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Mary Ruth (Elliott) Giddens, a lay minister who composed poetry and songs of worship for six decades, died peacefully on July 10, 2017 on Bainbridge Island, Washington, following a courageous battle against cancer. A loving mother and grandmother, she passed at the age of 82 in the embrace of her family.
Mary was born in Pueblo, Colorado, in 1935 to J.R. Elliott, a traveling encyclopedia salesman, and Josephine (Crenshaw) Elliott, a former school teacher. She attended Central High School in Pueblo until her senior year, when the family moved to Denver. She graduated from Denver’s East High School in 1953.
Mary was married twice, first to George N. Hunt, a radar systems engineer, and second to Ralph C. Giddens, a refinery manager. She lived in Manhattan Beach, California, for more than 30 years, where she raised five children and worked as an area adviser for the South Bay Daily Breeze. She and Ralph retired to Vista, California, where he died in 2005.
Called to minister as a young adult, she preached the gospel in prisons and on L.A.’s skid row, and conducted weekly worship services in nursing homes for nearly 50 years. A gifted poet and composer, she wrote thousands of hymns and praise songs.
Mary is predeceased by her daughter, Rebecca Suzanne Hunt, Timothy Hunt, and her son-in-law, Bradley Louis Crawford. She is survived by her children, Steve Hunt (Luanne) of Apple Valley, California; David Hunt of Holly Springs, N.C.; Debbie Crawford of Carthage, N.C.; Mark Giddens of Bainbridge Island, Washington; and Jonathan Giddens of Bothell, Washington; and her grandchildren, Amanda Crawford of Raleigh, N.C. and Scott Crawford of Carthage, N.C.
There will be no service. She will be cremated and the ashes of Ralph, Mary and their beloved Chihuahua “Chi Chi” will be scattered in the Ocean. Her motto was - “Go tell what great things the Lord hath done for you!”
One of her favorite bible verses was, “He hath not dealt with us according to our sins, but according to his love and mercy.” She said that she experienced that love and mercy her whole life.
She has gone home to be with Jesus and the loved ones gone before.