As she now rests in the loving arms of Christ we can hear Rosa utter these words, “I’m at peace now. I have fought the good fight. In spirit, I am here”. Her seeds are well-sown; her service on earth is complete, and she now experiences the victory and triumph of eternal life. She is now reunited with those who have preceded her in death: her parents; beloved husband, John; sister, Doris Mitchell McClenney and her Godson, Charles Hughes.
Though the clouds may hang over, there will be a brighter day. In that land that they call heaven, God shall wipe all tears away. Her sweet spirit, caring heart and generosity will long be remembered by all those whose lives she touched. We who are bound by treasured ties of love and affection, as we pass her to God’s keeping are: a niece, Vicki Zorita Edwards; two great-nieces, Anika Edwards and Alexis Edwards Brooks (Kevin, Sr.) all of Elizabeth City, North Carolina; Godchildren, Keith Hughes and Ronnie Hughes both of Poughkeepsie, New York and Cheryl D. Edwards of Garysburg, North Carolina; daughter-at-heart, Elaine MacKey Richardson of Neptune, New Jersey; close friends, Geneva Branch of Rich Square, North Carolina and Vera Story of Elizabeth City, North Carolina; great, great-nieces and nephews, T’ea Brooks, Zorita Edwards, Alexandria McCoy, Kevin Brooks, Jr., Bruce Bailey, Jr. and Anthony McCoy; devoted caregiver, Dorothy Daniels of Garysburg, North Carolina; relatives of the Sharrock, Belle and MacKey family, friends and students.
Relatives and Friends are encouraged to visit Mrs. Mackey's tribute wall to share memories, extend condolences and to order floral tributes, as sentiments to the family.
The Caring Team of T. L. Faison's Funeral Care, LLC is privileged to provide
"Professional Care, With Dignity & Integrity"
to the family of Mrs. Rosa Mae Bell MacKey.
We ask that you unite with us in remembering the family in both thought and prayer.
***TO ENSURE DESIRED FLORAL SELECTIONS AND A TIMELY DELIVERY,
PLEASE PLACE ORDERS THE DAY PRIOR TO THE FIRST VIEWING OF DECEASED***
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